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Beginner Gardening Questions: Help with gardening

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Forum: Beginner Gardening QuestionsReplies: 19, Views: 203
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NewNHplanter
Manchester, NH

April 25, 2007
8:36 AM

Post #3428380

Hubby and I just bought a house and I can't wait to plant some flower beds- the front of my house is north facing and we are currently tearing out bushes. I want to replace the bushes with Perrennial beds. I had orginally thought it would be considered full sun but after watching it for a few days I don't think its considered full sun- but its not full shade either. So my question is what can I plant in that type of bed??? I am located in Manchester, NH.
These are some plants of was thinking of..Iris, Pyrethram, Lavendaer cotton, Dwarf Liliac, lambs ear, and Hosta. Any suggestions would be great!!!! THANK YOU!!
kathy1955
Mchenry, IL
(Zone 5a)

April 25, 2007
9:33 AM

Post #3428541

if it is facing north it should get A.M. sun. you could plant; lungwort, hostas, (several varieties ,the big blue ones are my favorite), astilbies, dead nettle, toad lillies, epimedium, ferns,ground phlox,sweet woodruff,columbine, yarrow, a great climber for shade is porcelin berry vine.if you want a focal point for height a weeping cherry(snow fountain) is nice. mine gets afternoon sun and its not to big remember to ammend the soil with lots of aged manure or if that isnt available try mushroom compost. the soil is the key.but, they say" you cant kill a hosta". good luck ! if you are in doubt about the light i have lots of suggestions for sun. look at houses facing the same direction in your neighborhood, hopefully they will be creative and have something besides evergreens shaped like boxes! lavender requires full sun and course soil.lambs ear grow better in full sun ( most of the day)!. north facing am sun is the best for the plants above unless the sun shines past1pm. good luck kathy.
NewNHplanter
Manchester, NH

April 25, 2007
4:55 PM

Post #3430100

Thanks!!! I am going to look up some of the flowers that you suggested! The spot definately gets am sun Maybe a few hours - but nothing else. Everyone in my neighborhood has those big boxey bushes in their front yard... the same ones that I am tearing out!!! The previous owner lived in our house for 55 years and there isn't one thing planted in the yard that has any color!!!!
tggfisk
Garner, NC
(Zone 7b)

April 25, 2007
8:24 PM

Post #3430760

Good for you! If you have a shady area under trees, rhodeas are nice. They are green, but can make a great structural backdrop for more colorful things. Tree roots don't seem to bother them, either.
NHBabs
Concord, NH

April 26, 2007
6:45 PM

Post #3434387

Congratulations on your new home!

Before you tear out all of your bushes, you might want to consider leaving 1 or 2, or plan to plant another few bushes that suit your tastes more so that you have some winter interest. Since almost half our year is snowcovered, and most perennials when they die don't leave much of interest, it's good to have something that will emerge above the snow and provide color (red or yellow stems, green foliage, interesting dried seedheads or rustling tan leaves) or interesting branch structure or something. I love perennials, but I want my garden to have something nice to look at even when it's covered with snow! In my experience, lilacs do best in full sun.

Kathy has given you some good suggestions, including the suggestion to add organic matter to your soil. I don't know if Manchester is like Concord where you can get compost that the city makes from yard pickup (leaves, etc.) I'll add to the list of plants: Jacob's Ladder (Polemonium), bugbane(Cimicifuga AKA Actea), Brunnera, bleeding heart (dicentra), ferns, coral bells (Heuchera), foamflower (tiarella), and meadow rue (Thalictrum). You also might want to think about flower bulbs for the fall that will bloom for you next spring. One of my favorite bulb sources is Brent and Becky's bulbs.
http://www.brentandbeckysbulbs.com/
As tggfisk suggested, Rhododendrons are nice and many will bloom in part sun. There are many that are hardy and have evergreen foliage to add winter interest on all but the coldest days when they curl up. PJM is one example and is hardy enough that the foliage looks nice (a deep mahogany shade) much of the winter, without any winter burn.
Clematis are a vine that does well in part sun, but won't do well in full shade. You might want to watch your yard for a while - does it get any direct sun, and if it does, at what time of day? Are there trees that will be leafing out almost immediately and make your yard shadier than it is now with just the house blocking the sun? Are there wetter or drier areas? (You can probably already answer if there are wetter areas after the last week's weather!)
A couple of really nice nurseries where you can go to get other ideas include Uncanunac (I hope I spelled that right!) Mt. Perennials in Goffstown (they have a really nice little demonstration garden), Lake Street Nursery in Salem (especially good for trees I hear) and Black Forest Nursery in Boscowen.
kathy1955
Mchenry, IL
(Zone 5a)

