(susie) Hastings, MI(Zone 5a)

WELCOME Come share " Your garden 's BEST GROWERS " Tell us about the type of plants that Grow well for you .
Don't forget to share your ZONE That your Growing in .

To Start with I Would like to Get a few Ideas as to Revamp this Spot . as of right now there is DAYLILIES & MUM'S Planted all around the outside of this area
an old stump in the Middle also Variegated Ornamental Grass In the back with 6 Butterfly bushes also But nothing really in the middle of this area .

So looking for what you might think will grow here in this spot .


Hope you will come share your IDEAS . our winter projects :)

Thumbnail by deejay9
Blue Ridge Mtns, VA(Zone 7a)

Saving a seat. Thanks for starting the thread, Susie.

Somerset, KY(Zone 6b)

I would make sure to plant flowers and plants that attract butterflys to the area. And I would love to have it be colorful with the flowers and plants with colorful, and interesting leaves

brainerd, MN(Zone 4a)

Saving my seat too :)

Kiowa, CO(Zone 5b)

Hi...I'm here!!! LOL. Ok susie...Got some questions for ya...Is this garden to be viewed mainly from 1 side or as a destination to be walked around and viewed from all sides? It will make a difference as to where you should place the taller plant material. How tall do your butterfly bushes get and are they all the same color? (and are we talking about the late summer bush or the spring bloomers?

How close to the house is this garden? I do have a few great plants for attracting those Hawk Moths...and seed if you don't have. The Lunar moths are night seeking nectar freaks!! Lol. And one way to attract them is evening fragrance and long tubular flowers. The flowers I have seen them frequent most in my garden are: 1. Datura metaloides, they will start easily in the garden and can get to 3-4ftx3-4ft.. White flowers are large with fragrance in the evening thru the night. They will reseed insitu. 2. The Nicotianas are wonderful and my favs for attracting the moths. Just to let you know there are many to choose from, mine are the fragrant varieties..... A) N. sylvestris, gets tall, topping out at 4-6ft, long flowers hang down, white only, I always have to start these indoors and have never had them start out, they need warmth and controlled conditions, I start mine in Feb or March under lights and they are worth it, rarely have I found them available in commerce as plants, believe me they are worth the effort. B) N. x sandersae (I have Heaven Scent and an all purple. Heaven Scent hangs down til early dusk and upright as the evening progresses and allowing the fragrance to exude and I'm telling you it's just yummy!!!!!!! The other one is Purple and newer to cultivation, it's flowers are more upright but again not fragrant til evening and all three continue til mid morning and sometimes on cloudy days. Both of the N. sandersaes will grow from seed thrown into the garden and will sprout when they are ready in the spring....I am including seed in the box when it gets to me for Datura m. and N. x sandersae Heaven
Scent and a few of the purple... Just to let you know there are a few others that are N. and fragrant....but those that are bought at most nurseries are the NON fragrant varieties!!!!!!! The reason I ask how close this garden is to the house is the fragrance that these flowers have, and it's wonderful to have an open window in the summer. Personally I have had a bench in the garden for night time so I can just sit and enjoy the show and such wonderful fragrances that permiate the evening...The more the merrier....This is one of my favs for filling in garden space as perenns. mature, So I have allowed them to reseed at will and are easy to edit out (pull).

Ok....So what is the tree? and did you put it there or seeded in? Gotta know how big it will get and if you'll have problems in the future with roots being a problem to dig in and around. What color's are the Daylilies? (are there any fulvas as they are root runners and multiply to the side with shoots popping up a foot away eventually making a large patch or are they true clumpers? What size are your mums (borders at 12-18" or the taller varieties? and colors?)

Do you like the English cottage effect? It's my personal favorite, garden bed is filled from front to back, no soil shows as all plant material eventually touches, this also helps to shade out weed seed from sprouting.

So far this is the best pix I have of the English Cottage effect, still waiting for a few plants to fill into each other and having mass color. I try to make sure I have taller in the back and shorter as it gets closer to the path. I also like to make sure I have some great all season bloomers. One of the best things about these long bloomers is instead of just deadheading your flowers you can actually get fresh bouquets the whole season. It also prevents that hacked look when you have to cut back a whole clump of flowers and then wait for weeks for it to begin rebooming. And when you only cut a few stems (from each plant) for the vase it's less noticable that any material has been removed at all.......

Take this pix as an example....most all of the plant material is all season bloom, the exception is the Penstemon strictus (Rocky Mountain Blue) (here 3-5 plants), this plant blooms only in Juneish and then it's done,it get's cut back to only about 4-6" (unless I'm collecting seed and then the stalks are 30-36", and it does reseed (as many of you know whom I shared with in the trades or should I say will find out,lol, but again thats only if allowed). This is an area I might want to consider planting some annuals that will bush out and bloom after the P. is done. That way there is no gap but it's totally acceptable just to leave the tufts of P. and the green effect. Ideas could be some of the nicotiana or say maybe zinnias.

