Perennial Flowers

Learn the basics of gardening with perennial flowers.

daylily flower

Daylily Flower

You can add the flowers of daylily to salads that you’re going to eat the same day. Italian and Chinese cooks dip the flowers in batter and deep-fry them. They’re also excellent in soups.

Ignite your yard with the wonderful color of perennial flowers. These incredible plants return to fill your garden with beauty year after year. Shape and color of perennials’ flowers vary, including a wide range of diversity. Perennials’ flowers also appear at different times of the year, so that you can enjoy a succession of bloom from the earliest warmth of spring to the frosty days of winter in mild regions.

You can find perennial flowers in any hue, including black, chartreuse and multicolored blends. Bearded iris, hellebore, daylily, columbine and butterfly bush open blooms in dark black to purple-black hues. For chartreuse shades, count on the perennial flowers of button mums, lady’s mantle, columbine and cushion spurge. Bicolor and tricolor perennial flowers include helenium, Japanese iris, peony, yarrow and calla lily.

Perennial flowers come in an amazing array of forms, from happy daisy-like blooms, to fuzzy spikes, to delicate heart-shaped blossoms. Salvia plants, delphinium, liatris and anise hyssop open flowers arranged in long spikes. Common yarrow packs many blossoms into a flat flower head. Daisy-like forms abound among perennial flowers, including black eyed susan, coneflower, ox-eye daisy and asters.

Some perennial flowers have one-of-a-kind shapes, like gaura with its butterfly lookalike blooms, lily of the valley with its bell-shape blossoms or bee balm with its firework flowers. Balloon flower has round buds that pop open to reveal a star-shape blossom, while pincushion flowers look like they escaped a sewing basket.

The trick to gardening with perennial flowers is to mix and match flower colors and shapes to create an eye-pleasing scene. Add into that mix a blend of plants that flower at different points in the growing season, and you’re on your way to a breathtaking perennial garden. The fun aspect of growing perennial flowers is that the garden is never static. By incorporating a mix of perennials into your plantings, you guarantee a scene that changes with the seasons.

Many gardeners want to stock their gardens with long blooming perennial flowers. This list includes many favorites, such as daylilies, perennial geranium, coneflowers, ‘Moonshine’ yarrow, coreopsis, ‘Autumn Joy’ sedum and astilbe. Other perennial flowers, such as peony, bearded iris, Oriental poppy and crocosmia, last for shorter timeframes in the garden.

From year to year, perennial plantings also change as plants grow larger and fuller. A trio of false indigo stems this year can multiply into a dozen stems next year that form a robust shrub in the garden. Some perennial flowers, like goatsbeard, bee balm or obedient plant, spread over time to create colonies in the garden. This can be a good or bad thing, depending on how large your perennial garden is.

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