Herbaceous perennials virtually all die back to the ground in winter. However, under the soil buds and roots are waiting to emerge in spring. Comprising many popular garden flowers such as Irises and Peonies they are the backbone of any summer flowerbed. Their range of flowers shapes and colours are infinite and there are varieties for every site and season. A few such as Euphorbia wulfenii and Hellebores are evergreen and provide added foliage in winter. Whether combined with grasses, bulbs or shrubs, most are best planted in groups or repeated through a scheme to give coherence and rhythm. Bulbs are a specialised type of perennial and we carry a limited number of bulbs such as Alliums and Lilies within our herbaceous section.
Most herbaceous plants should be cut down in autumn, although many varieties have attractive seed heads and skeletons that can create interesting effects in winter, especially if combined with grasses. Early flowering varieties such as Alchemilla, Geraniums, Pulmonarias and Nepeta, can be cut to the ground after their first flowering. This creates a fresh crop of healthy foliage more resistant to mildew and in certain plants such as Salvias and Nepeta; a second flush of flowers will follow. It also helps to prevent unwanted seedlings.
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