perennial garden plans

Perennial Garden Plans for Partial Sun or Shade

This weekend I took my sister-in-law with me to start picking some plants for the landscaping of my front yard. My house sits facing Northwest, so the front landscaping doesn’t get sun until later in the afternoon. Because of this, most plants that require “full sun” won’t work in this location. We worked on picking out perennials that will do well in partial sun to full shade.

As I was looking for ideas, I found an online nursery that sells full pre-planned gardens. For a reasonable price they will send you all of the plants as well as an easy to follow design & diagram for planting a professionally looking garden.

While I decided against buying the “Three Seasons of Beauty” pre-planned garden, I did get some ideas of what types of plants to look for, and what works well together from the plant listing.  In addition Better Homes and Gardens has a really nice collection of “No-Fuss Garden Plans” that are really helpful for those of us, including me, who don’t know very much about planting.

Let me tell you first, that bringing someone with a bit of knowledge about plants along is the absolute BEST tip I can give you.  Using the plans I printed out, and my sister-in-law’s expertise, I was able to pick a beautiful garden that suited my tastes.  My other tip is to find your hardiness zone before you start buying online. If you go to local garden centers they will sell plants that are within your grow zone.

The “base” of my front house landscaping consists of about 4 larger bushes/plants arranged across the front:

  1. Dwarf Euonymous Burning Bush: This will flank the left side of my house. It remains green in spring and summer, and once fall hits it glows into bright red foliage.  Zones 4-8, about 6′ high x 3′ wide.
  2. Blue Star Juniper: I chose this as my evergreen because I liked the cooler tones and thought it would play nicely with the yellows and purples I was choosing.  Zones 4-8, about 2′ high x 3′ wide.
  3. Emerald & Gold Euonymus: To be interspersed with the Juniper Blue Star (I like the idea of a blueish evergreen mixed with the yellow/gold of this plant). Zones 5-9, about 2′ high x 4′ wide.
  4. Knockout Rose Bush:I chose a Sunny Yellow Knockout Rose bush to flank the right side of my house, and 2 pink double knockout rose bushes to mix with the Blue Star Juniper.  The great thing about knockout rose bushes is that they are easy to grow and bloom up to 9 months of the year! Make sure you get knockouts if you want this long bloom season. Double knockouts work the same, but their blooms are doubled, giving them a fuller look. Zones 5-10, about 3′ high x 3′ wide.

    In addition, I picked up some more plants as fillers. I plan to add to this list after I plant and see what else I may need.

  5. Blue Queen Salvia: blooms profusely for months, butterflies love it,  a member of the mint family… how can you go wrong here? Zones 5-9, about 18″ high x 12″‘ wide.
  6. Daylilies: typically grow 1-4′ in height and produce numerous flower buds that are showy over a long period. Zones 3-8, about 2-4′ high.
  7. Tiger Lily: bears large, fiery orange flowers covered by spots. These are a “one and done” kind of plant… that will only bloom once a year. But they are just so pretty :)  Full sun (I have one sunny corner near my foundation), Zones 3-8, about 4-5′ high.
  8. Iris: I don’t have these yet, but they are on their way soon! usually spring blooming, but some rebloom in fall. The crested iris  prefers partial shade and blooms in early spring. Zones 5-8, about 30″ high.
  9. Heather: Grows into hardy evergreen shrub with rosy 10-inch spikes in summer and fall. Zones 5-8, about 16″ high x 2′ wide.

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More to come soon about my full sun perennial garden around my lamppost :)

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