new gardener in Traverse City

Amanda_E(49684)April 11, 2005

Hi, I was hoping to get some tips on types of flowers to begin with in my new garden. I just moved to Traverse City, and have taken up gardening, but don't really know what flowers to go with in this area. I love roses, but am not sure what ones to work with, and how long they take to bloom. Any advice on any flowers would be so great! Thanks

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That's a pretty tough question to answer simply because the choices are endless. I like to winter sow seeds. This year I started well over 40 vatieties that will grow well in zone 5, and that's just a start.

My personal Favorites are:

Achillea Pastels
Bellflower (Blue)
Blazing Star ( Purple Liatris)
Blue Flax
Buddleja Davidii (Butterfly Bush)
Catnip (a must have!)
Columbine Barlow (Double Flowers, multi colors)
Columbine Dragonfly Mix (Semi-Dwarf)
Delphinium Purple
Dianthus (Pink-White)
False Indigo (Blue)
Foxglove (Mix)
Gloriosa Daisy
Gold Yarrow
Lupine Mixed Colors
Maiden Pinks
Purple Coneflower
Saponaria (pink, purple)
Rose of Sharon
Salvia Blue Bedder (Sage)
Shast Daisy
Snow in Summer
White Coneflower

Good luck, and enjoy your new home. I should be going through T.C. this summer on our way to Beaver Island. T.C. is really beautiful in spring and summer.

Here is a link that might be useful: Winter Sow Forum

    Bookmark   April 12, 2005 at 2:32PM
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grannymarsh(z4-5 U.P. MICH)

Traverse City is a beautiful area. Congratulations on your move!! Call the local MSU extension agent for local growing conditions. They may also be able to put you in contact with some Garden Clubs. Even if you don't wish to join a club, I'll bet that some of the members would be glad to help you. After all, gardeners are a wonder bunch of people.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2005 at 4:45PM
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MissBeth(z5 MI)

Hi, Amanda! I live near Traverse City (near Elk Rapids). Some easy things that do very well in our area and that are favorites of mine include:
- peonies, siberian and bearded iris, oriental poppies, nepeta, candytuft, brunnera
- shasta daisies (esp. Becky), monarda, rudbeckia, tall phlox, daylilies, hosta, purple coneflower, asiatic lilies, oriental lilies, achillea Moonshine, heuchera
- several of the summer plants continue well into the fall; ornamental grasses
ROSES - buy 'own root' roses, not hybrid teas... try Buck roses, shrub roses, etc

You can find all of these things at local garden centers.
I grow LOTS of other things I haven't mentioned here... if you have questions about any specific plants, please feel free to ask!
Also, if you want garden center recommendations, let me know.
Beth - Zone 5 MI near Traverse City

    Bookmark   April 16, 2005 at 7:40AM
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Mozart2(Zone 5 Michigan)


Search for the "Michigan in Spring" posting within this site and you'll find an enormous wealth of information including garden centers, recommended books, some places to visit, and a few fellow gardeners

Welcome to the area!

Bill & Sue

    Bookmark   April 20, 2005 at 6:25PM
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tadeusz5(z5 il)

Join the Traverse City gardening club, i can't recall their name, but this will "open" a door/window for you , to the wonderful world of gardens, friends, and knowledge that you will traesure forever.

Rhododendrons, Azaleas , Pieris,Viburnums and copius other shrubs are being grown in Traverse City as well- even though the world thinks it's a Siberia.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2005 at 7:19AM
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What is the planting out date in Traverse City?



    Bookmark   May 5, 2005 at 12:03AM
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chezmoose(z4/5 MI)

Hi Amanda,

Welcome to the area. I'm in Cadillac, about 35 miles south of (and a zone colder than) TC. I'd be happy to share my favorite garden centers.

Sorry I can't help with the roses, I've sworn off them. Too high maintenance for me.

I'm currently delving into shade gardening (since I live in the woods). Besides my bulb flowers, I currently have a beautiful Pasque flower, bleeding hearts and columbine blooming.

One of my favorite sunny flowers last year was May Night Salvia, blooms non-stop til frost. I also have two pink potentilla shrubs that are bloom continuously once they get started. If anyone has other long-lasting bloomers (sun or shade) for Z4/5 I'd love to hear of them.

Peggy S.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2005 at 12:18PM
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MissBeth(z5 MI)

Re:planting out date -
If you mean frost-free date for planting annuals, it's usually shortly after Memorial Day... you can try earlier if you're prepared to cover things... and keep an eye on the forecasts.

Beth Z5 near Traverse City

    Bookmark   May 17, 2005 at 8:45AM
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Keli(z5 MI)

I live in Traverse City, send me an e-mail and I'll give you a garden tour and probably some starts.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2005 at 10:12AM
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Beth -- Re planting out date. Yes, I meant for tender annuals. Oh, yikes! I didn't expect it to be after Memorial Day ... that's about the same as here in Alaska!

Thanks for the information.


    Bookmark   May 19, 2005 at 8:04PM
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MissBeth(z5 MI)

I've checked the 10-day forecast, and decided to start planting annuals yesterday... hope the weathermen are right!
Beth - Z5 MI

    Bookmark   May 24, 2005 at 9:07AM
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My wife has had great success growing tea roses over the years and currently has about 20 bushes. The climate varies considerably with the more temperate micro-climate located near Grand Traverse Bay. Areas more than a few miles from the bay probably would not do well with roses due to the more extreme temperature fluctuations.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2007 at 8:56AM
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