Recommend some flowering plants

I have an area that goes across my front yard in an irregular swath. I planted white crocuses and white lacey daffodils, which are beautiful in the spring. But the rest of the season, nothing. It’s a western exposure, but there’s a large maple tree which cuts down on the amount of sun.

I’d like some colorful plants that are in bloom throughout the season. And I’d like the plants to be no more than 18" high, preferably less. I’d prefer perennials that can be planted in the spring, but I won’t rule out annuals.

Any suggestions?

“Perennial” and “blooms all season” is mutually exclusive, for the most part.

I guess you could try roses, which put on an initial big show but often have additional flushes throughout summer. If you find little pots of those mini roses often sold in mega grocery stores for Mother’s Day, those actually do really well - if planted outside in a sunny spot. The bushes grow several feet tall, but the flowers always stay sweetly tiny.

Here in Texas, crepe myrtles would fit the bill nicely, but I’m not sure what zone you’re in or how cold your winters get.

I’d be tempted to just broadcast a bunch of seeds for annuals that bloom at different points throughout summer and early fall. Around here, that means zinnias, cosmos, coreopsis, maybe sunflowers for height.

The OP sounds as though his site provides part sun at best, so stuff like cosmos and sunflowers may not be the best performers. That said, I second the suggestion about planting a mix of suitable annuals and seeing what you like and what likes your space. I have found salvia and ageratum, for instance, to be pretty doggone persistent bloomers and comparatively shade tolerant.

What kind of maple? Because if Norway, you are lucky to even grow grass.

The best solution is to walk/drive your neighborhood and see what other people have growing well in similar locations. Look those plants up (or knock and ask), and plant them yourself. (Maybe w/ a different placement so as to not appear to completely copy.

Second best solution - look to what is native in your area.

Having said that (and imagining you would like specific suggestions, you’ll want a variety of plants to give the best show over the longest season. IMO&E some of the toughest, lowest maintenance flowering plants include daylilies (standard orange and shorter yellow Stella D’Oro), various sedums, phlox, Russian sage, coneflowers…
I also suggest you consider grasses and sedges, maybe some heuchera - to add variety from the structure/color.

As said above, add annuals for pops of color - generally will require that you fertilize and deadhead to maximize bloom.

As I said, the best source for what will work is what already works for your neighbors. You’ll find that gardeners are generally VERY eager to talk about their gardens, and often even split and share their plants.

Good luck!

I grew up in Cleveland and remember my mom having irises that would bloom in spring and early summer, and gladiolus that would bloom in late summer (though she would dig up the gladiolus corms to overwinter in the garage - I believe there are hybrids now that can take colder weather). Those would work for you. Begonias grow well in shadier areas, but in your area they’d be an annual.

Thanks for all the suggestions. I’m leaning toward annuals, and I like the idea of getting a variety of seeds and raking them into the soil, then seeing what grows. Also the idea of looking at what my neighbors have planted.

If your neighbors are friendly and/or inattentive :stuck_out_tongue: you may be able to get exactly what your neighbors have planted, by collecting seed and/or cuttings from their plants at the appropriate time(s) of year. (Seriously though, it’s much better to do this with permission than on the sly.)

A great benefit of local seed collecting is that plants that have semi-naturalized or repeatedly self-seeded in a particular locality are often well adapted to flourish in that locality. Plus, can’t beat the price. :smiley:

Long season of bloom for a perennial, especially if deadheaded. I would use them as a companion for the Daffodils that need their fading foliage to photosynthesize as long as possible in order to do well the next year. The emerging foliage of the Stellas minimizes the appearance of the browning Daff foliage.

Another succession planting I use is Grape Hyacinth Muscari with Plumbago (Ceratostigma). For each Plumbago, I plant about five Muscari which bloom early, a beautiful (& fragrant) companion to the Daffs. Plumbago has cobalt blue flowers, summer into fall. Unknowing gardeners might think they’re weeds when emerging late in the spring, but the Muscari protects against that. It can be invasive, and not appropriate in certain situations.

Let the fading Muscari flowers stand so they can drop their seeds to encourage multiplying. The Plumbago gets some nice fall color in sunnier spots and after the leaves finally drop, the calyx looks almost like a bronze clover flower which I find attractive.

Another feature is the Muscari will send up green foliage in early fall that’s usually attractive to 0 degrees F. that fades when the flowers emerge.

We used to buy all kinds of things that seemed like a great idea at the time, and learned, FFS, just go to the nearest plant nursery, look around, and you will see what is almost guaranteed to grow in your area. We had two nurseries, one went out of business. The one that went out of business was smaller and had a lot of things the big. humongous. operation (that drove it away) didn’t have, it was smaller, it had more delicate plants, herbs, vines, perennials, things not mass-produced by the other - more varieties of plants. But the big place does practically guarantee results, so go there and see what is available for sun and for shady areas.