Sasha
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Joined: Sat Feb 13, 2010 10:17 am
Location: Edmonton, Canada

How about some alpines? Their wild ancestors are nicely adapted to full sun and terrible soils. A couple of commercially available ones are kinnikinnick and rock jasmine (which smells wonderful).

Prairie plants like blanketflower and echinacea might do okay as well. I'm not sure - I tend to think of what plants would grow naturally in this sort of environment, but I don't know how similar the cultivars and native plants are in terms of hardiness!

Matthew.Carman
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Joined: Tue Apr 12, 2011 3:07 pm
Location: Iowa

Another reason why plants at this time don't grow much roots is because all of the energy is used in growing and leafing out so hand watering would be a must for the first year.

An idea would be to take the dry broken soil and remove the top layer. Replace this with humus soil or better dirt and that will help your plants get established better. Once established the dry soil should not be a problem as long as the plants get enough water. Some organic plant start fertilizer would help to.

Native plants are a good idea. Enchinacea "Cone Flowers", Liatris "Blazing Stars" and Ephorium "Joe Pye Weeds" I would think would do fine in dry broken soil as long as they are watered plenty and have mostly sunny to full sun.

Hostas are the best plant you can buy for dry cracked soil and they are drought tolerant once established. I don't care for them as much because everyone has Hostas but they do get big and green up the yard with thier pretty foilage plus there is so many varities and the bumble bees love the flowers. Rose of Sharons are extremely hardy small shurbs (10 FT max) and they are very pretty. If your looking for something that flowers I suggest you check them out. They are late to come up but by mid Summer they are covered with pretty flowers and the bees love them. The "Satin" and "Chifton" series are really pretty or you could go with the dwarf version. Rose of Sharons are hard to kill. A dwarf butterfly bush would also work. They are somewhat drought tolerant. Seedums atract bees, are drought tolerant once established and need partial to full sun. They seem to grow really good for me. You could try Clematis. They are vines but some varities are hardy and adaptable to different conditions. Clematis prune group 2 require little care and no pruning and they can live over 50 years old. Some have an abundance of small flowers while others have huge tropical looking flowers. Mulch or small plants at the bottom of the vine helps protect the bottom of the vine from the Sun.

I hope that helps you out.
There can be miracles when you believe - Prince of Egypt.

Can you risk everything for the chance of being alone? -Never let go, Bryan Adams.

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rainbowgardener
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Coneflowers, liatris, and joe pye weed are all good suggestions, although the joe pye weed does get VERY tall, at least 7 feet. Hostas will fry in full sun and just die. For me Rose of Sharon gets huge, tall and very big around and just keeps putting up new shoots and turning in to a bigger and bigger colony. (I have lived with three different ones over the years in two different gardens) It spreads very aggressively both from the roots and by seedlings. You have to work very hard to keep it from taking over your yard. They ARE indeed hard to kill!! :)
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Matthew.Carman
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Joined: Tue Apr 12, 2011 3:07 pm
Location: Iowa

rainbowgardener wrote:Coneflowers, liatris, and joe pye weed are all good suggestions, although the joe pye weed does get VERY tall, at least 7 feet. Hostas will fry in full sun and just die. For me Rose of Sharon gets huge, tall and very big around and just keeps putting up new shoots and turning in to a bigger and bigger colony. (I have lived with three different ones over the years in two different gardens) It spreads very aggressively both from the roots and by seedlings. You have to work very hard to keep it from taking over your yard. They ARE indeed hard to kill!! :)
I have seen some Hostas in full sun that seemed to be doing ok. They were on the east side of a house but nothing was blocking them. Maybe they had shade from the house?

Rose of Sharons do drop seed. That can be prevented with mowing I think. My grandfather gave us around a dozen of those new shoots which is how we got our Rose of Sharons in the back yard. New shoots means some for friends and family. I have never seen one take over the yard but it's possible with the amount of seeds they drop. The dwarf version is less agressive and not as big. If the Rose of Sharon is to big you could prune it but that is more work then you want to put into this project. Joe Pye Weed does get big and grows like crazy when it finally comes up in may but it is a host plant for cabbage buterflies and it's native. I want to add my Joe Pye Weed is one of the dwarf varieties and does not get very big.
There can be miracles when you believe - Prince of Egypt.

Can you risk everything for the chance of being alone? -Never let go, Bryan Adams.



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