Dixana
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Posts: 727
Joined: Thu Apr 01, 2010 3:58 am
Location: zone 4

Plant ideas/help please?

I'm in zone 4 and am looking for some nice plants to put around a tree in my front yard. The ground slopes pretty dramaticly and I'm builing it up with rocks and compost so I'm not too worried about the tree leaching nutrients from the plants.
What I'm looking for are some nice perennials but not the usual hostas and whatnot. The area gets a few hours of morning sun and several hours of mid-afternoon early evening sun as well, with the exception of one small area on the eastern side which would probably require one shade plant....
I'll just post a pic lol

Dixana
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Posts: 727
Joined: Thu Apr 01, 2010 3:58 am
Location: zone 4

So here's the area I'm talking about. Please ignore the mess in the curb, non of my spring raking could go in the compost as the folks renting the house before we bought it were not "into" clean, and the yard was full of garbage :roll:
[img]https://i44.tinypic.com/vxgfo2.jpg[/img]
The area that gets shade is the trunk area (you can see it) and it doesnt shift much.
Also, the tree is either an oak or silver maple.

bullthistle
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Joined: Sun Feb 24, 2008 3:26 pm
Location: North Carolina

Go to perennials.com list your zone and what color flowers you want then chose.

Dixana
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Posts: 727
Joined: Thu Apr 01, 2010 3:58 am
Location: zone 4

Websites are great for gathering ideas but nothing beats an experienced gardener to tell you what grows well, looks nice as it matures, and stays fairly healthy ;)

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applestar
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Posts: 27987
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

This looks like a fairly dry area. It makes a difference whether the tree is an oak or a maple. Maple has a shallower root system and doesn't allow for much digging around, and will compete for moisture and nutrients. Whereas, oak has deeper root system with open spaces between major roots that your could plant in.

How deep did you intend to add soil? Make sure to leave the root collar uncovered.

You also have to take into account that any dog walking by will do its business there, and you'll want to leave plenty of access for owners to pick up after them. Dogs will scratch after they're done, too.

scoobdoob808
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Posts: 32
Joined: Thu Apr 01, 2010 11:51 am
Location: Pocatello Idaho

What about Vinca minor a trailing ground cover that prefers shade or semi sun situations and I have also found that it is rather drought tolerant. It does spread rather rapidly but stays green almost all year here in Idaho which is very uncommon for almost any plant,. and it keeps my area that I have it in rather weed free.

MaineDesigner
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Posts: 439
Joined: Thu Nov 09, 2006 4:17 pm
Location: Midcoast Maine, Zone 5b

In addition the issue of competition from tree roots that Applestar noted there is another major issue for boulevard planting: salt. When your streets are plowed and salted in the winter some of that salt is going to end up in your boulevard soil. Many flowering perennials are not very tolerant of salt. Some that you might try include:
Armeria Thrift
Hemerocallis Daylily
Sedum Stonecrop
Dianthus Pinks
A number of ornamental grasses are also quite salt tolerant. Two of the best for Zone 4 boulevards are:
Calamagrostis Reed Grass
Leymus arenerius Blue Lyme Grass (this runs in garden soils but should be fine in a confined boulevard situation)
Good luck!

Dixana
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Posts: 727
Joined: Thu Apr 01, 2010 3:58 am
Location: zone 4

We live in the boonies so we don't get salt, we get sand :D
I'm pretty amped the nurseries around here open this weekend so we'll prob do the tree this week!

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