In front of that is a unopened catanche carulea (Cupids Dart) (I have blue and a straight white here in this spot), another all seasoon bloomer and a reseeder, but hasn't produced any babies yet, I'm hoping for a patch also. Clockwise to the left is Lavendula angustifolia (Munstead), another great all season bloom, here just beginning. Again several plants were placed 3-5. Continueing is Veronica spicata (Sight Seeing -Blue), a tall variety that I haven't seen offered as seed for a number of years (28", most only get 14-20"). It's another of my favs as it blooms blue and blooms early (late May -e. June) and blooms til frost. Center is a Malva (the pink, not sure which one, maybe Party Girl), at 30-36", another all season bloom, (This year I noticed a few babies that are going to be white, so editing will be necessary. Last fall I took out the reseeding wild sunfllowers and planted some Eupatorium m.(Joe Pye Weed) in the far back along with Aster Lady In Black which should get to 4 ft and the Eup 5-6ft. And a few accents of Campanula pyramidalis which get to 5ft and are biennial. The campanulas are rather narrow (6-8" wide)but will top out at 4-6ft, with blue hanging bell type flowers, and fit nicely inbetween other plants. Yet won't be missed when they are done blooming. Just a nice early summer verticle accent. One thing I could consider for later in the season would be a few of Lilium Chinese Trumpet lilies at 5-6ft (Easter lily fragrance). They would bloom later and add great visual interest along with wonderful fragrance. Dotted around in the back with the taller plants and would peek out, placing them in the back would help to hold them in place as they bloom. Or I could take some of the lilies from pix 2 and place them behind the Malva or to the side of the Daisies. I'm not trying to confuse you, just get you to look at the bigger picture and think about the bloom progression of plants you have available in your own garden... What you are trying to do is create little vinnetts (sp?) of flowers. a grouping of flowers that will let the eye flow from plant to plant, nothing jarring or would look out of place. To me the sunflowers did that, wrong color for the effect that I am trying to create with this area. but I will keep them somewhere else in the garden with the proper setting (reds, oranges and yellows). Remember these are my personal prefrences... Some people like mixing hot and cool colors together, just remember it will tend to make the eye move past them for something more comfortalbe and soothing to view if there are clashes going on. See, now that's another area of the garden I need to work on, a vinnette of the warmer colors that will then flow into another section of cooler colors. We can dicuss more ideas for that later.

So now susies must sit down at some point this winter, lol, like you have time... No, just sit down and do some daydreaming.... what do you want to acheive....warm or cool, how far from the house is it...this can help in determining what colors to place in this section. Dark colored flowers will totally disappear (purples) when viewed from a distance, that why I was asking the color of the buddleias at the back of the border. If they are in fact purple could we add some lighter colored accent plants behind them so they can visually be seen from a distance. It may seem daunting but it's not as bad as you might think....thats also why I was asking what plant material is available, not just what's in there now, (can still D-mail me and I will draw something up for you if your interested in the Cottage effect). It might be just some regrouping or moving some things into this bed, that will help create that AHHH Wow that's Beautiful!! The main thing is that people fail to do is plant in groups, 3,5,7s. This will give a block affect and not a polka dot effect, (and I'm guilty of that one myself too, like I say I have much to do in my beds). It may take me YEARS to achieve what I want, but I have I have the plants and now I just need to organize them in a way that is pleasing to me, after it's my garden!!! LOL!!! Just remember, There are rules for gardening.....and if you don't like them just throw them out!!! lol. So I've rambled on enough for this post...geez lady are you done For now... Just for thought.

Thumbnail by warriorswisdomkathy Thumbnail by warriorswisdomkathy
(susie) Hastings, MI(Zone 5a)

.Q : .Is this garden to be viewed mainly from 1 side or as a destination to be walked around and viewed from all sides? It will make a difference as to where you should place the taller plant material.

A Mostly will be Veiwed East to west as you drive in the driveway .

Q: How tall do your butterfly bush?
A: Each is a different color Lav, Blue, Honeycomb, & Pinkish

Q: what is the tree?
A: Oat : but small yet

Q: Type of DL's
A: NO fulvas

Q: What size are your mums
A (borders at 12-18" many colors )

Q:English Cottage effect ?
A: Yes Filled in full for the Birds & Butterfly friendly garden But also Spring to Fall BLOOMS

this garden is quite aways from the House so i will have to take my flashlight out for a nightly walk :))) I was hoping to maybe grow Lotsa
Nicotina, larkspur, Lupines, Zinnias, Clomes, Tall plants on the back side witch is the right side of pic:)

well it is late I just got home from a shopping spree with my friend my feet are tuckered out :))) as is my body :) I will try to
give more info as i can think better with my coffee in the morning but you have given me lots to think about.

(Pam) Warren, CT(Zone 5b)

Wow! Kathy, lots of food!!! I've been waiting to see what you would say, and it's a doozie! You really covered a lot of ground (lol, oops, sorry, couldn't help it!).

Sooo.. I agree about the polka-dot effect. I've been guilty of that for years, but finally some things have multiplied enough for me to get a little substance from them, and I can start working toward more cohesion in the overall look. I also love the cottage effect, and it goes well with our house and surroundings.

Obviously annuals will keep going all summer, and many of the ones mentioned will reseed profusely- Cleome, nicotiana, larkspur, for instance. I love nicotianas especially, faves are N Langsdorfii (the green bells in Pic 4, a volunteer) and white Alata Fragrant Cloud,. Another favorite re-seeder is Verbena Bonariensis (with the butterfly), great later in the season and a good filler.

Perennials will give some stability to the design, you can use the volunteer annuals to fill in. How about phlox for the back? Wonderful color up until frost and no trouble.

Hummingbird moths love my Alliums (12"), among other things, and would look good with what's there already. They bloom later also, and spread themselves around nicely. I now have several clumps.

