Understanding the Difference in Plant Types Will Change Your Entire Garden

Colourful garden with perennials flowers

We’re all keen to have our garden looking at its best and when the weather is warm, you, of course, spend more time in the garden. Encouraged by the fine weather, you’ll flock to garden centres in search of the perfect plant. And there, you think you’ve found it! Lush green leaves, beautiful colour, stunning flower, so you buy it. Come the wintertime, it’s gone completely and never returns.

Where Did You Go Wrong?

You see, the garden centre had you fooled. They are very clever at tailoring to your needs for the now. Our gardens will very easily look great in the Summer as this is when most plants will be in full leaf or in bloom, but what about the rest of the year, and more importantly what about through the winter? If you’ve been sucked into a very colourful, pretty stand at the garden centre that was in full bloom, it’s more than likely you’ve become victim to the ‘annual’ or ‘bedding’ plant display.

While they absolutely have their place because they’re easy to grow, fast to flower and instant in colour, they’re not the plant you need if you’re wanting to create a lasting garden. Annuals, last only one year, meaning they will grow, flower and die all in the same year. A constant change over the years and even seasonally is required to maintain an attractive appearance with these.

What You Should Know?

Understanding how plants are classified will help you create a solid garden. Besides annuals, plants are classified as biennials and perennials. Biennials will grow in the first year, flower in the second and then die, lasting two years (bi) and perennials are plants that last longer than two years.

If you go into it a little more detail, perennials are classified further as woody and herbaceous. Woody perennials are usually shrubs and trees because they retain their structure throughout the winter and herbaceous perennials will die back to the ground ready to emerge next spring.

Look on the label and you should find these words on there, the RHS website and apps are very usual tools for finding out this information also. Understanding whether it’s an annual, biennial or perennial, is crucial for creating those full borders.

Still Baffled?

We’re here to help. It’s very easy to get bogged down with all the jargon, and our expert horticultural team knows all this information at the tips of their (green) fingers, so you don’t even have to think about it.

Give us a call on 0330 202 1955 for help in creating beautiful long-lasting borders.

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