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Beginner Flowers: Suggestions for perennials in raised beds

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zeoplum
Mobile, AL
(Zone 8b)

May 17, 2007
2:46 PM

Post #3507081

Hi. I'm taking suggestions for easy-to-grow (nothing finicky) perennials for a full-sun raised bed in zone 8b.

For flowers, it doesn't have to be fragrant, but would love to have something pretty for cuttings.

For plants, I'm open. I'm especially drawn to gold and non-verigated varieties.

Looking forward to your suggestions!

Thank you,
Stephanie
WeeNel
Ayrshire Scotland
United Kingdom

May 18, 2007
8:10 PM

Post #3511781

Hi Stephanie, I could give you lots of sugestions, but dont know how long your bed is or how tall you want the plants to eventualy grow, I know it is full sun, that helps a bit, is water avaliable etc as perenniels take a good bit of watering or they will set seed too quickly and have a short season so it all depends on thing like that,
Here are a few sugestions you can think about,IF they suit your climate.
Bulbs, corms or tubers.
Lilies, (Bulbs, tall or med)
Gladiolus, (Bulb, " ")
IRIS ( Bulb OR Tiber, (Tall med and small)
Hosta (Bulbs various sahades if grens, MED and small)
Freesia (bulbs) all colours, some perfumed)
Plants
Acanthus, Tall
Delphiniums (tall and Med)
Nepeta, (Med,or short) wide spread)
Lavender, (med perfumed)" "
Phlox ( med) lots of colours
Penstemon (med) Lots of colours
Poppies, (med, or tall) Red pinks, etc
Euphorbias, ( tall med) lovely leaves, or flowers, Toxic to some people and animals, I grow mine at back of border
Roses, (shrub, Bush) all colours tallor med
Astilbe (med) lots of colours
Dianthus (small or med) lots of colours
Lavatera, (Med or tall)
Paeonies, Tubers (Quite tall) lots of colours, nice leaves,
Dahlia, Tubers (Med, Tall) lots of colours, shapes and flower sizes.
I could go on and on, Steph but as I dont know anything about your raised bed other than it is in full sun, I dont want to confuse things.
you might want to add a few low growing shrubs or plants like ground covers, also as all these flowers will leave the bed bare in winter you might not want that.
Hope it gets you onto a start though.
Good luck.
WeeNel.



zeoplum
Mobile, AL
(Zone 8b)

May 18, 2007
9:12 PM

Post #3511938

Hi WeeNel,

Thank you for your response. Do Hostas do well in full-sun? I was under the assumption they were for shady gardens.

As for some specifics, I haven't created the bed yet. But I plan to make it about 12 inches deep and it'll be about 8 feet by 4 feet. I'd actually like to avoid planting anything that gets too stressed by transplanting because my husband may need to move the bed once he landscapes the back yard. But that won't happen until next year and I can't wait that long.

As for irrigation, I'll be watering by hand with a hose and nozzle that has multiple settings on it.

Also, aren't roses a bit finicky? I'm definitely wanting to avoid finicky flowers and plants for now, until I get the hang of what I'm doing.

So does that help narrow the list any?
BSD
Conway, SC

May 19, 2007
3:03 AM

Post #3512993

Here's a perennial bed that I have. It is 3'w by 15'long.
Begin with :
Shasta daisies (white)-----Sage (lavender/purple)---Coneflower (pink)-- Veronica (I think this is in the sage family--has nice white spiked blooms---Mexican petunia (pink or purple) Rudbeckia "Goldstrom" is large yellow blooms--
On the outer edge I have Candy tuft (sp?) This is a low growing mounded evergreen that is covered with white blooms in early spring. Throw in some Gerbera daisies if you need more color.
These are all tried and true perennials that I have had for many years. They can all be moved when you desire to do so.
Good luck!
NatureLover1950
Vicksburg, MS
(Zone 8a)

