The Berry Cottage Gardener

The Berry cottage gardener

for gardens pretty and productive


Keeping The Faith With Perennials

"In all things it is better to hope than to despair" - von Goethe

I love perennial plants.  To me, they are the epitome of a cottage garden,  and when my love for gardening grew,  I decided that a herbaceous border along the side of the house was needed.

The side garden had been neglected since my arrival.  It consisted of “low maintenance”,   that is, “ugly” plants,  including New Zealand flax,  oyster plant,  agapanthus and diosma.  Once this was all removed and donated to the neighbourhood,  I placed an order for a range of beautiful perennials including aquilegias,  asters,  agastache and catmint.

Now perennials are deciduous.  Mine arrived as tube stock in Winter and I seriously thought it was April Fools Day.  There were only dead-looking twigs emerging from the pots and it all looked so uninspiring.  I gamely planted them out anyway.  I’m sure my neighbours thought I was mad,  enacting some kind of bizarre pantomime,  as,  after three hours of digging,  measuring out and precise placement,  the bare garden bed looked exactly the same as when I began!  It was bleak and barren,  and while I didn’t love the plants that had been removed,  I confess for a while there,  I did really question what I had done!

Spring came finally and to my delight,  my plants started to shoot,  tentatively at first,  but,  as the earth warmed,  within weeks the garden bed had burst to life and provided a riot of colour and texture through until Autumn.

My perennial border reminds me there is always hope.  When all looks bleak and hopeless,  just keep the faith.  Dawn may be just around the corner,  and it may well be worth the wait!