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Perrenial Advice

rainbow
May 8th, 2010, 12:26 AM
As you folks know, I am the worlds worst gardener so I need some advice. :o

Below our living room window is a raised bed made of concrete. It's about 10-12 feet long and 2 feet wide. Every year I plant annuals there but the expense is something we could do without. Are there any perrenials that I could plant that would last from summer to fall? :fingerscr

MyBirdIsEvil
May 8th, 2010, 12:43 AM
I don't know much about plants that are hardy up there since I'm way down in zone 6, but hostas come to mind.

Goldfields
May 8th, 2010, 03:56 AM
I can't help you much either seeing I am way down in Australia but have you considered growing your own annuals from seed? I always do and it is so cheap compared to buying seedlings. I would really love to have that raised bed here, very envious. :D

Winston
May 8th, 2010, 06:17 AM
Rainbow do yo get lots of sun in that spot? or partial...I will try to come up with a list for you okay! Perennials cost a bit more up front but its so nice that they come back each year. I did the same thing with annuals and it was costing a fortune!

hazelrunpack
May 8th, 2010, 07:15 AM
How much room do you have between the soil level and the bottom of the window? Do you care if the flowers peak up above the sill so you can see them from the living room, or would you prefer them to stay below?

14+kitties
May 8th, 2010, 07:37 AM
Rainbow - can you take a picture of that area sometime between 1 and 3 pm and post it? That way we will know how much afternoon sun it gets, how high it is, and what can be put there. I'm sure with all the gardening gurus here something can be done.

aslan
May 8th, 2010, 07:46 AM
The other ladies have asked most of the important questions just want to ask,,did you want something that flowers all season, are we talking plants,,ground cover, etc.. it kinda depends on what you like.

if you're going all season blooms and want it in layers things like roses, hollyhocks, etc for the height at the back,,flox,forgetmenots,,creepers in other words. If you're talking blooms then nice looking plants,,daylilies are nice, gladeolas, iris's..

i have my garden planted so that as one stops blooming the next inline goes,,,so spring is tulips, then daylilies and finally gladeolas,,,meanwhile i have flox,rosebushes and hostas that go all summer..i also have a couple new gunea(sp) impatients that i pull in the fall and bring in cause they're so pretty, then replant in the spring. they're getting huge.

14+kitties
May 8th, 2010, 10:52 AM
Your zone is 6b according to this site ......
http://www.theweathernetwork.com/gardening/bczone/cabc0049?ref=rlink_gardening_link1
which means you have a wide variety of plants you can grow.
If you like grasses you could plant anchor pieces at both ends of your bed. You can find some tall, striking grasses which are very attractive and can be well managed. I don't know if you want something like that against your house though. You could do some climbers for the wall if you want to go to the trouble of installing a trellis or some sort of system that your plants can climb on. Even without flowers some plants look marvelous against the house. Just be careful you don't get ones that like to invade your brick/siding or you will be spending money in the future to repair your home.
If you want colour don't limit yourself to plants that flower. You can get some striking designs using different colours and textures of leaves. A Japanese Maple can be kept trained so it is kept small and compact. The burgandy leaves are very appealing to a lot of people. You can use Yucca as well. It is very drought tolerant if you don't like watering. The flower spikes don't last very long but they are beautiful when they bloom.
If you like purples you could go with the Veronica Speedwells. They have both high and low growing plants in their family. They also come in reds and whites. Then there are the multitude of sedums which are low growing. For an early bloomer you can get rock cresses (aubrieta) that would look absolutely scrumptious spilling over the front of your raised bed.
There's also the true geranium. It is a spreading plant that will quickly fill in any empty spaces. It can be invasive so be careful to keep it trimmed back a little. I have never had a problem with it.
You can look at lavendars for texture. Their leaves are a very neat bluish/green, the plant smells heavenly. Some dianthus ( a very dainty carnation looking plant) are very nice. Their leaves are a pale green which would add to the texture.
These are all plants that do well in sun/part shade.

The best advice I can give you is to go to a good nursery in your area with your specs and what you would like to achieve and have them tell you what would work well in your area. But, this will give you a start.

rainbow
May 8th, 2010, 12:20 PM
WOW, so many suggestions .....I'm so overwhelmed already. :laughing:

I will take a pic later to give you all a better idea of what I've got. :o

rainbow
May 9th, 2010, 09:56 PM
Okay, here is a pic of the raised bed in all it's naked ugliness. I would like to fill it with perennials that flower from summer to fall ....

14+kitties
May 9th, 2010, 10:15 PM
Blanket Flowers (Gaillardia) are an excellent flower for all season colour. They drop seed too so, while they aren't a long lived perennial, there are always new plants coming up. They have some nice newer varieties of it as well.
http://www.perennials.com/seeplant.html?item=1.220.080

I can see some Speedwell (Veronica) at the back with the Blanket Flowers in front. Or you can do Daylily. There are so many wonderful varieties and colours of them you could fill in that whole area quite nicely and not have to worry about them for years. They drop seed as well if allowed to develop seedheads. They just don't flower all the time but they do for quite a while.

