Perennials have long been admired as part of traditional English gardens, with borders flanking garden paths demanding the attention of any visitor.
These often hardy plants provide brilliant colour contrasts and textures that can bring a garden to life and be used to great effect even in the smallest of spaces.
Perennials are plants that persist for several years, unlike their annual counterparts that will only last a season. They will give year in year out joy with predictable flowering and in most cases hassle-free gardening.
Perennials are adaptive to a range of garden styles, ideal in borders or mixed in as accent plants within trees and shrubs or container plants. There are perennials suitable to a range of different soil types and a variety of different climates.
Perennials are plants that don't produce woody tissue and are classified into two major groups, those that are herbaceous, which have deciduous tops, dying back in winter but with persistent root systems; and those that remain evergreen. But like all plants, correct selection will determine success.
Herbaceous perennials provide an element of surprise in the garden as they appear almost out of nowhere if only for a brief time each year, dazzling with displays of riotous colour such as rudbeckia, or in a more seductive understated manner with subtle hues and tones that can be found in sweet violets, catmint or Japanese windflower.
The palette of colour and textures that perennials are available in is extensive, as is leaf and flower shapes, which also come in diverse sizes and form.
Many perennials are just coming into their own as far as flowering is concerned and others are coming to the end of flowering. Now is the perfect time be planting, dividing clumps, or taking cuttings to increase plant numbers.
Iris, clivea, hemerocallis, alstroemeria and kangaroo paw can be divided safely now, and cuttings can be taken from pelargonium, marguerite daisies, salvia, dianthus and pentstemon to name a few.
It is near impossible to provide a definitive list of perennial plants for Australian gardens; the best approach is to choose perennials suited to your climate and soil, check with your nursery professional on what works best in your area and enjoy these gorgeous plants which are sure to become perennial favourites.
The story There's a picture-perfect perennial suitable for any garden first appeared on The Canberra Times.