Perennial plants are the stalwart of the garden, coming up year after year. Plantsman, Graham Rice, picks 5 great perennials, including sedum, helleborus and Echinacea.
The word ‘perennial’ says it all, really. The plants come up every year and, what’s more, the clumps get fatter and fatter so that after a few years you can divide them up to make more. Perennials are adaptable too. You can easily find varieties to grow in sun or shade, wet soil or dry, clay soil or sand, chalky soil, seaside and in the chilliest corners of the country. Choose wisely, and perennials are also a long term answer to containers, especially if you’re not around to water and feed them constantly.
Are they difficult to look after? Not really. Taller types might appreciate some support, and they all need tidying up at the end of the season. Other than that, if you spend a little time enriching the soil and then keep them weeded, they’ll give you years of pleasure.