Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary...

How should my garden grow?

I know, it's half past story time and no one, myself included, is really in the mood for a nursery rhyme right now.

I just need to know - What flowers should I be fixin' to plant?

I need perennials - lots of 'em.
I need annuals.
I even have room for some shrubby fellas.
Oh, I could use some suggestions for an easy climbing rose.

I threw the request out to my facebook peeps and got some good ideas, but I just know my bloggy friends will one-up them. (Shhhh!) And for all of you who are reading but not commenting - let this be my plea to draw you from the shadows. Then, if you'd like, we can all go back to the way we were and I won't bug you again - for a while.
*(If you have trouble commenting - as some have told me - try using something other than Internet Explorer. Can you tell I really need your help?)

Most of my areas are sunny and I generally shy away from reds and oranges. I like cottagey flowers, but I hear they are sometimes more tempermental. Tempermental cottage flowers? This is a whole new world, I'm telling you. So please, be as specific as possible.

I've already documented my status as brown-thumbed, flower-loving novice. As my friend Jess recently lamented for me, "Love really should be enough." In my case, it isn't. Or at least, it hasn't been. But maybe, with your help, this will be the year that my luck turns around and my thumb, at last, blooms.


  1. shannan, i love the perennials. after a few seasons of replanting tons of annuals, i tell you, it's the way to go!

    i've tried several, i always hope i've planted my last, but sometimes one or two don't come back the next year or someone (ahem, troy)pulls them out in their zeal to help clean up the garden!

    i'll email you a list.

  2. Ok, here goes (just remember that you asked for it, lol).

    These are some of my favorites.

    For Pernennials: Catnip, coreopsis, phlox, seduim(autum joy), dianithus(the perinnal type), meadow sage, salvia, ribbon grass or other types, pinks, and coneflowers(I like the white ones)

    For Annuals: annual sage in purple, zinna, marigold, dahlia(actually a bulbs-I like the type they sell that only get about a foot tall, they look are awsome come the end of the season) impatients and begonia for the shade. Oh and don't forget geraniums in cute little pots.

    For Shrubs: if you want cottage you will totally need hydranga(nothing says cottage more to me). I also really like potentilla(nice and green and lots of flowers all season long).

    I know it's a long list but if I had to pick a few and ONLY a few I would say: Zinna, catnip, dahlia, meadow sage, phlox, and hydranga.

    Ok that was WAY more than you wanted to know, can you tell I'm a flower freak!

  3. I like the "blue plumbago" (yes, it's actually a periwinkle blue) and also the "cape white" plumbago. "Bridal veil" spirea, peonies,white Snowball bush,& lily of the valley are some of my favorite perenials for me, living in California.
    You can view pictures of these on the internet.
    I love your blog, Shannan!
    I'm Keisha's California "gramma"

  4. I don't have a lot of experience gardening. Last year was my first attempt at planting flowers. However, my parents love gardening and have tons of flowers. So, although I don't know a lot about the flowers I like, I do know what they're called :)

    Geraniums are pretty in containers and like the sun...but we usually have red ones...I assume there are other colors though. A great vine is the clematis vine. It has big beautiful flowers (and comes in all kinds of colors). This year I am growing purple petunias in a window box, but I really don't know much about them. I think my favorite flower is the daylily. It spreads, so you would have to plant it in an area that you wouldn't mind having more, or thin it out some.

    This may not help, but I thought I'd at least tell you a few!

  5. Is Larry's day lillies enough description and detail? We need a summer barn trip asap. Nothing has been loved more than Larry's lillies (if you grow it, they will come).

    I will leave all of your upper echelon bloggers to fill in the rest of your garden.

    Good luck (and good metaphor on your thumb blooming) -- from your english major bff

  6. Guess what!

    You won the book give-away on the domestic fringe. Just shoot me an email with your address and I'll get it in the mail.


  7. I love to play in the dirt!

    My personal favorite are and assortment of differnt types of Lavenders for their wonderful smell and Rosemary for cooking that taste great on Chicken and I have dozen different types of daylilies but my favorite is Stella D'Ore and it's the only one you need.

    I love bright yellow marigolds, zinna's of all shapes and sizes if I can find enough sunshine, blue hydrendga's,blueberry bushes, heather of any kind and grasses that flow back and forth on a windy day that look divine in the Winter and Fall.

    Here in Atlanta we've been going through a drought for the past two years so gardening has not been my #1 priority because if you can't water why waste the money on plants that will die by the middle of summer.

    In the fall I love planting bulbs, and in the spring I love planting different types of ferns and hostas which always look pretty in my garden if the shade conditions are right.

    The secret to a good garden is choosing the right plants for the site that has good soil, water & sunshine conditions. If you have all that you can't missed. Just remember to add that black gold from the cow to your dirt if you want big happy flowers.


  8. Well, I'm absolutely no help to you. I was planning a similar post later in the week. I'm going to spend some time pouring over gardening magazines this week and I'll let you know if I have any recommendations after that. Jen
    P.S. There is NO shaming in having to move things around the garden to find a spot where your flowers are happy! That's just part of the process.

  9. Hi - Just found your blog. Very interesting and I'll go back and read about your little ones later and how they came to be in your sweet family.

    I'm planting perennials at my little farmhouse in Texas. I don't know where you live, but I'll second some of the other posters on plumbago (blue), daylilies (I have red, orange & yellow) and lots of Double Knockout Roses. I love them, they are so easy. I have gladiolas, and mums, too. I'm still trying out different perennials - just one or two of a kind and see how they do in my yard & filling in with annuals until the perennials take over. I'm sure you'll do great! For shrubs, I love that purple Chinese fringe and azaleas. I have some clematis and jasmine, too, for climbers. I plan to add an arbor someday and will start researching climbing roses for that.
    Good luck!

  10. Oh yeah, second that hydrangea, too, and don't be discouraged - you may have to move things around to see where your plants like it the best!