If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, a cross-blog conversation involves two or more bloggers engaged in a back-and-forth dialogue across a series of blog posts. The goal is to ask – and answer – thought-provoking questions in order to share useful information with your readers.
I’m really excited for this particular cross-blog exchange with my friend and fellow blogger, Sharon Ffrench McMillian of NewUrbanMom.com.
Why? Because this conversation will focus on the diverse aspects of my rural – and her in-town – approach to gardening.
So, let’s get started, shall we? 🙂
Sharon kicked off our conversation earlier this week – you can read her original post here.
Her first question for me is:
What perennials do you suggest I plant in my flower bed this season? I love tall perennials especially given the fact that by the time they reach their full height, my peonies are done for the season (so there’s no risk of crowding out those lovely blooms).
Before I throw out some random suggestions for you, Sharon – I’d like to bounce a few questions back your way first. Before choosing plants for a particular area, its a good idea to ask yourself the following questions:
- What is your Hardiness (or Heat) Zone? My garden is in Zone 5. Therefore, no matter how much I might love a plant that is only hardy to Zone 6 or above, it doesn’t make much sense for me to add it to my garden – unless I want to treat it as an annual, of course. The reverse is true for very hot climates as many plants can’t handle the extreme high temperatures associated with those areas.
- How much sun does the location receive? Some perennials thrive in full sun (such as day lilies or Shasta daisies), while others need lots of shade (e.g., hostas and ferns). Others, such as the beautiful climbing clematis, like a little of both – they do best when their roots are in the shade and their tops are in full sun.
- Do small children or pets have access to the area? Many perennials are beautiful – but dangerous. For example, foxglove, lily of the valley and even the lovely daffodil, are toxic if consumed. This is a big concern to me here because I have several dogs, a few neighboring barn cats, and sometimes even my horses nosing among my plants. 🙂
- Do you have a particular color theme in mind? Based on your pictures, it looks like you have the “bones” of a great garden in place. The evergreens provide year-round structure, while the peonies provide an early shot of spring color.
This may mean that your color choices are wide open – unless you have strong color groupings nearby that you want to blend with this garden. As a general rule, I try to group “hot” colors (reds, yellows, oranges) or “cool” colors (blues, pinks, purples) – together in the same areas. I’m not crazy about how they look all mixed together.
(Note: Hummingbirds and butterflies seem to love hot color combinations!)
In addition, I’m also a big fan of “white” gardens – which rely not only white blooms, but variegated, textured and silver-toned leaves to create a peaceful effect.
So, I guess that is my long-winded way of saying – it depends! 🙂 I promise, though, once I know a little bit more about your garden, I’ll be able to help with more specific recommendations.
Since I ran a little long in my reply to your first question, I’ll post the answer to your second question tomorrow… look forward to hearing your replies!
Til Next Time,