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Allan designs and plants flowering gardens in Montreal, Zone 5 [USDA Zone 4] .

See website, design work and favorite flowering plants at

Consultation and coaching for do-it-yourselfers is provided. Occasional emailed questions are welcome and answered free of charge. Oui, je parle francais.

See my work on Pinterest at Garden Guru Montreal

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A Perennial Garden in Bloom

Here is a long shot of a July flowerbed, in USDA Zone 4b, that flanks the path to my front door. It took many seasons before I got the combination of plants, bloom times, and colors just right. Since then, the bed has remained untouched and has re-bloomed for many years with precise reliability.

Except for Platycodon that requires staking [because it kneels to the sun] all of the plants are very low maintenance. They are neat, upright, grow in clumps and now at maturity require little or no feeding. Also, they are unaffected by current weather patterns that bring bouts of severe heat and drought followed by torrential rains.Their strong root system, developed over many years in my garden, seems to give them the strength to perform reliably as if they were wild flowers, native to this growing zone. Yet, they are actually foreign plants that have adapted well.

Blue Platycodon is seen in the lower left corner of a shot that captures several varieties of Phlox, a lemon-yellow Hemerocalis that might be either Happy returns or Hyperion, Liatris, Rainbow Knock Out Rose in its white phase, and in the distant right, Rose Bonica in its faded July cycle, one month before it begins its richer pink August re-blooming.

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Reader Comments (3)

Allan, This is a lovely combination of plants. Recently, I have been admiring liatris in a few local gardens and want to have more of it in my own garden. I have never had to stake my Platycodon, but it does have the picket fence to lean on. The only thing I don't like about this plant is that it hangs on to its spent flowers. I dislike the old brown flowers mixing in with the beautiful blue ones. It is a small complaint though. Platycodon is indispensable for adding a cool blue note to my hot colored August garden.

August 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer

What a pretty combination. It's good to hear how sturdy the plants are after years in the ground. If I can ever get most of my perennials settled and stop transplanting, it will be great to see how much hardier they get.
RE Hush Lil (or Little, depending on the source) Baby daylily - it is pretty close to a cool pink. But it would look bad next to a pure magenta flower, I think. There's a bit of the daylily duskiness to the color. I think it has a bit of grey mixed into the pink, making it a tone instead of a pure hue.

August 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterVW

Very beautiful. Hyperion is much taller than Happy Returns and has a wonderful fragrance.

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