tenplay
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Location: Olympia, WA

What should I plant in zone 7B?

I live in Western Washington in zone 7B. I am wondering what to plant in a 7'X2' narrow strip against the side of the house. It gets sun in the mornings but is in the shade in the afternoons. I am looking for maintenance-free perennials that have colorful flowers and won't grow more than 4' high. Thanks for any suggestions.

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rainbowgardener
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Location: TN/GA 7b

Lots of nice wildflowers. Columbine, bellflowers/campanula, bleeding heart. That should be enough sun for butterfly weed, anise hyssop, and liatris/blazing star, beebalm, which are all nice butterfly/ honeybee plants. If the site is a little bit moist turtlehead and ferns would love it.

Plant some of the spring ephemeral wildflowers like trillium, jack in the pulpit, troutlily, virginia bluebells, solomon seal, for a really pretty spring display.

I always like to mix in a shrub or two in a planting for variety. Hydrangea and viburnum are shrubs that like part sun like that and come in dwarf versions that will stay small.
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applestar
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If the bed is bordered by sidewalk/solid path, that's a good place for mints and mint relatives like lemon balm that are usually not planted in the ground, too. But be warned, they will take over.

Monarda/beebalm is also a mint relative but not as aggressive and planted for the flowers -- look for powdery mildew resistant varieties. (oops! Rainbow already mentioned Beebalm :wink:)

Also, wild strawberries can grow there. I believe west coast species is Fragaria vesca.

Not perennial, but self re-seeding cilantro/coriander would do well there as well.

tenplay
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Joined: Mon Jun 11, 2012 11:04 pm
Location: Olympia, WA

Thanks, Rainbow and Applestar. Where can I buy these plants? Should I start with seeds, starts or plants? Is this a good time to plant or should I wait until the spring?

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rainbowgardener
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If you are going to put in a shrub or two, fall is a good time for planting shrubs. It is good to put in the shrubs first for design purposes.

The perennial wildflowers we mentioned would be best planted in spring and you probably need to buy them as started plants. They are not as easy as veggies to start from seed.

I order a lot of plants on line/ mail order. Otherwise look for a good garden store (NOT big box). This is a list of WA state native plant nurseries. If there's one near you, that would be a good place to start:

https://www.kingcounty.gov/environment/stewardship/nw-yard-and-garden/native-plant-nurseries-washington.aspx

Everything I listed is native plants.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

tenplay
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Joined: Mon Jun 11, 2012 11:04 pm
Location: Olympia, WA

Thanks, Rainbow, for the helpful suggestions. Please recommend some good mail-order/online nurseries to order from. As you can see, I am a real novice at this.

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applestar
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Territorial and Nichols are two mail order places that I would consider ordering from if I lived closer. But other members from your neck of the woods may have other recommendations.

Oh, and Horizon Herbs.

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