IMG_1187Many people call me years after they paid to have a beautiful garden established. “What is wrong” they plead, “We asked for perennials but there is very little left.” Well, first of all Perennials means more than two years (which is a biannual, and definitely not one year, which is just an annual) But that doesn’t mean that one should expect the same out of a perennial as an oak tree. A general rule of thumb seems to be around here that gardens peak in year three, then wane by year 5. Some perennials fade out after year three, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t worth it. We also have to measure bloom length, bloom timing, color, height and pest resistance to the equations. Some perennials are so wonderful that a few years is enough, if we can remember to refresh them, or take the attitude that a garden is evolving, things are changing and that every death is enough.