Antique Home Garden - starting fresh
It looks like we will buy a colonial home in CT built in 1781. It has a large front porch and is white with green shutters. I'm hoping to create an older, classic style garden in front using lots of red. I'm inclined to use flowering shrubs at the sides of the porch and mixed perennials in front. Are there any tall, red flowering shrubs that anyone would recommend for Zone 6? I am afraid of using colors that do not look good with the true green shutters. I'd love any advice out there. It is so exciting but also somewhat overwhelming. Thank you!
Congratulations on your new home! I just love old houses and grew up in one. I'm wondering if you are looking for heirloom plants for your front as well as red ones. I'm also thinking that just about any color goes with green, hence the many colors of flowers. You may not want to use plants that have a blue tint to their leaves. If the description includes the word 'glaucous', that means a blue tint or cast. You will need to know your hardiness zone.
You don't say what the sun conditions are, but I'm thinking of red roses. Not the fussy type, buy the more carefree roses you would see around old homesteads. They are often called heirloom roses and are usually pest free. You could find a repeat bloomer that would give color on and off all summer. Here's some links for some ideas. For this first site, click on 'Guide to Antique Roses' just under the picture.
Another shrub that comes to mind is camellia, but these like a northern exposure with a lot less sun.
Other plants that come to mind that are heirloom (some have red flowers) are hollyhocks, foxglove, lilac, peony, tulips, daffodils and asters.
You could also search at www.google.com with something in quotes and a plus sign like this: "heirloom garden" + plant
Hope this is helpful. Good luck in your new home!
I can't wait to start into the resources you gave. Not sure the camellias will make it here though. I'm a Zone 6 Connecticut gardener with experience but this house deserves more than what I have. Others have recommended the book For Every House a Garden by Rudy and Joy Favretti and it is terrific. I have sun and shade opportunities and great soil from what I hear. Thanks so much for your ideas.
You are so very welcome. There are some camellias that are hardy to zone 6b. Here's a map that might be helpful.
The Camellia Forest Nursery has some very helpful info for planting them to extend the growing range. This is becoming a particularly cold winter and my camellias are doing ok so far. They are about 25 years old and were here when I bought the house.
I never heard of your book, but you have reminded me that there is a series of books that might prove helpful. The one you would need is called Gardening in Connecticut.
Best of luck,