Design

6 Great Plants for a New Perennial Design

New perennial stars

Fine Gardening - Issue 197

Incorporating the New Perennial style into your garden can be accomplished largely by using many of the plants that are hallmarks of the design. Here are some options to get you started.

“The New Perennial style emphasizes the year-round shape and structure of the planting, rather than an abundance of flowers in summer. Roses and showy summer flowers are not to be found; simple, single flowers are planted, instead of frilly doubles. Rather than having a summer peak like a cottage garden, a New Perennial garden—with its sturdy grasses and mostly late-summer-flowering perennials—is left untouched through fall and winter. This allows the diversity of form and structure in old leaves, flowers, and seed heads to be enjoyed, even when the color has drained out of the plants and the garden is in the grip of frosty weather.”

Read more from Mixing the Cottage Garden Style With the New Perennial Approach


 

Mexican feather grass
Photo: Carol Collins

Black-eyed Susans
Photo: Steve Aitken

1. Mexican feather grass

Name: Nassella tenuissima

Zones: 6b–11

Size: 12 to 24 inches tall and 12 inches wide

Conditions: Full sun; average to dry soil

Native range: Southwestern United States to Mexico

2. Black-eyed Susans

Name: Rudbeckia spp. and cvs.

Zones: 3–10

Size: 1 to 6 feet tall and 1 to 3 feet wide

Conditions: Full sun to partial shade; average to dry, well-drained soil

Native range: North America

 

Matrona sedum
Photo: Stephanie Fagan

Andenken an Alma Potschke New England aster
Photo: Brandi Spade

3. ‘Matrona’ sedum

Name: Hylotelephium ‘Matrona’

Zones: 4–9

Size: 2 feet tall and wide

Conditions: Full sun to partial shade; average to dry, well-drained soil

Native range: Garden origin

4. ‘Andenken an Alma Potschke’ New England aster

Name: Symphyotrichum novae-angliae ‘Andenken an Alma Potschke’

Zones: 3–8

Size: 2 feet tall and wide

Conditions: Full sun to partial shade; average to moist, well-drained soil

Native range: Northeastern United States

 

Moorflamme moor grass
Photo: Michelle Gervais

Moerheim Beauty sneezeweed
Photo: Michelle Gervais

5. ‘Moorflamme’ moor grass

Name: Molinia caerulea subsp. caerulea ‘Moorflamme’

Zones: 5–9

Size: 4 feet tall and 2 feet wide

Conditions: Full sun; moist, well-drained soil

Native range: Europe

6. ‘Moerheim Beauty’ sneezeweed

Name: Helenium ‘Moerheim Beauty’

Zones: 3–8

Size: 3 feet tall and 2 feet wide

Conditions: Full sun; moist, well-drained soil

Native range: Garden origin

 


Greg Loades is the author of The Modern Cottage Garden.

To learn more about the New Perennial style, check out Mixing the Cottage Garden Style With the New Perennial Approach.

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