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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Hey everyone!* I live in Zone 5.* My garden is somewhat well drained, however I do have some clay like areas here and there.*The area I am trying to "fill in" gets *7 hours of sun per day.*

    I am looking to add some perennials and need some ideas (the garden centers in my area all have the same's getting boring and frustrating).

    I would like the perennial to be no shorter than 6 inches and no taller than 18 inches

    Open to entertaining any color. (If it's a nice plant I will make it work by moving others if needed)

    Please let me know what your ideas are

    The perennials I am looking for will be amongst plants such as...Bee Balm, Tick Seed, Dianthus and my early spring bloomers...Firewitch, and carpet Phlox.

    A few of my thoughts are Mallow and Speedwell

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Maryland zone 7

    Wowmom, sounds like you are bored with the standard offerings.* I do understand.* I tend to prefer the more uncommon and unusual.* I often find that native plants do that for me.* Here's some ideas that come to mind.* I'm sure you know you can use the botanical names and search the 'Images' at google for more pics of these.

    When looking at the info at the 'bestplants' site, be sure to see if you can click on the additional pics and cultivars at the bottom of the page.

    Platycodon grandiflorus aka balloon flower isn't native, but the unusual flower buds that look like puffed up balloons make me smile and children love them.* I also like the simple flower form. They come in shades of pink, white and purple/lavender.* Makes a good cut flower too.

    Aquilegia canadensis aka columbine aka Canadian columbine is a native.* There are several different native varieties and many new cultivars that are fancy.* The Canadian columbine is a red flower with a yellow throat.* There are also natives that are all yellow, etc.* These are short lived perennials, but happily seed around the garden in some wonderful spots.* I love finding volunteers where I'd never thought to plant them.* They are easy to pull out if you don't want them and the newly emerging leaves are so unique.* I often collect the dried seed heads and sprinkle the seeds where I think I might like to see them.* Then in a year or two I find a new plant or two.* It also does well in a shady or woodland setting.

    Dodecatheon meadia aka shooting star is a lovely native for late spring.* It comes in pink or white.]

    Armeria maritima aka thrift looks like a nice green tuft of grass when not in bloom.* It's not a native.* Pink is the most common color but it comes in white too.'Cotton-Ta.gif

    There are many different species of Campanula aka bellflower that grow to different heights.* Colors range from white to pink to purples.*
    Some are native and some aren't hardy in your zone, so check carefully. * Campanula poscharskyana aka Serbian bellflower forms a nice low growing clump with pretty dainty flowers.*

    Campanula persicifolia aka peach leaf bellflower is much taller - to 24" or more.

    This is a UK site, but will give you an idea of the different flower forms and heights.

    There are many hardy Geraniums that will grow in your zone.* My absolute favorite is Geranium 'Rozanne'.* It blooms from June to hard frost and has good garden manners.* It will form a nice clump about 2' around.* The second pic will have you scrambling for at least one plant.* This first picture shows it tumbling over a path.

    This nursery is in California but has a large selection of plants broken down into the different habits.* You can look through here to get an idea of the different uses of these plants.*
    Most are evergreen.* Click on 'geraniums' on the left.

    Here's some hardy Geraniums you might like.* There is a native, but you don't want that as it seeds all over the garden and can easily become a weed.* I have several and really like this first one - Geranium sanguineum aka Bloody cranesbill.* If I deadhead it will keep blooming for a month.*

    Geranium cantabrigiense aka Cambridge geranium.* The second site shows the leaves starting to turn red in the fall.

    Geranium macrorrhizum aka bigroot cranesbill

    There are some interesting sedums.* Some are groundcovers and some grow to 24".* I particularly like Sedum 'Autumn Joy' as it has the longest season of interest then the others.* It starts as a green mound that looks much like mini green rosebuds, then begins to look a bit like broccoli when it's in bud.* The flowers are pink and change to a deep maroon by the end of the season.* This first pic shows it just sprouting in spring, the second it's in bud and the third is just before bloom.* Do keep clicking on the links as it only gets better.* The third pic is even better.* I like to leave the spent flower heads on for the winter as I love the look with the snow on top.

    Lots of interesting sedums here.

    If you would like something for summer, consider Solidago aka goldenrod.* There are some really nice cultivars of this native.* Some get very tall, so choose carefully.
    Solidago 'Golden Baby' aka Golden Baby goldenrod'Golden%2 0Baby'

    Solidago sphacelata aka Dwarf false goldenrod

    Solidago sphacelata 'Golden Fleece' looks a bit wild.

    That should get you started.* What do you think of them?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Thank you so much.* I do have some of the ones you have mentioned scattered throughout.* I will check out some of the others and touch base!* You are fantastic!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Maryland zone 7
    You are so very welcome!* I'd love to know what you choose to plant.


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