Perennial mixes have been a very successful concept in Germany, enabling landscape architects, garden designers and others to create vibrant, diverse and low-maintenance plant combinations without having to design specifically for each site. For some years now, I have been interested in the possibility of developing this concept for British conditions - which is a challenge because the long growing season often encourages rampant weed growth, especially of grass species.
Following some twenty years experience gardening in Herefordshire and developing planting mixes for Bristol City Council and other clients, I now feel confident in my ability to put together perennial mixes which stand a good chance of resisting weed infiltration and provide colour and nectar for pollinators over a long season. In particular, I ran a trial for seven years which has been very successful in showing how a combination of perennials with varying habits of spread is able to dominate a site, excluding weeds, and crucially, keeping a good balance between the various components. The photographs below illustrate this trial, along with some of the diagrammatic representations made of a final survey.