Theme Garden-'Lake/Beach'-plant suggestions?

eclecticcottage(6b wny)May 31, 2012

My husband and I recently bought a small cottage on the shore of Lake Ontario. We are converting it to a full time home (putting in a heat source, etc). I do have some cottage gardens I've started this year (and a Hosta garden), but, by chance, I found a rose that prompted me to try a theme garden. This past weekend, I found a Queen O The Lakes rose (subzero). Of course I bought it...but now I am thinking I'd like to create a small theme garden with all the plants having lake/beach/coastal theme names.

The garden gets afternoon sun, on the west side of the Cottage. It will be bordered by a Japanese Quince and a picket fence which will surround our veggie garden (with a chicken wire fence inside to keep the bunnies out). There are some poppies and lily of the valley there now, along with grass. I will probably leave the poppies since I know they don't like to be moved, obviously the grass would be scraped and I have enough lily of the valley-I'll rehome that. There is also a Wegelia (sp) that has been there for years that will stay. We don't really have deer or bunny problems. Our zone is a bit odd-because we're right on the lake, it stays cooler longer in the spring (I'm about a 1-2 weeks behind nearby areas for bloom times), and also warmer longer in the fall. Lavender grows well here (actually, pretty much everything does)!

I am looking for suggestions for plants.

I know some Daylilies would work, like Toy Boat and Lake Effect. I also thought about Sea Lavender and Sea Holly, although I'd like to stay with less "sea" or "ocean" and more "lake" or general nautical terms (boat, coast, beach, even cottage).

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Perhaps those posting on the Upstate New York and also the Perennial Forums would be more inspired to help you in your quest. A cute idea best researched by yourself, not this gang which is struggling with the mysteries of garden design. As you describe, that lake zone which covers many miles and counties allows a much longer early spring and late fall length of bloom period which is where I would be concentrating my plant choices. Guess I question why be cute? Rather, it might be more interesting to take advantage of the opportunity presented by an interesting ecosystem. I know the area well, BTW. The end of Lake Ave. in Rochester used to be one of hottest jazz areas in the country during the 50's-60's. Long gone from there but the memories linger.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2012 at 1:54PM
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eclecticcottage(6b wny)

Sorry if this was the wrong forum. I was lost in the 100's (or so it seemed) of choices and this seemed the best fit, since it doesn't fit perennials (I'm open to annuals, biannuals, perennials, bulbs, roses, shrubs-anything that grows basically, lol) and isn't really specific to NY.

I'm not looking for anyone to research...just if they have knowledge of a plant what would fit, to know, like "oh, I have a "lake breeze such and such in my garden, that would be perfect".

Why? Because it's fun. I have other beds. This is a "dead area" at the moment and I wasn't sure what to do with it. I have a cottage style garden in front of the porch, a hosta/shade garden on the east side and another under some pines and am working on something by my picket fence that will be based around roses. I will also have a garden by my sheds, and my veggie, fruit and herb gardens. I am also pondering a water based garden in the front yard.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2012 at 2:13PM
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This is something the quite active Cottage Garden forum people could sink their teeth into since annuals, biennials, perennials, etc. are their forte. And there are dozens (and dozens) of Hosta with "Lake" in the name. Check out the Hosta Library on Google. One of the Veronicas (Speedwell) is "Crater Lake Blue".

I just got a Bridal Wreath spirea simply because I wanted another one. It's name on the tag is "Great Lakes" but it's the lovely old VanHoutte.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2012 at 3:04PM
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eclecticcottage(6b wny)

Cottage garden? I missed that one! This might fit right in there, thanks!

Lol @ the name change. Maybe it's an "improved sport" or something. I swear I look at some named Hostas and cannot for the life of me see the difference. Someone must though!

    Bookmark   May 31, 2012 at 4:24PM
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I know what you mean about hostas - over 3000 named and registered, and frankly 2900 plus look exactly alike to me. Great plants though - I might have 25 different varieties and I only know this because some are uprights, some blue, some solid dark or light green, variegated...

Daylilies can be a bit like that, too.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2012 at 4:57PM
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rosiew(8 GA)

eclectic, fun idea which might prove limiting. Why don't you just 'rename' some plants you'd like to have in this special garden? You could be outrageously whimsical, and be sure to put largish, easy to read plant tags.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2012 at 6:00PM
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eclecticcottage(6b wny)

@duluthinbloomz4 I know I have at least three types aside from my Dream Queen, because three are HUGE greens, one is small green and one is varigated. I'm going to a local hosta farm this weekend to try to locate some "different" varieties, and relocating my plain jane green and varigated ones to a different spot. I have a Dream Queen I need to plant, but I want stuff like Brave Attempt, White Feather, Blue Ivory and Stained Glass...anything but the solid greens! Although I *might* get a Niagara Falls because it looks so neat.

So, on the theme garden front, so far I have:
Sea Shell Cosmos
Yellow Sand Coreopsis
Sand Love Grass
"Nautical mix" petunias
Lake Currants
Cottage pinks (Dianthus)
Summer Breeze Hosta
Beach Music Day Lily
Great Lakes gold hosta
Coastal Mist bearded iris
Toy Boat dwarf Iris
Beach Dance iris
Ship Shape Iris
Lake Effect day lily
Lakeside Pebbles Hosta
Aye Captian day lily
Great Lakes Gladiola
Sea Lavender
Sea holly
Queen O The Lakes rose
Sea thrift
Rosa rugosa/beach rose

The area is probably only about 6' deep by 10' or so wide so I won't need a HUGE amount of plants. I plan on making a list, then researching zones, heights, sun/shade requirements and bloom times to create a garden plan. This one won't be going in until next year for sure, although I might pick up some plants here and there as I come across them.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2012 at 9:58AM
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