Perennials have a fairly short blooming time compared to annuals. Once you know when they bloom, however, you can plant accordingly so that as something fades, something else starts blooming. Add early spring bulbs and summer annuals to fill in the gaps, and some flowering shrubs in the back of the border, and you’ll always have something blooming in your English garden.
Keep in mind that flowering times for perennials may vary depending on where you live and the weather conditions each year. Also remember that some plants that are annual in the north may be perennial in the south.
* Spring is the best time to plant - or divide - summer or fall blooming perennials.
* Autumn is the best time to plant - or divide - spring blooming perennials.
* Late autumn is the best time to plant most spring-blooming bulbs. Wait until after your first hard frost.
* Most summer-blooming annuals should not be planted until after the last spring frost in your area.
Early bulbs for your English garden include:
Late spring bulbs include:
Early spring blooming perennials:
Aubrieta (Rock cress)
Dicentra spectabilis (common bleeding heart)
Hellebores (Lenten Rose)
Violas (re-seed a lot – aka Johnny-jump-ups)
Primulas (some are perennial)
Alchemilla (Lady’s mantle)
Cranesbills (Perennial geraniums)
Dicentra ‘Luxuriant’ (bleeding heart – blooms into autumn)
Digitalis or Foxgloves (biennial)
Gypsophila (baby’s breath)
Verbena bonariensis (annual in the north, but re-seeds nicely)
Mix herbs into your borders for a classic English look: thyme, catmint, chives, rosemary and sage
Dahlias (technically a tuber – you can dig them up and hold them over the winter to plant again next year)
Red hot pokers
Bulbs: Autumn flowering crocus and cyclamen.
Some shrubs to consider for late fall/winter bloom:
Winter flowering jasmine
Perennials for early winter bloom:
Helleborus niger (Christmas rose)
Winter flowering Heathers
Annuals for early winter bloom:
Winter flowering pansies
Bulbs for late winter bloom: