Perennials forum: Questions about perennials

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Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
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SongofJoy
Feb 1, 2012 5:37 AM CST
Sometimes there is a lot to read through on a thread, especially if you are new to the site. This is a place for anyone to ask whatever questions they might have about a perennial or perennial gardens. Anyone who knows is welcome to answer the questions. This is for questions and answers only.


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[Last edited by SongofJoy - Feb 1, 2012 7:36 AM (+)]
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Silver Spring, MD (Zone 7a)
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ssgardener
Feb 1, 2012 7:22 AM CST
Thank you so much for starting this thread!

I'm looking for a small ornamental perennial that's not going to mind being in a container no bigger than 24 inches tall.

This is a part of the front yard that can't be amended, so I was thinking about using several large planters instead. The lighting in this area is particularly tricky, because it's very shady in spring, fall, and winter, but when the sun is at its highest point in the middle of the summer, it gets blazing sun right in the middle of the day.

So something that
-has 4 season interest
-stays around 2 feet tall
-has ornamental leaves/flowers/bark

Would Little Lime or Pinky Winky hydrangeas fit the bill? I was thinking about grouping 2 or 3 of these containers together.

I love redtwig dogwoods, but they'd get too big for this space.
Name: Bob
Vernon N.J. (Zone 6a)
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NJBob
Feb 1, 2012 10:18 AM CST

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See what you think of Euonymus Emerald n Gold. They do well in sun or shade. Color is better in sun.
http://www.google.com/search?q=euonymus+emerald+n+gold&hl=en...
Name: Michele Roth
N.E. Indiana - Zone 5b
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chelle
Feb 1, 2012 10:52 AM CST
Good suggestion, Bob!

I think 'Pinky Winky' might get too large for all but an immovable, huge container. I have it in the ground, and it's 5 feet tall, by 4 feet wide....in its third year.
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Name: Sheryl
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sheryl
Feb 1, 2012 10:55 AM CST
Wow, you don't ask for much, do ya? Rolling on the floor laughing

Any chance of a picture?

I'm afraid your hydrangeas will just fry, I'd. Be more inclined to try either some grasses or annuals that can be changed with the sun to suit their needs.
In the end, only kindness matters.

Science is not the answer, it is the question.


Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
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SongofJoy
Feb 1, 2012 11:13 AM CST
I have mostly sun here year around, and I can vouch for the usefulness and hardiness of the Euonymous in blazing summer sun. It's a beautiful evergreen plant, IMHO.

I have never grown hydrangeas in containers so I'm not certain about those.

I agree about the grasses, sedges, carex.
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The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched -- they must be felt with the heart. ~ Helen Keller
Name: Bob
Vernon N.J. (Zone 6a)
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NJBob
Feb 1, 2012 12:43 PM CST

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Carex Ice Dance is very nice but only gets 1 ft tall. I have it in full shade and does great supposed to be able to take sun. Japanese Forest grasses can take full sun here not sure if they can by you.
Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
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SongofJoy
Feb 1, 2012 2:18 PM CST
I have this one and it is very nice:


Japanese Forest Grass (Hakonechloa macra 'All Gold')

The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched -- they must be felt with the heart. ~ Helen Keller
Name: Bob
Vernon N.J. (Zone 6a)
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NJBob
Feb 1, 2012 2:33 PM CST

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http://www.google.com/search?q=japanese+forest+grass&hl=en&c...

I have a few and really like them. They move with just a slight breeze and some get very nice Fall color. But they would not be around for the winter like Carex gtass.
Silver Spring, MD (Zone 7a)
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ssgardener
Feb 1, 2012 7:30 PM CST
Thank you everyone for your suggestions!

I was actually going to plant Japanese forest grasses (in the ground, not in containers) in another part of the front yard with amended soil. They're gorgeous!

Bob, what do you mean they won't be around in the winter? The hakones around here are still looking pretty good. Is it because our winter's been so mild?

I have a cappuccino carex in sun that's just doing beautiful! I need to research other carexes...

