Lets sqeeze something in. what next??

lilium_guy56September 23, 2006

I have quite a big garden all flowers. There really isn't any room but I'll make room. I have these....lilies (lots), bearded Iris (lots), Tulips (too many), Coneflowers, Shasta Daisy, various DL, Coreopsis, Red Hot Pokers, Campanula, Siberian Iris, Dutch Iris, Roses, Hosta, Phlox, Crown Imperials, Muscaria, More Lilies, NANUS GLADS. I think thats all. I want something new. I prefer large flowers or weird looking things. I need recommendations for size and shear beauty of the bloom and ease of care. I'm thinking of these....Hibiscus, poppy, Globemaster Alliums, Mums.


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leslie197(z5 MI)

There are all kinds of Alliums that work with lilies and iris.

First here is a small but extremely prolific one - unifolium - but there are many other small ones which are great filler among your taller plants.

Allium Globemaster

Allium sphaerocephelum - Drumstick Allium

A. giganteum - taller than Globemaster, smaller flower heads

Allium christophii

And since you like big and bold, why not try Foxtail Lilies - Eremurus (variety here is Roford, but there are many varieties and colors)

    Bookmark   September 23, 2006 at 10:40AM
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Jeanne_in_Idaho(z5 N.Idaho)

Leslie, is that yellow dangling flower in the bottom photo a clematis, and what's its name? Is it a climber like most or does it make more of a shrub shape like a few others?

Gorgeous photos!


    Bookmark   September 23, 2006 at 1:07PM
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leslie197(z5 MI)

It's Clematis tangutica Sheriffi. It is a regular vining type, but blooms from late June until frost every year. It grows 10 ft but I keep it on a 4 ft tuteur in my raised gravel bed with poorish thin soil. I also chop back any over flow in mid summer, just hack away what is drowing other plants and it never takes a break - just goes on blooming.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2006 at 7:05PM
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Thanks Leslie. Alliums it is. I always like Globemaster but hate the price. Do Globes' multiply? The drumsticks are cheap enough. The UNIFOLIUM looks a bit like a Scabiosa but I don't like those because they flop over a lot. On the Christophii....I know they are short and thats ok but are there tall ones that resemble it? Seems I saw somewhere in a catalog a tall Allium with that same look. I'd love to have 20 Globemaster but at the price I was hoping they multiply.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2006 at 10:04AM
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If you've still got some squeeze space after the alliums go in, how about an Oriental poppy? My only experience with them is a specimen plant with softball sized blooms in a fiery orange/red with black center that I'm sure can be seen from space. It stays tidy, growing vertical rather than spreading horizontally. Every year the number of blooms increases dramatically and, although my preference might have been for a more subtle color, this plant does not disappoint.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2006 at 3:05PM
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If you will go with Alliums, those are on sale at Bluestone perennials now.
What about daylilies? Newer hybrids are quite dramatic and have better habits.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2006 at 12:59PM
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leslie197(z5 MI)


I haven't had the Globemasters long enough to know if they increase or not - this is their 2nd season. But if you look closely at the picture of GB, you will see that this year there are some small heads coming out right next to the larger ones.

There were 3 of these. Each of the 3 appeared to be coming out of the same plant as a larger Globe, so I assume these are babies next to mama bulbs. I originally bought 5 Globemasters, but had 8 blooms this year, so it looks like they are trying to spread! I have had the giganteum much longer, but get still get the same number of blooms each year.

As for the unifoliums, they do flop - but they are very ephemeral, put up hardly any foliage and make a nice filler for the short time they are around. These spread like crazy, as I have found do many of the smaller ones. I'm starting to get Hair all over the place now! Now that's a weird one.

What I like about alliums, especially all the small ones (some are small but tall) & I've bought lots of them, is that they mostly bloom between the daffs and the perennials getting started for the year and then poof they are gone till the next season. No muss no fuss.

BTW the sphaerocephelums bloom later in the season (early July here) are gorgeous while they are there, go great with daylilies, but the bloom color does not last long. OTOH, you can have dozens of them growing in a very small footprint, which is easily lost in the DL foliage later on, so it really doesn't matter much here either that they are ephemeral.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2006 at 7:39PM
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linnea56(z5 IL)

I have several kinds, but the sphaerocephelums are disappointing: so floppy. I'd say mine were 3 feet tall (That is, IF they were standing upright, or even close to it) Just a tangle of skinny stems topped by little purple egg-shaped balls.

And with each stalk and flower being small, staking is not worth it.

The biggest happy allium surprise has been Allium ostrowskianum . Short, a clear pink, blooms when the tulips and daffs are done, at a good transition time. Very very nice.

Leslie, what is a "4 ft tuteur"? The plant support seen in your photo?

    Bookmark   October 1, 2006 at 5:24PM
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leslie197(z5 MI)

The term tuteur can be used for any 3-dimensional shaped free-standing trellis. They are often pyramid shaped, although mine are more rounded with four legs and circular cross pieces. The ones I bought are made of metal in a sort of bronzy color, although they are often made of wood. They were bought locally at a good general nursery.

I put a shorter one in this bed, since it is a raised bed and use a taller one in the ground level bed behind it. Both of them are used for clematis vines. Although the tuteurs come with extra leg length to push into the ground, since they are free-standing and clems can get big, the taller one is also staked.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2006 at 8:09PM
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julie_mn(z4 MN Henn)

Knautia Mars Midget- for lower upright continuous bloom power- Spilanthies, or the Eyeball Plant for lower growing visual interest, mine had a nice bronzy tinge to the foliage in the sun- Nicandra, or the 'Shoe Fly Plant- peppered foliage and nice blue flowers with GREAT seed pods- Nigella hispanica- Impatiens Balfourii- Nicotiana 'Only the Lonely'- try a sunflower in a color you like- there are so many now to choose from! I had morning glories clamboring up old lily stalks for a nice effect this year- Annual asters have great big flowers in the fall- cleomes- oh- geeze- I almost forgot- Salpiglosses- or Painted Tongue- very easy and lovely! Oh- and Abelmoschus manihot!
I am thinking cramped quarters here- but if you wanted to let it get big- go for Daturas! Big, smelly, (I mean pleasantly fragrant) ornate, watch them point as they drive by metaloides type dats- or Brugs!! Japanese Tree peonies for the spring time show!
You can start alliums from seed, I have- and no- I still dont know how long it takes them to get to blooming size- and some I have planted have bulbs that multply- but they have all too short a season- I wish they lasted longer!! Maybe a few Fritilaries here and there as well.....
You have so many choices! I do hope you find more that please you!

    Bookmark   October 15, 2006 at 1:27AM
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aspenbooboo41(6a Northeast PA)

Since you like large and wierd looking flowers, how about Dracunculus Vulgaris? Hardiness is to zone 5, so I guess this would only work if you have an appropriate microclimate. It's a very large, interesting flower and very easy to grow according to the comments on Dave's Garden. They say the flower stinks (badly) when it first opens but then the odor goes away... so don't plant anywhere you don't want to smell it.
This fall is my first time planting it.

Here is a link that might be useful: Check it out

    Bookmark   October 16, 2006 at 10:20AM
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To aspenbooboo.....I took a look at your link. I believe I've seen shorter versions of this in catalogs. or this one. It sure will be a novelty. I'm not encouraged by the 3-4 day bloom time tho. Its too unusual NOT to have one. I'll get some. ARUM Vulgarious

    Bookmark   October 17, 2006 at 9:54PM
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