When you’re new to gardening, commonly used phrases and complicated jargon will boggle the mind. What’s an annual? What does ground-cover mean?
The most commonly asked question we receive from new gardeners is, what’s a perennial plant? If you also ask yourself this question, then we’re here to clear up your confusion.
What does ‘perennial’ mean?
The word ‘perennial’ is a blanket term for flowers that you plant in beds and borders but aren’t bulbs, shrubs, or trees. Perennials can also be evergreen or semi-evergreen plants.
Somewhat separate from perennials is the term herbaceous perennial. This refers to plants that are non-woody and will die back in autumn/winter, reappearing in the spring. A few examples include Geraniums, Sedums and Asters.
Put simply, perennials are plants that are non-woody (eg., rose bushes) that will reappear for many years after planted. Their time span will vary, depending on the plant. If they’re also evergreens, then their foliage will remain throughout the year, but will only blossom in specific seasons.
Which plants are perennials?
Agapanthus, Delphiniums, Echinacea and Lupins are all great examples of perennial plants. When buying perennials, you will usually buy them one season ahead of time. For example, if you’re buying perennials that will bloom in summer, you should buy them in early-mid spring.
On our website, we offer a broad range of perennial plants, perfect for adding colour to your garden. Here are some quick examples:
Perennial plants are perfect for both beginners and those looking to create a maintainable garden. Their ability to last several years make them a brilliant addition to your seasonal displays.
The best time to prune acers is when they’re dormant during November and December. But it doesn’t hurt to brush up on your knowledge to ensure you’re ready for when the time comes. The reason we prune acers whilst they are dormant is due to the sap they bleed when pruned which weakens the tree. It is also best to keep the pruning to a minimum as to keep the natural shape of the tree.
Acers are a great addition to any garden, and make an amazing centre piece for any garden. With leaves that turn beautiful shades of red, crimson, orange or yellow in Autumn. As slow growing and compact plants, acers are especially great for smaller gardens.
One thing to be aware of when planting acers is that they grow best in a sheltered position, and need to be protected from wind and frost.
How to prune
In order to keep this natural shape start by removing the badly-placed or crossing shoots to encourage the natural framework of the tree to grow. When reducing the width and height follow the long branches back to the side branch and prune.
Why we prune
Pruning is much more than sawing off branches. Pruning encourages growth, increases flowering and improves overall plant health. Here are a few others reasons to prune your trees:
Strengthens tree structure
Improves tree health
Reduces the risk of dead or weak branches
The key to making sure your acer continues to grow steadily and healthily is to only prune back to a well-placed side branch. Leaving it as a stub will make it susceptible to decay and dieback. Also remember to take out any dead, damaged or diseased wood.
Whether your acer is the main garden event or just a beautiful addition, keeping on top of its maintenance can ensure that it will take centre stage.