What is your favorite perennial flower

Ah, the enduring beauty of perennials! Is there anything more magic? With subtle charms like unusual foliage and fragrant flowers that demand to be admired up close, these yard-enhancing plants are well worth the tending. Here, we've rounded up the absolute best perennial flowers and plants to add to your garden this year. You'll find everything from timeless peonies to the unusual bleeding heart on our list, plus information on blooming times and sunlight and zone requirements. Our list was compiled with assistance from Marianne Binetti, author of Perennials for Washington and Oregon.

But before you get to planting, it's important to understand what perennials even are. These flowers live for more than two years ("per" and "ennial" mean "through the years"). Most bloom each spring and summer, die in the autumn and winter, and return again in the spring (though there are some exceptions). And of course, just because you want a lush-looking garden come summer doesn't mean perennials are the way to go: The classic daylily, for instance, only blooms for one day. (Read more on the annuals vs. perennials topic here.)

Still, that one day is well worth the wait in our opinion! And perennials are an excellent idea for just about any beginning gardener to become familiar with (they're also great for some types of vertical gardens). Take a look at our top picks, then get to your local gardening store and make it happen!

P.S. Check out our ideas for the best indoor trees and bedroom plants for your home too!