'White Swan' echinacea
Perennials are my gardening love, the stalwarts of the garden. Whether they die back each fall, leaving me to excitedly watch for their return in spring, or whether they are evergreen, serving as bones and structure for the ebb and flow of the deciduous and annual plants, perennials provide the mainframe of my gardens. The really cool thing is that perennials can be no care plants. For the most part the perennial season lasts about four months so people with a shorter growing season can do even more with them than we can here, but we can still get some bloom from February into September with some management. Evergreens requiring next to no care include all the Mediterranean herbs such as rosemary, oregano, thyme, lavender, rue and so forth. Of course those are perfectly suited to our climate. Other easy evergreens include helleborus, some corydalis, geraniums, lambs ears, columbine, huechera, thalictrum, polemonium, geum, stokesia, and more I am not thinking of right now. Easy deciduous perennials include peonies, Solomon Seal, astilbe, aster, eupatorium 'Chocolate', baptisia, monarda, echinacea and helenium. All these require nothing more than cutting down the dead foliage at the end of the season, or as new growth begins, whichever you prefer. Some of them can be manipulated to bloom later and all plants look better when dead headed, but these are really easy care plants. I love my perennials.