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Name: deb
[ Original Post ]
Ok- I absolutely LOVE flowers and gardening- but I'm not so good at it. I live in the north east. I would sincerely appreciate ANY tips on gardening. And what kinds of perrenials to plant that are pretty and not filled with prickers that would hurt the kids. Also any that are durable that can withstand missed waterings or an occational wiffle ball game tampling. Our front yard is on a steep hill so I dug up all the grass and want to plant some flowers but I want it to really spread (whether its perrenials or not) Any suggestions?

also any suggestions on landscaping on a hill. I love country- I have an old wicker chair painted with flowers growing in the seat. Things like that. Please help!! Thanks
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Name: Paula | Date: Mar 28th, 2006 1:36 AM
How large is the area? If what you are looking for is a flowering ground cover the two following are very good, but not if you want other plants also. They are invasive, which means they will take over an area, and although they themselves are easy to maintain, you must work a bit at keeping them in their assigned area. Both will take over an area in just two or three years. A barrier can be placed up between them and other plantings, but constant pulling up needs to be done.
I have had both and love them both.

is a prolific ground cover. It stays close to the ground with nice green broad leaves growing to up to about the size of a quarter, and during the early summer it has nice blue blossoms. It trails nicely over landscaping walls.

is also a great groundcover especially for hills. This plant is very popular to use along the state highways, as it can cover a very large area and is very pretty when in bloom. When you see hills that look pink or lavender, it is usually Crownvetch.
It is very bushy and gets much taller then the vinca vine which stays pretty close to the ground, and it's leaves are small oblong shapes that grow several to a stem. It covers very well, especially hills. The blossoms are small with colors of white, or purple or pink w/white. You can see a nice close picture here.

are very hardy and suitable for the colder climates, zone 3 or warmer. Here in Minnesota, I have had my vinca vince look green all year long through the snow.

I can post other perennial suggestions for a more domesticated garden later. For a hill, I recommend a rock garden, for the soil will erode. You can have some beautiful flowers with a rock garden.

Does the area get a lot of sun, some sun, or shade? 

Name: Tamara | Date: Mar 28th, 2006 1:49 AM
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Thank you

Name: Debra | Date: Mar 28th, 2006 2:38 AM
Paula - its mostly in sun- thanks. I remember my old neighbor use to put coffee grinds in his garden- have you ever heard of that? My mom said my grandmother use to put banana peels in her vegetable garden. Also do you have any remedies for bugs eating the leafs?? 

Name: Karen H. | Date: Mar 28th, 2006 2:47 AM
Tamara, you totally lost me girl. Perennials is not where you need to be posting your confusion or confession.

I like poppies. Bright red poppies. Poppies just grow. 

Name: Debra | Date: Mar 28th, 2006 3:14 AM
I think I've seen wizard of oz too many times- if you know what i'm thinking of then you have to!! ha ha ha 

Name: Debra | Date: Mar 28th, 2006 3:21 AM
looked up all these flowers and I love them all. Do you need to seperate them- or would they all intertwine together? My house is red so I think they all are so bright and vivid together. karen did you see the Indian White-Papaver Somniferum? I just googled poppies and these came up. They are a white poppy- its really pretty too. 

Name: Karen H. | Date: Mar 28th, 2006 3:54 AM
Well I don't know the name so I will look it up to. The ones I have in my back yard grow about 3 1/2 feet tall. I get maybe 20 25 flowers per plant and are not here near long enough. They are the brightest blood red you have ever seen. About the size of a salad plate. They don't like to be moved and you really don't want to separate them. They grow from the hundreds of seeds of each flower. I just let them drop. I wish I could send you all pictures.

Spider wort is another of my favorites. It grows easily and spreads very quickly. It gets about 16 inches tall and in several colors.

Now this is what SAHM needs for relaxation. Wonderful friends and beautiful flowers. 

Name: Karen H. | Date: Mar 28th, 2006 4:04 AM
How red is your house? My house is white with red shutters and doors.

My kitchen sink is fire engine red. I have all the red kitchen aid appliances and I have a nice collection of chickens.

My sofa and loveseat in the family are a red plaid with a red wall.
I know it's sounds a bit extreme but it's beautiful. I have a red barn and red poppies surround the acreage.

When the sun comes up in the mornings, it just all blends together and you feel part of the universe. The sunrises are one thing each day my husband and I do not overlook. We've tried to teach our kids what a blessing it is to see them but they won't understand until later.

Good night everyone 

Name: .......... | Date: Mar 28th, 2006 11:41 PM

Name: Debra | Date: Mar 29th, 2006 2:11 PM
Anymore advice anyone? tis the season and I have to go to home depot to plant- Any good food remedies for the flowers, how to keep the bugs off ect ect- And Karen my house is red with white trim. We live on a hill and I think I'm going to plant those poppies all along the back fence especially since they get so high! Thanks for the tip! 

Name: Kathy | Date: Apr 1st, 2006 2:27 AM
Lilac bushes are great! 

Name: Debra | Date: Apr 1st, 2006 3:28 AM
Hey girls - any more advice on the flowers? I'm leaving tomorrow to buy some!?? 

Name: 3 time nursing mom | Date: Apr 1st, 2006 7:12 AM
I am so jealous that you are able to plant at this time!
Here in MN we need to wait for the last frost yet.

