I hope you will find things among my random thoughts that resonate with you and yours. I'd love to read your reactions in the Comments, and I'll be sure to visit you in return. Best regards, Mary

Monday, April 7, 2014


This is the first of two posts on the topic of planting my back yard. Tomorrow's post describes the areas to be planted and plans for preparation. Today's post explores choices for planting 800 square feet in two plots, after the ground is prepared.

The first step was to find my "hardiness zone for flowers". That turned out to be 6a (south-east Michigan), but already judgment was called for. Our winters (like the one just past) can be fairly harsh and long, so I think hardier zone 5 plants would be better.

I always loved Cosmos and think they would look great in my two empty spaces:

But when I checked the zone it turns out they need a warmer climate. Plus, they are annuals, and I already have a lot to do so prefer perennials. But I also love Foxglove, Lupine, Salvia and Snapdragons. Wouldn't a group like this be grand?

Well, that might be overdoing it, but at least I have some suitable names to research in the greenhouse. 


Next I reviewed some types of ground cover for my zone. I have always admired ornamental grasses so they were the first. Some can grow to 4 feet, but 18 inches seems about right for me. That would be Pampas Grass, another of my favorites. And Miscanthus would be good, too.



I considered vines, but they are too flat and take too long to cover. But the plants below might work. They are flowering perennials that spread to hug the ground.


Very hardy perennials which also make great jam. Worth considering!

Such a lot to choose from and truly not much time.  Stay tuned - 

Suggestions are welcome in Comments below. Thanks for visiting and helping me think through this. 


  1. Wow, what a beautiful post - somebody has said that .. flowers is Mother Earth's laughter - this post proves that.

  2. I have to say you've choose well with that selection...the cosmos is delightful, though the ajuga is a lovely idea.As I get older, I miss the flowers and gardens of England...I really miss bluebell woods.
    Random request but can you please send me the Getty link for the images...the other links on your site and the site you recommended take me to Getty but I haven't been able to find any free, so I must be doing something wrong...and these images are lovely.:)