To daisyincrete pls help with perennials

nikthegreek(9b/10a E of Athens)January 27, 2014

Hi daisy,

This is not a strictly rose question but it has to do with rose indirectly. I've seen pics of your garden in Crete and I love your selection of flowers to accompany your roses. I'm sure you know that selections in Greece are both limited and erratic (in that one is never very sure what one's getting cultivar or even proper name wise). I understand you have imported many of your plants from the UK so I wonder If you would do me a favour and provide a list of perennials that have done well for you in your climate and soil and maybe point me to nurseries in the UK which would ship to Greece. Thanks, Nik

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daisyincrete Z10? 905feet/275 metres

Hi Nik, Sorry, I have got to go now. I will answer you properly tomorrow.
In the meantime, have a look at the perennials forum.
I have a couple of posts on there.
Also, have a look at any posts on there, from people in a similar zone to you.

Here is a link that might be useful: Perennials Forum

    Bookmark   January 27, 2014 at 11:15AM
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daisyincrete Z10? 905feet/275 metres

Hi Nik, my garden is a bit of a mishmash, with not just roses and perennials, but with bulbs and tubers, grasses, climbers, shrubs and annuals as well.
Because it is so tiny and I am so greedy, I tend to layer things. Like bulbs underneath low growing perennials and shrubs and climbers over them.
Here in the Mediterranean, the range of perennials that are happy, is a lot less than in a more temperate climate.
Those that I have found to be happy so far, (I am still experimenting) are plants like Aster x frikartii Monch.

This plant is brilliant. It starts flowering in May and continues right into the winter. In fact, mine still had a few flowers on it, when I finally cut it back last week.
Here it is with rose Buff Beauty.

Agastache Apricot Twist. This is not very long lived, but is easy from cuttings.

Alstromerias. All of those I have tried have been happy and long flowering.

Nepeta Walkers Low, seen above with the alstromeria.
This also flowers all the way from April, until I cut it back in winter.

All artemisias. This one is Powis Castle.

All limoniums.

All sedums.

Erigeron karvinskianus (seen here on the left) seeds around a lot, but is not difficult to pull out.

The same goes for Lychnis coronaria. Seeds well, but is easy to remove.

Rehmannia elata (behind the lychnis above) is also easy in full sun or shade.

Foxgloves are biennial. Or at least Digitalis purpurea is.
I have sown some seeds of some perennial foxgloves this winter, but they are not up yet.

Pinks are short lived, but root from cuttings.

Galliardias and Ganzanias also seem to be short lived, but flower for ages.

But Perovskia atriplicifolia goes on and on for years...and seems to flower for ever.

Anemone hupehensis doesn't start flowering until autumn.
Mine are in deep, summer shade under the apricot tree, but the colours seem to glow in the shade.

Erysimum Bowles Mauve loves the sun.

Dahlias can get powdery mildew. Not every year, just sometimes.

and of course the salvia family, of which there are masses.
I love them all, even the humble purple sage here...

... and I cannot imagine the garden without Verbena bonariensis, seen here with Nicotiana sylvestris. (Both from seed)

...and in a mixed border.

I have given the links to the two suppliers in England that I have used the most, on the perennials forum,
If you look in my thread, titled, "new plants", you will find the links.
Peter Beales also does a smaller range of perennials.

I think, if you have any questions, we had better continue this on the perennials forum, before we get our knuckles rapped!
Hope this helps.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2014 at 10:38AM
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nikthegreek(9b/10a E of Athens)

Wow Daisy, thanks for your efforts in replying to me. This sure gives me some lead to start my investigations. Much obliged. Fantastic pictures again.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2014 at 10:55AM
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nippstress - zone 5 Nebraska

Daisy, I have to say that your photos are jaw-dropping and amazingly stunning!! If I could accomplish half of the integration of perennials with roses and other plants in my own yard, I might call myself a gardener! I do try to weave in perennials and keep a relatively unified theme, but throughout all your garden shots there is an elegance and a flow combined with exuberance and depth of color that simply takes my breath away.

Please feel free to post more shots of your garden at any point. I will feel quite humbled, of course, but also inspired, at least as soon as I can wipe the drool off my keyboard.



    Bookmark   January 28, 2014 at 10:33PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

You have an amazing garden, Daisy! You've done a wonderful job creating a space that is very welcoming. I love all your photos but if I had to pick a couple that were my favorites, it would be photo #11 and photo #20. I wonder how long you have been gardening there?

    Bookmark   January 29, 2014 at 9:28AM
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Campanula UK Z8

It is astounding, isn't it? Amazingly, I have many of the same flowers but my garden looks NOTHING like yours. You really cannot use the term mish-mash anymore (I will dig out some of mine if you want to know what a mish-mash really looks like) - Top gardening, Daisy - a lovely vision and a tour de force to be intensely proud of.

I would be hurled into dark despair and bitter envy but it's January where hope still holds sway over reality.....and this year, I am going to get on top of it........perhaps.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2014 at 5:04PM
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Inspiring, Daisy! Thank you for posting! Absolutely inspiring!

    Bookmark   January 29, 2014 at 7:10PM
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daisyincrete Z10? 905feet/275 metres

Cheers Nik. Hope it goes well.
Thank-you Cynthia. Here are a few more photos. Just general views of the garden.

Thanks Prairiemoon2. My husband built the pond, arbours and steps in 2009 and I started planting in 2010.
Campanula, Thanks, but I am having to replant some areas, thanks to the attentions of the dreaded mealy bug? Also, it is becoming more of a mish-mash, as I am very bad at removing self seeded plants. So it is going to become messier!
Thank-you for your comments redwolfdoc.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2014 at 9:39AM
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Awwwww words cannot express how much I love your garden Daisy! I wish I could recreate this in Texas. But sadly it would burn to a crisp in summer! Thanks for sharing. I have been missing my garden this summer and you are definitely healing my wounds.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2014 at 10:01AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Daisy, kudos to your husband! He has some serious skills to be able to do all that. They came out so well, too! Such a young garden! It's hard to believe you've done all that in three years. It must be so nice to have water in the garden too. Well, you both make a good team! Thanks for sharing your photos, it's such a nice break in the winter.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2014 at 2:25PM
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titian1 10b

Daisy, I am put to shame. An amazingly beautiful garden............... and only 3 years old. Not a patch of earth to be seen.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2014 at 8:34PM
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daisyincrete Z10? 905feet/275 metres

Trish, the reason there is no soil to be seen, is because I want more plants than I have room for. So the poor things are squeezed and shoe horned in.

Nik, I have just been out wandering around the garden and realised there are a few plants I forgot to tell you about.
Geranium sanguineum. This is a small plant in deep summer shade, where it is very happy. I am about to split it and try some in a sunny area. I will see how it likes it there.
Hellebores. Mine are still quite young, but seem happy.
Hemerocallis. These too are new to my garden, but are storming away.
Verbena rigida. These weaves it's way around other plants, popping up here and there. It is not a nuisance, but if it should pop up where you don't want it, it is easy to pull out. In fact most of the verbena clan are stalwarts in my garden, including some of the verbena x hybrida. Which are of course, available locally.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2014 at 2:02AM
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Daisy - I live in a Mediterranean climate in Nor Cal - thanks for all of the beautiful pictures! Many of the plants in your garden are also either in mine or grow around here, but not all of them, so I will use it for suggestions.

One thing to add - bulbs from South Africa do well here - iaxas, sparaxis, and some sort of species gladiola I forget the name of, and many others I am sure. The great thing for this year is that they go dormant in the summer, and don't need any watering - great for our drought. They all come back year after year here, unlike tulips and many daffodils. You even see them happily come up in the Spring in vacant lots and/or old neglected gardens where they get no care - just my sort of plant!


    Bookmark   February 3, 2014 at 10:18AM
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daisyincrete Z10? 905feet/275 metres

Thanks Jackie for those suggestions. I haven't had any of those bulbs, but my daughter sent me a box of mixed bulbs last autumn. There were some sparaxis amongst them. They are up, but not yet of course, flowering. I am looking forward to seeing them.
Do you have any photos?

    Bookmark   February 4, 2014 at 12:36PM
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Nothing I love more than a garden with roses as opposed to a garden of roses. Thanks for showing us how it's done!

Several of the perennials shown are easy to start from seed, at least here in my non-mediterranean garden. I would imagine it might be easier and cheaper to aquire seeds then plants if Nik is having to order internationally. Daisy, maybe a list of which plants can be readily propagated from seed would help Nik?

    Bookmark   February 4, 2014 at 2:43PM
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Daisy - here is a picture of my garden showing the iaxas - they are the tall white flowers with the dark middle of the bloom. I know they also come in yellow, and perhaps other colors. I will post pictures of the sparaxis in another post, as I can't figure out how to post more than one pic.


    Bookmark   February 4, 2014 at 3:17PM
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Here is another picture of the sidewalk in front of our house - the sparaxis are the dark orange flowers along the sidewalk on the left and further down on the right. They come in many colors - white, pinkish white, yellow, orange, and a lovely dark maroon. I think the default color is the orange, but the others are prettier, at least in my opinion. Usually here they are sold as "mixed colors". They are short - I would say 8-12 inches high.

I will post one last pic next showing a closeup of one.


    Bookmark   February 4, 2014 at 3:22PM
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Here is a closeup of a sparaxis flower - all of the different colors have this sort of making in the middle.


    Bookmark   February 4, 2014 at 3:23PM
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I am thrilled to have found these pictures! Wow, there are some very talented gardeners on this site. Daisy, thank you for sharing this beautiful space with us. Your husband is very talented too . Jacqueline, what a lovely garden space you have created. Lots of plants we can not grow here in KY. but beautiful, none the less. Lesley

    Bookmark   February 4, 2014 at 5:49PM
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nikthegreek(9b/10a E of Athens)


You have a good suggestion there, but personally I'm not a seed person. I've never had the energy, patience, time and dedication required to propagate from seeds (although I do propagate some citrus for rootstock, citrus being another of my gardening hobbies).