April 27, 2007
12:16 AM

Post #3435599

holly grows well in am sun too. it will give you winder interest. some of them require a male & female plant to produce berries but i have one in front & one in back and the one in back gets more sun and it has beautiul berries. sometimes if you get those catalogues from spring hill. they sell an entire bed for shade or foundation plantings. i am not suggesting you BUY the stuff but you can get ideas! another great magazine is garden gate. home depot has mushroom compost but its expensive.if the house is 55 years old it probably has decent dirt. look for worms while you are laboring digging out those evergreens.good ideas by nh babs , i buy lots of plants at home depot, ive never had a problem . i save the receipt and they guarantee plants for a year. our nearby menards has a huge garden center. you wont get much knowledge from the sales peope but if you reserch the pants first they are cheaper than the nursery. you could add interest by adding chimes, birdbath, fountain, etc. to fill in untill you can afford extra plants.we has 4" of snow on april11 th. and its cold & rainy now.
1gardengram
Fayetteville, NC
(Zone 8a)

April 27, 2007
4:41 AM

Post #3435870

Hydrangeas do well with morning sun and afternoon shade.
kathy1955
Mchenry, IL
(Zone 5a)

April 27, 2007
8:02 AM

Post #3436079

my favorite hydrangea is the oakleaf. it is huge & beautiful.im telling you the porcelin berry vine is great on a trellis, or arbor. i have 3 growing in full shade. they get the most beautiful bluish purple florescent berries after the first year and they produce babies readily. 2 of mine are climbimg all the way up the trellis to the giant pines. i had 5 babies last year. as soon as the weather gets better i will see if i have any babies and maybe i can ship you one. kathy
ecrane3
Dublin, CA
(Zone 9a)

April 27, 2007
10:08 AM

Post #3436539

Porcelain berry is very invasive in some parts of the country
NewNHplanter
Manchester, NH

April 27, 2007
6:24 PM

Post #3438045

Wow- This forum is great for info. Thank you all so much. You guys are great. I am researching lots of plants now - I had great plans to plant some stuff this weekend but its supposed to be rainy and cloudy all weekend. I am due to have a baby in 5 weeks so I hope I can get some plants in the ground before then. : O)
Nhbabs - does concord sell the compost or will they give it to you for free? I am going to call manchester and see if they will give it out. Great suggestion.
NewNHplanter
Manchester, NH

April 27, 2007
6:58 PM

Post #3438174

a couple questions I have come accross. Meadrow Rue- does it spread rapidly? If I plant it do I have to worry about it spreading accross my whole garden?
Also I was thinking of planting creeping phlox alongside my walkway to the front door- My sister in law mentioned that once its done flowering its sort of ugly.. she suggested planting something in between plox plants. Anyone have any suggestions or experience with phlox alongside a path?? Again its in the area that is partial shade and only gets a few hours of am sun.
Also I want a smaller flowering tree.. I was thinking about a flowering dogwood or a weeping cheery- Anyone have any suggestions?? thanks

This message was edited Apr 27, 2007 6:13 PM
1gardengram
Fayetteville, NC
(Zone 8a)

April 27, 2007
8:35 PM

Post #3438534

Creeping phlox is evergreen and just sits there growing laterally during the summer months. I've never thought of it as ugly, but you could plant creeping thyme along with it, as that stays bright green all summer. They will both cascade over the front of your boxes. So will Candy Tuft, but it might take more sun. You can look for other creeping plants that can grow all in the same space. Or plant summer/fall flowering bulbs under the creeping plants. Then no one will notice if a ground cover is not as gorgeous as it was in its particular season.

