Perry's Perennial Pages

Perry's Perennials

Brief Descriptions and Photos

Overview:There are over 1500 different perennials on trial during any one year at this site in Milton, Vermont. Although colder than the other trial sites in the area (USDA zone 4A), plants often survive better with less stress at this site due to the ability to provide better care and watering as needed, a loamy soil high in organic matter, and more snow cover in winter. For these reasons, plants are first tried here. If they do not survive, this could be due in part to weed pressure, as beds are weeded as an average gardener might have time for. So if plants survive, they can be said to not only be reliably hardy over the several seasons tested in this USDA zone 4A site, but tough and low maintenance as well. These are then tried at other sites, often with more stresses from cold, drought and weeds.

The Plants: Of the over 1500 perennials, a wide range is represented with bloom from late March to late October. Featured groups currently on trial include over 200 cultivars of Daffodils including several from the UK, over 100 perennial geraniums, over 60 astilbe, over 30 heuchera, over 30 pulmonaria, over 50 hosta, over 180 hemerocallis, over 40 siberian iris, about 30 monarda, over 40 garden phlox, over 45 asters, two dozen epimedium, about 4 dozen ornamental grasses,  about 3 dozen fragrant shrub roses, and new introductions from the Blooms of Bressingham and Plant Haven programs. In addition, on trial are tropicals including plectranthus, phormiums and salvias; and new and unusual annuals including All American Selections and various sunflower varieties over the years. Various annual design combinations are changed yearly, both in beds and containers, to find combinations that work well together, and to photograph these for teaching and use in presentations. In addition to herbaceous trials, over 230 varieties of lilacs are on trial for hardiness, performance, disease resistance, bloom time and color, and photos (see separate lilac trial site).

Although in USDA zone 4A, microclimates on this property include zones 4B and 5A. Soil temperatures are monitored at various locations on the property, as well as soil moisture

The Photos:

Research nursery and greenhouse: greenhouse | nursery | inside fall07 |

Front Bed (afternoon shade):summer 97  | 5/4/00 | 5/12/00 | 5/19/00 | 5/28/006/3/00 | 6/8/00 | 6/20/00 | 5/18/06

Back 14 Beds (full sun): summer 97 | 5/4/00 | 5/12/00 | 5/19/00 | 5/28/00 | seen from back 6/3/006/3/00 | 6/20/00 | shrub collection | 7/15/01 | 7/15/01 beds | 7/15/01 beds and view | 8/06/01 | 8/06/01 bed | 8/06/01 bed | 8/30/03| conifers 9/04 | Summer 05 | April06 |

Front Bed (full shade): 6/8/00

Rock Garden (alpines, garden railway): 7/15/01

Hops trials: 6/3/00

Lilac trials: older section 6/3/00 | older section back view |

Containers: 6/8/00 | raised bed 9/05 | 

These include 3 red-flowered cultivars of Fragaria and a variegated form, Phormiums for continuity throughout centers of most containers (even though each is a different cultivar, the spike form provides continuity), yellows including several yellow-leaved annuals, among others.

Tropicals: 6/8/00

These include Plectranthus and Salvia cultivars among others such as Agapanthus and the non-tropical but tender Rosemary.

Annuals: 6/8/00 fence | 6/8/00 yellow/orange bed | 7/15/01 fence | 7/15/01 raised bed (unusual annuals)| 8/30/03 fence | 8/30/03 coleus and foliage | coleus and zinnias 8/05 |

One of several typical beds having a succession of bloom: crocus, tulips coming up through, Camassia behind the fence, to be screened later by zinnias and sunflowers and amaranthus in front, with several perennials such as delphiniums, and new varieties of New Guinea impatiens donated by Oglevee interplanted with low sunflowers and forget-me-nots. Over 60 annuals, many new or unusual, are being trialled. Sunflower Trials were conducted in 3 years of over 60 cultivars.

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