Gardening – Hardy Plants That Won’t Die If Exposed to Frost

by AJ Wms

Gardening – Hardy Plants That Won’t Die If Exposed to Frost

Hardy Perennials are the kind of plants that are a little more permanent. That is to say, they are allowed to remain for several seasons in the borders where they were first planted, and though they die back during a part of the year, their roots remain alive to send up fresh stems annually. These plants we call perennials-hardy perennials, for the most part, since any of tender type would have to be lifted and stored during the winter. It is, however, invariably difficult to draw a hard and fast line between hardy and tender plants, though equally difficult to classify garden plants in any other way.

To take an obvious instance, the early flowering types of Japanese chrysanthemums are, in fairly warm gardens and congenial soil, justly regarded as hardy herbaceous perennials, and can be treated in the same way as Michaelmas daisies. That is, they can be left outdoors all winter, and merely divided and replanted whenever the border is renovated. But in a great many colder gardens they cannot be safely left in this way; they must be lifted and wintered in a cold frame.

Such border-line cases will be included here as hardy perennials, though individual treatment in differing soils will be indicated where necessary.

The herbaceous border, that is the border where most of the inhabitants are perennials of herbaceous habit, is a common feature of most gardens, large or small, but do not forget that perennials can often be used with effect in formal beds. From many viewpoints it is the most satisfactory of the garden features. Its inhabitants do not have to be constantly replaced; indeed the opposite is the case, for unless plants are regularly divided, and the major portion scrapped, the border quickly becomes overcrowded. The herbaceous border does not ask for so much attention as the seasonal beds; lifting and replanting are only necessary on an average about once in three years. Some plants, of course, are divided more often, some less.

Although not much planting and replanting is required, some cultivation of the surface soil is needed for good results. Staking, thinning and other work is also required from time to time, and the war against soil pests and flies must be waged. Furthermore, and this is a point which is frequently overlooked, the border at its best should be a pleasant and colourful picture throughout most of the year. Only the experienced gardener knows how difficult this is. But the care of the herbaceous border must not be neglected.

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