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Joined: Mon May 26, 2008 2:34 am
Location: WNY

Buried with Snow

I want to plant perennials in 3 locations next to my driveway. I live in WNY, and all 3 locations will be absolutely buried with snow for most of the winter. It is unavoidable.

All 3 locations are part sun. The prior homeowner planted annuals in 2 of these spots, and in the third has a euonymus that I want to move.

I was thinking of dividing some family ferns (I'm not sure what type) and planting them in 2 spots, and maybe putting black eyed susan and echinacea in the 3rd (which gets more sun than the other 2). But I don't know if these plants will be able to survive in these spots because of the heavy snow piles.

Does anyone know if these plants would be appropriate? If not, are there other zone 5 hardy perennials (flowering or not) I should be looking at? I don't want to plant a shrub.

Thanks in advance.

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Chris McN
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Joined: Sun Apr 27, 2008 1:13 am
Location: CT

Buried with Snow

I grew up in WNY near Buffalo.

Unfortunately, the gardening gene sort of skipped my generation, but I'm learning!

My grandparents lived right across the street from lake Erie and grew everything from flowers to grapes--grammy even had chickens and geese!

A sure bet would be your basic bulbs--daffodils, hyacinths, tulips, irises, etc. which could be planted in the fall. The only thing is that they are short lived, but you could stagger species with different bloom times so something is always coming up. I'd stay away from any kind of lily for now unless you want to combat the dreaded Japanese ladybug that is making it's way across from Europe and is in CT right now. See:

Another diehard is the hosta--not my favorite but it's dependable. My folks also had bleeding hearts which also are easy to care for--we had a bleeding heart bush that my husband mowed down and within 2 weeks it bounced back! My folks also had peonies along a property line that did well in a sunny location. However, my all time childhood favorite are the lilacs. My folks had the driveway lined on one side with them. I always looked forward to them in May, their scent so-o sweet. I am so happy we have one on our current property.

My new favorite is Sweet Woodruff--it's a pretty little plant along the lines of the smaller species of bleeding heart. I planted it last summer and this year it popped up as a perfect little mound with tiny white flowers:



We have tons of shade so I'm on my way to becoming an expert on shade tolerant plants!

Check out this website--it looks like Echinacea would be OK:

The above is a great site because you can determing your hardiness zone by plugging in your zipcode. On the site below you can plug in your zipcode to determine the AHS heat zone range:

Good luck with your garden--I'm hoping to get back to WNY sometime this spring/summer! 8)
an artist in search of a medium...

Greener Thumb
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Location: North Carolina

The only plants that may not survive are the ferns because most perennials die back in winter and need the moisture to sprout in the spring so I wouldn't worry. The only thing is I wouldn't plant are woody plants in that spot, but the euonymous if a groundcover should be able to take the snow.

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