This year, in our new home, I am finally able to have a veggie garden! So I have been asking Mom, an old organic gardner from a few decades back, for bits of advice here and there in little bits, (as I am only able to retain little bits at a time, lol)

My mom was just talking to me tonight about banana peels adding excellant potassium to the soil for tomato plants. She used coffee grounds and egg shells also for particular reasons of which I am yet uneducated on.

She told me to keep squirrels and rabbits and dogs away from the garden, to sprinkle some cayenne pepper on the seedlings that are on the edges of the garden. She said after strong rainstorms you need to resprinkle. And she also advised not to do this if the Little Ones were going to be in the garden, for if they touched some pepper it could cause a rash on their tender skin, and Lord bless them if they touched it to their lips! So I think I am going to forgo the pepper myself.

I also remember her planting marigolds all around the garden because certain animals or ants or something were supposed to not like their strong scent. (Oh I think it was small animals...it was mint that ants didn't like. She used to plant mint all around the house to keep the ants away.)

Anyways, just tonight she gave me her old book on Organic Gardening, so I should be able to share more infor down the line, lol. 

Name: 3 time nursing mom | Date: Apr 1st, 2006 7:13 AM
where are you in MN???

Could we be neighbors? 

Name: Debra | Date: Apr 1st, 2006 1:54 PM
Thank you !! I can just remember my grandmother would have the most incredible flowers (all perinnials because she would never waste her money an annuals from living through the depression) and by her kitchen sink were all these cut milk cartons with all kinds of garbage- or at least I thought it was garbage- like coffee grounds, egg shells , banana peels ect- and I always wondered what she would use them for. But all her vegetables were huge and full of color and she had roses crawling all the way up the lattice of her two story house.

Please give me all the tips you got- or the name of the book!! Thanks Nursing mom- and it was actually 65-70 all week here and I'm in upstate ny so I think its all a fluke- don't be jealous- but I wanted to buy some bulbs and stuff and grass seed, fertizer all that crap...get it hehe! 

Name: Paula | Date: Apr 2nd, 2006 4:16 PM

One of my personal favorite perennials is COLUMBINEs. I think they are so pretty.

I personally have success with:
CLEMATIS (climbing on a fence or trellis)
BLACK-EYED SUSANS (taller and bushier)
PEONY (bushy)
CONE FLOWER (great butterfly magnet)
DELPHINIUMS (very tall)
BABY'S BREATH (some people have difficulty with these, but I have had great luck growing from seedlings. They do not transplant well so once planted, they need to stay. They get very bushy, and I use tomato cages to keep mine up, otherwise the wind knocks them down).

If you are planting on a hill, lay out several large rocks, burying them a bit in the ground to keep erosion from happening. I like to toss my broken clay pots, and cups and plates also in my garden as interest. These perennials do well in my rock garden:

CREEPING PHLOX (an excellant choice)
GYPSOPHILIA (creeping baby's breath)
THYME (several different kinds, I like the "wooly thyme" and the "lemon thyme")
And don't forget to throw some ornamental grasses in there fore variety.

Don't plant them too close, leave room for them to grow and get bigger in the next couple of years. You can fill in the blank areas these first years with annuals. I highly recommend these two for hilly areas:

MOSS ROSES, although an annual, are very good for filling in the blank spaces the first couple of years while the perennials grow bigger. An excellant reseeder.
JOHNNY JUMP-UPs will also often reseed themselves for many years.

Also consider putting in bulbs for spring time flowering. These will flower and then wilt away just in time for the perennials to take over.
CROCUS are the first to flower, they pop up often even when the snow is still on the ground. A sign that Spring is right around the corner, when we need it the most.
IRIS - dwarf size works excellant for rock gardens!
are what I have and work well for me

If you want something tall and cottage-y looking, HOLLYHOCKS are really nice. They are a biennial, but reseed themselves too, so they are much like a perennial.

FOUR O' CLOCKS are my favorite annual...they grow so quickly from seed, and often, if conditions are right, will reseed themselves.

MORNING GLORIES too will often reseed themselves. They need a fence or trellis, or gutterdrain pipe (or in my case, a telephone cable) to climb.

I think the key is though, is to go to a local nursery and see what they have, as they will provide what is best for your zone area. Pay attention to how tall the plants will get, how far they spread, spacing (important with perennials for root growth that allows for healthy plants), sun levels needed, type of soil (sandy or humus), drainage, and how much watering is needed.

Also try to buy plants that flower at different times of the season, so that you have a balanced garden not all flowering at the same time, and then being all green at the same time....unless that is what you want.

Don't be too disappointed if some of the perennials do not take in your garden, just try again. If they don't take again, it is possible there is something they need that your soil does not provide. You may want to consider having your soil tested. I know our local University does that for a small fee.

I also recommend you purchase (and use, which I had to get in the habit of doing) a good fertilizer like Miracle-Gro. I know Bachman's has their own, and most fertilizers out there do a good job.

Have fun!
I myself am a flower garden addict. I no longer remember what I have, and I'm constantly running out of room, yet every year I buy more. 

Name: Paula | Date: Apr 2nd, 2006 6:14 PM
3 time nursing mom,
if you have yahoo chat, pm insomooniac 

Name: denise | Date: Apr 21st, 2006 6:50 PM
Hey ded 

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