General Discussion:

Perennials for a small garden

Messages posted to thread:

livetogarden26-Mar-04 07:12 AM EST 5b   
Nancy29-Mar-04 05:47 PM EST 5   
LIVETOGARDEN31-Mar-04 01:38 PM EST 5b   
Elle C. (Markham)31-Mar-04 08:04 PM EST 5b   
Julie02-Apr-04 03:44 PM EST 4   
mudpie04-Apr-04 02:36 PM EST 5a   
Anita04-Apr-04 03:14 PM EST 6   
Nancy05-Apr-04 02:37 PM EST   
Diane27-Apr-04 10:19 AM EST 5   
Catherine28-Apr-04 01:34 PM EST 3a   

Subject: Perennials for a small zone 5 garden
From: livetogarden
Zone: 5b
Date: 26-Mar-04 07:12 AM EST

Does anyone have suggestions for perennials for a very small zone 5 garden? The size would be approx. 10 feet x 4 feet.

I'm looking for non-invasive plants, primarily in blues, purples, yellows.

Are there any I should avoid?


Subject: RE: Perennials for a small garden
From: Nancy
Zone: 5
Date: 29-Mar-04 05:47 PM EST

Is your garden in full sun, part shade or full shade? Dry or damp? It would be good to know your conditions before we can narrow down any recommendations.

My number one shade plant to avoid at all costs is gout weed, also known as snow-on-the-mountain, aegopodium, or Bishop's weed. Invasive in the extreme and cannot be gotten rid of without either a priest or a thermonuclear device.

Subject: RE: Perennials for a small garden
Zone: 5b
Date: 31-Mar-04 01:38 PM EST

My garden is primarily in sun all afternoon since it is north facing. I have one shaddy spot, but 95% of the garden is full sun for most of the day. As for soil, I have lovely clay to work with.

P.S. Your comments about goutweed are hilarious. My brother-in-law has been fighting it non-stop for the past 10 years. The goutweed has survived, but sometimes we're not sure about him!

Subject: RE: Perennials for a small garden
From: Elle C. (Markham)
Zone: 5b
Date: 31-Mar-04 08:04 PM EST

Some of my suggestions: (1) Daylily "Stella D'Oro" (deep yellow) = blooms all summer long till fall and grows into a nice clump. The leaves aren't too long like the bigger varieties. (2) Hostas (I prefer the blue-green types - slugs aren't attracted to them for some reason). (3) Some of the ornamental grasses grow into a nice clump; they're not invasive (ex: Japanese Hakone Grass - nice winter interest if you don't cut it down in the fall) (4) Bleeding Heart (5) Lilies (6) Roses (7) Dephiniums (8) Herbaceous Peonies (the Japanese Peonies might be too big for your small garden). Some plants that you want to avoid because they multiply like crazy and are hard to get rid of: Lily of the Valley, Catmint (or any mint plant), Chinese Lanterns. That's all I could think of right now. :-)

Subject: RE: Perennials for a small garden
From: Julie
Zone: 4
Date: 02-Apr-04 03:44 PM EST

Also avoid sweet woodruff. It is pretty but it has now gotten underneath a raised bed onto the grass. I'm still trying to get rid of the goutsweed too! As for perennials, hardy geraniums are pretty; others are pincushion flower, bearded iris and some asters for fall colour. The list is endless! Good luck.

Subject: RE: Perennials for a small garden
From: mudpie
Zone: 5a
Date: 04-Apr-04 02:36 PM EST

Some of my favorite perennials for sun are: hens and chicks, evening primrose (very beautiful evening blooming with a yellow flower, also interesting foliage), portulacas make a beautiful colourful border plant, it is an annual but they reseed quite well on their own, if you have some kind of partition like a wall or lattice type structure you could grow orange honeysuckle and trail them up, they have small yellow flowers that smell incredible in the evening. Also some others are jacob's ladder, very preety purple flower, grape like smell, perennial sweet peas and annual geraniums.

Subject: Trying to find a Quebec Supplier ???
From: Anita (
Zone: 6
Date: 04-Apr-04 03:14 PM EST


Does anyone order from Iris Plus Nursery in Quebec . We put in a large order every year from our garden Club and I noticed their web site is down , also I can't reach them . Can anyone let me know if they are still around. Thanks Anita

Subject: RE: Perennials for a small garden
From: Nancy
Date: 05-Apr-04 02:37 PM EST


Here're some more ideas for sun loving perennials that will behave themselves and tolerate the hot and dry conditions........

Blues/purples: nepeta (I've had catmint for years, it doesn't spread and has a nice long bloom time - try 'Dropmore Blue'), perennial geraniums (Kashmir purple, Johnson's blue), delphinium grandiflora (3 ft tall and brilliant blue), liatris, purple coneflowers, campanula (persicafolia, Blue Clips, etc), Veronica (repens or whitleyi? - low creeping, 'Goodness Grows' -tall), perennial blue flax, perennial salvia ('Blue Hills', 'Blue Angel', 'May Night'), asters, Amsonia, Centaurea montana, Ceratostigma plumbaginoides, Knautia macedonia, lavendars

Yellow - day lilies (Stella D'oro, Happy Returns), Achillea 'Moonshine', Rudbeckias ('Goldsturm', triloba, hirta), threadleaf Corepsis ('Moonbeam', 'Zagreb'), Aurinia, Scabiosa ochroleuca, Euphorbia polychroma, Helenium.

Like Julie said, the list is endless. Have fun!

Subject: RE: Perennials for a small garden
From: Diane
Zone: 5
Date: 27-Apr-04 10:19 AM EST

I enjoyed reading this thread - I have planted some goutweed under a tree and am now contemplating ripping it out. Can you tell me if it is that invasive in poor soil conditions. Also - I disagree about evening primrose - one showed up in my garden a few years back and I thought it was pretty - today I pull the things up everywhere. Pretty they are but best contained.

Subject: Northern Ontario Perennials
From: Catherine (
Zone: 3a
Date: 28-Apr-04 01:34 PM EST

Hi, I'm up in Temagami in Northern Ontario, the zone is 3a bordering on 2b.

The woman I'm working for is looking for a bush/plant or several types of bushes/plants for her driveway leading up to her lodge. As it is an ecolodge, she's looking for something native to this area (or a hybrid of a native species). The area in question is fairly shaded (she's had lilacs there for 8 yrs and they haven't done a thing) and she wants something showy. I thought maybe she could plant a few different types of bushes which bloomed at different times of the spring summer and fall so she'd always have something in bloom.

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

ps. she's also wondering if asperigus can grow up here.....

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