May 19, 2007
2:32 PM

Post #3513840

BSD has some good ones listed. Here are a few others that I have (tried and true). Stokes Astor (butterflies love it!), coreopsis, day lily, and blanketflower. The nice thing about several of these is that they will self seed if you leave a few spent blooms on the plant toward the end of their bloom cycle. Some of these self-seeders are: coneflower, blanketflower, coreopsis and Rudbeckia (blackeyed Susan). Once you've let them self sow, you can very easily move the volunteer plants. I've done this to create new beds. When they are small they move easily and show little to no signs of transplant stress. Shasta daisy, day lily and Mexican petunia will increase through their roots and you can take divisions from them.
WeeNel
Ayrshire Scotland
United Kingdom

May 19, 2007
5:11 PM

Post #3514172

Hi Steph, WeeNel back, between all replies, you have a great selection of plant to put in your bed, as for Hosta's in full sun, I agree that for me, they grow best in some shade, however, that dont meen the whole bed has to be in shade, they can be shaded from the scorch of sun by planting them UNDER some taller plants, that will shade them a little, it wont matter so much about having to move your Perennials, IF you do it either before growth starts next year or AFTER they die down for the season, I have had to move plants even in between that, and with a good bit of soil on the roots, they do OK so long as you give them lots of water.
As for roses, yes they can be a bother to some people, and would avoid them IF you are going to have to move them within the first year as they need time to settle and put on good roots, then you need to prune them depending on type.
If you are to empty this bed and move the plants, and saying you are new to gardening,, why not start off with some good annials, that way you will get used to looking after your plants, enjoy the show they put on for you, and experiment with colour, to be honest, where I live, Scotland UK, I dont get a great show from my Perennials till second year and there after, like all plants they need time to build up a good root system, however Annials by nature have to germinate, grow, flower and form next years seeds, ALL IN THE ONE YEAR, so forming a good root system and surviving is second nature to them, there are some wonderul annuals that will give you great effect for just the one season and when you empty the bed to move it, you are not loosing any plant as they have done their bit for you anyway. this will also give you a chance to grow some perennials from seed as you normaly grow them one year, transplant into pots and THEN plant them in the place you want them to grow the following year because they are by then, hardy enough to go into the beds and seeds are much cheeper than buying plants garden ready, you will also get some experience as to germination, careing for and planning what to put where.
Sorry if this is long, but I think you need time to get to grips with expectations because you now say you will have to move your bed elsewhere next year, the size of your bed sounds OK to me, but deeper would be better if pos, it seems long enough and wide enough also,
it would be a good idea if you get time, to go to your library and look for a few books on gardening as they have a wealth of information, just remember, what will grow for me, might not suit your area but in most cases, you can alter conditions to accomodate that with practice, gardening is all about learning so dont expect to get everything just right on your first go, I have had things that tell me they are easy to grow and are dead before you can say good choise, and others that say need a lot of care and experience, well they seem to grow like Pinoccio's nose, so we dont always get things right.
Hope this helps a little Steph, good luck and happy gardening.
WeeNel.
d12345

May 19, 2007
5:45 PM

Post #3514226

I'm looking at one of the "crown of thorns," think that something called "Valentine" might suit for a year round flowering plant. Anyone have any comments about it ot other crown varieties?
BSD
Conway, SC

May 19, 2007
6:24 PM

Post #3514286

Crown of Thorns is a tropical, tender perennial. In our zone 8 b, they are usually treated as houseplants. I keep mine in my sunroom in the winter then under my carport in the spring/summer. It only gets morning sun. They do not like our full sun which means 90-100 degrees in the summer. Neither do they like our winters if the temp get below 40. They are beautiful plants.
81302
Central, WI
(Zone 4b)

May 19, 2007
10:33 PM

Post #3514867

I see you are winning the battle of putting in more flowers this year. Way to go:-) Agree with WeeNel that annuals would be your best choice since you think you might end up moving the bed. Starting from seed is cheaper but but time consuming and extends time until you have blooms. Lots of advantages to annuals. As WeeNel noted, most perennials take until the second year to put on much of a show. It is far easier to find annuals that have really long bloom periods and it gives you an opportunity to try color combinations and textures before investing in perennials that you might not like. Also makes it much easier with not having to move plants.
Happy Gardening!

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