This message was edited Dec 7, 2012 4:55 AM

Thumbnail by Pfg Thumbnail by Pfg Thumbnail by Pfg Thumbnail by Pfg
(susie) Hastings, MI(Zone 5a)

I Sure hope you ladies Are goingto be in the 2013 Plant swaps :))) I Love your Ideas :) so anything that is a reseeder can be planted right out side in the fall or even as winter sowed right ???
I Have lottsa Tall PHLOX so i can plant some down there Not sure why but i have tried to plant The ORANGE Phlox & I cannot get it to grow here in z5 any idea as to why ?

pam what is pic #2 ? & do you have any Nicotina seeds? I need some red Plants & I Love Dk Blues any ideas ?
well i have to go over to MOOSVILLE its a Little Dairy farm that makes all their own cheese, butter, Ice Cream , & Much more
but they are also haven a huge Craft sale Just cannot stay away from this one :))) .
have a great day everyone .


(Pam) Warren, CT(Zone 5b)

Pic2 is Verbena Bonariensis. I usually start some of my faves inside, then put them where I want them, then let them go to seed. They are easy to move around if you catch them early. But you could try just scratching the soil a little and sowing them now or in early spring and see what happens. I'm pretty sure I put some Nicotiana in your envie, and I know I put V Bonariensis in the robin. I think someone else did, too.

I haven't done larkspur before, but I've been reading up on it and plan to do it this year. They say to WS it, then plant out hunks of seedlings-HOS- the first couple of years, it takes while to get a good show, then eventually it comes back on its own.

Of course I'll be in the plant swaps! I need a lot more stuff!

(Pam) Warren, CT(Zone 5b)

Pic1 is the Allium last year.
For red, how about Monarda, Bee Balm? It makes a great splash of color for several weeks. You could put it near the tree, it wouldn't mind the shade as the tree grows. I have it toward the back, with Siberian Iris, a large Nepeta- great for blue, btw, and a self-sowing white achillea.

Thumbnail by Pfg Thumbnail by Pfg Thumbnail by Pfg
(susie) Hastings, MI(Zone 5a)

ty for sharing pam I do have a red Bee balm but it dose not see to grow very tall not sure why. forgive me for being away
a few things i have to get done this weekend so may not get on much but will try to get back here soon miss ya all .

Athens, PA

Good Morning Ladies.

Susie - great thread

I too have problems with the polka dot effect. I am thinking some of my perennials should be big enough to divide into sections and replant. I am hoping for a more cohesive look.

(susie) Hastings, MI(Zone 5a)

I Guess I should take some classes on gardening I Feel that I Have lead a sheltered life "POKE-A-DOT Gardening COHESIVE Look ???
My gardens are just a PLAIN JANE Gardens & I would Really like to Brighten them up SO I'm Hoping to Learn from all of you :)
Since I Do not have any SHADE Trees as of yet I Thought I Would Plant a few Castor beans This will make sone shade & Add a Tropical
Look to the garden & I can add a few Shade loving plants I want to add a few POLEMONIUMS but they like some Sade also I Have some ferns up in that garden & They die off early for there is no shade at all for them.

Well I 'm going to go into town for a bit ya all have a great day & I will try to get back in later.

(Pam) Warren, CT(Zone 5b)

Good morning Susie... Maybe your Bee Balm would get taller with some shade, just a thought...mine survived for decades with no care in light-to-medium shade. I brought it forward into one bed, it needs regular watering in the hotter months. Didn't you say there's an Oak tree in the garden? Or near it? Eventually it will give you some shade, but I guess it will take a while, lol. But nothing good happens in a day, isn't that what they say? It's true about gardening, that's for sure!

Pic 1 is from 2007, the year I came to the garden. It's a wonderful spot, and although much serious gardening had been done there in the past, when I got there the beds were overgrown and overrun with all kinds of weeds and out-of-control perennials. The main list: Ferns, Raspberries, Tradescantia, Goldenrod, Bittersweet, a particularly pernicious vine called Apios Americana, and all the usual thugs: Jewelweed, Deer Tongue, grasses, Garlic Mustard, and lots more I can't remember or don't know the name of. And Ticks. The first year I found at least 1 every weekend, even 'suiting up' with socks, long sleeves and spray. Finally DH found 3 on himself at the same time, now we have a service come and spray regularly.

The garden is on a steep hill, terraced by stone retaining walls into 4 levels with a sleepy stream at the bottom. Pic shows Top and Middle Lawns. The long narrow section had just been cleared and replanted with a few shrub roses and not much else. Above are peonies and day lilies planted 30+- years ago by DH, who ran out of steam long before I came on the scene. Beyond the big box shrub are a Siberian Iris bed infested with many scourges, and below ditto minus the Sibs.
Pic 2, I made do with lots of Nasturtiums. Sometimes I think it never looked better!
Pic 3 is the Long Border, June-ish 2012. Getting closer all the time to the cottage effect I'm looking for. The top level had been cleared and left unplanted for a year while I fought some battles with invasives. The Sibs spent the year in pots, and I just replanted them last fall. This fall I added more peonies and spring/early bloomers in front of the Sibs, and will keep working to fill in front of them with longer/later flowering plants.
The deer nipped some essential color blocks, phlox especially, during a drought at the far end bottom level. Usually they leave me alone, but I've started spraying with Deer Fence just in case (ugh, stinky, but it works). The orange is Geum Totally Tangerine, a superstar for me. Farther down is Heuchera Coral Charm, another winner at this time of year, finally expanded enough to make a statement.
I've already done some re-arranging, will continue in the spring. In addition to other things, I see in this pic I need more blues coming up the border toward the camera!
Pic 4 the long view
Pic 5 later in the season, still missing the phlox :( The pink mound is Saponaria. This spring I put a peony grid up for it to grow through, which works great! Made it taller and not so floppy so it doesn't sprawl all over the plants in front of it. Makes it easy to shear off, too, after the first flush. Behind it, not blooming(!) are Phlox David's White, Laura (lavender) David's Lavender, Kathleen (lavender), a shorter white, and Tigerlilies, also gone for some reason, probably beetles.
My idea was to have lots of purple and blues to play off the Cotinus, and a pop of bright orange from the volunteer Tigerlily, but this year without the big flowers it fell flat. I think the original idea is too dark, anyway, even though there's quite a lot of white. I've added some more bright spots since then, also added some daylilies to the top level. I also have big plans for the spring. Next summer will show how that all works.
The Casablanca Lilies in the big barrel are about to bloom, Asiatic Centerfolds just going by. With them are a white Nicotiana (I thought it was alata, but the tags were mixed up and it turned out to be Sylvestris, too tall, too spindly, too late) and some Snapdragons (gone by), and I added a white non-vining Clematis, C integrifolia Alba, that I hope will hang 2-3' down the front of the barrel. The idea is all-season white flowers... A work in progress...

