When I bought a house a couple years ago, it came with lots of garden space just waiting to be filled with beautiful plants. So I promptly went to the local nursery and spent way too much money, only to have half of the plants die within weeks or months. But I did lots of research and tried again, and each year I've learned more and more about what works here in the Northeast. And today I'm sharing my findings with you, so you don't have to go through the same struggles! Here are my favorite foolproof outdoor perennial plants, and some tips on how to care for them.
Daffodils - Daffodils are super easy to grow, and their sunny yellow blooms that appear in early spring are especially exciting after a long winter. Just plant the bulbs in a sunny spot and they will pop up in the spring with very little maintenance needed.
Hostas - These are shade-loving plants, and they will grow happily on their own without much help. Just be sure to give them some water every day or two if you're having a dry summer.
Hydrangea - I've found that the key to a thriving hydrangea plant is to water it often during the hot part of the summer. Be sure to plant it in rich, moist soil in a spot that receives sun early in the day and shade in the heat of the afternoon.
Evergreen Shrubs - Shrubs like arborvitae, juniper and boxwood are all very low maintenance and hard to kill. Just make sure you prune them at the right time of year and give them some water if it's dry (especially boxwood).
Tulips - Like daffodils, tulips start as bulbs which are planted in the fall and they pop up in the spring in a variety of lovely colors. Because spring is always rainy here in Boston, I've never had to water them or really maintain them in any way.
Sedum - There are many types of sedum, and I've had good luck with every type I've tried. They are drought resistant, so if you forget to water them for a couple days in August they should be just fine. Autumn Joy Sedum blooms in the fall, but the leaves are reminiscent of succulents and are fun to look at all summer.
Mint - If you have a large area which you want to fill up with greenery quickly, go with mint. It spreads like crazy, and it is very difficult to kill. It likes sun, but will grow in partial shade too. Plus, you can make endless mojitos!
Lilies - I love Oriental Lilies for their large, bold blooms, but most lilies are equally foolproof. They come in many colors, and will add some serious pizzazz to your garden when other plants might be looking a little haggard. Plant them in full sun for best results.