Great question! Perennials are plants where the above ground portion dies back at the end of every year but then regrows from the roots year after year. Over time the size of the plant will increase and most take three years to establish to maturity. If they ever get too large they can be dug up and split in half, or multiple portions, and replanted in another location. These aspects makes them cost effective over annuals, which are the type of plants that need to be purchased every spring because they do not survive the winter.
Take a look at my social media to see examples of many great perennials.
There are endless combinations of plants that comprise a garden but four main types of design style; traditional, cottage, modern & natural.
Your garden style should be a reflection of your personal style. Do you wear bold patterns and paint your walls bright colors? Or, maybe you prefer a muted color palette, clean lines and take a ‘less is more’ approach to life. I made a summary of four main garden styles and their key elements. You may find that more than one resonates with you, and that is normal. Having a basic understanding of your style helps me design a garden that you will enjoy. Even though I do not provide hardscaping services I added these elements into the descriptions for a more complete vision of each garden style. Follow the link embedded in each category to see pictures.
The main element of traditional gardens is symmetry and balance. These are the more formally structured spaces that may be outlined by a hedge that either responds well to shearing or grows naturally in a tight, well defined shape. Certain plants or structures may be used as a focal point with all other elements complimentary. There is a ‘less is more’ approach with plant selection and color palette.
I think of cottage gardens as a collection of plants. There are many varieties and most, if not all, colors are represented at some point in the season. This informal design may appear random or like an ‘organized mess’ but is well tended. There is less defined, curvilinear edges.
Modern gardens also have a ‘less is more’ appearance. There are fewer plant varieties used with muted tones, and plants with discreet flowers, like grasses, often comprise much of the design. Hardscape elements are often intermixed in the garden spaces which tend to have a geometric outline.
Natural gardens emphasize the native landscapes of the region and highlight plants that have an interesting structure even into the winter. These plants are very durable since supplemental inputs like irrigation are not required.