Edited to add info
This message was edited Dec 9, 2012 9:38 AM

This message was edited Dec 9, 2012 10:11 AM

Thumbnail by Pfg Thumbnail by Pfg Thumbnail by Pfg Thumbnail by Pfg Thumbnail by Pfg
Kiowa, CO(Zone 5b)

Carolyn...I think we all start out with the polka dot It's as the pallette expands that we decide that something like look fabulous planted next one of our other favs....Problems is when starting they are all favorites.. Or another I'm guilty of is....ooooh I like that plant, buy it, take it home and then, oh my, where am I going to put this? Lol. Will it get lost, or having to wait till it get's big enough to divide or get seed and grow more on so you can get to that point of mutiples...

I'm like Pam in a way....large area to cover, (my own choice tho). Here in pix 1, this is Valariana officinalis. Not really fitting into my scheme of things yet as a patch that will be coheasive.....but I loved the fragrance of it...It's only a spring bloommer at 3-4ft ht. After it's done blooming it will get cut back to 12-14" ht and stay green the rest of the season. So my present dilema is do I plant it toward the front of the border cuz it blooms early or place it at the back of the border because of it's height? (and then have little tufts at the back making it look like there is a gap....).. So far, I've got most at the back and fill in with reseeding comos (waiting for larger perenns to grow up and out). But it still has not multiplied for me yet, (was 'spose to reseed and hasn't yet). Pix 2, lower right is the valariana in bloom, I left one at the front to I could smell it when passing by, but this coming spring will have to decide if it get's relagated to the back of the border as it will begin looking out of place with it's shorter neighboring plants. Or I could plant more in the multiple rule and make it a statement...wanting to see beyond this plant to the next area down the path... then when cut back I could seed in something thin enough (root wise) but may bush a bit to over lap the shorter foliage and yet not a large enough root mass to disturb the Valariana. Another reason for liking reseeding My problems is I want as many blooms as possible going on at the same time...

So what will you be doing in your garden come spring, what are you going to be dividing? Tell us

And Pam just love pix 2 wow that's alot of color!!!! I love the draping down effect that you've created...And have often wondered if that's how some of those English Cottage beds have been made, (the bed itself actually being taller in the back or it's just the right placement of plants..... And Pam, do you not have any Iris or just not like them (german bearded?). And was wondering if you've tried growing Monarda Lambada yet since you like your monardas? It's in the lavender range and the flower is more teired, but it will bloom all summer and reseed too. ('spose to e hardy in z7 and south.) I love it and need to grow some this year, guess I better put that on my list of seed to Hey did you ever eat any of your nasturtiums yet, suppose to have a peppery tatse to them, Monet had masses of them in his gardens at Giverney. Just beautiful!! And I just still marvel at that peachie Geum, I don't know why but my eye gets drawn to it every time I see one of your pix of it....Maybe cuz it's not screaming....LOL.

Pix 3. Here's another small vinette, (at my daughter's garden), here I was after contrasting foliages and I just love this combo...Sad to say she has had me rip it out as the Hops vine was not to her liking...but I am thinking I will be adding this one to my garden this year. Plants are Centranthus ruber (pink, heaviest bloom in the spring, cut back and will still bloom but not as thick), Geranium Rozanne which just blooms and blooms all season (it does need deadheading but can be done frequenty to keep heavy bloom coming) and The chartreuce (sp) is Hops vine aures (golden hops), if it were upright could get to 20 ft, but here has been allowed to sprawl and gets yanked on to keep it in bounds. Wasn't planned, cuz the vine was actually suppose to be attatched to the side of the house and grow upward but never put anything up for it to grow vertically....

Thumbnail by warriorswisdomkathy Thumbnail by warriorswisdomkathy Thumbnail by warriorswisdomkathy
(susie) Hastings, MI(Zone 5a)

Kathy Put me down for the White plant in Pic 2 & also a Hops vine for our trade in Spring :))))
& Pam add me to the list for some orange Geum Totally Tangerine, when it is ready to share :))))

well I know for a fact My list of new plants will be huge this next season guess I better save up for another tiller :)))
so Jim can help till up more garden spots :))))

thank you both for sharing your gardens they are so beauty full .
GN All got to lay back Movie time with the kids soon .

Athens, PA

Susie - How are you?

Pam - Love the nasturtiums - nasturtiums some of my favorites.

Kathy - that is exactly what I do - either find a plant at the nursery and it is one of those "I have to have's" and cannot find a place to put it and yes, they are all my favorites! ^_^

I seemed to have a lot of different colors and I had thought I could both cool some of them down and pull the rest of them together if I added the blues. They didn't all pull together like I would have liked and I still am looking for that cohesiveness.

