Perennials–I think most of us know that they come back year after year, which is why we love them so much, but a lot of people falsely presume that all perennials are deciduous. Actually, many perennials are evergreen and will provide color all year long. To help you, we decided to suggest some perennials that promise year-round color.
Let’s start with the shade-lovers. Most of the following plants will do well in part-shade or dappled sun. This means they get very little direct sun (morning sun is best) or only indirect light. (Think beneath the trees)
Heuchera (Coral Bells)
So we love ALL the plants, but we really love these beauties. No matter the season, they boast gorgeous color. They come in so many different color varieties from lime green to deep purple to fire engine red. If that is not all year color that is worth it–and in the shade no less?? Yes, PLEASE!!! In the spring they bloom with tiny adorable flowers that look like bells (hence the name).
Hellebores (Lenten Rose)
So these babies not only offer winter color due to their evergreen foliage, they also bloom in the winter. What is not to love about a plant that gives you flowers in the winter? The blooms are very unique and in the right spot, they will bloom all winter long.
There are so many fern varieties that offer year-round color. Some ferns, like ‘Autumn Brilliance’ even change color and show off red and gold in the fall. We love the Tassel, Holly, and Christmas varieties as well. For shady spots, ferns are a fabulous choice.
Ajuga (Bugle Weed)
This ground cover bats for both teams–part shade and sun. While there are a number of varieties of Ajuga, the ‘Black Scallop’ and ‘Bronze Beauty’ are our favorites. The deep rich almost-black purple of the Black Scallop shimmers in the sun and offers stunning ground cover color. In the spring and fall you will find tiny purple blooms that only add to the beauty of this ground cover.
For more of a mounding groundcover, Pachysandra is a great choice. Pachysandra does great under trees or along shady foundations or walkways.
Penstemon Husker Red (Beardtongue)
This beauty is Ann’s (our garden center manager) favorite plant. It keeps its gorgeous maroon foliage and then blooms with delicate white flowers in the summer. It will perform best in well-drained soil.
Native Honey Suckle
Unlike the invasive asiatic honeysuckles you might be thinking of, Native Honeysuckle is very easy to keep tame. The red tubular blooms are then followed by bright red berries. Hummingbirds love the red blooms.
The late winter, early spring yellow blooms will make this evergreen climber worth it. They are not only beautiful but also delightfully fragrant. It does require support and something to grow on, so if you have a fence or other area where you would like vine coverage, the Carolina Jessamine is an excellent choice. It grows very quickly.
The amazingly fragrant star shaped flowers that bloom in late spring and early summer are simply to die for. Confederate Jasmine is also a beautiful climber. It does well in our area since it is drought resistant (for those summer dry spells). It is easy to keep pruned back. Confederate Jasmine can be planted in part-shade, but you will enjoy more flowers if you plant it in the sun.
Any or all of these perennials are a great choice for adding color to your landscape all year long. Perennials are a great investment! Happy perennial planting, friends!