I am looking for long lived plants to put in the same place as daffodils and tulips. I got a nice planting in of the bulbs along my front walk and it looked good until the flowers were gone. It's mostly sunny-a couple hours of morning shade and slightly sloping towards the south. This past summer gave us such a terrible hot dry spell, I lost all the coral bells I put in. I have sedums and grasses and coreopsis at the bottom of the walk and they did fine. And some ajuga made it. I am wondering about aster October skies. Would it green up early enough to cover the aging stems and leaves of the bulbs? Or would the roots be too competitive for space? It is shorter than some asters (18" or so they say), so I hope it wouldn't tower and flop into the walk. zone 5 or 4.5. Any suggestions would be great. I am not set on asters. That leaves the Sumer without color there. What about lavendar? I have clay but did add some sand when I dug the beds. Thanks in advance--PrairieFolly
Hi, Kathy, I was just lookiing at a pic you posted back in september--a tall patch of flowers by a road on the "prairie". I thought it was wonderful! Yes your gardening conditions are similar to mine here in NE Kansas.
So here's a pic--kind of embarassing, but I have done a lot on this area since then and you can see my challenges. Down by the stones now I have some tall grass (cloud nine) and fountain grass and sedum and moonbeam coreopsis--they did fine. Ajuga and some creeping thyme are started along the walk, and I hope will help with the erosion. The walk is only 2 feet wide, and the beds almost 3 ft I think. And it is about 20 feet long.
I'm thinking 12-24 inches tall, shorter near the walk. The road is lower than the yard, so ground covers don't show.
Pirl, I love bleeding hearts and people around here do get them to do well, but I think they need more shade. Our summers heat up too early and send them into dormancy before long. I haven't done well with them but I don't really know what I do wrong with them. This slope facing south may bake whatever I put there, I'm afraid.
Prairie..got lots of suggestions, only problem is you have to look them up, lol. Most are within the 4-24' range. Just to let ya know, once the plants start to fill in there won't be so much in the way of run off. And if cheap mulch is needed use grass clippings (dried). If pix are needed get Thompson & Morgan Seed catalog or Roots and Rhizhomes, both are great for pix and descriptions.
Dicentra spec. is wonderful but best in shade for lower elevations as leaves will burn up and disapear by late June if not in full shade. However there is another within the species which is an all summer bloomer, its luxuriant.
You also said you had Coreopsis v. Moombeam, there are some new ones available. Last summer I picked up C. v. Rosea, which has cerise pink blooms all summer.
Ok, ready, (lol), Daisies; Hemerocalis (daylily), Stela d Oro (gold), Stela d Oro Purple and Stela d Oro Red; Gypsophila repens pink baby's breath; Veronica spicata available in pink white or blue; Salvia nemerosa in pink white or blue; Echinacea White Swan; Lilies (pixies are about 12-18"), various colors; Coreopsis grandiflora Sunrise; Stachy's b.; Geraniums (perennial varieties) which are available as creepers or mounding depending on variety; Liatris as filler; Columbine; Verbascum p. as filler; Mums; Violas ( I love johnny jump ups as they reseed to fill in between other flowers); Chives which are topped with lav/purple flowers (also edible); Lavender m.; Rudbeckias; Scabiosa in pink white or lav.; Catanche carulea in white or blue; Potentilla: yellow, pink/orange or bright pink; Antirrhinums (snaps); Phlox maculatum which is a shorter variety than paniculata and blooms earlier at about 24+; Phlox divaricata (woodland phlox); Dianthus (there are many varieties available from creepers to 18", some are hardy annuals or perennial and even biennials, many bloom in spring and some all summer); Iberis Autumn Snow which blooms all season; Delphinium grandiflora Butterfly series in blue pink or white; Scabiosa ochulara (yellow pincushion flower); Gailardias; an accents could be Gaura linhiemerii which is taller but airy and moves in the breezes; Knautia macedonica; Armeria maritima; Salvia lemonii pink at 24"; Platycodon grandiflora in white pink or light blue; Pennstemon Red Rocks or Pikes Peak Purple 18-24" ( all summer); Campanula persicifolia in white or blue; Osteospurmum Shadow Mt and (?) (sorry can't remember other, one is white with lavender backside and other is light purple) (also many annual varieties); Corydalis flexulosa or lutea 8-12"; Pardancanda; Campanula look for cochlearifolia, poscharskyana, carpatica, glomerata, and rotundifolia. Hope the gives you a few ideas. I have grown all of these or (most ) I am currently growing. So if you have any ?s just ask. This spring try to get in on plant trades, some are even for beginners with little to trade. Kathy. Sorry haven't downloaded pix on this puter yet.
Ooops, I forgot most listed above bloom all summer if deadheaded ( cut dying blooms extends the season). Also forgot to list some great annuals: Resedia oderata; Alyssum; Asperula orientalis; Zaluzianskya capensis. All are fragrant and some even reseed themselves.