Somerset, KY(Zone 6b)

This is the area that I will be landscaping. For now I'm moving the logs in place for the border and filling the area with leaves, wood chips and top soil. The third picture is the size of my garden in the front yard right now. It is full of iris, poenies and serveral roses. I'm moving the logs and will enclose the whole front yard and extend the garden from the side fence to the driveway.

Thumbnail by marti001 Thumbnail by marti001 Thumbnail by marti001
Kiowa, CO(Zone 5b) in the world do you dig under that tree....? Lol.. Wow...looks like your going to have bunches of room in which to play....Have you taught the munchkins they can't play in the new garden

Carolyn...yes blues, purples and white are the go betweens. Any of these look good with hot or cool colors and make transitioning much easier...from oranges and yellows to pinks and reds.....

Sorry...I know now that I need to stand back and take more grouping pix of plants...guess I should remedy that this year. Pix 1 is an example of transitioning with blue...around my yellow centaurea I have oranges and other yellows, and blue would look great next to any of these...

pix 2 is an area I would like to work on this summer cuz after the babies breath (Gypsophila paniculata) is done blooming say late Juneish, I'm stuck with another hole as the BB gets cut back to 6-12"..not sure how much room there is to work with as the BB's have reseeded and would crowd any other plants...So this is a scene that needs some eyeballing to come up with solutions as it can be seen from two different paths. (The posts are there for many of my clems to grow on, (again more editing as the plants in the garden begin to fill their locations I can now move the clems to other spots for verticle statements within the border itself instead of holding areas where it was easier to keep them lavished with Do I have enough room at the back of the BB's to plant some late tall things...I will have to see, just behind is a vast quantity of Hesperis matronalis (lav/purple ,48", hundreds of plants) which is also done in early I have to figure out what I'm going to do in this area. But I diffinately need some late summer bloomers that are tall and in the cool range of colors...Could look at some more Joe-Pyes or if I could get mine to do there thing again is Boltonia asteroides (pink gets 5ftX5ft, white gets 4ftx4ft and both have thousands of 11/2" aster flowers from mid July til frost). They would be billowing outward and might cover some of the shorter BB's mounds.

Pix 3&4..this is an instance where the gold/yellow Rudbeckia is out of place with the other flowers around it..Pix 3 is at the back of the border, pix 4 is in most of this flower bed are lavs., purples, blues and pinks. That one plant is throwing off the whole scene and makes it clash, but I do like the echoing of the pinks, they are pretty darn close to being the same shade...and to the side not showing is Centranthus ruber which is a deeper pink.

Pix 5 here a combo that is happenstance...I already had the pink Gypsophila repens there (6-9"), and just threw in the Caliroe i. (4-6"ht, magenta) cuz there was an open spot at the end of the season for one of those impulse buys...hmmm thinking I like this, just wanna add more to what surrounds both.... I planted some things around it this fall but darned if I can remembere

Thumbnail by warriorswisdomkathy Thumbnail by warriorswisdomkathy Thumbnail by warriorswisdomkathy Thumbnail by warriorswisdomkathy Thumbnail by warriorswisdomkathy
(Pam) Warren, CT(Zone 5b)

Good for you, Marti. I love the size of your new garden. Just follow Kathy's lead (mine too, I guess, lol) and plant, plant, plant, and soon you'll have a yard full of color! At first it seems like it will take forever, then one day, voila! It suddenly starts looking like something.

I guess we're all guilty of impulse buying- I'm worse on line even than in the nurseries because I don't have DH telling me we'll never get all that in the car. I tell him I've always been able to get any plants I wanted into whatever car I wanted to get them in, and have done it in front of him, but he still can't believe it. Then I get it all home, or get it all delivered, and then either can't remember where I thought I would plant it all, or decide that the place isn't really right after all. I also hate trying plants out and finding they don't like me, or vice versa, so I don't want to invest in quantity until I've grown things for a while and see what they do. Hence, polka dots.

Kathy, I had the same problem with Penstemon Husker's Red that you had with the valerian. The first year it was just this gorgeous red foliage, and I made a wonderful vignette with Dianthus Arctic Fire, Heuchera Coral Charm and red roses. Then it bloomed tall and gorgeous, but it completely blocked the roses. Once it went by I cut it back, but still thought it was too big and finally ended up moving it back. Pics 1, 3 & 4

Pic 2 is a nice clump of Saponaria. Beyond it is a nepeta and a Boltonia that work well, and behind is Phlox David's Lavender and P Katherine, also good. But on this side, between the red roses and it, I need to figure out what I'm doing. I like the Veronica Sunny Border Blue there, and now I've put a bunch of blue Platycodons nestled in behind it, so lots pink and blue. Then I last year I had Echinacea White Swan, a tall white Veronica and Ammi Majus which made a nice vignette together, then the red roses. The overall was very patriotic, red white and blue. Ugh! Way too bright and contrasty! The whites would look better farther down toward the middle, but I need to find a way to make the bright blues fit in there. What would calm it down? The P Huskers red is now between the phlox and the red roses along the back in front of the wall, along with a small clump of white phlox. I'm thinking maybe soft pinks, maybe some green... N Langsdorfii, Echinacea Green Jewel, Dianthus Loveliness, that sort of thing?

Or I could move the Platys, maybe to the top level. I'll have the same red/blue problem because of the Monarda but at least they are not in full bloom at the same time.

