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My first Minnesota Garden - Please Advice

Posted by joyfulsnowflake Zone 4 (My Page) on
Fri, Oct 27, 06 at 17:44

Me and my husband built our first Minnesota Garden together this summer. I finally had time to sit down, and compile a list of all the plants I have. Most of them are purchased and planted in July and August. In September, we planted 200 bulbs - some tulips and some daffodil. In late October, our tree peony order arrived, so we planted them. We pretty much stayed with the plants we had a bit knowledge of. Please take a look at my garden. What do you think? What are some plants I should try? What looks good with what? I would like to stay with tough and hardy stuff until I gain some experience. Next year we want to put a small, raised bed vegi garden in the backyard.

Here are some pictures of my garden:

One side:

Another side:

Here is my plant list:


* Sensation Lilac (Syringa vulgaris 'Sensation')
* Cutleaf Staghorn Sumac - Tiger Eyes (Rhus x typhina 'Bailtiger')
* Goldfinger Potentilla (Potentilla fruticosa 'Goldfinger')
* Cherry Bomb Japanese Barberry (Berberis tbunbergii 'Monomb')
* Dwarf Burning Bush (Euonymus alatus 'Compactus')
* Neon Flash Spirea (Spiraea japonic 'Neon Flash')


* 3 Chinese Tree Penoies
* 1 European Tree Penoy (Souvenir-de Maxime Cornu, Kinkaku)
* 1 red Herbaceous Peony
* Daylily - Stella Supreme (Hemerocallis 'Stella Supreme')
* Black-Eyed Susan Goldsturm (Rudbeckia fulgida var. sullivantii)
* Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea 'Magnus')
* Rosy Lights Azalea (Rhododendron 'Rosy Lights')
* Siberian Iris - Caesar's Brother (Iris sibirica 'Caesar's Brother')
* Siberian Iris - Ruffled Velvet (Iris sibiric 'Ruffled Velvet')
* Garden Phlox (Phlox paniculata)
* Hardy Geranium Hocus Pocus (Geranium pratense 'Hocus Pocus')
* Color Flash Lime Asbilbe (Astilbe x arendsii 'Beauty of Lisse')
* Lady's Mantel (Alchemilla mollis 'Auslese')
* Coreopsis Zagreb (Asteraceae verticillata 'Zagreb')
* Coreopsis Moonbeam (Asteraceae verticillata 'Moonbeam')
* Clematis
* Lily of the Valley
* Hosta
* Sedum Autumn Joy
* Bleeding Heart
* Garden Mum (Chrysantemum x hybrida)
* Chinese Lantern (Physalis alkekengi)
* Creeping Phlox
* Creeping Sedum
* Coral Bells (Heuchera x hybrida 'Chocolate Ruffles')


* Zonal Geranium Rocky Mountain Violet
* Zonal Geranium Samba
* Common Cosmos
* Dianthus 'Parfait Strawberry'
* Bidens
* Verbena
* Coleus


* Carefree Sunshin Shrub Rose
* Island Dancer Shrub Rose
* Bonica Shrub Rose

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: My first Minnesota Garden - Please Advice

At this point I would suggest you go to the library to check out some books and see what you like. There are so many choices. You have an impressive list so far.

Make a list of what you have it's color, bloom time, size, light needs and then fill in where you see holes. It really helps me so I don't get a of one color in one month etc.

RE: My first Minnesota Garden - Please Advice

It looks as though you have a nice start. Check out the book Perennials for Cold Climates by Mike Heger, owner of Ambergate Gardens near Chaska. He lists and shows pics of a lot of plants that are real workhorses. He lists some of the best varieties of plants as well. It will also give you tips for deadheading, planting site, winter care, even how long-lived the plant is.

RE: My first Minnesota Garden - Please Advice

Thank you guys. I checked out the entire "For Cold Climates" books - Perrennials, Roses, Trees and Shrubs. Lots of reading to do. Before starting the garden, I checked out a book called "Midwest Top 10". It lists the top 10 prerennials, roses, trees, shrubs, evergreen, vines, annuals, etc. which helped me with the selections. It is in this book I learned about Lady's Mantle, Sedum, coneflower...and all sort of ornamental grasses. I hope to start some ornamental grasses from seeds this winter. They are so expensive! This book has rather general information on each plant though.

I also have a garden on the north side of the house. Right now it just has some hostas and a couple of bleeding heart. I am learning about shade loving plants.

Is there a photo gallery in this forum? I'd love to see your gardens! I learn best with examples. :)

RE: My first Minnesota Garden - Please Advice

I have a shady city lot in Mpls - and so many hostas! Some bleeding heart, burning bush, sedum, lillies, and ground cover.

I need some more interest. I'm interested to see what you find out for shade loving plants - I need some variations!!!

RE: My first Minnesota Garden - Please Advice

Shade loving plants, you say? I am getting pretty good with those since I moved into the woods.
Here are some that are doing well in my shade gardens:

Cimicifuga Racemosa
Bleeding Heart
Sundrops (Evening Primrose?)
Campanula "Cherry Bells"
Variegated Solomons Seal
Wild Geranium
Jack in the Pulpit
Tradescantia (Spiderwort)

By the way, your gardens look lovely so far!


RE: My first Minnesota Garden - Please Advice

May I suggest you visit the University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum during the spring or summer. You can get some really good ideas there.

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