Working on Perennial Sequences

Views: 3649

I spent the last week camping in an intentional community on the Cumberland Plateau in Tennessee.

It’s still spring here. At home, in the coastal plane, it’s summer. Here it is full-on spring time! I mean phlox and iris and all, in full color.

Even in the woods every green that there ever was or will be flanks the canopy. So rich that all night we could hear bug poop falling from the trees, hitting the tent. Man, nothing like that to remind you that you are a part of rich and living cycle.

On the forest floor, plants that fit beautifully into our gardens—Trillium, bloodroot, stargrass and barren strawberry and Christmas Fern. They sprint, they are a burst of energy before the canopy fills out completely, sun light and poop falling now, will stop soon and all those spring ephemerals slowly go back underground.

The moment in the sun, then waiting out the shade and the heat for the cycle next spring.

Perennial Sequences

This cycle can inspire your perennial borders. Not the plants exactly, though some of them grow beautifully across most of the country. No, I mean using the idea of sequencing, of planting things that come up early, then get covered by something else, who gets covered later and so forth and everyone’s happy being where they are, waiting for their moment to come again next year.

Here’s a sequences I’ve been working on:

Lecujoum or Snow Drop, Late March

Trillium, Late April

Phlox pilosa, Early May

Crinum bulbispermum, Mid May

Kalemeris incisa, Early June

Hydrangea arborescens ‘Ryan Gainey,’ Mid June

All these plants will be pretty much planted together, side by side. No other design. Each plant in the list, a bit later and bit bigger than the plant before it, so there is not much clean up needed from you during the season.

Over the years, they’ll each find their preferred space, come out and do their thing, as their moment and their sun dwindles, they get ready for the cycle of being covered up, eclipsed by the next in line.

Meet Jenks Farmer

Jenks's Recent Posts

Beans: A Nurse Crop for Perennials
Read this post
10 Perennials You Should Plant in the Heat of Summer
Read this post

Jenks's Videos

Dividing Yuccas For Propagation (Yucca Rostrata)
Dividing Yuccas For Propagation (Yucca Rostrata)
By Jenks Farmer
Watch this video
Cutworms: How to Eliminate These Garden Pests
Cutworms: How to Eliminate These Garden Pests
By Jenks Farmer
Watch this video

Membership Has Its Perks

Become a registered user and get access to exclusive benefits like...
  • Ask The Expert Questions
  • Newsletter Archive
  • PlantersPlace Magazine
  • Members Photo Gallery
  • Product Ratings & Reviews
  • Garden Club Samples

More information about flower gardening that you’re going to want