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VERY Hardy Perennial Flowers

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VERY Hardy Perennial Flowers

Post  middlemamma on 1/11/2011, 11:35 am

A lot of you know this already...but in March it will be 1 year since my son's father died in a car accident. His dad lived in Arizona where we had lived for many years. We moved to Idaho about 9 months before his father died. My son is 10. He likes to talk to his Dad a lot but in talking to him I think he would like to have a place on our property where he could "go" to sit and talk to him. My husband is going to make a memorial type thing with his name on it and such and I was going to place it in a box and plant some flowers that will come back every spring in there and place it a little ways away from the house so Caleb can "get away" and go talk to his Dad.

I know JACK about flowers and even less about flowers that will come back each spring in my climate. Can anyone make some suggestions? I'd like there to be some low ones (alyssym?), mid-height ones and tall ones (black eyed susan?) to make the box really full.

TIA
Jennie

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Re: VERY Hardy Perennial Flowers

Post  walshevak on 1/11/2011, 12:22 pm

The house I rented in Chicago for 2 years had daffodils in early spring, daylilies mid summer, coneflowers late summer and sedum in early fall. Don't know who planted them, but I sure enjoyed having them. Looking at the catalogues, coneflowers come in the most amazing colors now. These would be for a full sun garden. I also added a few low growing annuals to fill in during the summer as I was only there for 1 full summer.

Kay

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Re: VERY Hardy Perennial Flowers

Post  middlemamma on 1/11/2011, 12:33 pm

I meant to mention that this will be in full sun...I don't really have much shade on the property.

Are daffodils a bulb flower? Would I have to dig the bulbs up and replant every year?

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Re: VERY Hardy Perennial Flowers

Post  walshevak on 1/11/2011, 12:38 pm

Daffodils only have to be dug every few years as they multiply and fill up the space making the flowers smaller and not as prolific. Check out the "water saver garden" from Michigan Bulb. On sale right now for $16.20. Fourteen plants ( 8 varieties) hardy to zone 3.

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Re: VERY Hardy Perennial Flowers

Post  middlemamma on 1/11/2011, 12:49 pm

Thank you...I appreciate the help.

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Re: VERY Hardy Perennial Flowers

Post  Furbalsmom on 1/11/2011, 3:07 pm

Looking thru "Johnny's Selected Seeds" catalog, I found some interesting perrenials you can grow from seed by starting them indoors.

Forget Me Nots Zones 4 - 8. Grows 6 inches tall. A personal favorite of mine. Sweet little blue flowers.

Alyssum is not in the Johnnys catalog, and I always start from transplants, but mine come back here on the coast.

Delphinum Zones 3 - 7. Grows 30 - 36 inches tall. Stately tall blooms, lots of colors, blues pinks and whites, need support

Monarda - Bee Balm Zones 4 - 9, about 30 inches tall. Attracts bees and hummingbirds. Gorgeous red

Hollyhocks are Biennial Zones 3 - 10, 4 - 6 ft. Always amazing to me.

You can always fill in with annuals.

Your husband is an absolute dear to create a memorial for Caleb's Dad. He sounds like a good perrenial to me.

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Re: VERY Hardy Perennial Flowers

Post  Chopper on 1/11/2011, 3:13 pm

You can always pick a few favorites - and forget me nots are the perfect thing. You might consider one of those blankets - filled with perennial seeds. Makes it easier and takes the selection problem out of your hands. And you can always add your own things, too.

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Re: VERY Hardy Perennial Flowers

Post  middlemamma on 1/11/2011, 3:27 pm

Thanks furbalsmom... Smile Yeah Forget Me Not’s are a good idea... thanks for the research. Joe (my hubby) and Josh (Caleb's Dad) got along really well. We were all relatively good friends considering the situation. We went to all of Caleb's school functions and sporting events etc together and then usually went out for dinner and a drink afterwards. Joe is happy to make it. He is a dear. Smile

Chopper...I kinda wanted to plant seeds WITH Caleb for this...so he could watch them grow, watch them live. Otherwise the blanket idea WOULD be perfect. I thought if we planted it together then I would send him out to water it alone each time and then he would get used to going out there to it. I have this mental image (we know those never really pan out but...) of me being in the garden working alone and him having me close enough for support but far enough away for privacy and being able to really do the talking he needs to do for healing. I know he is having a really hard time since he came back from visiting AZ over his Christmas break. His attitude is very combative and I think each time he goes to AZ and his Dad isn't there he has one more reminder that he is REALLY gone.

Anyway....I hope to be able to tie some parable to the planting of the seeds and them growing and living to his dad's memory and helping him to focus on things other than being angry. I just haven't found the right words, or parable to tie to the seeds. I grew up a very angry teen and young adult and I just want to do all I can to prevent that for him.

Thanks for all the help guys!!!
Jennie

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Re: VERY Hardy Perennial Flowers

Post  LaFee on 1/11/2011, 3:37 pm

BIG hug

Because of all of it...the part that makes tears sting my eyes and the part that makes me smile.


