The many seasons of a perennial garden

With spring having just arrived I find myself standing in the front garden in the sun eagerly looking for new shoots in the. To non-gardeners I must look a little crazy staring at what probably looks like a patch of dirt.

The garden out here is in full sun and for me is a great place to experiment with herbaceous perennials planting. It is around 5 years old and has already gone through many changes. Every autumn I reagerly rip loads of things out and replant to tweak or sometimes radically change the balance. This is not to say that this is what is needed in perennial gardens in general. But as it is my garden I can try things here without fear of disappointing anyone except myself! So this is the seasonal progression of last year’s growing season. To me now this is very grass-heavy and now I have taken out 80% of these and replanted more flowering perennials for more color and less height.

Images are through the seasons from early Euphorbias flowering in late winter to early spring. The first flush of purple with the Salvia nemorosa and the Nepita. The pink Echinacea pallida popping through, to yellow Helleniums, and fluffy Peovskias with sending grasses in the heat of summer. To drying out and then winter browns and cut back.

The thing I love about a herbaceous perennial garden is that it is constantly changing and engaging. It feels to me like the joy of many gardens rolled into one. It is almost too exciting over summer (for someone who loves plants) That by the time autumn rolls around I almost need a break.

The embracing of seasonality and change in the garden to me is a healthy one. Gardens are not static, they can change and evolve. If something doesn’t work or I change my mind I can change the garden, there is no endpoint. Just the joy of gardening.