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Perennial Garden

Herbaceous Perennial and Ornamental Grass Garden

The perennial demonstration/research area at the Plant Environmental Research Center (PERC) is under the direction of Dr. James E. Klett. Thanks and appreciation is extended to the Larimer County Master Gardeners for their assistance in the garden.

The main objectives of this demonstration garden are to determine which herbaceous perennials are best suited for growing in the Rocky Mountain area and to display these plants for public and teaching purposes.

Numerous woody trees, shrubs, dwarf conifers, and evergreens have been planted near the stream bed. Additional dwarf conifer and rock garden type of plants are planted on a continual basis in this area. All new perennials planted this year were donated from various nurseries and botanic gardens throughout the country and within Colorado. The Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture appreciates their generosity. New species are planted in existing beds each year.

The perennial area is broken up into various beds, with 4 beds planted in 1980 (A, B, C, D), 1 bed in 1981 (E), 1 in 1982 (F), 2 in 1983 (G & H), 2 in 1984 (I & L), 3 in 1986 (J, K, & M) and 1 in 1988 (N). The beds are lettered A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M and N, and perennials within each of these beds are labeled.

An ornamental grass garden was planned and some initial plantings were made in the fall of 1998. During the spring of 1999, Landscape Design and Construction students constructed a waterfall and pond area in this garden as part of a class project. Funding for this project was made available by a Colorado Garden and Home Show, Inc. grant. Additional ornamental grasses and herbaceous perennials were added during the 1999 growing season. In 2000 woody plants were planted around the pond and Plant Select® trial herbaceous plants were added. In 2001 the Landscape Design and Contracting students constructed some benches and arbor structures near the waterfall and pond area. Funding for this project was made available by a Colorado Garden and Home Show, Inc. grant.

Perennial Publication Available: “Best Perennials for the Rocky Mountains and Plain States”

This comprehensive perennial guide includes 20 years of performance data from Colorado State University’s W.D. Holley Plant Environmental Research Center. Plant performance was rated and top performers are described according to: landscape use, height, foliage, color and fall effect, winter injury, ornamental fruit, disease and insect problems. These top-performing perennials are ideal for xeriscapes, rock and wildflower gardens, and the traditional perennial border. Also includes plants that attract butterflies and hummingbirds,and 5 bloom charts for white, yellow/orange, red/pink, and blue/purple flowers. An absolute MUST for the Colorado, Rocky Mountain or High Plains gardener.

Available from “The Other Bookstore” (Cooperative Extension – 970 491-6198970 491-6198 or ).

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