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Dec 18, 2014 5:47 PM CST
Name: Neal Linville
Winchester, KY (Zone 6a)
Bulbs Charter ATP Member Cottage Gardener I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Irises Roses
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Ideas: Level 2
Thumb of 2014-12-18/gemini_sage/e64702

Many of my favorite plants could never be the "star of the show" in a garden design, but enhance the beauty of neighboring plants and the garden as a whole. I like a full, lush look, and the use of these "shoes and socks" plants really fill out a planting.

Various hardy Geraniums are among my favorites, they happily fill in spaces between other plants and provide great contrast for many prominent forms in the garden, especially plants with sword like foliage.

What are your favorites?
"...and don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It's quiet, but the roots are down there riotous." Rumi
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Dec 18, 2014 9:09 PM CST
Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
Region: Ukraine Dahlias I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Houseplants Tomato Heads Garden Ideas: Level 1
Plant Identifier Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Columbines, in various colors, are at the top of my list.
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Salvia is another good one. This is Caradonna and blooms to mid June here. It even looks good in its waning days.
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Dec 19, 2014 12:55 AM CST
Plants Admin
Name: Suzanne/Sue
Sebastopol, CA (Zone 9a)
Sunset Zone 15
Plant Database Moderator Region: California Cottage Gardener Garden Photography Roses Clematis
Houseplants Foliage Fan Keeper of Poultry Dog Lover Birds Hummingbirder
Note to self, must add more columbine!!

I have a few veronicas too and have been wanting to add more and Neal, I agree, geraniums are a favorite of mine too, this one gives me wonderful volunteers everywhere, sprawling through plants and filling in bare spots.


I also love agastache and plan on adding more.


I also love scattering Golden Feverfew around for it's lovely chartreuse foliage contrast, it's also a great self seeder.
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Handmade quilts, new & vintage fabrics in my Etsy store. Summer Song Cottage
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Dec 19, 2014 6:19 AM CST
Name: Neal Linville
Winchester, KY (Zone 6a)
Bulbs Charter ATP Member Cottage Gardener I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Irises Roses
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Ideas: Level 2
Arlene, I LOVE Columbine too! There are so many sizes, bloom forms, and colors these days, there's a Columbine that combines well with almost anything. Salvias are wonderful too, and I've found Veronicas provide a similar form and function in the garden.
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Sue, Geranium pyrenaicum is a great filler! I've only got the white form, although from time to time I find a pale lavender seedling, but not as colorful as 'Bill Wallis'. I enjoy Feverfew in the garden as well, they make me think of Baby's Breath in a flower arrangement the way they accent and soften other plants.
"...and don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It's quiet, but the roots are down there riotous." Rumi
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Dec 19, 2014 9:07 AM CST
Name: Jennifer
48036 MI (Zone 6b)
Cottage Gardener Houseplants Spiders! Heucheras Frogs and Toads Dahlias
Hummingbirder Sedums Winter Sowing Peonies Region: Michigan Celebrating Gardening: 2015
I'll have to go through my pictures and see my supporting cast members. They really do need credit. Great thread!
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Dec 19, 2014 4:28 PM CST
Name: Neal Linville
Winchester, KY (Zone 6a)
Bulbs Charter ATP Member Cottage Gardener I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Irises Roses
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Ideas: Level 2
Sue, I want to try more Veronicas too. I've tried a few that were just okay, but have stumbled upon some that are real performers. That spike shape is nice with so many other plant forms, and is especially useful in the size range of Veronica.
Thumb of 2014-12-19/gemini_sage/ed6265
Those in the pic were from a box store clearance rack, they had 3 plants per pot, a pink, a white, and a violet. They've also outperformed any pricier selections I've tried through mail order sources.

I do see some in the data base I'd like to try...

