Now that you’ve gotten your annuals and vegetables planted, it’s time to look toward adding perennials to your garden. While more expensive than their annual relatives, perennials are more economical since they winter well and survive to bloom several years or more.
When designing a perennial bed, consider the size of the plant as well as what time of year it blooms. Mix early-blooming crocus, phlox, daffodils, and tulips with June-blooming peonies and azaleas, July ornamental lilies and black-eyed susans, August asters, dahlias, and mums, summer-long roses and daylilies, and winter-green shrubs, thyme, heather, and camellias to make for a year-long, shifting array of color and texture.
While perennial beds are lower-maintenance than other plantings, they still require occasional attention. June is a good time to shear the tops of spring bloomers. This ensures a uniform and ornamental foliage effect for the remainder of the season. Don’t shear back spring-flowering bulbs or peonies, though. Early to mid-June is also a good time to cut back by half tall late-season bloomers to control height and eliminate the need for staking.
An outing to your local nursery will provide you with a selection of perennials suited to your climate.