MidWest Gardening forum: Recommendations for a newbie gardener in Indiana

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Name: Hetty
Sunny Naples, Florida (Zone 10a)
Plumerias Photo Contest Winner: 2015 Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Database Moderator
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Dutchlady1
Mar 19, 2015 10:15 AM CST
A friend is newly resident in Indiana, just south of Indianapolis, and has a fairly bare yard. Any recommendations for easy to grow perennials/shrubs, preferably with some instant gratification so they don't lose heart? I have already recommended Forsythia.
Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Mar 19, 2015 10:18 AM CST
Butterfly bushes are popular. Some of the big box stores don't carry them early in the season though so best to go to a nursery or garden center. It can get pretty warm down there compared to us in the NW corner.
Name: Jennifer
48036 MI (Zone 6b)
Cottage Gardener Houseplants Spiders! Heucheras Frogs and Toads Dahlias
Hummingbirder Sedums Winter Sowing Peonies Region: Michigan Garden Ideas: Level 2
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jvdubb
Mar 19, 2015 10:54 AM CST
Shade, sun, or both?
For full sun:
Rudbeckia and the traditional purple Echinacea are solid perennials that require little care and bloom first year. Even if the Rudbeckia's don't over winter they generally self sow easily. Several types of Coreopsis also are hardy or self sow. The fancier ones sometimes require some babying over the winter.

I have trouble getting most butterfly bushes to over winter for some reason.

Veronica's and salvias are also good choices.

Bluestone Perennials has a great "Plant Finder" feature that can be helpful for someone starting out. It asks you to fill in different parameters and will then generate a list of good options.

Name: Hetty
Sunny Naples, Florida (Zone 10a)
Plumerias Photo Contest Winner: 2015 Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator Region: Florida Cat Lover Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents Tropicals
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Dutchlady1
Mar 19, 2015 11:47 AM CST
Thank You!
Name: Michele Roth
N.E. Indiana - Zone 5b
I'm always on my way out the door..
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Forum moderator Garden Sages Garden Ideas: Master Level Dog Lover Cottage Gardener
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chelle
Mar 19, 2015 12:37 PM CST
Spring has sprung interest-
Koreanspice Viburnum; ease of care, pretty blooms and wonderful scent.
Lilacs; some nice dwarf cultivars are available now, too.
Daffodils; lots of daffodils!

Late spring interest-
Hybrid veronicas; if they'd like a low, creeping groundcover that's covered in blooms.
Decorative alliums; available in many colors and heights, gorgeous and hardy enough to leave in place.
Peonies; fast to rise, and pretty.
Camassia; plant 'em and that's it. Very nice as a shorter accent to peonies.
Siberian iris; division probably won't be required for several years.

Mid-summer interest-
Daylilies; super easy, and available in almost every color.
Lilies; easy, and available in almost every color.
Heuchera; low water-usage and widely available.
For shadier areas-
Hostas; super-easy.
Hydrangea; may require a balanced watering and feeding regime, but otherwise pretty care-free.
Japanese Forest Grass; stunningly pretty lightener for shadier places.

Late summer interest-
Garden phlox; choose mildew-resistant varieties.
Gladiolus, just drop them in sun-warmed soil and cover. Staking probably won't be required if they aren't watered/fed excessively. The Glamini series are shorter by nature, but they're newer so availability may be limited.
Heleniums; lots of newer, shorter varieties are available now.
Lily 'Cassablanca'; easy, but staking may be required in open areas. Delightfully fragrant!
Crocosmia; some are hardier than others, but all of the ones I've tried so far have been successful here. Clipping required once per season.
Sterile Rose-of-Sharon; care-free. Non-sterile plants will provide several lifetime's-worth of seedlings.

Autumn interest-
Monkshood; super-easy, but considered toxic.
Heliopsis; low water-usage, and more varieties are being added all the time. 'Summer Sun' is a more compact variety that's widely available here.
Perennial chrysanthemums; Minnesota Mums are hardy here, and they're fairly easy to care for.
Koreanspice Viburnum; lovely burgundy, ripe peach and plum autumn leaf colors.

Of the plants listed, nearly all are non-targeted by the plethora of rabbits living here. Hostas and lilies can be attractive to deer, while glads and phlox will occasionally be taste-tested by groundhogs.

Smiling

Cottage Gardening

Newest Interest: Rock Gardens


Name: Hetty
Sunny Naples, Florida (Zone 10a)
Plumerias Photo Contest Winner: 2015 Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator Region: Florida Cat Lover Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents Tropicals
Image
Dutchlady1
Mar 19, 2015 2:13 PM CST
All very helpful, thanks
Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Mar 19, 2015 4:16 PM CST
Impressive lists. Now I know where to come when I need suggestions!

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