Perennial Flower Garden Design

Make Your Own Perennial Flower Garden

Nancy J. Ondra
Purple Coneflower

This perennial flower garden design will provide many years of enjoyment and, since perennials come back each year, there’s no replanting required! The key to a perennial flower garden is careful selection of plants, so we’ve given careful consideration to our plant list and plot plan.

Not only do perennial plants keep coming back year after year, they also may produce colorful blooms for two months or longer. Attractive leaves, showy seed heads, and fetching foliage add even more interest. For early color, add daffodils, crocuses, and other spring bulbs.

Yellow daffodils

This 5x10-foot rectangle suits a path or driveway border and requires well-drained soil and full sun. In longer beds, repeat the pattern.

Perennial Flower Garden Plan

Perennial Garden Plant List

  1. ‘Blue Ice’ bluestar (perennial): Dense mounds feature starry blue flower clusters in mid- or late spring. Slender, rich-green leaves turn bright yellow in fall. It is about 18 inches tall and grows in Zones 4 to 9. Six plants.
  2. Purple coneflower (perennial): Large, daisy-form, purple-pink flowers with prominent centers bloom through the summer atop 3- to 5-foot-tall stems. Also look for cultivars with white, orange, or yellow flowers. It grows in Zones 3 to 9. Six plants.
  3. ‘Miss Manners’ obedient plant (perennial): Sturdy, upright stems are topped with spikes of bright-white blooms from midsummer to early fall. Obedient plant can be a rampant spreader, but this cultivar is fairly well behaved. It is 18 to 24 inches tall and grows in Zones 3 to 9. Six plants.
  4. ‘Little Bunny’ fountain grass (perennial): Dense clumps of spiky foliage feature brushy, silver seed heads from late summer into winter. It is 12 to 18 inches in bloom and grows in Zones 5 to 9. Nine plants.
  5. Lady’s mantle (perennial): One-foot-tall mounds of elegantly pleated, velvety, scalloped-edge leaves boast frothy clusters of green-yellow flowers in early to midsummer. It is about 18 inches tall in bloom and grows in Zones 4 to 7. Three plants.
  6. ‘Zagreb’ coreopsis (perennial): Moderately spreading clumps of slender green leaves bear an abundance of bright-yellow, daisy-like flowers through summer. It is 12 to 18 inches tall in bloom and grows in Zones 4 to 9. Three plants.
  7. ‘Karl Foerster’ feather reed grass (perennial): Clumps of grassy foliage, 2 to 3 feet tall at maturity, feature 5- to 6-foot-tall stalks topped with plumes that are pinkish-gray in summer and tan in winter. It grows in Zones 5 to 9. Five plants.

For a garden that blooms from spring to fall, see our three-season flower garden design.


The 2009 All-Seasons Garden Guide

Reader Comments

Leave a Comment

You must have Javascript enabled to use this form.

Perennial Garden Photo for article.

Your perennial garden lists all the plants in the photo with the exception of the peonies in the forefront, which are also perennials. Why oh why? Love your articles on FB BTW!

Garden Plan

I'd love to see a garden plan for wet in winter/dry in summer. I also have clay soil but that can be amended.

Perennial garden

Will all of these plants do well in zone 7?

emerald blue

how many do i need to buy of these for a 7 foot by 7 foot flower bed let me know thank you

How does this plan compare to

How does this plan compare to the 3 season flower bed plan? Aren't both perennials? I am trying to decide which one should I go with for the upcoming season. I guess it's too late to plant now

The plan on this page has

The plan on this page has suggestions for long-blooming perennials that will bloom for extended time during the growing season while the 3-season plan has plants for spring, summer, and fall blooms. You can plant perennials now. This will give them a chance to develop good root systems before the colder months.

I have a VERY small patio

I have a VERY small patio space 4'x6' and I love plants - how do I make the most of what I have ?

With such a small amount of

With such a small amount of space available, you will need to be very selective in which crops you grow. Choose plants which you love to eat, are expensive to buy, or which can be harvested over a long period to give you maximum value for your investment of space. It might also be worth trying out the intensive square foot gardening method - for more information, visit
Our Garden Planner software can help you to draw out your garden plan and shows how much space each individual plant needs - or you can use the dedicated Square Foot Gardening mode if you're using that technique, which enables you to add plants in square-foot blocks with the number of plants to be grown in that space indicated in the corner of the block. The software also provides recommended sowing, planting and harvesting times for your plants based on climate data for your location. You can even filter the plants shown in the selection to show only those that fit certain criteria - easy to grow, or suitable for growing in partial shade for instance.
To try out the Garden Planner for free, why not take out our 30 day free trial by going to, clicking on Start Garden Planner and then Create An Account.