Question for you fellow northern gardeners...

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Question for you fellow northern gardeners...

Postby conniepr » Fri Jun 12, 2015 6:40 pm

I've decided that there is too much green in my flower beds. What do you recommend to break up that uniform green look before the real flowering starts? Something that will survive the sometimes -40's winters we get here. Anybody?
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Re: Question for you fellow northern gardeners...

Postby HeidiPG » Sat Jun 13, 2015 12:33 am

HI Connie,

I have taken a different view of green - I celebrate it with different textures and shades, interspersed with the flowers of perennials which, although short-lived are in larger clumps and clusters, act like jewelry against the greens. I place annuals in large pots again as a colour blast against the greens here and there (I like to have brightly coloured containers for the annuals too) I tend to use powerful colours in both annuals and perennials - yellows, orange, reds, purples and so on, even bright white, No mousy colours for me - give me vibrant bright hues in big chunks.

I find the greens feel so alive after a long winter of snow and brown deadness. Then in fall I get the bright deciduous leaves for a short while, before it all settles back to the whites of snow and winter.
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Re: Question for you fellow northern gardeners...

Postby orchidguy » Sun Jun 14, 2015 12:48 pm

Connie,
Like Heidi, I have grown to appreciate the different textures and tones of green too but if it is colour you are looking for to transition to the next flush of blooms on your existing plants, then right now the Centaurea Montana are in bloom (Amethyst Dream, a few different shades of blue and the rarer yellow) as are the geraniums and the iris and peonies are starting their bloom now.
You might also try the carpet spirea with leaves that range from a russet red to a bright yellow and would add colour to the bed from the emergence of its leaves until late autumn.
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Re: Question for you fellow northern gardeners...

Postby conniepr » Sun Jun 14, 2015 1:52 pm

I do plan on putting some iris in there. I guess I could try a peony in there, as well. I hadn't thought of it because that area gets a lot of shade from the trees, although the big trees are slowly dying so more and more sun is getting through each year.

I bought some Japanese forest grass (a nice bright green) this spring because the tags said good to -40, but when I got home I found out I shouldn't have trusted the tag. I suppose I could add them and just take my chances.
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Re: Question for you fellow northern gardeners...

Postby conniepr » Sun Jun 14, 2015 2:42 pm

I find the greens feel so alive after a long winter of snow and brown deadness. Then in fall I get the bright deciduous leaves for a short while, before it all settles back to the whites of snow and winter.


Heidi, that's how I feel about the greens after the long winter, as well. Then, the wait for color is like a kid waiting for a birthday party day to arrive! I never thought of breaking up the solid length of green with a pot of annuals. I'll have to give that some thought. There might be something that will take the early hard frosts okay for that. Then I could add something with color until the delphiniums break out in bloom.
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Re: Question for you fellow northern gardeners...

Postby HeidiPG » Sun Jun 14, 2015 8:34 pm

Connie I will take some photos of my annual pots mixed into the green stuff for you and post sometime soon. The concentrated colours are like jewelry, in my opinion.

I like using hosta and heuchera to give me alternate colours and textures too - green is the base colour but there is so much else going on with both these plants.
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Re: Question for you fellow northern gardeners...

Postby HeidiPG » Sun Jun 14, 2015 10:40 pm

Connie, this is my garden with mainly foliage, some flowering perennials and assorted pots and planters with annuals. There are no annuals in the actual ground. I ahve a woodchip mulch just put in this year and that adds a cohesive ground colour.
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Re: Question for you fellow northern gardeners...

Postby conniepr » Mon Jun 15, 2015 8:02 am

Looks great Heidi! I was thinking bigger pots, but I see now the smaller pots can be hidden amongst the greenery easier and blend in better, looking more natural. I'll have to remember that. Thanks!
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Re: Question for you fellow northern gardeners...

Postby HeidiPG » Mon Jun 15, 2015 9:41 am

I realized the pots are not in full bloom yet, when I was posting the photos so not as bright as they will all get. The one is, and is in full sun, but the others are in less sun and going slower. But you get the idea. I keep the larger pots for the back area where they stand wihout greenery - around the green house and act as focal points.
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Re: Question for you fellow northern gardeners...

Postby northpine » Tue Jun 16, 2015 8:39 am

Oh Heidi, Is that dark foliage plant a dahlia? I want it!
Connie, in my perennial border I am striving to have a mix of different foliage. Also, I'm trying to concentrate on getting more plants that have foliage that stays attractive even when not in bloom. But like you, I have quite a few delphiniums. Could you make the bed wider to allow more of a mix?
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