Pic 5 is an noid iris that has been here for years, the only one. I've acquired a few new ones, but no flowers yet. I'm planning to put more TBI's on the top level to bloom with the Sibs and Peonies. The lower bed has a few spring bloomers but for the most part violets, JJ's, and Forget-me-nots cover the ground until the perennials begin to wake up.

This message was edited Dec 10, 2012 12:11 AM

Thumbnail by Pfg Thumbnail by Pfg Thumbnail by Pfg Thumbnail by Pfg Thumbnail by Pfg
Kiowa, CO(Zone 5b)

Hey your Saponaria officinalis (Bouncing Bet or Betty,3ft) standing tall on it's own? I have some I planted at my daughter's garden, it's on the north side and is rather floppy and a lighter pink. I did dig and potted up about 20 plants... am thinking I might try to find somewhere in the backyard where they can run where they want amongst the shrubs. And do you like the fragrance? I sure do!!! Pepppery sweet is all I can come up with to describe it.

Ohhhh yuck, weatherman just said -2 tonight....yikes 'puter is showing -6 now....

Hey, I think I have that Might be pix #1 or #4, if not is probably another I'm thinking the wrong person is offering the Iris here......what color you want...I might just have it...................Pix 2 &3 (pix taken from opposite ends of this 4ftx150ft long border) a new border put in last fall. Also all my newbies put in the back just a few weeks ago (180 ish total). And then there's all those already in the border and another garden room that I'm still working See what I meant that the wrong person is offering........ LOL!!!! Pix 5.. I know is out of focus, sorry have to blame on new camera And the offer of Iris will extend to any interested!!!! And you to Susie... I will try to get better records to those with or without names and if I can pix of each....and get a location map going...atleast that's my hope.

Thumbnail by warriorswisdomkathy Thumbnail by warriorswisdomkathy Thumbnail by warriorswisdomkathy Thumbnail by warriorswisdomkathy Thumbnail by warriorswisdomkathy
(Pam) Warren, CT(Zone 5b)

Kathy, we cross posted... I think my iris is slightly different, but certainly very similar. And sure, I'd love some more colors! How did you get so many?! In fact, how did you get so many plants?! Yikes! You couldn't have been collecting for too long, you have those other big areas full too. It takes me forever to get any real volume. I have a million seedlings every spring, but they take a while to get going, and most perennials are a year or two before they get to a decent size.

This spring I put a peony grid over the Saponaria and let it grow up through it. No more flopping over and smothering the plants in front, and it's a breeze to shear after the first big flush.

I like your Aster idea for filling in after the gypsophila goes by. What about adding lilies? You could put the bulbs right in the BB patch. It would be long gone by the time they do their thing. Also, what about carving out a few spots in front of the Hesperus for tall phlox? That would keep the color going over the season.

In your previous post, Pic 4, what is the low-growing pink? It's lovely. And which pale pink Echinacea is that in Pic 3 with the Rudbeckia? Have you had it for a while? Is it hardy, does it grow well?

Kiowa, CO(Zone 5b)

ooops 1 & 4 are the same, sorry, had to enlarge to see, anyway this one is I. palida an oldie, and smells like grape pop I

Pix 1&3 are german bearded
Pix 2&4&5 are I. setosa I believe... Gosh willl have to are newer for me and gotten from Boatnic gardens in Denver...

Thumbnail by warriorswisdomkathy Thumbnail by warriorswisdomkathy Thumbnail by warriorswisdomkathy Thumbnail by warriorswisdomkathy Thumbnail by warriorswisdomkathy
Kiowa, CO(Zone 5b)

Yup cross posting I'd love to put in some fact I do have one trumpet in that location but haven't seen it bloom in atleast 3 years, I get a bud and the deer come in and snatch it just as it's about to open......zijdiushirheith vie5tvs ruiheih

Yes was thinking of Phlox paniculata (or even the magenta color that youv'e been ripping hint)...At the other end of this border (same side) I just finished planting something like 20-30, 1 sprout divisions of P. p. David which is white...

Pix 4 above is Origanum rotundifolium "Kent's Beauty", isn't it neat? and to the right side is Geranium Rozanne.

Pix 3 is a double topped variety, can't remember the name..not all of them double tho...Especially first year seedlings...I made sure to put plenty of seed down as I'm hoping for babies that will end up here and???? lol. Yes love the echies...also have a yellow one I wanna increase too. Paradoxa, and tennesseensis I believe..I grew from seed. Pix is tennesseeensis and yes grows wild in the east. Sorry no pix of the yellow and I believe I let the seed drop this fall..Also have E. p. alba. If you are having problems with the echies try adding some coarse sand to the planting hole as they like that mix, and shouldn't rot out.....

pix2 is the back side of the above bouquet, littlle better in focus tho not

Thumbnail by warriorswisdomkathy Thumbnail by warriorswisdomkathy
Houston Heights, TX(Zone 9a)

One way to avoid the polka dot effect is to plant in drifts instead of clumps.

Athens, PA

Cam that is very true and something I learned after I put my larger bed in.

I do have vignettes - some of them were on purpose and some were not.

Susie - are you looking for smaller vignettes within your overall garden?

Somerset, KY(Zone 6b)

Those maples are why I have to build up the bed with leaves, wood chips and top soil. Wish I could afford to have several dump trucks full of top soil. That would really help me. The wood chips I'm using have been here since 2010 and are well broke down. Plus as I move them into the garden area, I collect a few BIG worms for fishing. LOL

(Pam) Warren, CT(Zone 5b)

I do love the magenta phlox, just not everywhere. It had spread itself all over the place, along with white and various shades of pink, one of which looks just like Bright Eyes. At some point I found out magenta is the color it reverts to over time, and I decided to keep it out of the main section. I think it will look great in a section lower down where there are some tall grasses and I plan to put sunflowers and other less formal plants.

