North Dakota plant suggestions neededforgive my ignorance

Mid-Cape, MA(Zone 7a)

Forgive my ignorance. . . I realize this is a very general question but I don't know how else to get information. I am a transplanted Californian now living on Cape Cod (zone 7a) , who wants to create a Memory Garden here in honor of my dear father. He hailed from Lisbon, North Dakota, graduated from UND, and remained a proud son of Dakota even though he lived his later life in California. My garden would be about 10' x 10', and I'd be interested in both sun and shade tolerant plants, perennials and annuals. I plan to put in a Prairie Rose, but are there any other plantings that are particularly relevant to North and South Dakota, or maybe to the upper Midwest? As I said, forgive my ignorance. . .

south central, WI(Zone 5a)

No ignorance..just different zone.
Anything with his name, hobbies? Daylilies (dormant and SEV would certainly make it), iris (bearded and Siberian) and hostas. Between the 3, must have every name, description, color etc in the book.
Penstemon "Husker Red", the tall sedums like "Autumn Joy", Tarda tulips,daffodils of all types, meadow rue, primroses, peonies, Christmas ferns, butterfly weed and butterfly bush, rudbeckia, ..
Off hand , the above mix was from a mental run around my garden of plants that I don't pamper and haven't had bug/disease problems with. Tall larkspur is a nice re-seeding annual and isn't bulky so doesn't obscure other plantings.

good luck

Middleton, WI(Zone 4b)

just a thought http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/160777/

Mid-Cape, MA(Zone 7a)

Oh Marcia, I thank you so much for your detailed list--good to see that several of your suggestions are for plants that I like already and that also are resistant to bug/diseases. And some from your list are new to me, like the tall larkspur, Tarda tulips and the "Husker Red" penstemon. I really appreciate your thoughts.

And thanks to you, duck-toller, for the suggestion of Dakota Mock Vervain, which I would never have thought of--it sounds great. In fact, because of you I just used the word "Dakota" in a search of the DG PlantFiles and found that there are LOTS of plants with Dakota in their name. Love that! . . . and through this search I was reminded of potatoes, which I'd love to plant! My mother's family was in the potato-seed business in Arnegaard, ND! (Yup, I'm a Dakotan on both sides. Ya, you betcha.)

Anyway, I'm inspired by both of you and thank you for your suggestions. I feel really good about making a Dakota garden for my dad. Thank you.

south central, WI(Zone 5a)

You are very welcome. I have a memory garden of my own and add to it when find just the right thing.

Mount Prospect, IL(Zone 5b)

You could also look into Shasta Daisies (Leucanthum) and coneflowers (Echinea). They are prairie natives and there's lots of different cultivars, they are very tough and zero care.

Mid-Cape, MA(Zone 7a)

I didn't realize that the Shastas and coneflowers were prairie natives. I love both of them and they are reliable, disease-resistant flowers here on the Cape.

I had no idea that so many of the prairie-friendly plants are those who do well here on the Cape too. Makes me feel closer to my dad, somehow. Thanks.

Saint Bonifacius, MN(Zone 4a)

Shasta Daisy (Chrysanthemum maximum) is native to parts of Europe, not anywhere in North America. You do see Ox-eye daisy in the wild here, but that is also an ivasive from the old world. There are native daisy-looking wildflowers, but to my knowledge, there are no daisies related to Shastas (Leucanthum sp.) that are native to the Upper Midwest.

Many Coneflowers (Echinacea spp., Ratibida spp.) are native to the Dakotas, along with several wild sunflowers (Helianthemum, Heliopsis).

you are right, it is interesting how a lot of prairie plants find comfortable refuge in certain niches, even when the major ecosystem is forest or shoreline. I find many in the rocky areas of northeastern Minnesota - which is generally boreal forest.

Mount Prospect, IL(Zone 5b)

Leftwood, you are correct, Shasta daisies are native to Europe but are widely naturalized here. I am mixing up my native and non-native plants, I'm afraid.

Mid-Cape, MA(Zone 7a)

Quoting:
Many Coneflowers (Echinacea spp., Ratibida spp.) are native to the Dakotas, along with several wild sunflowers (Helianthemum, Heliopsis).

Leftwood, I'd forgotten about sunflowers, which I love. What would be the best way to identify wild sunflowers to plant in my dad's garden? I'm a novice at this, and have only planted seeds of the usual giant types.


Saint Bonifacius, MN(Zone 4a)

Actually, I am not too learned on the subject of wild sunflowers either. In fact I forgot the other main genus, Helianthus, which the annual garden sunflower belongs to. Of course, the wild ones do not have large flowers, but have many of them. They should be easy to spot in the meadow/roadsides/prairies now as they are in full bloom. There are selected cultivars sold at regular nurseries, and you can get a taste of the kinds from a prairie nursery like Prairie Moon or Landscape Alternatives and the like.

Most don't get this large, but this would be an example of a selection:.
http://plantdelights.com/Catalog/Current/Detail/04212.html

Mid-Cape, MA(Zone 7a)

Thank you, Leftwood. I am glad to be reminded of Helianthus--which I have seen and really like because they are so floriferous. Thanks also for the suggestions of sources to find them.
I am so appreciative of everyone's advice. I think I need to dig up even more lawn to create a bigger bed for my dad.

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