Choice of perennials

Hi peeps,

I need some advice on choosing a range of perennials for my garden.  We recently had the lawn removed and replaced with slate chippings (the lawn was totally overrun with moss; my grandad didn't believe in removing old turf before laying new, go figure and poor drainage meant replacing with new turf was a no-go) and this summer we had a variety of wild flowers and Lobelia in pots.  They've been really successful but now I'm looking at the future.

I'm looking at replacing the annuals with a range of perennials to give plenty of colour over the year from spring till autumn, but I have no idea what to use.  Could someone give me an idea of where to start with regards to choosing plants?

Thanks in advance,



  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 11,900

    It's a big subject and also depends on what sort of soil you have, acid or alkali, heavy or light and whether you will be planting in sun or shade. Some plants like it most and others are happier dry.

    I started years ago by buying a book about perennials, then walking up the street to see what others had planted that I liked and looking them up in the book. Nowadays there is the Internet which is a huge source of information and garden centres have lots of well labelled plants.

    Another thing is your own personal taste. Do you prefer spikes like salvias or daisies like rudbeckias? What colours?

    I would start with the easier plants, like hardy geraniums, salvia nemorosa, rudbeckias, phlox, tiarella, campanulas, aster Monch, day lilies. Also plant bulbs, daffodils, tulips (after November), snowdrops, crocus, allium Purple Sensation.

    It takes time and practice to get to know plants and your garden. Some will grow well for you and some won't. Good luck.

  • Hi,

    Everything is in containers, and in full sun until evening.  I'm looking for strong contrasting colours - a vivid colour like a red or orange for a centrepiece and more subtle shades to complement it: light blue or purple, white, etc.  We've got pots with a similar colour mix at the moment using annuals, and everyone who sees it loves the effect so I'm looking to recreate that on a more permanent basis. 

  • hogweedhogweed Central ScotlandPosts: 2,498

    If you get a book of plants for pots, that will give you a good start. It will probably give good colour combinations as well.

    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
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