Year after year, perennials provide color, fruit, and ornament

Perennial plants deliver their manifold pleasures season after season. Unlike annuals, which are spent when the frost hits, perennials often die back then resurrect themselves in the spring. Typically they are more expensive, but infinitely gratifying. A good perennial can offer year around ornamental interest in the garden and often offer up some of nature's bounty for the pantry. Plants range from herbs to trees.

Fruiting plants provide not only landscape appeal but food. And even plants thought to be exclusively decorative are often edible as well. Some like hosta or bamboo provide tender edible shoots in the early spring.

Unlike annuals, perennials need maintenance from one year to the next. Pruning deadwood and trimming for shape as well as dividing or transplanting are yearly tasks the gardener can expect. However, with minimal care and attention to meeting each plant's basic needs can net you a spectacular garden unlike anyone else's.

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