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Re: VERY Hardy Perennial Flowers

Post  middlemamma on 1/11/2011, 3:56 pm

Awww...La Fee, don't cry. I didn't post to make people feel sad..I REALLY wanted feedback on good hardy flowers.

You guys here are like my garden fairy family (another of my fruity mental visions)...thanks for caring and listening and helping me pick the right flowers.

Jen


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Re: VERY Hardy Perennial Flowers

Post  LaFee on 1/11/2011, 4:21 pm

heh. I get misty eyed at insurance commercials.

(it's all of it...how hard it is on your son, and how loving of you and your husband to do this for him....*snif* --- don't worry, it's not just the sad part.)

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language of flowers

Post  ander217 on 1/11/2011, 5:08 pm

Jen, you and Joe are wonderful parents to think of doing this for Caleb.

The Victorians had a "language of flowers" called floriography. Each plant had special meanings when given to another or planted. Not all the lists read the same, but rosemary is always for remembrance on every list I found, and marigold is always for grief. Here are some of the other flowers I compiled from a variety of lists that might be appropriate.

Jonquils - sympathy
Pink carnations -I will never forget you
Red poppies - Consolation and eternal sleep
Sweetpea - goodbye (warning, this is the poisonous flowering kind, not the edible garden pea.)
Blue salvia - I think of you
Thyme - strength, courage, restful sleep
Yellow zinnia - daily remembrance
Lavender - devotion
Purple hyacinth - sorrow
Blue hyacinth - constancy
Cyclamen - resignation and goodbye
Iris - sending a message
Marigold - grief
Snowdrop - hope or consolation
Pansy - forget me not, or think of me
White periwinkle - happy memories
Stocks - bonds of affection
Weeping willow - mourning

Jonquils, snowdrops, and hyacinths are all spring-flowering bulbs which will come up year after year and are usually winter-hardy. Iris are corms (like rhizomes) which bloom soon after these and come up year after year.

Poppies reseed themselves each year. Hardy cyclamen is perennial, but doesn't like bright sunlight - neither do snowdrops...you can google and find the growing conditions for most of these if you decide to go this route.


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Re: VERY Hardy Perennial Flowers

Post  Chopper on 1/11/2011, 5:33 pm

Rosemary for remembrance - on the side or towards the back - I think it will come back after winter.

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Re: VERY Hardy Perennial Flowers

Post  Furbalsmom on 1/11/2011, 5:52 pm

Most rosemarys are hardy to Zone 8, but there are some hardy to zone 5 or 6

Territorial has plants only
ARP surviving to zone 5 with protection
Barbeque hardy to zone 6

Johnny's has one variety available as seeds
Rosemarinus officinalis, (no variety listed) hardiness Zones 6-10

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Re: VERY Hardy Perennial Flowers

Post  miinva on 1/11/2011, 6:25 pm

Bulbs are wonderful because they return every year and are pretty low-maintenance, and you only have to divide every 3-5 years (and it may be less frequent further north). I would also recommend crocus. They're beautiful little flowers and they're the first thing to come up in the spring. I have lots of bulbs planted around our farm and they're a wonderful splash of color that requires very little attention. Monarda (also known as bee balm) is a tall, lovely flower that bees adore, and it actually comes in more than just red. I've grown red, white and pink.

I hope the memorial helps your son to process his loss *hug*

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Re: VERY Hardy Perennial Flowers

Post  middlemamma on 1/11/2011, 7:05 pm

Wow, that is so cool Ander! I have never seen anything like that before...thank you so much!

Thank you everyone!

Joe and I are no amazing parents...helping Caleb helps us too...we have as many faults as good points just like any parent...we do plenty wrong.

Thank you everyone!! You are the best...this really gives me a working foundation for this project. I thought you had to dig bulbs up every year....that is great to know that I don't!

Thank you so much.

Jennie

PS....La Fee...if it makes you feel any better I cry at commercials too. Half the kids Disney movies make me cry at the end... hiding

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Re: VERY Hardy Perennial Flowers

Post  Megan on 1/11/2011, 8:48 pm

@Furbalsmom wrote:Most rosemarys are hardy to Zone 8, but there are some hardy to zone 5 or 6

I think it would be lovely to plant some rosemary, as in folklore, rosemary is associated with memory. Plus, it smells REALLY good! In your zone, you might need to plant it as an annual, though. I am in zone 7a and it took me the better part of 8 years to find a variety that would overwinter outdoors here. (And, I have no idea what that variety is... maybe I just got lucky.)

My red verbena was still stubbornly blooming when the 2nd or 3rd frost finally killed it--it long outlasted all my other flowers--so you might want to give it a shot, too, it seems to tolerate cold. I think it is an annual.

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Re: VERY Hardy Perennial Flowers

Post  janefss2002 on 1/11/2011, 10:46 pm

Jennie,

What a beautiful idea! I think using bulbs and maybe trying perennials from seed with a few annuals thrown in to make up the difference is the way to go.

