We are (at the time of writing) in full summer swing here in Canada. From Vancouver to Stouffville to Cape Spear, we are soaking up the summer rays and living life to the absolute fullest. Landscapers, gardeners, and homeowners have been working for some time on their gardens now, as the season has hit an all-time peak.
However, the only issue about summer being in full swing is that it may be too late to plant anything that’s only going to last for a season. Sure, it’s not impossible, but a lot of those who are in the business (landscapers, gardeners) would most likely advise against it. Why? Well, because whatever is planted isn’t going to last all that long. Gardeners will spend all that time growing, maintaining, and nurturing this plant, only for it to die come fall.
But what if there was a plant that, yes, would die in the fall, but then would automatically regrow the next season? What if there was a plant that, while it may need some maintaining, would perhaps not need to be replanted every year, leaving so much more time for the gardener out there who needs more of it?
Introducing the perennial- the answer to the prayers of the gardener who is dying for more time. This article will go through what a perennial is, plus which ones are the best to be planted in Canada. Specifically, we will choose Stouffville, Ontario as our hypothetical planting spot. And so, without further ado, here is the comprehensive guide to perennials.
What is a perennial?
For those who are unaware (and have yet to grasp the concept of the perennial), they are plants that, despite not being planted every year, will usually stay alive throughout the cold seasons and even bloom once it is time for them to do so. This essentially means that they only really have to be planted once.
That is the best part about perennials- have a landscaper come over to put it in the ground, or be the kind of gardener that plants the perennials themselves, either way, once it’s planted it will always bloom once more. Well, we say “always” but some perennials do have a lifespan. Assume that any perennial bought will have a lifespan of 3-5 years, which is still plenty considering most plants that appear in gardens have to be replanted every year.
There are also many more upsides to owning perennials in the garden. For one, once a perennial has grown and been nurtured in a gardener's space, they don’t have to be watered as much. This is great for those who are in drought-prone areas, as well as those who don’t want to spend so much time in their gardens spraying their plants with a hose. For those who want chilled-out, laid-back gardens that are to be enjoyed rather than worked on, the perennial is best.
The only downside to the perennial is the initial buying of the plant tends to cost more than their annual counterparts. However one must keep in mind that when they purchase a perennial, they won’t have to buy another one for quite some time. They are essentially an investment in saving any gardener, landscaper, or homeowner time.
The best perennials to get are ones that are native to the region in which you live. Not only will perennials thrive if they are in their native region, but having ones that are from around encourages another type of welcome being- pollinators. It’s no secret that pollinators (especially bees) are at risk these days, so anything that can be done to attract them should be encouraged.
But what kinds of perennials should the average gardener choose? Well, let’s look into the world of the Canadian perennial- in other words, perennials that have gone through the most extreme of seasons.
Which Perennial Should Be Chosen If One Lives In Canada
Our hypothetical gardener is one from Stouffville, Ontario. The kind of person who lives through harsh, wet, freezing winters and hot, humid, sunny summers. The kind of person who gets snow in June and +20 weather in November. The kind of person who isn’t sure whether their Christmas or their Canada Day will be white.
So what is the perennial for the gardener in Stouffville? Well, here are a few suggestions-
One of the best and dare we say prettiest perennials for the person from Stouffville is the Veronica. They are one of the most reliable perennials out there, and some of the longest living as well. There are landscapers out there who have said that their clients Veronicas, after being planted, have gone on to live for 10+ years in their gardens. They flower in early summer, and even once they’ve flowered they can be trimmed and flower once again come August. Here is the best part- for all of the people out there who are environmentally conscious, the Veronica is one of the friendliest flowers for bees. Truly, the Veronica is one of the best plants for any Canadian, especially ones from Stouffville.
2. Bee Balm
Also known as “Monarda”, Bee Balm has been around in Canada since even before European settlers touched down on her shores. They have seen the best and the worst seasons this great country has to offer, and it has survived many of them. However, while the original bee balm plant is a Canadian, well, for lack of a better word- original, there are many hybrids out there that exist. These plants can end up being rather long, are great at surviving through the winter (let’s face it, they have a lot of practice), and attract butterflies as well as hummingbirds. It is the perfect way for this hypothetical Stouffville landscaper to beauty up their garden or their client's garden. The best part- these plants aren’t just for outdoor gardens, they’re great for being displayed indoors as well!
And so, our article about perennials comes to a close. And yet, we learned so much today about what perennials are, as well as which ones to plant should one find oneself in Stouffville, Ontario, Canada. And now, dear readers, all that is left for one to do is to go out into their garden and to plant some perennials!