Flower borders are intrinsic to most people’s gardens, and by choosing perennial plants you’re opting for one of the easier approaches. Annuals need sowing each spring whereas perennials, once planted, will merrily produce blooms year on year. Seek out star performers for your location and soil type – there’s never been a better excuse to nose in your neighbours’ gardens! What grows and flowers well for them is likely to do so for you, and this handy shortcut will save you years of trial and error. Lupins, aquilegias, cranesbill geraniums and delphiniums are just a few good backbone perennials. With a little home-grown research you’ll create borders to be proud of in no time. Here’s how to plant yours up:
First mark the outline of your border. A straight edge is simply defined with a string line. Use lengths of hosepipe to create a template for curved borders.
Lift any turf off the new border if designing it in a lawned area. Ensure the site is also free from perennial weeds. Dig these out or treat them with a systemic herbicide.
Select your chosen perennials, choosing robust varieties that mix in well with your desired colour scheme. Consider the longevity of the blooms, and the season of interest you are targeting.
Lay the pots on the border, spacing the plants appropriately and in accordance with their final heights. In general, a gradient of tall plants at the back and short ones at the front works best.
Water your plants well before planting them, and tease out any congested roots. Plant to the same depth as in the pot, then firm and water in well. An organic mulch will add nutrients and retain moisture.