What is the difference between an annual, perennial, & biennial? Annuals complete their life span in one growing season and will not return again. Perennials have the longest life span, living for more than two years. They die down in winter but will rebloom again the following season. Biennials complete their life span in two growing seasons. They will usually produce leafy growth during the first year and flowers & fruit the second year. After fruiting, plants will usually die and will not return again. Consider Height Tall plants should form the background of your garden, medium plants should form the middle, and shortest plants should form the front border or path edge of your garden. Spacing It is important to pay attention to the spacing of plants in your garden. Please consult your plant label for this information - it will tell you the amount of room plant will need as it matures and spreads in the garden. Exposure Please consult your plant label for this information. Depending on the site exposure in your garden, (Sun, Shade, Part Sun, Part Shade) you will want to make sure and select plants that will perform well in your site. Hardiness Zone: What is your hardiness zone? Set up by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, consulting this map will help you find out if a plant will survive the coldest average temperatures in your area. Heat Zone: What is your heat zone? Developed in 1997 by the American Horticultural Society, this map will help you determine if a plant will survive the hottest average temperatures in your area. Bloom Time Perennials feature different bloom times - some early, some late, and some bloom all season long. You want to consider this when planning your garden so you have some plants in bloom all season long. For example, there are some early flowering perennials such as Dicentra that will bloom and completely die back by summer. These should be used as underplantings to later blooming perennials. Bloom Color Typically, primary or contrasting colors (bold hues) should be planted in small masses and harmonious colors (pastel hues) should be planted in larger masses. A basic design principle is to group plants together in odd numbers such as 3, 5, 7, 9, etc. Remember to consider that bloom time will also affect the color show of your garden.