Need ideas for perennial cut flowers for east facing bed

steve22802(7a VA)February 25, 2009

Hi all,

I've got an east facing bed (3ftx20ft) along the front of my house and I'd like to put some perennials (or possibly annuals) in this bed that would also make good cut flowers. During most of the summer this bed gets full sun from early morning until about 1 p.m. after that the sun goes over the house and the bed falls into the shadow of the house. I had one clump of hybrid lilies in this bed and I noticed that they ended up leaning out away from the house looking for the sun so I'm wondering if there might be a flower that won't mind so much when the sun goes behind the house. I'd prefer to put perennials here but I'm open to annual suggestions as well.


- Steve

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diggerdee zone 6 CT

Steve, I have a similar bed (well, part of a bed) and in it I put snapdragons. I also found that some annual rudbeckias do well there (although they would probably do better in full sun). I also found out by accident (otherwise known as reseeding from clear across the yard, lol) that chinese asters don't do so badly in part shade either. Sorry I'm only coming up with annuals, not perennials.

I'm surprised your lilies are leaning. I've grown some in quite shady spots that do well. Actually, I put a crate or two of lilies in almost full shade last year to stagger bloom times with the crates I had in the sun, and they did just as well as the lilies in the sun.

I've had some phlox paniculata in part shade that does okay. Perhaps some hydrangeas for cutting?


    Bookmark   February 25, 2009 at 2:10PM
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steve22802(7a VA)

Phlox paniculata sounds like a good possibility. Plus it would give me a good excuse to buy some new varieties. ;) I have pretty good sized clumps of 'David' and 'Katherine' already so maybe I can at least divide those and move some new starts to this front bed. Anyone have suggestions for other Phlox paniculata varieties that I should consider? It would be nice if there was a true blue variety. I was looking at 'Blue Paradise' over on Dave's Garden but apparently it actually changes colors through the course of the day from blue to pink. I wonder what would happen if you cut it in the morning when it's blue? Would it end up pink by the afternoon?

There's another tempting picture here.

Here is a link that might be useful: Blue Paradise

    Bookmark   February 25, 2009 at 8:58PM
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Hi Steve,
I have a east facing perennial garden alongside the house and a perennial which does fantastic is sweet autumn clematis 'Clematis paniculata'. I have tacked some chicken wire to the house and let the clematis climb on this and then sprawl through a shrub planted closed by. It adds height to the garden, takes up very little space and is just beautiful in the autumn when it blooms. I have also planted penstemon 'Husker Red' (the dark stems and leaves are a great compliment to scatter throughout the garden) and it seems to like the amount of sunlight it receives and keeps popping up here and there. This garden also receives dappled sunlight in the morning as there is a crabapple and birch tree on the outskirts of the border.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2009 at 9:54AM
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diggerdee zone 6 CT

Wow, Steve, that photo of the phlox from the nursery is absolutely gorgeous! But funny how much variation there is in the other photos from DG...


    Bookmark   February 27, 2009 at 12:07PM
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steve22802(7a VA)

What about Dahlias? How do you think they would do facing east? I guess ideally it would be nice to have plants that still looked nice even after the flower stem is cut since this is the front (street side) of my house. I suppose I could put a few of my calla lily bulbs (Zantedeschia albo maculata) out there since they have nice spotted foliage even after the flower stem is cut.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2009 at 2:38PM
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busylizzy(z5 PA)

On the East side of the porch I have is all hostas now, they love it there.

Planning on digging and transplanting some and replacing with Zinnias, later I may replace with mums for fall dsiplay

Campanulas work well on the East Side also

One year I planted Moonflowers on the corner and had 100's of blooms late summer/fall in that spot.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2009 at 12:49PM
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diggerdee zone 6 CT


I know it's another annual, but I was just sowing some zinnia Envy seeds, and on the packet from Swallowtail it says "Performs best when planted in part shade". This is great for me because I have more shade than sun, so I can put these in the less-sunny areas. But I also thought of you and this post and just thought I'd add this in case it was of some help to you.


    Bookmark   March 30, 2009 at 11:06AM
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steve22802(7a VA)

So far I've put Phlox 'David' and 'Katherine' in this bed along with coral bells, golden rod (Golden Baby) and a couple clumps of Stars of Persia. I've still got space for maybe 4 more medium sized plants.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2009 at 9:45PM
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I have peony, hosta, azalea, bearded iris, clematis, euonymus (to climb next to the deck), dicentra, ferns, bugbane, persicaria, ligularia and anemone. I think foxglove would work, and Solomon's seal. I'll have to try phlox. Maybe obedient plant (physostegia)?

The phlox I have is 'Laura' which is a clear magenta-purple with a white eye. It is exactly the same color as the center of, and complements, Centaurea montana (Mountain bluet). I don't know how much shade that will tolerate, but I have mine in part shade. It's somewhat invasive in cooler climates (stoloniferous clumps).

    Bookmark   April 14, 2009 at 10:02AM
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