We all love a great looking garden, the trouble for many of us is that we have neither the time nor the inclination to make it look great in the first place. Whilst there’s certainly no magic solution that will do your gardening for you, there are at least a few steps you can take that make the job easier. One of the most obvious of these is to opt for perennial plants over annuals: what could be better than the plants you planted last year flowering again all by themselves year after year? No more buying new plants and having to plant them. Of course they still need to be cared for and watered, but it’s still a saving!
If you can combine perennial autonomy with plants that are able to withstand harsh conditions and potential predators then the job gets even easier. So with that in mind here are our top recommendations for hardy perennials that you can start planting immediately.
Favoured by bees, and able to flourish in almost all conditions, including shady areas, Geraniums are one of the ultimate hands free perennial flowers. Available in white and shades of purple and blue, geraniums will be colourful all through the summer several years running.
As famous for its lilac colour as its scent, lavender is a staple of any good flower bed, and is noted particularly for its tolerance to dry conditions, and will even grow in dry, sandy soils. Lavender can be grown to fulfill a number of purposes, whether grown in borders, pots, or as a low hedge. All work equally well.
This family of plants are known for their large flowers, somewhat like big daisies, but in hues of red and yellow. They are a great choice for keeping a border going in late summer and early autumn, and thanks to their large carpel they are a dream come true for bees and other pollinating insects. Depending on the exact species you go for, Rudbekia can either be biannuals or longer living perennials, but all are easy to maintain when in flower.
Perhaps taking the record for one of latest flowering plants, it’s not unheard of for Sedum to still be in flower in November, so they’re a great choice for extending the growing season. Like our other hardy plants, Sedum will grow in pretty awful soil, whether dry, sandy or salt lashed coastal varieties, Sedum copes well in all. Available in a range of hues, sedum flowers themselves are small (just a few millimetres across) but they grow in large numbers, forming clumps. Present them alongside more traditional looking flowers to achieve a pleasant contrast in borders.