Unlike annuals that complete their lifecycle in one year, Perennials last at least two years, in which time they put on many spectacular displays of flowers.

Cloudehill is famous for its herbaceous perennials. From late spring right through to autumn, these borders are as pretty as a picture. But this spectacular display doesn't just happen overnight, a lot of work goes into the borders in spring, to keep them looking so beautiful.

Arctotis 'Flame' - Aurora Daisy
This perennial is from South Africa. It has vibrant, flame-coloured flowers in shades of burnt red, orange and yellow. Growing to 20 cm x 1metre, it flowers from autumn through to late spring. Remove spent flowers to prolong flowering. It is extremely tough and requires little maintenance. Division is recommended to increase the number of plants.

Geum quellyon 'Mrs Bradshaw'
This has double, scarlet flowers about 2cm wide carried in airy, branched clusters that stand well above the foliage clumps. It has a long flowering season and looks fabulous in a warm planting scheme with their prominent flowers that retreat into the background when flowering is finished. Full sun or light shade is the best position for this tough perennial.

Viola cornuta - Horned Violet
This is quite uncommon and may be difficult to procure, but it's a showy, undemanding perennial. It looks like a viola but it has a wilder look. It is great at the front of a border, below roses or in a cottage-style garden with mixed shrubs. Growing to 15 x 20 cm, it thrives in full sun to part shade. It will self seed and hybridise with other violas nearby.

Anemone nemorosa - Wood Anemone
This is early spring-flowering woodland plant that reaches 5-15 cm tall and looks fantastic en masse. The flowers are fairly fleeting, but when it's in bloom, it looks great! The flowers close and the heads hang when the weather is dull, then they stretch out and open on sunny days. They perform at their best in shade and with a humus-rich soil.

Achillea ‘Coronation Gold’ - Yarrow
This is one of the best flowering, yellow yarrows, producing an abundance of flowers in spring and summer that sit above the grey-green feathery foliage. It is excellent for fresh-cut or dried flowers, so remove the spent blooms to prolong flowering. Tolerant of drought, wind and heat, the Achillea grows well in almost any soil type.

Dividing Perennials

A great way to rejuvenate your perennials and get free plants is to divide them. It is not necessary to wait until the perennials are monstrous or out of control to divide them. As a good general rule, its best to divide perennials when they're not in flower and only keep the healthiest pieces.

To minimise root damage, dig a trench around the drip line as that's approximately where most of the roots extend to. Cut into the soil at an angle, down and under the clump until you can lever the plant out of the hole. If the clumps are large, cut the clump into halves or quarters before lifting them out.

Replenish the soil by adding a generous amount of compost and organic matter before replanting.

Angels' Advice

* Perennials are fast growing plants, so to keep them looking good, divide them every 3 years
* It’s best to divide perennials when they are not in flower, keeping only the healthiest pieces
* When dividing plants, tie stems together to avoid damage during digging


Cloudehill Nursery and Gardens
89 Monbulk Rd, Olinda

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