Need advice on weird plants for Seuss garden

highjumpgirlJanuary 9, 2014

Hi, I'm a very novice gardener, especially to this Zone 8, and wondered if anyone could advise me on very dramatic or unusual plants/flowers that would grow easily here, which I can use to create a Dr. Seuss-style garden. It will be a small one, and I don't mind watering. I'm in Wilmington NC and there doesn't seem to be a great variety available here. I once saw what looked like a monkey grass at a Whole Foods store, but it had horizontal stripes. I googled that, and saw Zebra grass, but I don't think that was it... ? The giant Allium is an obvious choice....can someone help me with other ideas? Thanks!

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zzackey(8b GA)

I have no idea what a Dr. Seuss garden is. I loved his books when I was little.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2014 at 6:51PM
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Have you done a search for the general topic- what is a Dr. Seuss garden? Sit back and enjoy some fun reading and perhaps a few answers to your question.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2014 at 3:04PM
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jcalhoun(8b Mobile County AL)

This sounds like a very interesting project.

I don't have any suggestions for plants but it would probably helpful to also add some crazy looking garden decorations also. Maybe even wierd things that wouldn't normally be in a garden.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2014 at 9:55AM
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idixierose(z8b Coastal SC)

Farfugium comes to mind. It looks like giant dollarweed.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2014 at 7:32PM
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vmr423(Zone 8b, SC)

A lot of Gerbera Daisies strike me as having a sort of cartoonish quality, and are easy to grow in our climate. Some of the variegated zinnias, such as the 'Candy Stripe' and 'Peppermint Stick' ones might also be fun, and easily grown from seed.

Turk's cap (a native hibiscus) and Abutilon (not native) have unusual flowers, though maybe not showy enough for what you're planning. Bat-face cuphea is well-named. Shrimp plant (Justicia brandegeeana) or Firecracker ferns (Russelia equisetiformis) are also unusual, but possibly not "out there" enough?

Some tropical hibiscuses are loud and proud, and there are a few heat-tolerant fuchsias on the market these days.

Coleus does well in our shady garden- some of the wilder color combos might do the trick.

One that may or may not be hard to find is Tibouchina heteromalla- the flowers are purple and nice enough, but it's the leaves that are kinda funky- large, green velvety ovals that don't look like any other leaves I've seen. You could put it in a pot so you could bring it indoors to keep it from freezing, but I know someone in 8B who has one planted outside- he lets his die back with cold weather & it comes back in the spring.

I tried to list plants you should be able to find without a lot of trouble, and none of these plants should be too finicky for a novice gardener.

Good luck with whatever you decide to grow, and please feel free to post some photos...

    Bookmark   March 26, 2014 at 10:32PM
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vmr423(Zone 8b, SC)

Oh, and ditto on the Farfugium suggestion. Very Seussian, and pretty easy to grow here.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2014 at 10:34PM
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ncstockguy(Zone7 NC)

The 'Flying Dragon' is a very weird plant. Twisty and curly and big spikes on the stem. When it matures it puts out bright orange 'oranges' which are inedible. Definitely would fit in a Dr Seuss garden.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 9:35AM
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how about a monkey puzzle tree?? they are def. weird looking. I found one in a local nursery once, and it lived in my zone 7 garden in VA.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2014 at 8:42PM
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How about Dagga/Lion's Tail? Or blue sea holly? Or Green Wizard rudbeckia? Toucan purslane? Black poppies? Penny Black nemophilia?

    Bookmark   November 29, 2014 at 6:43PM
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Dave in NoVA • 7a • Northern VA

I would think adding some topiary would add to the Seussian effect. Try Japanese hollies, Ligustrum japonicum, Yaupon holly and trim into poodle trees.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2014 at 10:08AM
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