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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.|
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.|
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.
Mar 19, 2015 11:47 AM CST
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.
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-
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.
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.
Newest Interest: Rock Gardens
Mar 19, 2015 2:13 PM CST
|All very helpful, thanks|
Mar 19, 2015 4:16 PM CST
|Impressive lists. Now I know where to come when I need suggestions!|
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