Looking for Tough Perennial

chezmoose(z4/5 MI)June 10, 2005

I am looking for ideas for a tough plant to put in a small bed on the south side of my house. It is "partly sunny", probably gets 3-4 hours of direct light a day. Ideally I would like something fairly low that flowers and spreads. I have tulips and daffodils in this bed and would like something that would fill in and help cover up their mess when they die back. We have no rain gutters on the back of the house yet, so something that wouldn't get beaten up too badly when it rains. And... this particular spot gets a lot of sun in the winter and has a tendency to thaw and refreeze. My bulbs start sprouting in February!

Any ideas on what could survive in this location?

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I would stuff a few Foxglove and Monarda in between the spring bulbs and then maybe some Saponaria or Maiden Pinks for ground cover. You'd have lots of color most of the season then. Maybe even Snow in Summer if you want tiny white flowers?

    Bookmark   June 10, 2005 at 10:51AM
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Geranium sanguineum var. striatum - Lots of flowers (late spring till fall), lots of spread. Drought tolerant. Prefers sun, but will handle the shade. About 6" high. Very spreading, very tough, very nice.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2005 at 8:39AM
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chezmoose(z4/5 MI)

Great ideas! Meijer has a good sale on perennials, so I picked up some foxglove and monarda. I just happen to have some maiden pinks that I heeled in until I could decide where they should go, and a "bloody geranium" that's running rampant in one of my other beds, so I think I'll relocate those in the fall. Thanks CzechChick and ninamarie!

    Bookmark   June 13, 2005 at 8:28PM
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lynne_melb(z9b Melb FL)

For tough spots in my old zone 5 garden, sedum Autumn Joy was my favorite. I had it on all sides of the house except north, and it did great. On the south side, I had it under a tree, so got even less sun than you are talking about.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2005 at 10:14PM
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chills71(Zone 6b Mi)

I've got a spot just like you described. I have a plant there that everyone wants to have me identify. Lysimachia punctata 'Alexander'.

Its in cloom right now, but even when not in bloom, the variegation is worthwhile. It does need a trim in early winter, it has a habit of holding its stems, but other than that it is carefree and easy.


    Bookmark   June 13, 2005 at 10:49PM
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chezmoose(z4/5 MI)

I just happen to have an "Alexander" in that spot already. It's very happy there and would probably fill the entire bed if I allowed it. ;-) It is a cool plant, I wished it bloomed longer, but is interesting all season, especially when the new growth has that pretty pink tinge.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2005 at 7:07AM
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