You could try some anchor plants at the ends that are a little taller. I mentioned the Yucca earlier in the thread. They would be neat at either end. When they flowered the blooms would reach up on both sides of your window and be quite striking.
http://www.youcanlearnseries.com/Landscape/Plants/JacobsLadder.aspx

What colours are your favourites? That may be a good starting point.

Longblades
May 10th, 2010, 08:56 AM
I think 2 feet is not going to give you enough room to plant a variety of perennials. You will see that when you go to buy some and the tag tells you the recommended amount of space. What about shrubs? You'd get some visual effect in the winter as well but would have to rely on seasonal flowering of, say, spirea, or fall colour in the leaves as with some euonymous.

I do have one perennial in my yard that does well in a variety of soils and sun and, get this, it blooms constantly from early spring to late fall. Mine is blooming now. Corydalis Lutea. Not very high growing though.

Chris21711
May 10th, 2010, 08:59 AM
As you folks know, I am the worlds worst gardener so I need some advice. :o



I have no advice for you, but when I saw that YOU had opened a thread in the gardening section of the forum I just had to :laughing::laughing::laughing:

rainbow
May 10th, 2010, 01:13 PM
I have no advice for you, but when I saw that YOU had opened a thread in the gardening section of the forum I just had to :laughing::laughing::laughing:

:cry: but, I'm trying to learn. :p :p :p



I think 2 feet is not going to give you enough room to plant a variety of perennials. You will see that when you go to buy some and the tag tells you the recommended amount of space. What about shrubs? You'd get some visual effect in the winter as well but would have to rely on seasonal flowering of, say, spirea, or fall colour in the leaves as with some euonymous.

I do have one perennial in my yard that does well in a variety of soils and sun and, get this, it blooms constantly from early spring to late fall. Mine is blooming now. Corydalis Lutea. Not very high growing though.

Don't shrubs take up more room than flowers? :confused:



Blanket Flowers (Gaillardia) are an excellent flower for all season colour. They drop seed too so, while they aren't a long lived perennial, there are always new plants coming up. They have some nice newer varieties of it as well.
http://www.perennials.com/seeplant.html?item=1.220.080

I can see some Speedwell (Veronica) at the back with the Blanket Flowers in front. Or you can do Daylily. There are so many wonderful varieties and colours of them you could fill in that whole area quite nicely and not have to worry about them for years. They drop seed as well if allowed to develop seedheads. They just don't flower all the time but they do for quite a while.

You could try some anchor plants at the ends that are a little taller. I mentioned the Yucca earlier in the thread. They would be neat at either end. When they flowered the blooms would reach up on both sides of your window and be quite striking.
http://www.youcanlearnseries.com/Landscape/Plants/JacobsLadder.aspx

What colours are your favourites? That may be a good starting point.

Those Blanket Flowers are very striking. :thumbs up I would love to plant the Daylilies as lilies are one of my favourites :cloud9: but they are toxic to cats so I can't take the chance. :(

As far as colour favourites, I don't really have any .....pretty and easy to grow is my style. :D

14+kitties
May 10th, 2010, 01:43 PM
Ahh, ok. I didn't realize you let your kitties out. Thought they were indoor only. :o
Here's an article I found on daylilies and lilies. Two different species related but not directly so.
http://www.au.gardenweb.com/forums/load/ozgard/msg1103101418189.html
And another one - same forum, different topic...
http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/load/daylily/msg0322364525964.html

So there are Bellflowers (Campanula), Blanket Flower (Goblin in particular), Coreopsis, Black Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia), Astilbe, Coneflower, etc........ for long lastingness. There are many more but I don't want to overwhelm you too much.

Shrubs would be a good idea there but you want colour. Shrubs still require some maintenance to keep them looking nice and compact. You could put an aubrieta or a creeping phlox in the front to give you some early spring colour and the leaves will stay green all summer. You don't need a lot of plants as they will quickly grow in to fill empty spots. Then put no more than a dozen plants in behind. Spread out to give room to grow. I'm not talking a huge variety of plants. There isn't the space. Just one or two, possibly three, different ones for variety and colour.

http://www.gardening-tips-perennials.com/creepingphlox.html

First I would recommend a treatment of cow manure and a good garden soil or a three way mix ot revive your ground in that area. Blanket Flower likes poor soil. The other ones can be a little pickier.

