Perennials can bring great variety and pomp to your garden
Perennials–those nonwoody plants that come back year after year–offer almost endless variety in color, texture, shape, and size, making them suitable for virtually any garden location. Many are prized for their flowers; aster and phlox are just two of these. Others, such as ferns and hostas, are valued for their foliage.
Unlike shrubs and trees, perennials do not have permanent woody parts. But while some die down completely at the end of each growing season, then reappear at the start of the next, others spend the winter as low tufts of foliage, ready to grow when weather warms. And a third type is truly evergreen, with foliage nearly unchanged throughout winter.
All perennials have a minimum lifespan of more than 2 years–but beyond this, longevity varies enormously. Some grace the garden for only a few years, while others survive much, much longer (peonies, for example, can live for generations).