The Q&A Archives: Best to plant in my area

Question: I am trying to figure out what to plant and when to plant it in my area of NW Montana.

Answer: There are a number of attractive shrubs and perennials you can plant in your garden. May is a good month to plant, and that's when you'll find the greatest selection of plants in your local garden center. You'll first need to determine how much sunshine or shade the site gets and then choose plants accordingly. Here are some tried and true plants for your area:

BARBERRY, Burgundy Carousel: burgundy-purple leaves add contrast in thelandscape; small, inconspicuous yellow flowers; bright red berries in fall attract birds; needs sun and moist, well-drained soils. (3?)

CARAGANA, Siberian Peashrub: yellow flowers in early summer; a favorite of hummingbirds; delicate leaves; withstands drought and alkaline soils better than most shrubs; makes nice hedge; very hardy. (12-15 ft.)

COTONEASTER, Hedge: dark green glossy leaves turn red in fall; black fruit; fast growing attractive hedge; very hardy. (8-10 ft.)

DOGWOOD, Red-twigged: attractive all year; white flowers in spring; berries for birds in autumn, brilliant, red bark in winter, takes partial shade. Plant ?Cardinal? with bright red twigs alongside yellow-twigged ?Bud?s Yellow? for spectacular winter statement! (8-10 ft.)

HONEYSUCKLE, Honeyrose: deep red flowers in May followed by red berries; easy to grow in most soils; very hardy; makes a wonderful hedge. (10 ft.)

HYDRANGEA, Annabelle: beautiful, white flowering shrub that thrives in shade; flowers from mid summer to frost; low growing with rounded shape. (3 ft)
LILAC, French Hybrid: most beautiful of all lilacs with large, double and very fragrant blooms; non-suckering; hardy; many exquisite varieties: Beauty of Moscow: pink; Charles Joly: reddish purple; Katherine Havemeyer: lavender pink; Ludwig Spaeth: reddish purple; Mme. Lemoine: white; Monge: reddish purple; Montaigne: lilac pink; President Grevy: lilac blue; President Lincoln: true blue; Primrose: creamy yellow; Sensation: purple with white edge; Yankee Doodle: deep purple.

MOCKORANGE, Minnesota Snowflake (6-10 ft.) and Blizzard (4-5 ft.): beloved for their white, extremely fragrant flowers and hardiness. Blizzard, a selection of our native mockorange, blooms profusely and is extremely hardy. Minnesota Snowflake is well branched with double blooms.

POTENTILLA, Cinquefoil: a profusion of yellow, white or pink blooms on compact bushy plants from summer to autumn; very hardy; many varieties to choose from, including Abbottswood: white (3');Gold Drop: golden yellow (2'); Jackman: deep yellow (4'); Katherine Dykes: soft yellow (3'); Pink Beauty: pink (2'); Yellow Gem: bright yellow (2' ).

ROSE: chosen for excellent flowers and hardiness; no need to fuss over them in the winter months - they can take care of themselves! Pink: Bonica, Chuckles, William Baffin, Winnipeg Parks, Belle Poitevine, Frau Dagmar Hartopp, Jens Munk, John Davis, Morden Centennial, Nearly Wild, Therese Bugnet, Wood's Rose. Red: Adelaide Hoodless, Alexander McKenzie, Cuthbert Grant, Henry Kelsey, Scarlet Meideland. White: Blanc de Coubert, Marie Bugnet, Morden Blush. Yellow: Austrian Copper (yellow/orange), Golden Wings, Morden Sunrise, Harison's Yellow.

ROSE TREE OF CHINA, Prunus triloba: if you love pink-flowering almonds, but are discouraged by their lack of hardiness, try this! Beautiful double pink blossoms on a vigorous plant. (6-10 ft.)

Some perennials to consider:
Alpine Poppy. Golden Flax, Peony, Agastache, Poppy Mallow, Astible, Baby's Breath, Hen & Chicks, Prairie Coneflower, Bee Balm, Hollyhock, Blue Flax, Rudbeckia, Blue Geranium, Hosta, Salvia, Campanula, Iceland Poppy, Scabiosa, Catmint, Iris, Sedum,
Columbine, Shasta Daisy, Coral Bells, Lavender, Snow-In-Summer, Daylily, Lupine, Delphinium, Dianthus, Malva, summer Phlox, Evening Primrose, Gaillardia, Oriental Poppy, Painted Daisy, Veronica Penstemon and Wolly thyme.

Hope these suggestions help you plant a beautiful garden!

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