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Location is everything

Every plant makes specific demands of its location. By choosing and combining plants according to their natural preferences, you can create the conditions for long-lasting, functioning plant arrangements. Beds with hardy flowering perennials are especially easy to care for and long-lasting. Once planted, they will sprout anew every spring, enhancing a garden for many years. Create your own beautiful arrangements throughout the season by grouping different perennials by height and colour. Tall-growing plants such as ornamental grasses, helenium, cohosh and echinacea serve as the framework, while the gaps are filled with accompanying species like cranesbill, lamb’s ear, and sedum. A scattering of bulb bloomers such as crocus and winter aconite adds a spring feel.

Use a calendar for flowering times

When planning a new bed, it’s worth drawing up a calendar of the flowering times of your chosen plants. You can then determine at a glance whether you will have something flowering all the way through from spring to autumn and whether there will always be food available for the butterflies and bees.

Top Tip:

Use ready-made mixed perennial sets

If you don’t have the time to plan your combination of plants yourself, garden centres stock ready-made mixed perennial sets for all kinds of locations from sunny to shady and from dry to moist.


Hot summers and prolonged dry spells have resulted in people looking for plants that don't need as much water. These include various types of spurge, everlasting, calamint and stonecrop. Plants such as the purple coneflower (pictured) can cope with dry spells too. If a plant has silver-grey, hairy leaves, this is a sign that it is especially tolerant of drought. The light reflects the sunlight and therefore doesn't overheat, while the fine hairs minimise water evaporation.


Draught-resistant choices

Balconies and patios are extreme locations for trees and shrubs as plant pots offer limited space for their roots. They are therefore more exposed to the heat in the summer and the cold in the winter than plants grown in protective garden soil. This calls for particular care when choosing plants. Hardy, robust varieties such as Japanese maple, shadbush and dwarf purple-leaf plum are a good choice.