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Avatar for Teresag
May 29, 2020 1:48 PM CST
Thread OP

Hi everyone! I'm new to the group and need some help. I'm doing a new perennial bed and I'm a gardening novice. I'm in zone 5b on Lake Huron. I'd love to add color to this area at start of my drive. It gets full sun when it's sunny. It goes up a very gentle slant. My idea was something taller in back obviously - many be a tall butterfly bush or ornamental grass or something and then layer of lillies and then something shorter in front. I get overwhelmed with all the choices. Illl attach a picture of the area. Any ideas would be most appreciated. I can't get much where I live so I'll be ordering plants online lol. It's the mulched area in front by blacktop. Yes there are some dead trees we are taking care of those soon :). The area is 30 ft by 10 ft.
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Last edited by Teresag May 29, 2020 1:49 PM Icon for preview
May 29, 2020 2:36 PM CST
Name: Bob
Vernon N.J. (Zone 6b)
Aquarium Plants Bookworm Snakes Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Heucheras
Echinacea Hellebores Dog Lover Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Hostas Region: New Jersey
I would have some Echinacea for there love of sun and long blooming time , pretty much from June till frost. They require good drainage which you should have on that slope. They come in many different heights and colors.
Avatar for Teresag
May 30, 2020 7:10 AM CST
Thread OP

Ok thanks I'll look at those
Avatar for PlantingOaks
May 30, 2020 9:54 AM CST
central ohio (Zone 5b)
Lillies are a great choice, particularly if you are ordering them, as they are planted as bulbs in the fall, and so are efficient to ship. Plus they smell fantastic. I love my lilies.

For the front part:

I'm also becoming quite a fan of geraniums (i.e. these things: not the annuals your grandmother might have grown). They have a nice habit, leaves that will contrast nicely with your lilies, and bloom well at different times of year depending on which species you choose.

Siberian iris only bloom in spring, but are another thing that is easy to ship, and fit in to a mixed bed much more nicely than the more famous tall bearded iris.

Daylilies bloom summer, also ship well.

Baptisia is a medium-tall plant with a bit of a different look that I like so far.

Aquilegia always does well for me. Comes in lots of colors, can take a fair amount of shade if that's an issue, and you can start it from seed and save shipping.

Centaurea montana grows well here. Seeds around a little and the hummers like it - though it does get scraggly in summer after it blooms.

Tall garden phlox is always a nice choice for summer flowers.

Monarda (bee balm) blooms summer, good for wildlife. More modern varieties may have less mildew problems.

There are anemones that bloom in fall: be careful to get one that blooms relatively early. Mine is always getting frosted and dying right as the flowers are about to open.

Sorry I don't have much advice on the back layer - grasses aren't really to my taste and for some reason butterfly bushes don't do well here. If it were my yard, I would probably put in lilacs or old garden roses.

If you want to fill space this year while perennials fill in, it's not too late to plant summer bulbs like dahlia
and gladious, or even some seeds like cosmos or cleome (I love cleome)
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