2018 Lillie House Perennial Guild Plants Collection

(UPDATED for 2018!)

For 2018, our full members will receive their choice of two recommended forest garden trees to start their project (we particularly recommend Asian pears, chestnuts, and paw paws) as well as a selection of fruiting shrubs (including varieties of blackberries, black raspberries, currants, gooseberries, honeyberries, cherries, goumi, elderberries, hazel, cornelian cherry, American holly, roses selected for their high quality large fruit, etc!)

In addition to their trees and bushes, our members get priority access to our large collection of perennial forest garden plants at a discount “members only” price. Since developing a high-value understory of perennial vegetables and useful plants is probably the most important task of forest gardening, each member will receive a customized “starter kit” of live potted plants for the first year of establishment that will make it easy to get their forest garden project going strong. You get the plants at the right time for your project, when you’re ready to plant them.
“Starter kits” come with a selection of our most valuable, useful plants, proven to work in Michigan, customized to your site conditions and project goals. Many are rare in the trade, expensive, difficult to find and not available from any single source.

Better yet, our full memberships come with 3-years of access to our entire plant collection of over 300 varieities for plant material (seeds, scionwood, cuttings, and in some cases, plants.) So you can start by learning a manageable collection, then expand your garden when you – and it – are ready. That 3-year-access means you’ll have the greatest opportunity to get your project established.

Starter kits may include:
Perennial Alliums (the onion and garlic family):

  • Egyptian Walking Onions
  • Allium Unifolium
  • Chives
  • Garlic Chives
  • Welsh Onion
  • Welsh Red Onion
  • Perennial Garlic
  • Ramps
  • Perenial Leek


  • Star Herb Minutina
  • Sea Kale
  • Perennial Kales
  • Sorrel
  • Blood-veined Sorrel
  • Peach-leaved Bellflower
  • Perennial Endive
  • Salad Burnet
  • Marshmallow (a perennial cooked “spinach”)

Perennial Vegetables:

  • Asparagus
  • Scorzonera
  • Skirret
  • Perennial Bulbing Fennel
  • Lovage
  • Turkish Rocket (perennial broccoli!)
  • Jerusalem Artichoke
  • Ground Nut (Apios Americana)
  • Air Potato (Chinese yam)
  • Fairy Spuds (Claytonia Virginica)
  • Camas bulbs
  • Fiddle-Head Ferns
  • Crosnes (Mint Root)


  • Oregano
  • A large collection of Thymes and Creeping Thymes
  • Yarrow
  • Valerian
  • A large collection of Mints
  • Comfrey
  • Anise Hyssop

2 thoughts on “2018 Lillie House Perennial Guild Plants Collection

    1. And, as one last bit of encouragement and clarification to the gardener concerned about “weedy” species, you could easily cobble together a successful forest garden from the choices in our Guild Plants Collection. Here would be my choice of anti-weedy plants from that list. These are plants that in many cases do NOT propagate by seed and that I have never seen self-spread without intentional propagation:

      Tree and bush species: You have a HUGE selection of dozens of tree species, many of which are garden selections and not known to self-propagate. There are too many to really even list them all.

      Perennial Alliums (the onion and garlic family):
      Allium Unifolium
      Welsh Onion – Does not self-sow, difficult to propagate from seed, very valuable.
      Welsh Red Onion – I’ve never seen this self sow, difficult to propagate from seed.
      Perennial Garlic, easily controlled by harvesting scapes.
      Ramps, native, very fragile plant difficult to establish harvestable populations, no danger of weediness, highly valuable.
      Perenial Leek. Clumping, but does not spread from runner and does not set seed.

      Star Herb Minutina, I’ve never seen it self sow, somewhat difficult to propagate.
      Perennial Kales, do not flower and do not produce runners, require hand-propagation. Very valuable and useful!
      Garden sorrels, there are sterile sorrels that rarely flower or set seed, but even the seedy versions only rarely self-sow in our garden.
      Peach-leaved Bellflower has never self-sown in our gardens.
      Salad Burnet, I’ve never seen this in the wild.
      Marshmallow (a perennial cooked “spinach”) NOT Malva neglecta, is very rarely encountered in the wild and not known to be invasive.

      Perennial Vegetables:
      Asparagus, many selections sold as male species only, do not set seed and do not reproduce from runner.
      Lovage has never self-sown in our garden.
      Turkish Rocket (perennial broccoli!)
      Jerusalem Artichoke, a native species, though it can be aggressive if you don’t eat it.
      Ground Nut (Apios Americana)
      Air Potato (Chinese yam)
      Fairy Spuds (Claytonia Virginica)

      Creeping Thymes, some of these are quite tame.
      Comfrey, Russian. These are sterile and do not reproduce from seed. Many are easy to kill.
      Anise Hyssop

      This selection would be a fairly typical initial planting for a Permaculture garden. 🙂

      Good luck with your planning.

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