Quick Growing perennials

eventfarmMay 27, 2007

I'm looking for some local advice. I live in Texas, but will be summering up in Maine. I've historically put in some annuals for color, but this year I'm looking for some perennials that can be planted and create the bulk of the garden.

I will be going up June 6th and would like to have a decent looking garden by July 20th. I have full sun to full shade and everything in between. The garden will get great care in June, july and a few weeks in august. then nothing.

Now the restrictions:

It can't be expensive. The plants are puchased for me (I'm employed there) and they usually buy me about 10 flats of annuals and a few hanging baskets. It looks pretty sparse. I'm willing to plant things now that won't come up til next year. (are there bulbs that I can order online, plant now, and see some result?)

Need to be kid friendly (no thorns, etc).

Can't get too big. The area is on a slight hill and we need to see the top of the hill.

Grows in somewhat poor soil - the area has been mulched every year with no ammendments. I might be able to get some dried molassas and bone meal and other natural ammendments, but I'm not sure yet.

I like plants with interesting foliage, so flowering is not the most important feature, though it would be nice.

Herbs may be a good thing....

Any ideas?

Hostas? Mint?(self propogation is a good thing)

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The critical first question is, Where in Maine? The seacoast? Inland? Lakes? Woods? Southern Maine? Northern Maine? Plant recommendations would vary greatly depending on location.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2007 at 8:50PM
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It's near Augusta. I'm not sure where that falls in your classification? Best I can tell from the Hardiness map it's zone 5a or 4b

    Bookmark   May 28, 2007 at 6:42PM
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Hostas, definitely, for your shady areas and astilbes, and maybe sweet woodruff, lamium, or lily of the valley for a nice ground cover. For sunny areas, I love stargazer lilies, veronica, beebalm, catmint (not catNIP, and baby's breath. Creeping thyme is another fast spreader for me. Don't nelect geraniums---the real ones (aka cranesbill) are lovely. Be careful with mint---it can become horribly invasive. I've never had much luck overwintering herbs---my lavender just up and disappears every year!

    Bookmark   May 29, 2007 at 1:50PM
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There are endless perennials that would be suitable.
Shade: Hosta, Astilbe, Bleeding Heart
Full-Part Sun: Echinacea,Day Lily, Columbine,Delphinium,Baptisia,Lupine,Phlox,Peony,Liatris,Lily,Malva,Monarda,Veronica,Campanula,Iris...
These are some of my favorites and really need no care at all. Good Luck!

    Bookmark   June 2, 2007 at 7:06AM
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laniebug(z4 ME)

I second all above plus "Husker red" Penstemon digitalis great foliage! A lot of the Hannaford Bros grocery stores carry 6 packs of perennials for around 3.00. They are small but will be great for next year!
Good luck with the project

    Bookmark   June 4, 2007 at 7:57PM
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