    Bookmark   February 5, 2014 at 12:55AM
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organicgardendreams(z 10)

Daisy, it is absolutely stunning that you have been able to create your garden in just three years! It is sooo... beautiful! As a matter of fact one of the nicest gardens that I have ever seen here on GardenWeb. Thank you so much for sharing these photos!

I garden in Southern California and I am eagerly taking notes, since I assume that many of the plants that do well in your garden will be good in mine, too.

Jacquelyne, I love the white sparaxsis with the dark throat. I don't recall that I have ever seen this plant. You have created a very lovely sidewalk!


    Bookmark   February 6, 2014 at 1:42PM
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Christina - that one is NOT a sparaxis - it is called "iaxa". As I said, it is a bulb from South Africa. I just found it in a catalogue today - it comes in all sorts of colors, including dark pink!


    Bookmark   February 6, 2014 at 4:46PM
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daisyincrete Z10? 905feet/275 metres

Jackie, if I were your neighbour, I would be walking up and down past your house all day. Thank-you for posting those photos. Wonderful.
I am looking forward to seeing my new bulbs.

Sorry if I mislead you all. Although I didn't plant the garden properly until 2010, after the paths and steps had been finished. I had already put some plants in, the year after we first moved in, in 2008. So the first plants were put in the spring of 2009.

Thank-you all for your comments.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2014 at 2:27AM
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curdle(9b, Australia)

I'm a big fan of most bulbs - luckily winters get just cold enough here to get a good repeat on daffodils! No luck with Tulips though...
Sparaxis are one of the best; they sell them mixed here; the predominating colour is orange, with some white, and yellow ones, but like Jackie, my favourite are the dark maroon ones. In the last couple of years its been possible to get dark purple ones, sold as "purple velvets"
Ixias (also called corn lily) arent bad either (tho mine seem to get a bit floppy, probably because i grow them in pots). they tend to come in candy colours, although again, I have also seen some sky blue coloured ones sold separately.
You could also try Tritonia (pale pink or off white) and Babiana (also called baboon flowers, and confusingly, sometimes purple velvets- they come in a range of dark pink to purple). The Tritonias and Babianas seem to flower a bit later than the Sparaxis, at least for me.
I get a fairly good repeat the next year; sometimes I lift them, if i am feeling lazy, I dont...
Not to mention refracta alba- creamy white, will multiply freely and smells divine..
Oops, almost forgot the tigridia (jockey caps) these I have only grown in pots (and I still got a repeat the next year). they are early summer flowering, and the blooms only last a day, but you get more than one per bulb and they are truly extraordinary looking flowers.
I think they're all great- cheap and cheerful and fairly accepting of dry and hot conditions. Plus the bulbs are small and don't need all that much depth; i just dig my thumb into the ground about 6 cm, and there's the planting hole! You can usually get 30 bulbs for about 6/7 dollars here.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2014 at 8:04AM
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I tried Calochortus here in zone 6a but the squirrels ate them all. Would they work for you? They are a little iffy here zone wise but they did not survive long enough to be sure.


    Bookmark   February 8, 2014 at 11:15AM
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organicgardendreams(z 10)

Thanks, Jacqueline, for making me aware that the white bulbs with the dark throat are not sparaxis. I tried to google iaxa but nothing came up.

Further down on the threat curdle from Australia was talking about Ixias and I googled those as well and they look like the white ones with the dark throat that you have in your garden! Is this correct?


    Bookmark   February 8, 2014 at 5:36PM
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Campanula UK Z8

yes, ixias, aka corn lilies.

Jacqueline, you might try babiana and bessera - another couple of S.A.bulbs which might do well for you.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2014 at 6:10PM
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Hey guys! I am a bit late to the party, but I wanted to add my suggestions. Looking at what was growing naturally on our property in Jordan (NW corner, 18" or so of rain annually)... we have various native iris which are completely adapted to the lower rainfall such as Iris atrofusca, Iris atropurpurea, and Iris nigricans as three examples. There are also several native crocus species as well as non-natives like Crocus cartwrightianus and its more famous sterile tetraploid, saffron which are perfectly hardy in the climate. Also we have things like giant sea squill (Drimia/Urginea maritima) and several others. I'm going to attach the list I ran across a few weeks ago while trying to ID things I had found which lists the native plants.. several of which I actually recognized as being in cultivation in the US.

For things which basically function as cool weather fillers: calendula, nasturtiums, can California poppies... these work beautifully. I added them here as they work well in the rainy season in the fall/winter/spring and reseed well.

Here is a link that might be useful: List of plants in Jordan

This post was edited by julianna on Thu, Dec 11, 14 at 9:14

    Bookmark   December 10, 2014 at 7:15PM
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