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sucessful perrenials

HHassist's picture
HHassist

Hello, I am a fairly new gardener and I am looking for suggestions for some perrenials. In my backyard I get mostly full sun and in my frontyard I have shade. I also would love to plant a lilac in my backyard but I have no idea which is the best variety for scent and one that will do well in my area. Any suggestions would be appreciated. One more question......is there any type of ornamental grasses that do well in shade because most things I have read said they are sun lovers? Thanks.

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Anonymous's picture
Anonymous

I don't know what I'd rather read about - though I know what I would prefer to be seen to read about! With three sons, you may want to shelve the tell-all idea entirely, or use a pseudonym. I can see the cover in my mind's eye: "Wendy - Undug", or perhaps "When the Wild Seed was Sown".

I don't think that catching the grasshopper reference tells as much about my intellect as it does about my age - and yours too! Though "old", at least I am in good company. Sorry to say, however, that my tell-all would put a reader to sleep - I guess I could call it "Insipid Dreams".

I have been to a Walmart garden centre and know exactly what you mean. They had the yellow peony I couldn't afford at Hole's (presumably the equivalent of Minter's) for a great price, but it looked beyond help. I prefer to shop at places owned by local people anyway, so I have no reason to go back to Walmart!

I will be grateful for your help. I have already made notes from some of your advice to others. It is generous of you to share your wisdom. I hope that you are able to build yourself a nice little business, doing what you clearly love. In the mean time, at least your soul is well fed.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous

though I have a long way to go before I could snatch the seed from your hand.

Wendy -I hate to risk drying up the hose (golly these gardening puns are fun) but are you working on a plant book perchance? Are you at least employed in the horticultural business? Some people get paid for such invaluable advice!

You have great wit as well as knowledge - can I perhaps write a letter of reference to accompany your application for a job writing the gardening column for your local newspaper? My thumb isn't very green but my pen can be golden!

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous

I have to agree with you abt Lois Hole's perrenial book. It is my favorite. It is my gardening bible. I really like lily of the valley but that was what was in our front shade garden when we moved in and it was taking over so we had to dig really deep to get it all out (hopefully anyway--we may see it again this year). I love the look of solomon's seal and would like to try it. It is really pretty. I am waiting until all our snow moves to take a pic of our front garden area to see if all you talented gardeners can help me with the layout of the plants. I am definitely going to plant hostas, ferns, astilbe, and grasses. Although, I don't want it to look too busy so everything just blends together and you don't focus on any plant. Also, for some reason now I am thinking I should only use white flowering plants in a shady area. Any preferences for colour in a shade garden?

Edmonton

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous

I too am on a learning curve when it comes to gardening, but I have two other suggestions for your shady garden - Solomon's Seal and Lily of the Valley. Solomon's Seal is a beautiful arc-ing plant with little white bells - I love it. I also love Astilbe and I have a great Rayflower in a shady bed, with leaves the size of dinner plates and a flower spike that is about 6' tall - very impressive if you need some height! Ostrich ferns grow to an impressive size too, if you need a space filler. I love my fern-leaf Bleeding Hearts, too

You should get Lois Holes book on perennials - remember Lois is working in our neck of the woods AND you can go to Hole's and find the plants she refers to in her book!

What do you think of these ideas Wendy? Any comments that would be helpful to both of us learners?

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous

It is always nice to hear of someone translating a onetime hobby that was loved into a career. Congratulations on your success!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous

Wow, thanks. I wish you were my neighbour! I am thinking you must work in the plant or landscape design business. Or maybe just a gardening enthusiast. Your info has been very helpful and I am so glad there are these forums. I will start reading up and watching gardening shows when I can. So far my favorite book has been Lois Hole's perrenial book. It has been easy to read and understand.

This is kind of off the topic, but do you know of any plants that repel carpenter ants? They are in our area and yard and are a bit of a concern. I have read peppermint plant but is there anything else?

Thanks again....................

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous

Thanks again! It is nice to have someone to ask for ideas and help. I get so excited about gardening as soon as it gets even close to Spring. It seems the last few years have been trial and error and although I am learning from it I never feel like anything looks exactly beautiful.
I guess a main problem I have every year is the layout. How do you decide the layout for plants? How close do you plant everything? The distance shown on the plant care stakes always seems too far apart. Is symmetry or no symmetry best?
My front shade garden is a distorted triangle shape . Two long sides and one short side. One long side runs against the house under the front picture window, the other long side is curvy and along the grass edge and the short side runs along the walkway and beside the stairs to our front door. Should I plant horizontal like the line of the house or plant diagonal like the front curvy edge goes? If you have any suggestions or can give me any suggestions for a gardening book that explains this simply then I again would be really appreciative.

One more thing(sorry) have you ever planted cimicifuga(snakeroot) and what do you think of it if you have? I remember I wanted to get one last year but didn't.

Thanks and bye for now!!

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous

Thank you very much for your suggestions. I will look up all the plants you suggested. I am really excited about getting our front garden done this spring. I was having trouble deciding what shade plants to choose. I will definitely plant hostas and maybe some ferns but I love the look of grasses and spiky plants and I had no idea about what to choose. We have a fairly small front yard that is three quarters grass and last year we dug out the last quarter and made a curving flower bed. We have one flowering crabapple and the whole front yard is surrounded by 4-1/2 feet high trimmed hedges. We really need some colour. I love your ideas for joe pye weed, purple coneflower and some geraniums (I didn't know there was a perrenial variety). I had recently been reading about astilbe so maybe I will try some of those too for colour. I really appreciate all your help!

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous

n/t ---no text.............just a correction

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