Urban Garden Denver Blog

Perennials are not forever

Perennials (plants which come back every year) are the backbone of a flower garden. My garden is about 90% perennials and I fill in the other 10% of space with some select annuals each year. Many perennials do well for over 5 years, but perennials are not forever (except maybe Peonies). I have a perennial bed that is in need of revival, but the problem is I haven’t decided exactly what to do there and I’m not sure this is the year to redo this section. So I decided to move around some existing plants to try to make this area look better this spring and summer. Maybe by fall I’ll decide on a new plan, as fall is a great time to plant many perennials. Meanwhile, I’ll pay more attention to what is doing well in this area and what is lagging.

The perennials I moved to fill in are salvia. Salvia is in the sage family and there are a wide variety of plants in this family that do well in Colorado. Most are deep purple/blue and bloom well in the late spring and summer and will often bloom a second time if they are deadheaded after the first bloom. Salvia seedlings pop up around the garden, not in an invasive way, but regularly starting new plants. So today I transplanted some of these seedlings that were crowding the sidewalk and pushing into the space for other plants. I’m hoping they make it through the next few days, as we have some cold weather in the forecast. Since they have been growing outside all along, they will probably be fine. If not, I have some other wayward plants that I can move into the space.

I was glad to be outdoors today, in the sunshine (and wind). Since last weekend wasn’t so  nice for gardening, I took today off work to have some downtime and putter in the garden. I intended to plant some new perennials that have been sitting on my front porch for a week. They are hardy but I am hesitant to put them out when the forecast is for chance of snow the next few days. I think I’ll wait a few more days for these.

Some people may wonder why I am always planting something new, or moving around plants. Since I love being outside and playing in the dirt, it doesn’t feel like work to me. In that sense, my garden will never be “done.”

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