"...and don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It's quiet, but the roots are down there riotous." Rumi
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Dec 19, 2014 4:50 PM CST
Name: Neal Linville
Winchester, KY (Zone 6a)
Bulbs Charter ATP Member Cottage Gardener I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Irises Roses
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Ideas: Level 2
I have found Geranium biokovo and G. biokovo 'Karmina' to be the most useful and lovely little plants. They remain attractive most of the year.

Some beauties in the data base have caught my eye. Would love to hear from anyone who has had experience with any of them.
"...and don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It's quiet, but the roots are down there riotous." Rumi
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Dec 19, 2014 5:06 PM CST
Name: Debra
Garland, TX (NE Dallas suburb) (Zone 8a)
Rescue dogs: Angels with paws needi
Dragonflies Dog Lover Bookworm I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Photography Bee Lover
Plays in the sandbox Butterflies Region: Texas Garden Sages I sent a postcard to Randy! Charter ATP Member
It’s okay to not know all the answers.
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Dec 19, 2014 7:15 PM CST
Plants Admin
Name: Suzanne/Sue
Sebastopol, CA (Zone 9a)
Sunset Zone 15
Plant Database Moderator Region: California Cottage Gardener Garden Photography Roses Clematis
Houseplants Foliage Fan Keeper of Poultry Dog Lover Birds Hummingbirder
I am going to try Geranium 'Orion' this year, it's available from a local grower. I do have another new one I got a year ago, liked it so much I added a couple more.
My gardening Blog!
Handmade quilts, new & vintage fabrics in my Etsy store. Summer Song Cottage
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Last edited by Calif_Sue Dec 19, 2014 8:20 PM Icon for preview
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Dec 19, 2014 7:29 PM CST
Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
Region: Ukraine Dahlias I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Houseplants Tomato Heads Garden Ideas: Level 1
Plant Identifier Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Such pretty Veronicas, Geraniums, Dianthus and 'Orion'.
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Dec 19, 2014 7:49 PM CST
Name: Susie
Leonard, Minnesota (Zone 3b)
Annuals Herbs Heucheras Canning and food preservation Irises Lilies
Region: Minnesota Native Plants and Wildflowers Peonies Sedums Seed Starter Vegetable Grower
gemini_sage said:I have found Geranium biokovo and G. biokovo 'Karmina' to be the most useful and lovely little plants. They remain attractive most of the year.

Some beauties in the data base have caught my eye. Would love to hear from anyone who has had experience with any of them.


This geranium is lovely! It forms a mound and gets bigger but doesn't spread as some of the others do. I brought one from Wyoming over 20 years ago and it is still living. It is my favorite of all the larger geraniums I've tried. Obviously I would recommend it.
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Dec 20, 2014 7:57 AM CST
Name: Neal Linville
Winchester, KY (Zone 6a)
Bulbs Charter ATP Member Cottage Gardener I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Irises Roses
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Ideas: Level 2
Debra, I love Dianthus and your assortment of them! I particularly like the fragrant varieties, and always wanted to let 'Bath's Pink' grow as a ground cover through the garden, but found them too difficult to keep weeded. I still wanted enough blooming to smell them from a distance, so this is what I devised:
Thumb of 2014-12-20/gemini_sage/f7f171

The bottom of the tub is rusted out, so this was a good use for it. When in bloom they are stunning, but the rest of the year the tub and foliage nicely accent neighboring plants.
"...and don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It's quiet, but the roots are down there riotous." Rumi
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Dec 20, 2014 8:18 AM CST
Name: Debra
Garland, TX (NE Dallas suburb) (Zone 8a)
Rescue dogs: Angels with paws needi
Dragonflies Dog Lover Bookworm I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Photography Bee Lover
Plays in the sandbox Butterflies Region: Texas Garden Sages I sent a postcard to Randy! Charter ATP Member
Like it. Smiling I tip my hat to you.
It’s okay to not know all the answers.
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Dec 24, 2014 3:43 PM CST
Name: Betty
MN zone 4b
Frogs and Toads Birds Hummingbirder Irises Lilies Peonies
Roses Garden Ideas: Level 1 Region: United States of America Hostas Garden Art Echinacea
I like some of the penstemons that have reddish foliage like Dark Towers, Husker's Red, Mystica and Pocahontas. They all have softer color blooms but the foliage adds nice color accents to the garden and if you let them go to seed the seed pods are colorful. These are the hardiest penstemons in my northern garden. I like them here and there along a path. I do love those with more colorful booms but they do not love the north. I have not taken pictures just never have enough hours in a day.
If you want to be happy for a lifetime plant a garden!
Faith is the postage stamp on our prayers!
Betty MN Zone4 AHS member