This message was edited Dec 10, 2012 8:35 AM

(Pam) Warren, CT(Zone 5b)

This is the rest of the view from the house, the Lower and Bottom Lawns. I'd like it to have a less cultivated feeling and be very low maintenance. Last fall we cleared away masses of weeds, and greatly reduced a very overgrown Climbing Hydrangea. Sorry I loaded one wrong pic, I meant to show the Azalea it had swamped when it bloomed just at the tips, a gorgeous coral color. After the flowers faded I cut it way back and it sprouted like mad. I don't know if we'll get flowers next yar, I didn't see buds this fall, but after that it should be great. We also uncovered a secret staircase. This spring the cleared area near the tall grasses was full of Hesperis, Dame's Rocket, and beautiful. Unfortunately I didn't get back to the section in time and by fall it was a mess again. Oh well, another project for spring.

This message was edited Dec 10, 2012 9:26 AM

Thumbnail by Pfg Thumbnail by Pfg Thumbnail by Pfg Thumbnail by Pfg Thumbnail by Pfg
(Pam) Warren, CT(Zone 5b)

Pic1, the Azalea blooming, 2007.
Pic2, the tall grasses blooming that fall. The bright yellow next to them is mostly goldenrod. That's where I want to keep the magenta phlox and add sunflowers, among other things. On the left at the lower edge of the pic is the Falling Down Wall. I've been busy there, too.
Pic3, the naked Azalea in bloom 2012.
Pic4, the Falling Down Wall this summer. The deer nipped the big hostas at the bottom next to the giant Rhodie.
Pic4, from the house 2011

Thumbnail by Pfg Thumbnail by Pfg Thumbnail by Pfg Thumbnail by Pfg Thumbnail by Pfg
(susie) Hastings, MI(Zone 5a)

YOU GAL 's Have BLOWN Me out of the gardens :) Most of what I Have are DL's & Irises & I Need the fillers that you all have
Pam I Had the Boltonia One year but then I had my Brother helping me with the garden & he thought it was a tall weed pulled it out
It went to a burn pile . I would love more :)
& Kathy I Didn't Know you had the German type Irises I would love to trade DL's OR DWARF IRSES for some :)
also what is the plant in Pic 4 Post #9354228 I need some white That gets about 12-14 " tall.

So many Ideas More to add to my shopping list ty Ladies keep this up :)
welcome cam Been awhile good to have you watching us :)))

as soon as the seed robin comes back & I get my seeds That you all have shared with me i'm going to start my winter sowing & sure I will need your help. I'm still learning much & You would think i would know allot already but Not I still lot getting great Tips from you all .

will I have to make a few calls so ya all have a great day back later

Kiowa, CO(Zone 5b)

Just to touch on the subject of tree roots momentarily.
Susie..your oak tree should be ok to grow things under, except that garden in years will become more of a shade garden. Then you'll be able to grow those ferns mch easier and other shade lovers too.. The Polemoniums, Dicentras (Bleeding Hearts), Astilbes, many of the perenns such as Geraiums like also, Trilliums, Tiarellas and on and And Susie...gosh I thought you didn't want any TBIs... I'd love to share some with were SOOO generous to me this summer with the dwarfs......Just say the word this spring and will wisk them off to you!!!!!!
Now do you want one of each? LOL. I know I got some of the TBIs from you also along with the dwarfs....hope I keep my tags straight... You know in a few years they will be coming out of my ears....I can hardly!!!!!!! I wanna do 1 whole room as a spring bloom of perenns, then the room will have annual for the rest of the season, and will be outlined in Spiarea Bridal Wreath Srubs, am thinking about 12 should do it (6 each side), already have just not planted in there yet. So far I'm planning on Iris TBs, Peonies, Centranthus, spring blooming Dianthus. This is still in the planning stages, one of my to do rooms this comming spring. Still planning what to put in, will reveal as I progress..... Most peonies and Iris are already planted, along with a bunch of w**ds...yuck.

Marti....not sure if you wanna hear Maples can be a problem to grow things under...They notoriously have shallow trees roots that are also very numerous and fiborous. And careful, sometimes when tree roots are nicked or damaged they can cause suckers to sprout, and tree roots expand as far out as the canopy is located, (drip line). So be careful about planning your new garden...

Thumbnail by warriorswisdomkathy
Somerset, KY(Zone 6b)

I know that I've had problems digging under these trees. I wish I could afford to remove them completely. I have 5 on the property. I'm hoping to get at least 2 of them cut down this next year. Til then I am making raised bed under them.

(susie) Hastings, MI(Zone 5a)

Yes Kathy just like the ones in Pic 2-4-5 Post #9354277 & If you have any TB Reds or Orange I Have Mostly Blues & Pinks & Purples .

Not sure why but my brain just don't want to work this morning , I have to work on a couple projects , will try to get back in later today .
Marti : you might be better off if you build a few raised beds out away from the trunks of the trees . & Not dig down into the grown

Pic 1 16X8 x12 cost $86.
Pic 2 Made of Logs from woods FREE
Pic 3 8x8x12 cost $less then $60.
Pic 5 is my strawberry bed 16x4x12 Less then $50

Thumbnail by deejay9 Thumbnail by deejay9 Thumbnail by deejay9 Thumbnail by deejay9 Thumbnail by deejay9
Elk Horn, KY

This is a pic of my gardening space. The trees are black walnut. Daylilies seem to get huge under it! Am planning to fill the whole area cottage garden style & just have paths through it..
please excuse the cockleburrs & other weeds behind the fence!

