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Low Stress Gardens

Relax and let nature work!

Related Articles

Lasagna Gardening 101
Self-Planting Gardens

Shade Gardens
Moonlight Gardens
Long-blooming Perennials
Long-blooming Annuals
Fragrant Plants
Low Stress Gardens

Ever-blooming Gardens

Easy Organic Ade

Saving Seeds

Companion Planting

Ornamental Grasses

Selecting Roses

Tough Plants for Tough Places


You say you've got dry soil?  Heavy clay?  Shade all over?  Too wet?  Too sunny?  TOO MUCH WORK?  ...But you want a beautiful flower garden - just like your grandma had.  Yes, you can - with OGG, you can go wild with less work. So here we go - out with the new, and in with the old!
Everything old is NEW again...
Sara Bernhardt PeonyWondering why peonies, columbines, common lilacs and other "antique" flowers are "in" again?  It's because they are easy to grow!  Most of these antiques are fragrant too, and require little care.  The old farmhouses these plants once grew beside may be long gone, but the shrubs and clumps of perennials and self-sown annuals remain.

Relax and let the garden sizzleMost of these plants will also attract birds and butterflies to your garden and literally light up your life.  We've pulled together a sizeable collection of tried and true "antiques" and native plants that are sure to make your garden sizzle - and let you enjoy the view from the shade.

Here's how to get some hammock time!
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Easy Shrubs and Vines


(* indicates significant fragrance)

Syringa Vulgaris Lilac
Common Lilac

Hall's Honeysuckle
Hall's Honeysuckle

Rosa Rugosa Shrub Rose
Shrub Rose

  • old fashioned common lilacs (syringa)*

  • hydrangeas (especially the peegee type)

  • mock orange (philadelphus - get the "Minnesota Snowflake" variety if you can!)*

  • virgin bower clematis (clematis virginiana)

  • sweet autumn clematis (clematis paniculata)*

  • serviceberry (amelanchier canadensis)

  • Russian olive (elaeagnus augustifolia)*

  • cherry elaeagnus (elaeagnus multiflora)*

  • white forsythia (abeliophyllum distichum)*

  • Hall's Honeysuckle (variety of lonicera japonica)*

  • forsythia (may need lots of pruning...)

  • rose-of-Sharon (hibiscus syriacus)

  • winterberry (ilex verticillata)

  • star magnolia (magnolia tomentosa or stellata)*

  • shrubby cinquefoil (potentilla fruticosa)

  • mountain rhododendron (rhododendron catawbiense)

  • azaleas:

    • swamp azalea (rhododendron viscosum)*

    • pinkshell azalea (r. vaseyi)

    • roseshell azalea (r. roseum or r. prinophyllum)*

  • shrub and old garden roses (many varieties - see Selecting Roses)*

  • staghorn sumac (rhus typhina)

  • smokebush, smoke tree (cotinus coggygria - purple and green leafed varieties)

  • flowering raspberry (rubus odoratus)*

Easy Perennials and Bulbs


(* indicates significant fragrance)

Pink Monarda aka beebalm

New England Aster
New England Aster

Pink Meadowsweet
Pink Meadowsweet

  • perennial sweet pea (lathyrus latifolius)

  • hyacinths*

  • dahlias

  • peonies (paeonia)*

  • columbine (aquilegia)

  • tiger lilies (the parent of the modern day lily)

  • bergamot (monarda)*

  • smooth penstemon (penstemon digitalis)

  • black-eyed Susans (rudbeckia hirta)

  • purple, white coneflower (echinacea purpurea, e. pallida)

  • lavender hyssop (agastache foeniculum)*

  • butterfly weed (asclepias tuberosa)

  • native grasses (see also Ornamental Grass):

    • bluestem, prairie dropseed, side oats grama

  • coreopsis (coreopsis tripteris)

  • New England aster (aster novae angliae)

  • ferns

  • blue false indigo (baptisia)

  • sea holly (eryngium yuccifolium)

  • Joe Pye weed (eupatorium purpureum)

  • queen of the prairie (filipendula rubra)

  • meadowsweet (filipendula ulmaria)

  • compassplant (silphium laciniatum)

  • cup plant (silphium perfoliatum)

  • sedums

Easy Annuals and Biennials


(* indicates significant fragrance) - most of these self-seed freely.  See also "Self Planting Gardens" for more easy garden annuals.


Lavatera - Tree Mallow

sweetwilliamscloseup.jpg (100x82 -- 3520 bytes)
Sweet William

  • nasturtiums (tropacolum)

  • sweet peas (lathyrus odoratus)

  • angels trumpets, trumpet flower (datura metel)*

  • bachelors' buttons, cornflower (centaurea cyanus

  • love in a mist (nigella)

  • baby blue eyes (nemophila)

  • nicotiana *

  • four-o'clock (mirabilis jalapa)

  • toadflax (linaria)

  • sweet alyssum (lobularia maritima)*

  • annual lupine (lupinus)

  • tree mallow (lavatera)

  • candytuft (iberis umbellata)

  • morning glory (ipomoea)

  • California poppy (eschscholzia californica)

  • pinks (dianthus chinensis)*

  • Sweet William (dianthus barbatus)*

  • forget-me-not (cynoglossum amabile)

  • spider flower (cleome hasslerana)

  • rose moss, wax pink (portulaca grandiflora)

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