Help Me–I’m Planting a Perennial Garden!

Perennial garden needed to hide our compost bin!

By Trish Holder

I don’t have to look at seed catalogs anymore for signs of spring.  At last the familiar colors, smells and sounds of the season have arrived in North Carolina.  And collectively my organs are breathing a sigh of relief.

I know I have little right to complain, considering the winter people have endured this year in other parts of the country.  (Wasn’t there just a blizzard in Colorado this past week?)  But I have a theory that we adjust biologically, emotionally, and psychologically to the seasons of the home we know best.  The 3 or 4-week delay our spring had me physically longing for something that I couldn’t quite put my finger on — until the red buds started to bloom.

Answering the call of nature, I’ve took a few extra moments this week to survey my yard.  It’s a big yard and no doubt it will be at least 10 years before it’s all I want it to be.  For now, I’ve assigned myself one simple task:  Create with my own little hands (mostly) a perennial garden to disguise our not-so-lovely-to-look at compost bin.  Here’s what I want:

  • Long seasonal color (that is, flowers that bloom from late spring to early fall)
  • Year long foliage to hide the compost bin even after the flowers have faded
  • A set burst of seasonal color that I won’t have to purchase over and over again
  • A pretty, virtually maintenance-free focal point for my back yard
  • Plants that won’t require supplemental water once they are established
  • Perennials that will thrive in full sun in my Zone 7 climate

I’ve read it can be done.  And while I’m almost completely useless at growing anything (including my poorly performing petunia seedlings), I’m going to try.  My goal is to make this happen without bothering my husband, who is stooped over with stress from tax season.  (As the number cruncher in the family, spring always comes late for him.)

So….I need your help and suggestions quickly, because aside from being a useless and inept gardener, I’m also an impatient one.  My favorite colors in a flower garden are yellow, pink, and blue – but I’m not all that particular.  Fire away!


2 Responses »

  1. Hi Trish — I can’t think of any tall perennials that bloom all summer, but maybe plant any variety of tall yellow daylilies plus some native orange Tiger Lilies in the back row, the latter reseeds like crazy in my yard. And put French Lavender and Yellow Coreopsis in front. Those two bloom in my yard almost all summer. And in my experience none of these require much additional water, even in our climate.

  2. Trish,

    With such a large yard one of the plants I’d recommend is Joe Pye Weed. It’s a plant that grows six to 10 feet tall and each plant will grow 3 to 6 feet in width. I wouldn’t put them front and center but a clump of them makes a great background. Butterflies love them and like so many perennials once they are established they are maintenance free.

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