Designing with perennials
If a garden were a picture, trees and shrubs would make the frame, but the paint would be perennials, bringing the whole thing to life with colour and movement.
Here are our top tips for picking combinations from the fantastic choice of perennials in our garden centre in St Albans to make your garden a work of art.
Design in triangles to avoid a 'blobby' effect. Combine tall verticals – say, foxgloves - with hummocky shapes like geraniums and low-growing horizontal ground cover.
Contrast shapes to bring out the best in your plants. Look for opposites: strappy-leaved daylilies with broad- leaved heucheras, or upright, airy grasses with daisy flowered rudbeckia.
Use repetition to pull your design together. Several bold clumps of the same variety of helenium at strategic points, for example, make the garden feel whole.
Manage colour to create the mood you want. Zingy reds and oranges with clashing blues and purples are exciting, whereas similar shades together calm things down.
Plant in groups or drifts for real impact. Odd numbers work best: three is a minimum but you can go up to nine, eleven or fifteen plants at a time for real wow factor.
Please ask the staff in our St Albans garden centre for more information and advice about designing with perennials.