The solution for me was Daylillys. I have them interplanted and it works great. There are daylillys that bloom thruout the summer.In the fall,I have some mums that also bloom.
Daylillys now come in a varity of colors and sizes.
Most of my daylillys come from Homestead farms but there are many sellers out there. I like to get mine from a farm that is north of me so I know it'll survive in my zone.
The sidewalk is 31" and the beds are 36". I've been looking up those things in your list. Limit 10/day on DG :). Now I'm sorting seeds to see if any of the ones I have are winter sowable. I know I have some on your list...alyssum, viola, gailardia, native (red and yellow) columbine, American (native) bellflower, stachysb.
The weather has been nice here the last couple of day, so I got outside and did some cleanup and thinking. I gathered some seeds and planted them without looking up if they are any good to winter sow --sunflowers, Ceratostigma plumbaginoides --hardy plumbago, volunteer verbascum, oh, well, we'll see.
Love plumbago, not sure if it reseeds, but I love how it blooms late and can even begin changing their leaves to a bright red in late autumn which is their normal bloom time. Which verbascum do you have? I have phoenicium if seed is needed. Not sure on the plumbago and reseeding but I personally get reseeding from my verbascum and my wild sunflowers, plus scads of other goodies, lol. Hope you find some goodies to try. Do you have gardens elsewhere in the garden or is this your first? Kathy.
I'd love some verbascum phoenicium. I think what I had was common mullein--one 5' spike out of a whorl of fuzzy grey green leaves.
I have several other beds. My success rate is rather low, but this new bed was my worst failure. I have been experimenting in the back yard trying one of these and one of those, building some keeper or temporary keeper groups. I thought I was ready to give the front a try. Rather keep my failures in the back yard. I am working to raise my success rate.
1. I was a florist, and want to rearrange again and again. Try to solve w planning.
2. I have a hard time seeing the time layers in my plans. (trying spreadsheet, photos)
3. I was fighting clay, and adding organic material again year after year, re-digging same old places. With my new beds --this front one, and another in back, I added sand and figure top dressing with organics yearly should work and it seems to, though it has disadvantages -erosion. I think I need to learn about lasagna gardens.
4. I haven't separated the things that can dry out some from the ones that need even moisture.
5. I lived in England for a year and that's where I started learning about gardening. SO, I appearantly I had to try all
those beautiful things that do well in that soft climate, before I reallized --I'M IN KANSAS NOW!!
6. I've been gardening with no plan, just ...OH I like that! and that and that! Then I come home with lots of neat stuff and try to figure where to poke them in.
Summer before last I realized that of everything I'd planted in the back-- my favorite thing was plain old sage. It was the only
thing that looked good all year round. And then it died of old age. I've been working on that old bed going on ten years. I inherited 40 ft by 4 ft bed raised by one railroad tie in front and two high in back... with gravel parking behind. Shade at one end from a silver maple just 3 feet away. It had yellow blooming stonecrop alternating with blue rug junipers. I gave the junipers away and started trying things. I finally got a low maintenance low cost workable trellis of galvanized pipe set in cement and 2x4" wire fencing up at the back. Six roses are doing ok but nowhere near really making a screen. They've gone in between 1 and 5 years ago. (Madame Alfred Carrier-shade end, then Zepherine Droughin, DA's Heritage, Snow goose and St. Swithun -gate w arch for them to grow up, and the latest on the other side of the gate-Malvern Hills pale yellow rambler. Some clems are in with them. The two ladies in shade are pretty skimpy for 5 years.
I'm thinking of trying Kiwi vines there. That stretch of bed is exposed to the North --nothing to break the winter winds. So, I am getting some die back in the bad winters on the roses. I need to look at hardier ones, maybe.
One thing I realized last summer --now that I've tried to cut back on rearranging things--was that planting perennials with the space they need eventually, sometimes 3-5 years to full size, leaves a lot of empty space. Well, I managed that in the new bed in back. I want lilies and hollyhocks and one rose and an edging of spring bulbs mixed with a few hardy small sedums by planting allyssum and assorted sunflowers. I don't remember what all I planted, but those are what filled in.
Another idea I have that might be a mistake is trying to plant layers of things in one place... like with the daffs. How far can you go with that? LIKE could I have the daffs then tulips, then columbine and verbascum, and then asters?? Or, bulbs, dicentra luxuriant, and then asters?
My idea to get a decent look for most seasons in front was to make the wide part at the bottom something good in late summer/fall; The sides of the path good in early spring,(and --?)
and then the other part for early summer. That part is where the path beds split to wrap around the front of the house part way.
It is backed by foundation plantings of bridal wreath spirea. The spirea is blooming when the peonies and iris bloom.
The old standards that survive everything here. I inheireted some rows of those --not really in beds just planted the old fashioned way.
It kind of matches the house, but maybe I should dig up the peonies and put them in the front edge of the wrap around bed. I started some tall lilies and some tall aquilegia in there; various things in the front edge. All peonies on the edge would unify the look and keep out grass.
