The Q&A Archives: starting carefree perennial beds

Question: I have 3 beds that I would love to put some pretty perennials in. I have a small bed that is full sun (bed 1); an extra large bed that is partial sun/shade (bed 2) and a medium bed that is also partial sun/shade (bed 3). Right now, I have a few hostas in bed 2, (I tried pansies there last year but the squirrels got to them)nothing in bed 1; and bed 3 has a rose bush that doesn't bloom, a few transplanted irises, and 2 calla lillies, (there were also some pansies here last year). I want to know the kinds of perennials do I need to plant to make the beds really beautiful and will last year after year?

Answer: I would start by moving the irises and rose bush into the full sun bed. Both will appreciate all day sunshine and will bloom better for you. In that same bed you could put sun loving perennials such as Purple Coneflowers, Columbine, Aster, Baptisia, Campanula (Bellflower), Dianthus, Hemerocallis (Daylily), Chrysanthemum, Lavender, Delphinium, Sedum, Phlox and Verbena. In the partial sun/shade beds, try planting Astilbe, Caladium, Dicentra (Bleeding Heart), Ferns, Coral Bells, Hosta, Hellebores, Hydrangea and Tiarella. You could even interplant some splashes of color with seasonal annuals. Enjoy your new flower beds!

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