Some people prefer annuals for their color all summer long and some prefer perennials, since it's not necessary to plant them every year. But I do laugh when people say that the only work with perennials is to plant them.
They are not entirely carefree. Perennials should be dead headed, like annuals, to promote best blooming. Perennials have a season of bloom, from a relatively short 10-14 days to a long bloom of 3-4 weeks. After blooming, many perennials go into decline, in terms of appearance. Cutting back the old foliage and dead flower stalks encourages the plant to push out new fresh growth, improving the plant's appearance. Some perennials, like catmint, Jupiter's beard, salvias and coneflower will usually rebloom after being cut back. Eventually perennials need to be divided to prevent overcrowding or taking over too much space in the garden.
What's looking good in the garden-
lots of annuals - calendula or pot marigold with lots of tallow and orange daisy-like flowers
profusion zinnias - lots of color and low maintenance
nicotiana or flowering tobacco - white, tubular flowers, fragrant at night
tall verbena - pretty purple flowers for butterflies
lots of culinary herbs, too - all the culinary sages with gray or colored foliage. I particularly like Berggarten with its broad gray foliage. It almost shines in the garden
purple basils - just as yummy and beautiful color, too
lemon grass - starting to develop into a nice big clump
dill - I love the bluish-green foliage, bright yellow flowers and sharp aroma
Our plant sale begins July 3. Great time to try a new plant or fill in any holes in your garden. Annuals are half off and perennials are buy 3, get 1 free. We're out of a few things, but till have a very good selection. Stop by and see!