Identifying Plant Types

Knowing what to expect from annuals, biennials, perennials, shrubs, climbers, trees and other types of plants can help you create the garden of your dreams.

Excerpted from How to Grow Practically Everything
garden design requires proper planning DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Garden Design

Does your garden lack color or structure, and would it benefit from more glitz or a greater sense of permanence? Different types of plants have different roles to play, and understanding what each one can bring will help you make your garden more beautiful and create year-round interest.

annuals provide color for one year only DK - How To Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Annuals

These plants germinate, grow, flower, set seed and die all in one year. They're bold and colorful and quickly gone, although hardy ones may self-seed and appear the next year.

biennials take two years to bloom DK - How To Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Biennials

Much like annuals, biennials are short-lived, but spread their time over two years, growing in the first, flowering in the second. They too are used as colorful bedding plants.

perennials bloom year after year DK - How To Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Perennials

Perennials are the mainstays of flower gardens, producing their flowers and foliage year after year. Most die down in winter and produce a fresh crop of leaves every spring.

ornamental grasses are evergreen and keep leaves DK - How To Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Grasses

Some ornamental grasses are evergreen and keep their leaves all year, while others die back. They create movement and light in the garden, and many have striking winter skeletons.

deciduous shrubs create permanent structure DK - How To Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Shrubs

Deciduous or evergreen, these plants form the backbone of the garden. Shrubs have a woody framework and create a permanent structure. Many also produce attractive flowers and berries.

trees give character to a yard and garden DK - How To Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Trees

For privacy, enclosure and a sense of permanence, plant a tree. Evergreens provide color all year, while deciduous species bring young spring leaves and blossom, autumn color and a wintry outline.

climbers give garden a cottage feel DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Climbers

Scrambling up walls and across trellises, climbers soften the sharp lines of hard landscaping, and they can also be grown through shrubs and trees. Many have beautiful flowers and some are scented.

aquatic plants have ornamental foliage and blooms DK - How To Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Aquatics

If you have a pond, there's a wide range of plants to consider, from marginals with ornamental foliage or flowers that thrive in shallow water to spectacular deep-water aquatics, such as water lilies.

Excerpted from How to Grow Practically Everything

© 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

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