Plant low cost, low upkeep perennial flower beds that forever bloom!
Don’t you just adore English-style gardens?
A few years back, whenever I went to my gardening brother and sis-in-law’s place, the first thing I always wanted to do was look at their English styled garden flower bed borders around the perimeter of their backyard.
English gardens have this full, casual appearance. Slightly rambling, yet something always in bloom in every nook and cranny.
I use to have low upkeep perennial flower beds awhile back. However that was 3 homes ago.
However I do know how nice it is to walk outdoors to a fully planted, always in bloom flower bed infused backyard. And I’d like it back again. But on a smaller scale.
Here’s some recent inspiration…
Roadside flower inspiration
I walk by this rustic fence along the road each day.
And all these amazing flowers bloom all summer long… all on their own.
Upon closer glance, that’s because these flowers are all perennials. Which basically means, they regrow and bloom all on their own each summer. Now that’s easy!
So if you dream of the idea of having a back yard filled with low upkeep perennial flower beds that continue to bloom all on their own each and every year, this post is for you!
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Plant low cost, low upkeep
perennial flower beds that forever bloom!
Supplies you’ll need:
Preparing the soil
1. Prepare your soil prior to planting
Soil that is fertile, holds moisture and drails well is going to be the key to the success of your flower bed or garden.
I used homemade compost and peat moss in my flower beds. However a short cut is to purchase bags of mushroom compost or manures, and bags of peat moss to treat the soil you already have.
If you desire to plant a larger area, it would be more cost effective to pick up a truck load or get it delivered at a place that sells bulk soil and gardening manures.
But the key for me is that the soil is fertile. Yes, you can continue to feed your plants all summer long which is helpful. But you’ll save time, money and will be AMAZED how much better your garden and flowerbeds grow if you add lots of manures to the soil right from the get go.
For annuals, especially in flower planters or baskets, I do like to add chemical liquid food or fish fertilizer throughout the growing season though.
Plant just perennials
2. Choose perennial flowers over annual flowers.
The key to having forever flower beds that always bloom every year without you having to repurchase them is to simply choose perennial flowers that will do that for you. It’s that easy.
I admit, you get more immediate impact with annuals, but unless you wish to purchase and plant over and over each season, starting a perennial flower garden is the answer to an eventual low cost AND low upkeep full colour backyard.
So bite the bullet, and choose perennials only.
3. Costly? Buy one at a time.
Perennial costs can really add up. So here’s my way around the problem.
Each shopping trip out, I’m allowed ONE perennial. Unless I come across the half price section as above. Then I can have… oh.. I dunno. Whatever I can get away with without feeling sick. 🙂
But watch it! The cha chings add up fast. One at a time is an affordable way to build up a perennial flower bed for certain.
And remember, it doesn’t have to be all done in one year. Add more each summer.
Purchase perennials when in full bloom
4. Buy when in bloom
It’s great to purchase perennials whenever they are on sale or when planning a flower bed. However reading flower tags trying to figure out when they bloom makes planting a flower bed planting tricky. There’s so much guess work to it. So here’s an added tip that I know will help you too…
Look at your flower beds and note where it needs colour NOW.
Then go purchase a perennial that’s in full bloom NOW, so you know what will always bloom there and how it will look!
It saves so much guess work.
Tall in the back, short in the front
5. Consider size and sun requirements
It’s a given to place tall in the back and small in the front. But remember width too. As well as sunny vs. shade. So reading flower and plant labels is important.
It’s worth your while to know what the future holds.
Move plants around if needed
5. Shuffle on occasion
Once your plants get more established, you get a better visual on how the end result will look. So don’t be afraid, when the season is right, to water your plant well, then move it to a better location if need be.
I do this all the time. Dig up the biggest root ball you can muster to avoid root distress, reposition and baby the plant until you know it’s taken hold again.
I read somewhere that gardening is NEVER complete, for a true gardener will always shuffle to grasp towards a more pleasing outdoor vignette. But doing this too much can slow down the growing progress.
So indeed shuffle plants, especially in a non growing season. But slow down when they are at their growing peak so you don’t distress them and hinder their growth.
Use annuals to fill in bare spots and for instant colour
6. Plant annual flowers in empty spots
Plant your perennials in forever places, but until they fill in, if you wish for immediate colour, plant annuals in bare spots.
But if you do plant annual flowers, don’t plant them sparingly.
Annuals look best tightly grouped for the highest impact. You want them to touch.
And if you aren’t getting immediate impact, what’s the point of annuals again?!?
Consider annual planters
7. Plant annuals in non appropriate perennial spaces.
Planted perennials have their forever homes. However, if you consider planting annual flowers inside pots or larger planters such as an old wheelbarrow, planters help add height and make moving your annuals around much easier.
But just know what you’re getting into. Annual planters will need to be replaced each summer, as well as requiring more intense watering.
Plant them and enjoy them, but just be aware of the upkeep differences.
ie: When I went camping all summer, I never had to water my perennial flower beds. But I had to ask for neighborhood help keeping up with watering all the annuals and vegetable garden.
It’s a well known fact avid campers generally have sparse gardens. Ask me how I know. 🙂
Budget ways to add perennials
9. Consider budget ways to add more perennials
- Watch for roadside wildflower blooms (where legally permitted)
- Trade small perennial samplings with your neighbors
- Look for half price plants
- Allow (applicable) blooms to fade and reseed themselves
- Take clippings of some plants to regrow
- Divide your own perennials off-season and place them in different areas
Perennials take time
10. Have patience. Perennials are long term.
Growing a forever blooming perennial flower garden is a long term game. So patience will be key while you wait for the plants to mature.
Just try and keep in mind that you are creating a flower bed that will bloom year after year without any replacement!
Go buy your one flowering perennial next time you pick up your groceries. Then make it your mantra to keep adding a new perennial in bloom to add to your garden each time you’re out. You’ll be enjoying full season bloom before you know it!
What’s your favorite perennials to plant? Got any of your own tips for low upkeep perennial flower beds to share?
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