Perennials are the reliable joys of gardening, sending up new shoots in a barren yard every spring with little or no attention from you. Autumn is the perfect time to plant new ones and do a little upkeep on the old ones.
New bulbs, like hyacinths, lilies, tulips and daffodils, are best planted now, before the first frost. Perennials like hostas or salvia that have gotten very large or crowded, or that are beginning to die out in the center, should be dug up, divided and replanted farther apart. Experts recommend doing this on a dry but cloudy day. Dig up the entire root ball and separate, making sure each new section has more roots than shoots. Replant immediately, trimming plants to half their height and removing dead foliage.