Prairie...looks like you have some great plantings already in place. Just one hit..the Zepherine can be grown in shade (such as the north side of a building), not sure about Madame tho. You know what might help your soil situation is peat moss, I mix every planting hole with handfuls of it and the backfill also. Just don't ever use it only on top of the soil as it dries out and can be hard to rewet, but mixed in it's a great addition to any soil whether clay or sand. Plants will grow faster and larger. Personally I buy it by the bale (3.3c.ft.), and usually several each summer, Home Depots got the best and is approx $12. I've tried other brands and was disappointed and always go back to H.D. You might even try putting in around some of your plants,(dig hole, mix with soil and then smooth, the worms will do the rest,lol.) Also collect any leaves or grass clippings (both dried) and use as mulch, helps conserve moisture and the worms help to process the decaying layer again further improving your soil, can renew as needed.
You have to decide if you want block color or kind of a mix, either is ok. Yes spring bulbs are first, then can begin to add plants that bloom all season with a few accents thru the season, ie.: All season bloomers: Daisies, veronicas, salvias, echin., coreop., catanche, geum, snaps, dianth., delph., scab., gail., knautia, penst., osteo., gaura, scabiosa, rudbeck.. then throw in some gotta haves that are short time bloomers; ie. liles, liatris etc. The main thing to make it look a bit more cohesive is to plant in groups of 3,5 or 7 of a variety. This helps to not make it look like such a jumble of plants. If not then the eye keeps roaming looking for a place to settle. This is what most people fail to do and they can figure out why it isn't restful. Yes, their flowers are pretty but just seems to be something lacking. Do you have a good library close maybe with some garden books available? If so go look; anything from England is usually relly great, (not necessarily the plants, but the combinations. See how they also use different leaf textures, heights and color combos, helps to make a garden less boring. And don't worry if there is something that bloomed earlier and is now done (try to make sure that type of plant has good looking foliage) or you might end up with holes in the border. If that's the case try to fill in with reseeding annuals close to those early plants and they will help fill in. Some people have been known to fill in gaps with plants that are in pots pulled from other areas of the garden, they then sink them into the border pot and all, lol. ie. lilies. If you go with several varieties try to remember that those colors which clash or might be harsh put white or purple in between helps to keep the area calm, ( such as pink and orange, alone they are jarring to the eye but add purple or white in between and it changes the whole feel of the combo). I'm still working on my garden, I will move plants about til I get something that is to my liking. I filled in the last of my large border last year but now I need to sit back as they fill in and begin editing or rearranging to get a better vinette. Hope that makes sense. I have a whole room with bookshelves filled with gardening books. They are great for inspiration.
Almost forgot, when you add peat it helps to retain moisture, if you also need that hole to be well drained add more sand so excess can drain away, (which can be a problem with clay soils). And remember mulch, Iv'e planted gardens with and without. Youl'd be surprised at the difference in growth, guess which is better and gets larger plants,(mulched)!!!
To help fill in where perenns are smallish for a few years, try some easy to grow annuals. They now have some cosmos that top out at 24", also zinnias are great.
Another thing to check for at your local library are dvds of gardens. One of the best is a series produced many years ago called Gardens of the World with Audrey Hepburn. Was absolutely fabulous, pure eye candy,lol, but very inspiring. Your library could even get it transferred in from another branch possibly or do you have a botanic garden anywhere close, they usually have a lending library also. On the local PBS stations they have a few garden shows but they aren't what they used to be back in the 90's. Victory Garden used to be fabulous but in the past 5 years or so it's gotten to be more of a calif. thing, sad, what a great show it used to be! They traveled the world and showed gardens from all over. Loved it!!!
Hope I inspired you a bit, lol. I know it inspires me more to do when I talk about it, lol. Kathy.
Love to have some of both. Need to go over the trade page. I should get some garden shows. I have some books on request, but hadn't looked that up before. I had an interview of Piet Oudoulf that I used to watch again and again. I don't usually get going on garden plans this early, but I am garden consultant (ha ha) for someone who has a new house on 3 acres some of it in tall grass prairie more or less. The ground disturbed by building is gone all weedy... not nice like the tall and short prairie grasses. And we're just at the point of even-ing it out and scraping it down -- if the weather holds. Then maybe I can winter sow a bunch of natives and near native hybrids and come out with something like an improvement. It has 6 inches of top soil over yellow clay on the back half and over rock in the front half. Haven't gotten to the extension office to see what they can do. I'm on vacation from work, so the garden gets most of my mind space now. Mulch is probably my cause for failure in the front walk beds. More later. Thanks for feeding my garden frenzy. I've made a lot of mental progress on the garden anyway! PF
im jumping in a little late - but ive seen hardy geranium planted with spring bulbs alot because they will prevent the dying foliage from looking too unsightly, you'll have wonderful blooms to distract the eye. add some iris, and daylilies, and some coneflower and the list goes on as ive seen above.