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RE: Plants for the midwest


Andrea, I agree with Chris on the selections, except that if you get a small
variety of lilac shrub, you will like it, even though its bloom season isn't
that long.  The fragrance of an old fashioned lilac is heavenly.  My yard is
currently too shady for one, but they don't mind clay if they have sun.
Caryopteris can give you a true blue as can 'Johnson's Blue' geranium.
However, this geranium will need some shade.  (Where's the north side of
your house?  It would probably like it there.)    BTW, I prefer the cottage
type garden as well.

I use a LOT of compost in my garden as well as newspapers and shredded
leaves.  Just make sure when you cut your grass, you don't collect the
trimmings.  My soil is SO much different since we've been mulching our
grass.  It has taken a few years, but not all that long for it to have an
impact.  (Yes, it still is clay, but just not as hard to dig in unless it is
bone dry.)  

I also have a number of herbs and especially love the betonies.  I think I'm
up to three varieties now.  All the sages LOVE the sun as well and you can
get some really great color combinations.  Yarrow grows well here as does
butterfly bush.  As for pink, I have a lovely almond bush that in the spring
for a few days is nothing but stems literally covered in masses of tiny pink
blossoms.  (No fragrance, however.)  

Peonies are not hard, but take some time to get started.  Just don't bury
them too deeply.  Of course Iris grows well here, as do all the wonderful
ephemeral spring bulbs (to get you thinking ahead to next fall.)  

Andrea, when we get another warm day, I'll take a stroll through my garden
and let you know some of the other things that grow well here in the sun.  

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-gardenchat@hort.net [mailto:owner-gardenchat@hort.net] On Behalf
Of Chris Petersen
Sent: Sunday, January 15, 2006 4:39 PM
To: gardenchat@hort.net
Subject: RE: [CHAT] Plants for the midwest

Andrea,

Although I love peonies and lilacs, and grow them both, their seasons are
short and I would probably think twice about them and pick cultivars
carefully before adding lots of either to my garden. Lilac 'Josee' is a
rebloomer, but I haven't grown it: http://snipurl.com/llfr.
 Hydrangeas can give color for a long season, and there are variegated and
chartreuse leaved cultivars. You'll find some good pinks among them.  Phlox
would give you the pink you crave. Daylilies will give you all the strong
colors, plus lots of bloom if you choose right. Helianthus annus 'Lemon
Queen' is a favorite yellow of mine as is Heliopsis 'Summer Sun'. 


I love OSMANTHUS HETEROPHYLLUS 'GOSHIKI0' as a small growing shrub.  It
looks like a variegated holly bush. Spirea 'Magic Carpet' starts out bronzy
orange in spring, but changes over to a soft green.  It has bright pink
blooms. Caryopteris 'Grand Blue' has dark green glossy foliage and deep blue
flowers.  Gorgeous! Stays small too! http://snipurl.com/llge

Chris Petersen   
Northport, Long Island, New York
 Zone 7a (Average min temp 50 - 00)
 
chris@widom-assoc.com
My garden: http://photos.yahoo.com/chrispnpt

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