Planting ideas for around a tree

Asked April 21, 2017, 6:20 PM EDT

Hi:) I'm new to MN, and would like some help. I have a small bed (odd shaped, maybe 4' x 10'?) that goes around a large tree by the street. It doesn't have plants in it now, but does have this cedar mulch covering it. I would like your help in determining a variety of flowers (not shrubs) that I can plant in there that will provide different flowering things from spring through the fall---all year. A few things I would like to include would be: daffodils, narcissus and tulips to bloom in the spring (when do they need to be planted?), brown-eyed susans, zinnias. I have Problem bunnies, so nothing they like (they ate my cornflowers all up last year). I'd like this to be a focal point, with plants of contrasting colors, textures and shapes, as you drive by. (I read this,, and like the idea!) There aren't any low branches, but this is a huge tree and doesn't let much light down there. I have checked, and most of the bed goes down a decent amount and is good soil. The area directly around the tree trunk does have some roots, so maybe a few things that can tolerate shallow planting? A mixture of perennials and annuals is OK in this bed. Do you have some ideas for things that fit the bill that grow well here in this Rochester area that don't require a lot of care??? Much thanks! Georgia (Let me know if you need a pic)

Olmsted County Minnesota

1 Response

The amount of shade and sun makes a big difference in what will grow. A 4X10 space with a tree, depending on the size of the tree and how close to the surface the tree roots will make a difference in what can be planted. Given the size of the tree and full shade Hosta under planted with daffodils and tulips would be pretty. Many of the new hostas have interesting textures and fragrant flowers. Tulips should be planted in the fall. Since you want the bed to be a focal point my choice would be the yellow hostas and the ones with dramatic white accents. Mix in Celedon poppies and lamian. among the poppies for more color. Good luck with your project and purchase plants for dry shade. The tulips and daffodils should be planted on the edge so they get enough sun to make flowers for the next season.