If you love the look of a lush, colourful garden but aren’t quite so keen on all that back-wrenching gardening, then these hardy, easy-to-grow perennials will make additions to any garden. Not only will they bloom each year, they don’t require a lot of work when they do.
Known for its vibrant daisy-like blooms, the Black-Eyed Susan (a.k.a. rudbeckia) will typically grow from seed and then return year after year like all good perennials. Because these plants are native to the central and eastern parts of North America, they’re naturally insect- and drought-resistant, and don’t require a lot of fussing in order to prosper.
Once planted, a daylily is likely to become the easiest-to-care-for plant in your garden, requiring a minimum of attention while rewarding you with colourful blooms. A daylily will begin blooming in early spring, and while these plants prefer full sun they’ll do just fine in a partially shaded spot.
Speaking of shade, hostas are ideal for areas that don’t get a lot of sun, since they tend to thrive in the shade. Just watch out for deer and slugs, both of which find hosta to be particularly tasty.
Salvia – also known as perennial sage – boasts numerous varieties, each as hardy as the next. Salvia grows best in direct sunlight and tends to grow rapidly, easily resisting summertime heat. For best results, as soon as salvia stops blooming, shear back the plants to about one-third their height; this should result in a second bloom later in the summer.
Also known as liatris spicata, this plant may be native to marshy terrain but has proven to be surprisingly drought-resistant, and will thrive in all types of soil. As a bonus, the plant’s high nectar content and tube-shaped flowers make it highly attractive to monarch butterflies.
Peonies are a one of the most reliable perennials you can plant in your garden, and will last for years and years without any ongoing care. Peonies are ideal for most parts of Canada, as they require some months of cold in order to bloom well in May and June.
As sumptuous as they are durable, bearded iris plants are prized for their crown-like flowers atop tall, elegant stems, and have been known to attract butterflies and hummingbirds. Not unlike peonies, bearded iris tends to thrive better after a period of cold weather. They should be planted in a sunny spot in late summer, and require at least six hours of sun per day.
A perfect perennial for Canadian gardens, Buddleia (also known by the nickmane “butterfly bush”) will thrive if planted in a sunny spot. While buddleia will die back to the ground in the fall, this “power perennial” will grow back bigger and stronger the following spring.
These bright-yellow flowers will add a beautiful splash of colour. Similar to rudbeckia, these native prairie plants won’t suffer much if they’re neglected when it comes to fertilizer and water.
Not only will Russian sage create a stunning blue haze-like effect in your garden, all it needs to do it is full sun and good drainage. It’s also extremely pest-resistant – even deer won’t eat it.
Coneflower, also known as echinacea, is a wild plant native to North America, and will self-seed regularly while easily adapting to a variety of climactic conditions. This is not a plant that demands a lot of attention, and is an ideal choice for beginner gardeners who can enjoy watching these plants magically resurrect themselves each spring.
Sedum has a well-earned reputation as for hardiness, practically impervious to heat, drought and disease, one of the first perennials to bloom in the spring and one of the last to retreat in the fall when the weather turns cold.
Steel Blue Globe Thistle
Globe Thistle (or Echinops ritro) is a favourite perennial in many gardens, a beautifully coloured thistle that’s as hardy as it looks. Not only does the globe thistle thrive in dry soil, there’s also no need to deadhead the globe thistle in the winter – a lazy gardener’s delight!