Sheryl, the only camera I have is attached to my laptop. Hilarious! I will borrow a camera and take a picture one of these days!
Silver Spring, MD (Zone 7a)
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ssgardener
Feb 1, 2012 7:42 PM CST
Oh, and I forgot to say, I absolutely love the euonymus at the nursery, but they don't look so good when I see them in the neighborhood. Why do you think that is? Bad pruning?
Name: Bob
Vernon N.J. (Zone 6a)
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NJBob
Feb 1, 2012 9:02 PM CST

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By me Japanese Forest Grass is done for the season by the end of Oct. and starts regrowing late May. I did not know it stayed evergreen anywhere.

I have not had any problems with Euonymus. It does need to be pruned a few times a year to keep tidy. In the winter shade they do tend to lose color.
Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
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SongofJoy
Feb 2, 2012 2:27 AM CST
My JFG is done too once winter arrives. Carex are great winter plants.

What is the problem with the Euonymous in the neighborhood, ss?
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched -- they must be felt with the heart. ~ Helen Keller
Name: Karen
Cincinnati, Oh (Zone 6a)
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kqcrna
Feb 2, 2012 5:19 AM CST
I had one of those gold euonymus many years ago. It was a pretty yellow shade in the landscape. I kept it short, maybe 18" tall, and it was easy to trim. But after a couple of years it's spread was huge, and impossible to keep hacked back to a reasonable width. I eventually replaced it with something else but only after I battled the beast for years.

I found it pretty and definitely worth having as long as you're willing to work at controlling the spread or replacing with a new plant every few years. That was planted in the ground though, I don't know how it behaves in a pot.

Karen
Silver Spring, MD (Zone 7a)
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ssgardener
Feb 2, 2012 6:40 AM CST
Well, I would say the local euonymus looks like... like it was mangled by a hurricane, or a blind person tried to prune it, or all the branches flatten out except for 3 that stick up in the air. Also, I think it reverts to green sometimes, and the mottled color isn't very attractive on this plant. Shrug!

Oh, I just had a thought... what if I plant hakone in containers and plant some perennial tulips around it? When it's time to give the grass a haircut in Feb/March, the tulips could take over. By the time the tulips' leaves turn yellow, the new grass leaves would be out to hide them. Smiling
Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
Cherish today
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages Plant Identifier I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar
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SongofJoy
Feb 2, 2012 6:44 AM CST
That sounds lovely to me. But, then, I'm partial to the grasses, sedges, rushes, etc. anyway. Thumbs up
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched -- they must be felt with the heart. ~ Helen Keller
Name: Bob
Vernon N.J. (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member Plant Database Moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Forum moderator Heucheras Echinacea
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NJBob
Feb 2, 2012 9:53 AM CST

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Sounds nice to me.
Name: Sheryl
Hot, hot, hot, Feenix, AZ (Zone 9b)
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sheryl
Feb 4, 2012 7:22 AM CST
The only problem you could have is the amount of water the grass is going to need in the summer time (probably daily) is not something the tulips will want when they're dormant. If you think of the tulips as annuals and assume they're not going to survive, it isn't a problem.
In the end, only kindness matters.

Science is not the answer, it is the question.


Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
Cherish today
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages Plant Identifier I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar
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SongofJoy
Feb 4, 2012 8:13 AM CST
Or pot the tulips separately and sink that in the middle. A couple different grasses together will give you good color as well ... yellow, red, chartreuse ... and some blooms on some of them.
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched -- they must be felt with the heart. ~ Helen Keller
Name: Julia
Washington State (Zone 7a)
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springcolor
Feb 4, 2012 8:11 PM CST
Love Japanese Forest Gress. Have been hoping to get 'Nicholas', it turns redish in the fall.
I have a question?
I was out in my north flower bed scrapping moss with a hula hoe and I cut the top of of one of my hellebore. They are just starting to send shoots up. Did I kill it? Grumbling
I hate that moss, wish there was somthing to kill it that wouldn't kill my plants. I have to do this every year. After I put some new compost down then I'm going to place some lime chips down to keep the black spot down. Maybe the lime chips will kill the moss too. Read it likes acid soils.
I went to a Dan Hinkley lecture last year and he said hellebore like some-what alkiline soil and to drive chalk into the soil around the hellebores. What you guys think about that?
Sorry I think thats 3 questions.
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