Whatever you decide have fun with it. Gardening really is fun.... you just have to get past the bone jarring weed pulling, plant moving, watering, etc. etc. etc............

rainbow
May 10th, 2010, 02:14 PM
The cats are mostly inside but do go outside. When they're outside we check on them every 15 min or so and they are usually on the patio or on top of the shed. If not, we call them and they come running out from under a bush. They are never outside after 5pm. I know I shouldn't let them out at all but when I've tried ignoring the meowing they will pee by the door. :o

I do add manure to the soil there ....just haven't done it yet. :D

Now, I have to hope I can find the plants here as we only have Canadian Tire, Extra Foods and one small nursery that isn't as good as it used to be to choose from. :frustrated:

I'll probably end up buying petunias again. :rolleyes:

Winston
May 10th, 2010, 02:59 PM
Rainbow I am not good with the zones but I am trying to visualize some of the plants I have in there. So Sedum, phlox, hosta's for sure, maybe some shasta daisy's and I really think day lillys would be nice too! or a nice rosebush in the middle with other perennials beside it.

If your not sure just try to find out how tall it gets because thats the hard part if you put something tall at the front ...ill try to get you some pics..

Chris21711
May 10th, 2010, 03:00 PM
:cry: but, I'm trying to learn. :p :p :p

There, there.............you know I'm only jiving ya' :o




I'll probably end up buying petunias again. :rolleyes:

:yuck:

Herbie lays amongst the Daylilies, he never tries to eat them, but I know you like to cover all the angles :cool:

aslan
May 10th, 2010, 03:04 PM
rainbow if you would like Daylillies but are concerned about the kitties,,,i know i'm gonna get comments on this buuuut...piddle in a cup and sprinkle it in your garden, thus you've marked your territory and kitties usually stay out,,that or you could use mothballs to deter them.

i'm with Winston,,definately see a rose or two in there.

14+kitties
May 10th, 2010, 03:32 PM
Rainbow I am not good with the zones but I am trying to visualize some of the plants I have in there. So Sedum, phlox, hosta's for sure, maybe some shasta daisy's and I really think day lillys would be nice too! or a nice rosebush in the middle with other perennials beside it.

If your not sure just try to find out how tall it gets because thats the hard part if you put something tall at the front ...ill try to get you some pics..

We are in Zone 6 as well Winston. So basically anything we have success with rainbow will too. :thumbs up

i know i'm gonna get comments on this buuuut...piddle in a cup and sprinkle it in your garden, thus you've marked your territory and kitties usually stay out,,that or you could use mothballs to deter them.

Why would you get comments aslan? We're used to you peeing all over the place. :D
Mothballs are not a good choice however. They are more toxic than tons of plants.

Winston
May 10th, 2010, 03:44 PM
oooh I am so excited we can plan Rainbows garden! Heck we could prolly send her all the plants too! :thumbs up

chico2
May 10th, 2010, 04:39 PM
Rainbow,here is my front of the house,but its wider than yours.
I would plant some bushes,maybe even cedars like I have,I also have a Rose of Sharon,a Sedum and another bush with varigeted leaves and white flowers in the spring(forgot the name,as usual) and an Astilbe,love them.
I also have a ground-cover,the I plant a couple annuals

14+kitties
May 10th, 2010, 05:14 PM
Do you have a Walmart nearby rainbow? I find they sometimes have a good variety. Especially if you get there early enough in the season. Or Home Depot but they are pricey.

Rose of Sharon trees actually would be a good anchor plant on the ends. They usually don't grow too tall unless you let them. They have pretty flowers in a variety of colours. Good idea chico. :thumbs up

I was also thinking maybe Coral Bells. There are so many different varieties and colours now it's amazing. I have a light green one and a very dark burgundy. The flower isn't much but the leaves are spectacular! Just filling your bed with them would be eye catching. They are very hardy little plants that don't need any attention. They are also easy to find. The burgundy would look wonderful up against your house.
Just to show you the variety that is available now.
http://www.daytonnursery.com/encyclopedia/Perennials/Heuchera.htm

rainbow
May 10th, 2010, 07:34 PM
Oh my, you guys are getting me so overwhelmed .....everything looks so lovely but I'm NOT a gardener. :o

I should have asked for advice long before now since it's almost time to plant something. Now I do like the idea of a shrub of some kind in both corners to hide the ugliness but something that doesn't get too big and doesn't need pruning.

Also, roses are out cuz those are for folks that know what they're doing. :o

rainbow
May 10th, 2010, 07:38 PM
oooh I am so excited we can plan Rainbows garden! Heck we could prolly send her all the plants too! :thumbs up

Better yet .....you could bring them here and plant them then I could just look after them. :D


Rainbow,here is my front of the house,but its wider than yours.
I would plant some bushes,maybe even cedars like I have,I also have a Rose of Sharon,a Sedum and another bush with varigeted leaves and white flowers in the spring(forgot the name,as usual) and an Astilbe,love them.
I also have a ground-cover,the I plant a couple annuals

Chico, your garden is beautiful. :thumbs up I would love to be able to make mine wider but since it is concrete it would be too costly for us to take it out and redo it. :o

aslan
May 10th, 2010, 07:41 PM
Why would you get comments aslan? We're used to you peeing all over the place. :D


I stopped piddling places 21yrs ago.:rolleyes:

i didn't know that,,glad i don't use mothballs anymore then.

aslan
May 10th, 2010, 07:45 PM
rainbow what about a couple dwarf lilacs one on each end,,they don't grow too tall and not really alot of work.