I have bought a Hummingbird Garden set of seeds from Renee's Garden in the past (for our daughter when she was younger-I was the one that really enjoyed them, though!). Here is an example and I checked a few out from the Butterfly Garden and they fit your zone.

http://www.reneesgarden.com/seeds/bonuspacks.html#hummingbird_garden

I'm learning and accepting my squares can grow companions! Bulbs, perennials, annuals can all fit. Let annuals fill in when others don't grow , are sparse, etc.

Again, what a beautiful idea. My dad so many years ago tried to get me to try SFG (Mel's first book). I let life get in my way. Dad passed away. Life went on. Then I tried SFG a year ago the "real" way, the way Dad wanted me to, by the book (now it is the New Book!). I now connect with Dad every day in "our" garden. Hubby and I built an arbor this year (2X4 boxes with trellises joined over the top. Pea gravel between the boxes, etc.) and that is the place I most sync with Dad. It is sanctuary. Hubby, daughter, daughter's fiance and I all love being in the arbor. It "feels" good there. We all just stand there!!! We sit in patio chairs there!! So consider also adding now/later a trellis for Scarlet Runner Beans or Vining flowers. It adds a "privacy screen" and some of that arbor effect if you don't want to go all the way with an arbor.

I know your son is young, but you might want to include him in this project. Give him groups of stuff with pictures/descriptions that are good for your area and let him pick what he wants.

You and your husband are giving your son such a beautiful and endless gift!

Jane

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Re: VERY Hardy Perennial Flowers

Post  Josh on 1/11/2011, 10:55 pm

Daylilies are pretty and they are easy to grow just about anywhere. My mom has lots of different kinds and colors, one is special to me, I could send Caleb a start of it if he would like one.

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VERY Hardy Perennial Flowers- what I forgot to say!

Post  janefss2002 on 1/11/2011, 11:01 pm

Jen,
When i mentioned the website with the Butterfly Garden, I meant to add use this and other group packages from other websites as suggestions to check out and see if individual plants are acceptable to growing zone. You may can find the individual plant seeds cheaper at other websites or locally.

Jane

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Re: VERY Hardy Perennial Flowers

Post  middlemamma on 1/12/2011, 1:01 am

Thanks Megan, Jane and Josh! I appreciate all the tips, ideas, advice. Wonderful info! I knew I could count on everyone here to help me out. Smile

Josh I would love it if you would share your special flower with Caleb...I will send you an email. Smile Thank you so much!

Jennie

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Re: VERY Hardy Perennial Flowers

Post  Odd Duck on 1/12/2011, 11:53 am

Jennie, you touch my heart with your stories and like others, I get misty. Some sad, but more because you are so earnest and dedicated to making your children's lives better.

If you are interested in going with native wildflowers, this is a great site.

http://wildflower.org/

It is based in TX, but they have information on wildflowers for every state in the USA. All you have to do is click on your state and they will have a "recommended plants" list. Sometimes it will be a bit long, but their info will show sun/shade, wet/dry, etc, and once you narrow it down a bit, you can then do more in depth searching as needed.

Good luck, sounds like a great project.
Sharon

edit: Here's your state list of all recommended plants, you'll just need to look for flowers in the heights you want, then narrow it to what you can find commercially.

http://wildflower.org/collections/collection.php?collection=ID

Their advanced site search engine is pretty good, too.

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Re: VERY Hardy Perennial Flowers

Post  middlemamma on 1/12/2011, 12:46 pm

That is so cool Odd Duck! Thank you....Great info, great....thank you everyone!

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Re: VERY Hardy Perennial Flowers

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 1/12/2011, 3:23 pm

Jennie, my heart goes out to Caleb. And, I can only say that time will heal everything as best as can be done. But, having a little place to go off to is a great idea for now, or forever.

I can't add anything to the suggestions because my ideas have been said already. But, one word of caution...some of these plants (daylilies and black-eyed susans come to mind) can be very invasive because they are such great naturalizers. Wanting something rather low maintenance is great, but don't forget that sometimes erradication is maintenance, too. If you already have a spot picked where you don't mind some spreading, then go plant away. It's just a word of caution.

I'm sure things will turn out fine because it sound like you and your husband are really tuned into your son. God, bless and protect Caleb.

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Re: VERY Hardy Perennial Flowers

Post  Dunkinjean on 1/12/2011, 9:16 pm

Hi Jennie,

My heart goes out to Caleb and your family for the loss of his dad.

I have found that there are many ways of grieving and healing.
I have lost family members in the past and have found that planting flowers in memory of them is truly a wonderful way to remember them and help the healing. Caleb will learn that he will always have his dad in his heart and his memories will also last forever.

It is a wonderful tribute for his dad. You might consider mixing bulbs, perennials and annuals in the memorial garden for his dad.

Best of luck to you all. flower

Jean

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