This message was edited Dec 11, 2012 10:07 AM

Thumbnail by czimmerman00
(Pam) Warren, CT(Zone 5b)

How cool- and very surprising- that daylilies like it under the walnut trees! They put out a chemical, juglone, which discourages a lot of plant growth. It will be ingesting to see what does well near the tree. I once had one (elsewhere) and got lots of stuff to do well. But some things will prefer some distance from it. I don't remember specifics, sorry...

Deejay, lots of great beds! I was wondering where you put all those plants you get seeds from, and where you plant all the seeds you get!

Kiowa, CO(Zone 5b)

Ya to. Looks like Susies got lots of space to fill

Yup have read the same on wlnuts, especially the black walnut...I know there are lists of plants that will grow under them, I've read articles but it's been years.. Cz...if your looking for other plants that can tolerate the trees, google 'Fine Gardening', 'Horticulture' and 'Organic Gardening' magazines to begin with. I'm quite sure they will have some info on which plants can tollerate the juglone chemical emitted from the Blk W. And oh I must say I AM envious, my most favorite od ALLLLL the nuts. Yum!!!! Do you get any or just the squirrels? lol. I seriously considered planting some and still might but it would be 20 years to first crop....Geeze long time... When I was a kid in the midwest, we would drive to a certain location every fall with my grandmother to collect them from the ditches next to the road. They have an aquirred taste but I just love them, and are perfect for homemade dark chocholate fudge.... LOL....

So susie, just to let you know those Iris are short and only get to about 18-24", and bloom about the same time as the TBI also..... Gosh only just put orange in this last year, maybe two or three, willl have to see how they increase for sharring. Now the ones they call red are almost a brown in coloring and do have a few but will have to locate...For true red you would need the Louisiana type Iris and I don't have any of those Ya I know's on the want list....
I do have several in the peach range tho...Here's some

Ok gotta go for the day..will be back wed or maybe not til gals have a good one..

Thumbnail by warriorswisdomkathy Thumbnail by warriorswisdomkathy Thumbnail by warriorswisdomkathy Thumbnail by warriorswisdomkathy Thumbnail by warriorswisdomkathy
Elk Horn, KY

yes we actually get lots of nuts from the trees! Guess it helps having a big dog that likes to chase squirrels:) but once in a while he does go through my flowers too:( wish he would chase the chipmunks & other burrowing animals... ill send you a baby walnut tree in spring if you want one! Lol! Always some sprouting among the flowers:)

Kiowa, CO(Zone 5b)

Cz...oh..I'd love some. Only 19 years and counting. LOL. What other goodies you planninng on putting in? We should do a trade come spring, you will have to let me know what you want also........

Pam...I am sorry . I read your post above and totally missed your question until I reread. Gosh, what was I thinking? Any way ref. what to move, I personally would leave the platys. since they give contrast in foliage and flower form. If you leave both of the veronicas, notice they are both spike flowers. It would be better if they were the same color. What color is the rose? (red and if red is it a blue red or a orange red?) If a blue/red how 'bout adding something in the pink range (soft tho), say a mounding type of plant. A geranium, could even look at the shorter pink scabiosas, more variation in flower bloom and foliage. A few others to consider: Delphium grandiflora (comes in pink, lt lavender and several shades of blue (bloom all summer 12-18"), a Dianthus in scarlet, or X loveliness in pinks or reds, 12-18", I could sent some gypsophila repens(pink,6-12", Juneish and if cut back more sporadic later, Oooh, I've got one...the purple or lavender osteospurmum (12-18" all season). Do you have any seed for papaver rhoeas?(Angels Choir or Cedric Morris). There are several colors in the range that would help to tie it together, I would stick with one or two colors in the range, remember the eye needs to rest a bit, rougue out any in the orange range if your rose is in the red/blue range..does that make sense to you? Just need to add something to tone down the in your face contrast (lol). Could even move the white completely out of the scene as it's truely not needed as a go-between to tone down the hot of the red. The blues and lavenders do that. Also I have Penstemon xmexicalii Red Rocks (pix below).

Are both of your veronicas rather young? It doesn't appear as there are that many blooms, if so it might help to look at it again this spring as the plants will have filled out more and giving a more solid block of color. When mature they should probably filll out to 12-18" at the base (ground). Mine in pix 2 are at 28"^x18-20">. ( have plenty to share).

Does that give you a few ideas to think about? Maybe not any of my ideas are the solution...the point is you get to think about it and maybe come up with one of those AHHA I got it, I'll plant =====.

Thumbnail by warriorswisdomkathy Thumbnail by warriorswisdomkathy
(Pam) Warren, CT(Zone 5b)

Thanks for all the suggestions! I agree about too many spikes. Some of the pics are deceptive and I don't have any from early August until mid September because we were away., so missed the peak for a lot of things.
The SBB Veronica is quite established, I've been working on that for quite a while. The white vignette-Echie, Ammi, Veronica- will be moved out early spring to another area where they should shine. The Echi and Veronica are new-ish. Both broke quite a lot when I was planting them, and all the bits rooted, so net year there should be a better display.

I like the idea of using soft pinks and pinky lavenders to soften the contrast with the red. They will echo the Phlox, Saponaria, lavender Boltonia and a few other things.

Thumbnail by Pfg Thumbnail by Pfg Thumbnail by Pfg

Post a Reply to this Thread

Please or register to post.

Upload Images to your reply

    You may upload up to 5 images