• 50°

Perennials? Annuals? Try both at the plant sale

By Amy-Lynn Albertson

Rowan County Extension Director

Perennials are plants that live year after year. Trees and shrubs are perennial. A lot of garden flowers are herbaceous perennials. This means the tops of the plants die back to the ground each fall with the first frost or freeze. The roots persist through the winter and every spring, new plant tops arise.

Annuals are plants that complete their life cycle from germination to setting seed and dying in one season. A biennial achieves its life cycle in two growing seasons, with vegetative growth the first season, then flowering, seed production and death the second season.

Because annuals and biennials have such a short life span, it is crucial they bloom quickly. Blooming quickly is an excellent trait for those of us who are impatient gardeners. These plants have a more extended bloom season than most perennials, and this can often be extended by removing spent blossoms or dead-heading.

An advantage to using perennials is that they do not need to be planted each year. With careful planning, a perennial flower bed will change colors as one type of plant finishes and another variety begins to bloom. Perennials add color, fragrance and texture to the landscape, but they can also be used to transform an otherwise dull yard into a spectacular place you will want to visit repeatedly.

When designing your perennial border or garden, you need to start out with some careful planning. It is essential to decide what time of year you want your garden to look its best. For beginners, it is easier to start with one season of peak interest and have supplemental seasons of early bulbs or fall color.

Once you have chosen your season of interest, make sure you select plants that can stand the test of time and still look their best. Some plants, once they have finished blooming and set their seed, do not look their best, whereas plants like coneflower carry pretty seed heads that require little maintenance to keep up.

Look for good foliage over flowers, since flowers come and go but the foliage remains. It is essential to consider the direction from where the most reliable source of sunlight will come. Many plants like daylilies and clematis will turn toward the light and you do not want them facing the back of your garden instead out front.

Color is another important aspect of your design. Specific colors like red, white and yellow can pull the eye forward, while blue and gray often appear farther away than they are. Do you want a border that jumps out and draws attention or one that seems to recede? Ultimately, choose the colors to please yourself. After all, you will be the one looking at it every day.

A variety of perennial and annual plants for sun and shade will be available at the Rowan County Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Annual Plant Sale. The sale will be from 8 a.m. to noon May 5 at the Rowan County Extension Center, 2727 Old Concord Road.

Comments

Coronavirus

Seven new COVID-19 deaths, 166 positives reported in county this week

Crime

Sheriff’s office: Two charged after suitcase of marijuana found in Jeep

Crime

Thomasville officer hospitalized after chase that started in Rowan County

Local

Board of elections discusses upgrading voting machines, making precinct changes

News

Lawmakers finalize how state will spend COVID-19 funds

Local

Salisbury Station one of several ‘hot spots’ included in NCDOT rail safety study

Education

Essie Mae Kiser Foxx appeal denied, school considering options

News

Iredell County votes to move Confederate memorial to cemetery

Nation/World

Lara Trump may have eyes on running for a Senate seat

Local

Rowan among counties in Biden’s disaster declaration from November floods

Local

PETA plans protest at Salisbury Police Department on Friday

Education

Essie Mae Kiser Foxx appeal denied, charter revoked

Coronavirus

29 new positives, no new COVID-19 deaths reported

Crime

Blotter: Woman charged with drug crimes

News

Nesting no more: Eagles appear to have moved on from Duke’s Buck Station

Business

The Smoke Pit leaving downtown Salisbury for standalone building on Faith Road

Education

Shoutouts

High School

High school football: Hornets’ Gaither set the tone against West

Local

Salisbury to show off new fire station

Education

Livingstone College to host virtual Big Read events this month

Local

City makes some appointments to local boards, holds off on others to seek women, appointees of color

Education

Education briefs: RCCC instructor honored by Occupational Therapy Association

Local

Second quarter financial update shows promising outlook for city’s budget

Columnists

Genia Woods: Let’s talk about good news in Salisbury