Perennial Garden Design
When you plan your perennial garden, think of your garden area as a well-prepared canvas on which you are going to paint a picture rich in color, texture and variety, one that will last, and come back year after year.
You need to ask yourself what the purpose of the garden is; does it have a specific function other than being decorative? Can you tie it into existing features of your home and lawn such as paths, a pond, hedges or walls? Is it to be a border viewed from one side, or an island that is to be viewed from several directions? Is it to be formal in design and content, or a more informal mixed border or "cottage" garden? Will it be mostly in the sun or in the shade? These decisions will shape your selection of plants and their arrangement, as well.
Colors and textures should be coordinated to create interest and continuity. Interspersing small shrubs and trees among the perennials as focal points in the garden can achieve variety. Try using blooming vines such as clematis, on a trellis or other structure to give a vertical dimension to your plantings. Planting three or more plants of one variety or color together rather than singly will heighten the effects you achieve.
It is easy to get carried away and plant a larger area than you can comfortably tend. For maximum enjoyment, your perennial plantings should be easily cared for. You can ensure this by planning a garden consistent in size and demands with the amount of time you have to devote to gardening, and one that is easily accessible for maintenance. If you do this successfully, your perennial garden will be a long-lasting source of pride and happiness rather than dreaded drudgery.