I have multiple flower beds and some of them are quite large. I love flowers and blooming plants, but my yard is so large that any maintenance at all takes a long time and a lot of work, so my goal was to have something blooming almost year round with as little work as possible. I have avoided planting anything that doesn’t come back or reseed.
I have some tried and true perennials that don’t require a ton of work that I have come to love and count on to always produce beautiful flowers in my yard. The work that these require usually constitutes pruning after winter and sometimes pruning in the growing season to keep them from getting out of hand and of course, general fertilization. I have these plants mixed in with shrubs such as: azaleas, camellias, and knockout roses and some teacup magnolia trees.
1. Phlox – might be my very favorite and require the least amount of work. I have several varieties and they are all beautiful and low maintenance.
2. Blue plumbago – the last several winters we have had a few hard freezes and these seem to freeze. They come back! Cut away dead branches and wait; they are still alive under the ground. You have to prune this during the growing season to keep it under control and give it some shape.
3. Lantana – this is sort of like the plumbago; it looks like it freezes, but it comes back.
4. Victoria Blue Salvia – cut dead stalks back and leave plants in the ground. They will come back and the will also reseed and multiply.
5. Drift Roses- require pruning of dead branches and spent blooms also some shaping during growing season.
6. Lily Turf 'Royal Purple’ – simply pull away the dead grass blades
7. Vincas – will reseed and come back.
8. Mondo grass – pull away any dead grass blades.
9. Trailing Verbena- beautiful purple flowers, but it can freeze. In the last 3 winters I have lost some of it to freeze, but there always seems to be plenty that survives.
10. Dianthus – I have a love / hate relationship with dianthus. They are beautiful, don’t seem to freeze and are prolific bloomers for most of the year, but I have problems with slugs and snails and they love to feast on dianthus. These will reseed and require no maintenance (if you don't have slugs and snails).
These pictures are all from my flower beds and most are from this Spring, but the purple trailing verbena is from last summer. It doesn't bloom as early as some of the other plants that I have listed.