“What constitutes a good, basic set of sun-loving perennials?” is a popular question at the trade shows. Easy, straightforward, and popular would describe a program for someone just starting out. When creating a perennial bench the primary focus should be on the popular varieties. It’s important for your program to get traction in the market, and that means sales. Without a solid financial base, your perennial program is vulnerable to closing.
Inevitably, the first year is when you make most of your mistakes, so these are also the most forgiving cultivars. They are good teaching crops, and they will help you decide issues of soil, pot size, lushness, and a number of other factors that organize your production logistics.
After that first flush of success, make it a point to gather feedback from your growers and your customers on the direction of diversity mostly likely to succeed. Don’t diversify in your first year—that year should be reserved for the basics. Explore diversity in your second year.
So, how do you assemble a good first year list of starter perennials for the sun?
Based on this criteria, we recommend: