Before setting plants out, be sure the spots you've chosen are good for the perennials you're planting. If you have questions about whether your plants demand full sun or can withstand partial shade, how tall the plant will grow, or other details, please consult the planting information on each product page on our website. (Search the name of the plant in the search box at the top of this page!) You can also visit The Tool Shed for our helpful planting guides.
For example, if you're planting bareroot peonies, remember peonies mature into large plants and like rich soil, so be sure the soil is rich and deep for each one. Or, if you're planting yarrow or lavender, remember these plants absolutely have to have drier conditions in wide open full sun.
Of course, you can invest a lot of hard work in changing the character of the soil in your garden, adding compost to make the soil richer, or adding sand or gravel to make it drain more quickly. However, when you choose the right plants for your soil, the soil you have will probably be fine!
Every perennial garden has areas that vary in conditions. For example, you may have areas in your garden that are rich deep soil with good, but not quick, drainage; these are the spots with rich, dark soil that is almost always moist. Plants like peonies, daylilies and astilbes love these spots. Then there are usually the hot, dry spots. Maybe the soil is more gravelly here, and the area is a little raised, so drainage is extra-sharp, and the whole area is in the hot, baking sun all summer. Plants like yarrows, lavenders, and echinaceas are very happy here.
The groups below make good companion plants, since each group enjoys the same basic garden conditions. Of course, consider these groupings "rules of thumb," since there are no hard and fast rules. Also, many plants are adaptable and appear in more than one group.