Their leaves usually die back as winter approaches, but with luck, they'll come back each year. Some plants are short-lived, but old favorites like daylilies, hostas and peonies can thrive for decades.
Starting a flower garden
Coneflowers in mid-summer
When you begin your flower garden, it's easy to think that all you have to do is get your plants into the ground, and with the exception of weeding, watering and cutting your plants back each season, your garden will be done.
But here's what really happens:
The first year your new perennials are underwhelming – the clumps small, the flowers sparse
By the second year, you'll see more flowers and better growth. But in the third season – watch out – your plants look like they're on steroids, and you look like an accomplished gardener.
After that, many plants get bigger each season, while the odd one does a disappearing act. Responding to inevitable change is the challenge - and that's why veteran gardeners often say that no flower garden is ever really finished.
The right plants for your garden
When designing your flower garden, there are many choices to make with regard to planting.
Some are purely aesthetic (such as match-making plant combinations and colors), and others are horticultural (what grows best in conditions on your property and in your climate).
The more closely you base decisions on meeting the needs of your plants (light requirements, hardiness, soil and moisture levels), and on which plants look good together, the more successful your flower garden will be.
On the left side of this page, you'll find links to information on caring for your garden, plus many flower garden favorites for sun and shade, complete with growing and care tips.