Flowers that follow the sun

Discussion in 'Garden Design and Plant Suggestions' started by Gnome, Feb 18, 2008.

  1. Gnome

    Gnome Member

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    Hi there folks - I am hoping that some of you will have suggestions for this problem.

    I removed some of my lawn on the east side of my house and put in a mounded bed. It is at the edge of the public sidewalk and there is still some lawn between the house and the bed. Here's the kicker - even as the bed is on the east side, the house is a very short bungalow so the bed still gets plenty of sun (up until about 4pm). To add to this, the land in front of the house slants 'toward' the house.

    With all this said, this is what happened - last year I planted shasta daisies in the bed. They flowered beautifully, however they all turned to face the sun...they were tilted and facing the house (the flowers and not the plants). So between the slope of the land and all the sun on the west side of the east bed you could see no flowers from the street - it looked really weird.

    I am so sorry to be long winded, but I am looking for suggestions on plants that will not do this. I have put in a few grasses, but would also like to add spirea and daylilies - does anyone know if these plants (or their flowers) turn to face the sun. If so do you have any suggestions on plants that I can use? I appreciate any feedback.
    Thanks a million.
     
  2. KarinL

    KarinL Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    I think daylilies may do it as well to an extent - mine all face the neighbour. But things like spirea and delphiniums and lobelia might not because their flowers are structurally not able to face a certain way, being all around the stem. Also things that have more than one flower head to a stem, for example Eryngiums.

    I'd also be putting more energy into foliage than into flowers - hostas (there are many that do well in sun, such as H. plantaginea, H. Guacamole, and others) and dwarf conifers might add interest and structure. Hosta flowers might face sunwards to some extent but the leaves will be reasonably well balanced.
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2008
  3. Gnome

    Gnome Member

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    Thank you for that - I'm glad I haven't put in daylilies yet.
    I will certainly put in the spirea though - I bought 'shirobana' and hope that it is interesting (I've heard complaints of it reverting to white).
    Dwarf conifers are a great idea too. My dream was to make the front like somewhat like an english cottage garden...but you are correct - I need to think of winter interest too. Perhaps I will try to combine them if possible.
    Thanks again.
     
  4. joclyn

    joclyn Rising Contributor

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    how about hydrangea?? the growth habit would prevent turning towards the sun and they're beautiful even without blooms. it might be too sunny a spot for them though if it gets sun for most of the day. they also like fairly moist soil.

    you could do a trellis and put in a couple clematis. how about a rose? either a bush or rambler (with a supporting trellis) might be nice.

    spirea would definitely be a good choice - it's nature wouldn't allow turning. also, they come in dwarf and regular varieties - you could do one of each and get them in different flower colors.

    sedum would be another good choice for growth pattern...they also bloom in the fall, so you'd have nice color then.

    allium - there are plenty of varieties with different colors as well as different bloom type/shape. they're tall so would be good for the back of the bed.

    for an annual, try strawflower - very pretty flowers on a decent sized bush (about a foot tall by the same wide).

    sweet william probably wouldn't turn to the sun. i had that this past year and it grew straight up - even with it being partially shaded by the tree.
     
  5. Gnome

    Gnome Member

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    Thank you both for your wonderful suggestions. I will try some of these - it would be nice to get away from the plantings that the rest of the neighbourhood has done - azaleas, rhodos, junipers and pieris...not that it doesn't look beautiful, but I need some more summer colour.
    Thanks again.
     
  6. joclyn

    joclyn Rising Contributor

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    beautyberry bush is another nice one. generally, east facing is good for it. it needs some bit of shade while it's getting established though - which you could do even if you put up a temporary thing to provide some shade.

    it's got a lovely growth pattern and can get up to 10 feet or so. you can trim it back to keep it more compact if you'd like. has pretty flowers (purple/lavendar or pink depending on variety) and then beautiful purple berries in the fall/winter. i've got a few seeds that i'm going to start this year (couldn't get to it last year) for a couple of spots in my yard.

    you could also do lilac and/or butterfly bush - although both can get fairly large, they're easily trimmed back every couple of years to keep them managable and looking nice.

    something else you can do is look for plants that are native to your area. a lot of times, the landscapers (and the stores) tend to underutilize what's local because they focus on the 'hot' thing this season.

    i went to a garden show/expo last fall and there was one vendor there that had only plants native to pennsylvania. i've only traveled through about a third of the state and it's pretty big and has a variety of environments. i was very, very surprised to see at least a half dozen plants that i had no idea would grow in my zone, much less that they were actually native to the state!

    rhody's was another suggestion i was going to make - they and the hydrangea are two of my all time favs. rhodys can be overdone though (it was the 'hot' plant for many years) and if they're scattered around the neighborhood, i'd go with something else (i just like to be different!)

    another thing that would be nice is peony - not sure what your zone is, i'm sure there's one that would work there. they take a bit to bloom after they've been transplanted - they are well worth the wait though!! they're a mid-height plant and would be a nice backdrop for shorter varieties like some of the bulbs you want to do.

    something else that would be good is bearded iris. they grow how they grow and don't turn to the sun. if it's not too difficult/involved to export them to where you are, i can send you half a dozen. i split my three bunches out (a few years later than i should have) and i've got an excess!
     
  7. Gnome

    Gnome Member

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    Thanks a million Joclyn. I like the peony and beautyberry ideas. There already is a very large rhodo in the background near my house (not in the bed I made but it was planted near the once before I moved in). I think my zone is 8 - Burnaby, British Columbia.
    Your offer of Irises is very much appreciated, but that would mean plant material crossing the border which may prove a bit of a nightmare so I will have to say thank you very much for the generous offer, but it may not be possible.
    Photos would be lovely though...and I can send some from here (befores and afters) once I am complete.
     
  8. joclyn

    joclyn Rising Contributor

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    i just checked. for personal use there's a bit of leeway and for small amounts (under 50 plants) there's not even a fee and no phytosanitary certification either.

    iris is on the 'not allowed list' though. :( i had hopes there for a minute!
     
  9. lhuget

    lhuget Active Member

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    joclyn do you know a link on what can be mailed between our two countries? I can't find anything detailed. Thanks in advance.

    Les
     
  10. Eric La Fountaine

    Eric La Fountaine Contributor Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Here is a link to what can be shipped into Canada.
    http://www.inspection.gc.ca/english/imp/airse.shtml

    You have to poke around the site for a while. There is an automated lookup for import materials. Most seeds are OK, but plants require phytosanitary certificates when shipped. If you move across the border, you can take most common houseplants across without restriction. You only need one certificate per shipment, so it makes sense to order one large shipment rather than to make many little orders. (Note plants shipped from Hawaii have a lot more restrictions.)

    There is probably similar info from a US government site.
     
  11. Eric La Fountaine

    Eric La Fountaine Contributor Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    It is also interesting to note that there are restrictions for importing plants to some individual states within the USA.
     
  12. joclyn

    joclyn Rising Contributor

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  13. lhuget

    lhuget Active Member

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    Thanks for the info. Good to have to share with my US buddies. Also I'm having a hoot of a time trying to find information on sending dahlia tubers to Alaska from Canada. US Customs has referred me to the USDA but my emails bounce back. If anyone has info on this please pm me. Thanks in advance.

    Les
     
  14. Eric La Fountaine

    Eric La Fountaine Contributor Forums Moderator 10 Years

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