Why buy Herbaceous Perennials?

There aren't that many things in life which you can buy for the cost of a couple of cups of coffee and a large slice of cake or a fancy magazine, that in ten years time you will still have and which will bring you quite as much joy as a herbaceous perennial. Each year it will give you flowers to admire, provide nectar to our beleaguered pollinators, and give you a reason to go outside and tend to your garden - which of course has been proven to be good for our health and wellbeing; and if that was not enough, these are plants that with the aid of a garden spade or fork you can split up and make more to either give to your friends and family or replant in another flower bed or border.  

So why buy these plants from Hardy's?  Well, we have many varieties you will simply never find in a Garden Centre or DIY store, both of which have their own merits. However, because we have specialised in producing these plants for over 25 years we now have a vast plant catalogue and on the whole we should be able to find perennials from within our stock range which will be suitable for most of the differing garden situations people encounter. We grow the majority of our plants outside; this means that they are growing at the same rate as the plants already in your gardens and they won't get a huge shock when planted out, which allows them to establish more quickly. 

Planting Your Herbaceous Perennials.

So you have either just been to the nursery or a flower show, or you have received your plants from us via our mail order courier. If you had your plants delivered to you via our mail courier then you will have received our basic planting instructions. For those of you who have not had these we thought we would share our planting tips here.

  • Firstly ensure that the plant you are about to put into the ground is well watered.
  •  If it is in full bloom and has a lot of top growth then the best thing for the plant is to cut it back prior to planting and enjoy the flowers in a vase in the house. There are some exceptions to the cut it down rule but they are few.

Most people find this really hard to do and it may be that you have just bought that plant to brighten up the garden for a couple of weeks because you have a wedding in the family or a big barbecue and you want to impress your friends, or you can't bear to look at that patch of soil any longer and you need a colour fix. Ok, enjoy your flowers for a little while but then cut them down and let your plant put all of its energy into making a strong healthy root system. It may even throw up a second flush of flowers before the season ends.

  • Position your plants within the border;  we give a guideline height and spread on the label. The height is obviously important as you want to be able to see your newly acquired plant above the plants in front of it. The eventual spread is very important when setting out your plants - if we say your plants have a spread of 30cm (1ft approx.) you will need to plant them at 25cm-30cm apart to allow them to eventually meet but not choke one another.
  • Prepare a planting hole ideally a little larger than the pot. Pot grown plants should in general be planted to the same level in the soil as they are in the pot; however it is important not to cover the rhizomes of bearded Iris which sit just out of the ground so they may be baked in the sun; likewise Nerines will not thank you if you bury their bulbs below the soil. If the ground is very dry a watering can full of water poured into the planting hole and allowed to soak away before planting will help your new plant get a good start. Remove the pot, tease out the roots and place your plant into the planting hole, back fill with the soil and firm around the plant either with the heel of your hand or gently with your boot. Then water the plant in and go and make yourself a cup of tea.
  • In the first year after planting it is important to water your plants regularly until their root systems have become well established. It is better in very hot dry weather to really soak the ground every few days around the base of the plant than to give your plant a small amount of water each day. Be cautious not to over water your plants though as this can be as damaging as no water at all - just because a plant is wilting does not necessarily mean it is thirsty; check the soil if in doubt. 
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