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need suggestions

St. Louis County, MO(Zone 5a)

We had a large fountain at church surrounded by coleus in shade last year. A storm took out the tree, the tree took out the fountain. I now have a sunny flower bed.

I would like to grow something that will visually look like sort of like a fountain, 3 levels of plants. I have tentatively decided on orange zinnias as the middle plant and red wave petunias as the floor level. I would like a bright yellow (I think) taller plant as the centerpiece, but can't think of what plant to use.

I know this is a container forum, but you all have such wonderful skills putting plants together I thought perhaps you could make suggestions.

I am also open to totally different plants, the only requirement is nearly full sun.

Thank you all for any help you may provide.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Canna is my first thought. They do have a yellow cultivar and a yellow streaked with reddish orange.

Lewisville, TX(Zone 7b)

I agree with you Pirl.. I thought of Cannas also. Cannas can also be found in orange.

One thought I had was that the petunias could grow as tall as your zinnias unless you made sure you got the "Giant" Zinnias. Red Salvia is also a nice size with "feathered/layered" like flowers.

Rockport, ME(Zone 5b)

Cathy4, do you want to use only annuals? My first thought was a spray of interesting grass in the middle.

St. Louis County, MO(Zone 5a)

Thanks everyone! You are great!

Drumlin, I've looked at the grass, but we have several other areas with tall grass so I'm not sure I want to repeat that. Pirl and Cindy, the cannas sound interesting, that would work even without the flowers at first. My petunias are the spreading kind, the zinnias are supposed to be 18-24 inches, so I think that will work. Yellow Salvia has been on my maybe list, I have a large pot that could raise them up in the center.

Hubby and I have been changing the beds over to perennials out away from the courtyard, and until the tree came down had a solid background base of different hosta, we use annuals for color. This bed is the main interest so I really do want it to be bright. The coleus last year were amazing, I was so sad to see that bed crashed under a huge oak.

Thanks for the suggestions, I'll think I'll head out and look at the cannas.

Las Vegas, NV(Zone 9a)

I have Tropicana I can send you. Just dug up about 100. D-Mail me your address. Sharon Winter

Thumbnail by WormsLovSharon
(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

What a generous offer, Sharon! That's so very nice of you.

St. Louis County, MO(Zone 5a)

Oh Sharon! I was looking online and thought I'd have to try something else because of the price. I'll gladly send postage back.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Sharon is a blessing, Cathy.

St. Louis County, MO(Zone 5a)

Sharon is a true blessing, but so your you, pirl.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Aw, thanks, Cathy.

When you get Sharon's package you'll see just how generous she is.

Las Vegas, NV(Zone 9a)

No postage is needed Cathy. The birds are just starting to sing. The sun must be coming up. Have a great day.

St. Louis County, MO(Zone 5a)

Then I promise to pass it forward. I start lots of veggie plants for sharing, I'll share them thinking of you. Hugs hugs hugs!

Hallowell, ME

Just from a man's perspective may I suggest using Verbascum Southern Charm or the yellow foxglove digitalis grandiflora.

St. Louis County, MO(Zone 5a)

Thanks Frank, I'll look them up, if not in that bed maybe another. There are quite a few beds and I like to use different plants so it isn't boring and like all the commercial gardens around town.

Added: gorgeous suggestions, I want them both for the church gardens. thanks again!

Pittsford, NY(Zone 6a)

Just a note: Verbascums are huge plants. Those measurments are real.

Windsor, CT(Zone 6a)

Sunflowers may be just the thing for the center. Tall & cheery. And yellow!

I like white cleome mixed with zinnias in a dense planting. A nice combo of delicate & bold.

Lewisville, TX(Zone 7b)

If you are going to plant sunflowers the variety called "Lemon Queen" is recommended as it is the best to save the honey bees that are endangered. There is no fear of getting stung with honey bees as they are "busy bodies". The bee watcher's society has asked anyone planting sunflowers to go with this specific named seed. (thanks).

St. Louis County, MO(Zone 5a)

thanks everyone, I'm still trying to decide, we plant the first weekend in May if the weather is good, snow predicted this weekend but it won't last.

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