Rainy and cloudy weather is the very best for planting, unless it's a monsoon. Maybe you can sneak out between showers.
kathy1955
Mchenry, IL
(Zone 5a)

April 29, 2007
6:35 AM

Post #3442762

new nh planter, what zone are you? i have creeping phox in shade and as long as i keep it watered( tree roots) it stays green all summer its blooming now.i dont think its ugly... i live on the illinois/ wisconsin border . zone 5( although i like to buy plants for zone 4 because they need less protection) my porcelin berry vine is not at all invasive here, but we have cold winters here, sometimes -20 wind chill. i like sweet woodruff for a ground cover it smells heavenly, and after it blooms it stays low & green.i have not had luck with creeping tyme in my shade bed it does well in full sun for me. the weeping cherry does well for me in afternoon sun. its blooming now. they have them at home depot for 39.99, you could plant epimedium, . it too is blooming now and the leaves stay green till frost and get a beautiful pink tinge later in the season, it is about 8" high at max. mine is in full shade. my neighbors have dogwood and they are huge and quite invasive here. the roots keep preventing the stuff on my side of the fence from growing, they are about 10 ft. tall and 5 ft wide. good luck & happy planting, kathy
1gardengram
Fayetteville, NC
(Zone 8a)

April 29, 2007
6:42 AM

Post #3442769

I also have pachysandra in a bed along the front of my house under a huge Japanese maple tree. The very end of the bed gets some afternoon sun, which is pretty hot in the summer. It is about 6 or 8" tall and stays green year-round. I planted it in the spring of 2005 and it bloomed this year for the first time. The bloom stalks were not much taller than the plants. It doesn't require any care except weeding and it doesn't require much water. I guess I need to take a picture of it.
ecrane3
Dublin, CA
(Zone 9a)

April 29, 2007
9:53 AM

Post #3443278

kathy--you mentioned that you have little baby porcelain vines, I'm assuming those were growing on their own in your garden and not seeds that you gathered and started? If so then it probably is invasive or at least fairly aggressive in your area, all you're seeing is the results of the berries that the birds didn't eat or dropped right next to the vine, you're not seeing the babies from all the berries that they ate and then dropped later somewhere else. According to this, it's on WI's list of invasive and noxious weeds.
http://plants.usda.gov/java/invasiveOne?pubID=WI&sort=sciname&format=Print
It's obviously up to you what you do with yours, but it shows up on this sort of list for quite a few states so I want to make sure anyone else really thinks twice before planting it.
kathy1955
Mchenry, IL
(Zone 5a)

May 1, 2007
8:33 AM

Post #3450169

porcelinn berry vine is very well behaved here as i mentioned b 4 it dies back completely in winter.i am sure it is invasive in zones south of me.people here in the midwest love it. i also heard wisteria is invasive in southern zones. i doesnt grow to well here. i have a neighbor who as had one for 13 years and it has never flowered.and grows slowly. i guess it depends on your zone.happy gardening. kathy here creeping charlie is our worst enemy.
ecrane3
Dublin, CA
(Zone 9a)

May 1, 2007
9:58 AM

Post #3450511

I think perhaps you and I are using the word invasive differently. I think you are using it to mean aggressive, one of those vines that grows huge and takes over the world which Ampelopsis is not. I'm using it to mean plants that escape cultivation and can cause problems in natural areas by taking the place of native plants (this is the definition that is used by the people putting together the lists of invasive plants). If it's invasive in WI, I'm pretty sure it's that way in IL too, maybe you haven't seen it because the birds eat the berries and drop them in someone else's yard or in parks & open spaces near you. Like I said before, I'm not trying to tell you what to do with your plant, but I want anyone else who may be considering planting this to really think twice.
NewNHplanter
Manchester, NH

May 1, 2007
5:59 PM

Post #3452164

I am zone 5- But alot of people have said to plant trees for zone 3-4.
I saw those weeping cherry trees at home depot- I think that is what I should get-
Its supposed to be 32 degrees tomorrow night here ( spring takes FOREVER to show up) if I throw a blanket over my flowers that I planted will that protect them from the frost???
kls_01
Champaign, IL
(Zone 5b)

May 1, 2007
7:13 PM

Post #3452394

Here's a link to something I had posted...it sounds like we have the same light requirements for our gardens. There were a lot of good suggestions on it. I liked the heucheras...also, vinca, aka periwinkle is a ground cover and I think is evergreen.

http://davesgarden.com/forums/t/712335/
RoseWolf
Spanaway, WA

May 1, 2007
8:12 PM

Post #3452631

I have been watching Cisco Morris for quite some time now and have noticed he seems to use alphalfa meal for just about everything. What kinds of plants is it good for?

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