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Dec 24, 2014 4:23 PM CST
Name: Debra
Garland, TX (NE Dallas suburb) (Zone 8a)
Rescue dogs: Angels with paws needi
Dragonflies Dog Lover Bookworm I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Photography Bee Lover
Plays in the sandbox Butterflies Region: Texas Garden Sages I sent a postcard to Randy! Charter ATP Member
I like Dark Towers, Betty. It does better in our heat than other Penstemons I have tried and it mixes well with other plants like Roses and Daylilies.

Thumb of 2014-12-24/lovemyhouse/d2571a Thumb of 2014-12-24/lovemyhouse/2effaf Thumb of 2014-12-24/lovemyhouse/134a2b
It’s okay to not know all the answers.
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Dec 24, 2014 6:15 PM CST
Name: Neal Linville
Winchester, KY (Zone 6a)
Bulbs Charter ATP Member Cottage Gardener I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Irises Roses
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Ideas: Level 2
Oooohhh...Debra, there are those Irises again! And gorgeous with that coral Rose and the Penstemon!

I've found the above family of Penstemon great supporting cast players in the garden too. And a few other varieties, as well- P. smallii is a wonderful short lived perennial for me, and reseeds a little, but needs to be intentionally seeded to keep them going.
"...and don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It's quiet, but the roots are down there riotous." Rumi
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Dec 24, 2014 6:37 PM CST
Name: Debra
Garland, TX (NE Dallas suburb) (Zone 8a)
Rescue dogs: Angels with paws needi
Dragonflies Dog Lover Bookworm I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Photography Bee Lover
Plays in the sandbox Butterflies Region: Texas Garden Sages I sent a postcard to Randy! Charter ATP Member
Coral Drift Rose, Neal. Love it. Smiling
It’s okay to not know all the answers.
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Dec 24, 2014 6:40 PM CST
Name: Neal Linville
Winchester, KY (Zone 6a)
Bulbs Charter ATP Member Cottage Gardener I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Irises Roses
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Ideas: Level 2
Oh, and Debra, you should check out some of the desert Penstemons, there are several that are quite colorful and good candidates for your zone.
"...and don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It's quiet, but the roots are down there riotous." Rumi
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Dec 24, 2014 6:49 PM CST
Name: Debra
Garland, TX (NE Dallas suburb) (Zone 8a)
Rescue dogs: Angels with paws needi
Dragonflies Dog Lover Bookworm I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Photography Bee Lover
Plays in the sandbox Butterflies Region: Texas Garden Sages I sent a postcard to Randy! Charter ATP Member
Okay, thank you. Smiling
It’s okay to not know all the answers.
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Dec 24, 2014 6:54 PM CST
Name: Neal Linville
Winchester, KY (Zone 6a)
Bulbs Charter ATP Member Cottage Gardener I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Irises Roses
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Ideas: Level 2
High Country Gardens lists a bunch of them that could give you a good idea of what's out there. The Rocky Mountain Penstemon is a gorgeous blue, with airy spikes of large blooms. It acted like a biennial here, but our winter was rough last year, so I'm thinking that may have killed them.
"...and don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It's quiet, but the roots are down there riotous." Rumi

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