Winston
May 10th, 2010, 08:09 PM
I think the space is too small for a bush unless you get a mini!!

Even the lilac will end up being too big I think for the area. I say stick with perennial flowers and maybe spring bulbs and your covered for most of the season. Sedum and Hostas can grow very round and fill the area nicely but it also grows about 24" tall. You can grow Columbine very easy..some beautiful phlox that grow kinda over the edge...very low maintenance..some shasta daisy's will be nice. I love all the suggestions you have so far from everybody...and you should have no problem getting stuff at Cdn Tire....I just bought 2 beautiful clematis at Crappy Tire!!

aslan
May 10th, 2010, 08:14 PM
winston the dwarf lilac i'm talking about is the korean dwarf lilac,,max grows to 4 to 5' tall..it's made for small spaces. if i think about it in the morning i'll take a picture of mine. I got mine at home depot, pretty sure crappy tire has them now too.

oh and rainbow roses really aren't that hard to look after.

Stacer
May 10th, 2010, 08:44 PM
I like native perennials. My front walkway garden is full of Coneflower, Black eyed susan, wild columbine, blue-eyed grass, asters, catmint, hairgrass, lavender (non-native) wooly thyme as a ground cover, as well as some sedum between my rocks.

If I don't like how something looks or how much space it has started taking up, I just move it to a new place in the garden

luckypenny
May 10th, 2010, 09:39 PM
I think bleeding hearts and dark green/blue hostas would look awfully nice in that bed :o.

http://www.perennials.com/seeplant.html?item=1.187.050

14+kitties
May 11th, 2010, 06:53 AM
The only problem with Bleeding Hearts is that by mid summer a lot of the time it is completely dormat. It disappears until the next spring when it pops out of the ground and does it's show again.
rainbow - If you want some shrubs to anchor the ends you could look for dwarf conifers. You can get some slow growers that don't need a lot of maintenance. Junipers are a good choice and there are many around. I know Canadian Tire usually has a good variety of them and they aren't too costly.
I know you are overwhelmed by all the info but remember, it may take a little work to figure out what you want but, once the plants are in and established, you really don't have to worry about them. You want to make sure the perennials you get are ones that are long lived. Most of the ones we have mentioned are.
Do you have a friend who knows a little about gardening that can go with you to the nursery or Can Tire to help? That's always a good start. Write down some of the plants you are interested in and go from there.

chico2
May 11th, 2010, 07:51 AM
Wow 14+,I did not know there are that many Coral-Bells variety..I have quiet a few of the ordinary ones,they are a good filler for nice colour.

Rainbow,I have an Alberta Spruce in my back garden,I've had it for years and so far only has grown to 3 1/2 feet in 5 years and is really pretty,no maintenance needed.

Believe me,I too am not a gardener,lived in apartments my whole life,but it's very gratifying to look at what you can do.

14+kitties
May 11th, 2010, 09:18 AM
Something else you can do is to plant some vinca vine (periwinkle) and forget about them once established. There are a ton of variety with them too. Purple blooms early in the spring and last a long time. Mine are still blooming. Then you have the really nice looking foliage afterwards that will fill in your garden quickly.

http://www.flowers.vg/flowers/vines-vinca.htm

Ooops, never mind. Vinca can cause stomach upset if ingested. Kitties won't like it.

Please stay away from Trumpet Vine. They are beautiful but if not contained in pots underground they are not a good plant to have. It has the ability to send out shoots up to 30 feet away from the original plants and can cause major structural damage to homes. If you google it you can read horror stories of the vines coming up through bathroom floors (in the States), breaking through foundations, etc.

chico2
May 11th, 2010, 11:21 AM
14+,the Phlox-seeds you gave me to plant,will have blooms this year,lots of buds:thumbs up

chico2
May 11th, 2010, 11:26 AM
Raibow,if you like Lillies,the Stella d'Oro,blooms all summer,unlike my other Lillies.
Sorry,the second one is not a Lily,but the first one is a Stella.

14+kitties
May 11th, 2010, 11:05 PM
14+,the Phlox-seeds you gave me to plant,will have blooms this year,lots of buds:thumbs up

That is great!! I still need to find time to go uncover my beds from under all the weeds. :o

Shaykeija
May 12th, 2010, 12:17 AM
I can send you some purple iris in August for next year. After they bloom, the leave a nice green plant.