So, you bought your first home, and you’re ready to ready to transform your outdoor space into the thriving oasis of color and beauty you’ve been dreaming of. Planting shrubs and perennials is an excellent way to start, and this beginner’s guide will walk you through the steps to create a garden that flourishes year after year. Even if you’ve never picked up a shovel, these tips will help you plant with confidence and watch your landscape bloom.
Choosing the Right Plants:
The first step in creating a stunning garden is selecting the right shrubs and perennials for your location. Consider factors like sunlight, soil type, and climate. Some easy-to-care-for options for beginners include Knock Out Roses, Black-Eyed Susans, and Butterfly Bushes. These hardy plants thrive in various conditions and offer beautiful blooms that will make your garden shine.
Preparing Your Garden Bed:
Once you’ve chosen your plants, it’s time to prepare the garden bed. Start by removing any weeds or debris and loosen the soil to a depth of about 12 inches. This will help the roots establish themselves more easily. Adding organic matter like compost will enrich the soil, providing essential nutrients for your plants. Remember, healthy soil leads to healthy plants!
Planting Your Shrubs and Perennials:
When it comes to planting, make sure you dig a hole that’s deep and wide enough to accommodate the root ball of your shrub or perennial. The top of the root ball should sit slightly above the soil level to prevent water from pooling around the stem. After placing the plant in the hole, backfill with soil and gently pat it down to remove air pockets. Water your new additions thoroughly to help them settle in their new home.
Mulch and Maintenance:
Mulch is your garden’s best friend. Apply a layer of mulch around your plants to help retain moisture, suppress weeds, and maintain an even soil temperature. Leave a small gap around the base of the plant to prevent moisture from rotting the stems. Regular watering and occasional fertilization are also essential for the well-being of your shrubs and perennials.
Pruning and Care:
As your garden matures, you’ll want to trim and prune your plants as needed. Remove dead or diseased branches to encourage healthy growth. Perennials benefit from deadheading, which involves removing spent flowers to promote new blooms. Regular maintenance keeps your garden looking its best.
Enjoying the Fruits of Your Labor:
With a little effort and the right guidance, your garden will flourish with vibrant colors and lush foliage. Planting shrubs and perennials is a rewarding journey, and as you watch your garden evolve, you’ll find joy in the beauty of your outdoor sanctuary. So, roll up your sleeves and start planting – your dream garden awaits!
Beginner's Bliss: 20 Easy-to-Grow Perennials and Shrubs For Your New Home
Starting your gardening journey as a new homeowner is an exciting endeavor, and it’s crucial to choose plants that thrive in our climate. Here are our choices for the 20 easiest-to-grow perennials and shrubs tailored to our area. These hardy plants not only require minimal maintenance but also reward you with vibrant colors and lush foliage, making your gardening experience enjoyable and successful.
1. Black-Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia fulgida)
Black-Eyed Susans are tough perennials with bright yellow blooms that thrive in full sun. They’re drought-resistant and attract pollinators, making them perfect for borders or wildflower gardens. They are also the Maryland State Flower.
2. Knock Out Rose (Rosa Knock Out)
Knock Out Roses are low-maintenance shrub roses known for their continuous blooms and disease resistance. They add a pop of color to your landscape from spring to fall and work well as hedges or in containers.
3. Sedum 'Autumn Joy' (Hylotelephium telephium)
This succulent perennial features rosy-pink flowers and succulent foliage. It’s incredibly drought-tolerant and thrives in well-drained soil, making it an excellent choice for areas with poor soil.
4. Butterfly Bush (Buddleia davidii)
Butterfly bushes are known for attracting pollinators with their fragrant blooms. They’re adaptable to various soil types and thrive in full sun, making them great for wildlife-friendly gardens.
5. Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)
Coneflowers are hardy perennials that are available in a wide array of colors. They tolerate drought well and are excellent for naturalizing large areas.
6. Spirea (Spiraea japonica)
Spirea is a versatile shrub that’s easy to grow and showcases clusters of vibrant pink or white flowers. Use it as a foundation plant or in mixed borders.
7. Catmint (Nepeta x faassenii)
Catmint is a drought-tolerant perennial with aromatic leaves and lavender-blue flowers. It’s perfect for borders, rock gardens, or as a ground cover.
8. Boxwood (Buxus spp.)
Boxwoods are evergreen shrubs that provide structure to your landscape year-round. They’re adaptable and work well as hedges, topiaries, or in containers.
9. Russian Sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia)
Russian Sage is a drought-tolerant perennial with aromatic silver-gray foliage and spiky blue blooms. It adds elegance and a touch of the Mediterranean to your garden.
10. Hosta (Hosta spp.)
Hostas are shade-loving perennials with attractive foliage. They’re excellent for adding texture to shaded areas and work well in woodland gardens.
11. Coreopsis (Coreopsis verticillata)
Coreopsis, or tickseed, is a drought-tolerant perennial with bright yellow or red flowers. It’s great for borders, rock gardens, and pollinator-friendly landscapes.
12. Big Leaf Hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla)
Hydrangeas offer big, beautiful blooms in various colors. They prefer partial shade and moist, well-drained soil, making them versatile choices for your garden.
13. Heuchera (Heuchera spp.)
Heucheras, or coral bells, are shade-loving perennials with stunning foliage in various colors. They’re perfect for edging or containers in shady spots.
14. Lilac (Syringa vulgaris)
Lilacs are classic, fragrant shrubs that thrive in full sun. Their clusters of sweet-smelling flowers make them stand out in spring gardens.
15. Baptisia (Baptisia spp.)
Baptisias are hardy perennials with spikes of pea-like flowers. They’re adaptable and require little maintenance, making them ideal for wildflower meadows.
16. Viburnum (Viburnum spp.)
Viburnums are versatile shrubs with attractive foliage and fragrant blooms. They work well as screens, hedges, or foundation plants.
17. Daylily (Hemerocallis spp.)
Daylilies are virtually indestructible perennials with vibrant blooms. They tolerate various conditions and provide bursts of color to your garden.
18. Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)
Yarrow is a drought-tolerant perennial with feathery foliage and clusters of flat-topped flowers. It’s perfect for pollinator-friendly gardens and naturalistic landscapes.
19. Weigela (Weigela florida)
Weigelas are easy-care shrubs with trumpet-shaped flowers. They’re adaptable and bring color to your garden with minimal effort.
20. Panicle Hydrangea (Hydrangea paniculata)
Paniculata hydrangeas are the most popular of the hydrangeas. They’re ideal as flowering hedges or growing in containers on the deck or patio and come in various colors.
With these 20 easy-to-grow perennials and shrubs tailored to our area, your gardening journey as a beginner will be filled with joy and success. These plants require minimal maintenance and offer a variety of colors and textures to enhance your landscape. Whether you have a sunny or shaded garden, there’s a perfect plant on this list to get you started. Happy gardening!