Let's talk about flowers!

The perennials in particular. I am redoing my flower bed and having hard time to find anything interesting in the garden centers. The selection is pretty much the same, and most of them only selling spring flowering kinds. I hate to buy and plant in June or July, but before it there is nothing to choose from. So I think may be going online, but I a not sure what I am looking for.
Do you have a favorite perennial flower in your garden suitable for flower bed? Please share! I am particularly interested in hardy ones for zone 5.

Bellow are my notes on what I have and what I think about them:
Full sun:

Peonies - very showy, but very short bloom window, too large for the bed, better if planted alone or among other peonies

Echinacea (Coneflower) - very tall, fine when just started to bloom, flowers stay on the stalk faded and drying out for too long. Spreading reasonable, but has to be checked for seedlings

Shasta daisies - spreading like crazy, need to be by them self

Black eyed Susan - spreading like crazy, need to be by them self

Avens - spreading pretty well, but can be kept in desired size without digging half of your bed

Tall phlox - showy, but spreads too much and difficult to remove runners, better if they have their own place.

Veronica- nice compact plant

Poppy - it should be hardy, but I had no luck to keep it for more than 2 years.

Blanket flower - a little unruly, but bright, tolerates drought and comes back even when pulled out by rake.

Irises - need to be planted separately

I have some other as well, but names are lost…


Are you looking for tall or short perennials?

I like Dianthus. They are sold as annuals or biennials. But this clump of dianthus (taken a minute ago) is on its fourth year now. It’s in my veggie garden. It spreads but not overly so. Low maintanence, flowers long time, stays nice and tidy. Can’t complain at all.

I also like lavender Munstead. Flower time is only a month or so but it keeps itself in good shape with one haircut.


I just bought pink Dianthus, it seems to be very compact, and if spreading not making runners, correct? And also doesn’t need much water?

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My Dianthus likes to keep coming back year after year as well. I like Snap Dragons as well for the same reason. The reseed but yet dont go crazy like Black Eyed Susan. I like that flower, but I had to get rid of it which took a long while as the seed seemed to get everywhere.

The Monrovia Carpet Roses are hardy ground cover roses, hybridized with Beach Rose species and I’m not sure what else. Check out their website for cold hardiness.

In general I prefer to plant only one of any particular ornamental – although that is occasionally overridden by a gift plant. Today we were visiting nurseries looking for yet another type of butterfly plant … and we found a California Butterfly Sage. :slight_smile:

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I can’t say enough good about Bee Balm. I love sages, I love lavender, I have a newfound liking for growing daylily’s from seed although I’ve only been at it 2-years and am yet to see a bloom. So, I bought eight cultivars that I personally liked and matched bloom time with them either being diploid or tetraploid. And, I have a new appreciation for prairie grasses. Check out little blue stem and switchgrass and Indian grass. I bought a cultivar of switchgrass called ‘Shenandoah’.

Dianthus is my one of my Mom’s favorites as-well. I like it. They’re annuals that keep on coming back.

But, I recommend Bee Balm for sure.




I could not believe I missed this thread. What did you end up buying?

For fall plant, I love Sedum “Autumn Joy”. It looks nice and compact all year. It has pink flower clusters in the autuum. I also has one mum that comes back every year and stay small (most hardy mums spread quite quickly).

@Barkslip, I love Bee Balm, too, but they spread as extensively as Black Eyed Susan. I just love the smell of Bee Balm leaves. I don’t mind them spreading. I have had enough of Black eyed Susan, though.

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I got Bee Balm and some other things I do not remember now :grin:

I am lazy, I would go with hardy bulbs, tulips daffodils, hyacinths etc

Hope you got my PM.