Choosing Perennials - Knowledgebase Question

Name: Michelle Finnestad
Lino Lakes, MN
Avatar for mmmbfinn
Question by mmmbfinn
January 8, 2001
I have a faily large tulip bed that I would like to fill with other perennials so that I have blooming color all season long and I don't want to have to transplant each year. What would you suggest, and should I start with seeds or plants. Thank you for your assistance.

Answer from NGA
January 8, 2001
The major difference between seeds and transplants is that many perennials started from seed won't bloom the first year, whereas most plants will.

I'm assuming your tulip bed is in a sunny area. Daylilies are terrific perennials, as they are easy to grow, bloom profusely for an extended season, have attractive foliage, and come in a variety of colors, most in the yellow,orange, red spectrum. Stella de Oro is a tried and true variety. I'm also a fan of artemesia, which is a foliage plant. There are many varieties with leaves in silvery to bluish-green tones. The foliage is "feathery" and makes a nice backdrop for other plants. It also works well in bouquets as a filler. Artemisia haa a sage-like scent when brushed against. Hollyhock is fantastic if you have a wall or background area to plant it against. It will self-sow around the garden. The leaves are large and dark green. Another perennial that is becoming very popular is Monarda, or bee balm. Its tubular-shaped flowers attract butterflies. All of these are easy to grow perennials for a beginning gardener. It's often best to start with a few types and learn how they "work" in your garden and then expand as your experience grows. Hope this gives you some ideas!

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