deerme
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Location: Barrington, NH

Specimen tree - Southern NH windy area...

Hi All,

Looking for some ideas on what kind of specimen tree I should plant in my new garden. I'm pretty new to this, but I believe I'm in zone 5. The area where I plan on planting gets a lot of wind. I had wanted to put in a weeping snow fountain cherry, but I've read that they do NOT do well in windy areas. I'm looking for something to place in the middle as a "centerpiece", and then I'll place some holly bushes and other wind tolerant plants around it (please feel free to recommend some).

The area gets full sun from sunrise to about 2 or 3PM. The soil is more dry than it is moist, but I don't mind watering if I must.

Here's a pic of where I'll be planting.

[img]https://www.suburbandeerservice.org/tmp/helpfulgardener/20100517/IMGP1058.JPG[/img]

Thanks a ton for any help!

bullthistle
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They do have weeping crabs that would take the wind.

deerme
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Location: Barrington, NH

bullthistle wrote:They do have weeping crabs that would take the wind.
TY. I'll have a look into them.

Would Holly's or Azalea's survive a windy area?

MaineDesigner
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How much sun does the area get in the winter? That will be a major indicator for which evergreen species might be appropriate. What are the dimensions of the space?

A dry, windy, sharply drained/sloped area that is in full sun until 2:00 or 3:00 PM sounds far from ideal for either Hollies or Azaleas. From your description so far I think you may need something fairly tough: Lilacs, Ninebark, maybe a Black Hill Spruce (Picea glauca var. densata), maybe a Hawthorn...

Let us know the winter sun exposure and the dimensions and maybe I'll come with a better idea.
Last edited by MaineDesigner on Wed May 19, 2010 1:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

bullthistle
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Blue Pacific juniper would be ideal, great spreader bluish green, about 6-9" tall and maybe throw in some bayberry since you get different textures because I doubt you want to look at deciduous all winter.

deerme
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Here are approximate area estimates.

[img]https://www.suburbandeerservice.org/tmp/helpfulgardener/20100518/IMGP1058.JPG[/img]

In the winter, the area will receive 1/2 to 2/3 of the day's sun. So if there are 9 hours of sun in the day, that area will get around 5 or 6 hours of sun.

I was hoping to be able to plant some sort of ground cover from the yellow line down the slope. I was thinking Woolly Thyme???

How about a Japanese Red Maple for the middle? Too big?

I'm actually going to be planting along the entire front of the house. There's another 15 feet to the left of the porch stairs. I was thinking maybe two or three Dwarf Alberta Spruce's on each side of the stairs, planted right along the brick border...

Here are a couple more pics...

[img]https://www.suburbandeerservice.org/tmp/helpfulgardener/20100518/IMGP1052.JPG[/img]

[img]https://www.suburbandeerservice.org/tmp/helpfulgardener/20100518/IMGP1055.JPG[/img]

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applestar
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You could have a nice rock garden above the rocks and boulders. I would love to see Creeping Phlox tumbling over those rocks. Creeping Thyme works well too. I like recommending Fragaria virginiana (Wild Strawberries) as ground cover. For your northern location, Arctostaphylos uva-ursi would look nice too, and you can't beat Prickly Pear for summer POP of color:
https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=43290#43290

See what you think of my list: https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=79896#79896

As for the tree, you probably don't want anything that grows really tall, so I'd stick with shorter trees. Crabapple sound like a good idea, or you might just stick with shrubs since a tree would completely obscure the house. I guess it depends on what you want. Personally, I think a tree would look better on the OTHER side of the walkway leading up to the steps, but it might just be the angle of the photos you're showing us.

My vision would be: Ground covers and low shrubs up the slope, and either a patch of lawn or a lush flower garden (I'm thinking Butterfly Garden) in the level circle where you indicated you want the tree.

Tall shrubs -- fragrant and flowering/fruit bearing -- that would grow as high as just below the top of the porch railings all along the porch: Native viburnums, rhododendrons, kalmias, ilex/hollies, dogwoods, hydrangeas... maybe lilacs.

If the downspout at the other corner of the house helps to water the area, you could have more moisture loving plants on that side of the steps -- summer sweet, spicebush. I'd LOVE to see a Winterberry holly somewhere to play against the red door and the white house in the winter time, but it needs a really moist area.

MaineDesigner
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IMO the sloping side is too exposed for any Japanese maple. My personal impulse would be to opt for a dwarf conifer, probably a pine. Your local garden center probably isn't going to have much in the way of dwarf conifers, especially those of any kind of size, but there are some good specialty nurseries in New Hampshire and Vermont that would have them. Because these are very slow growing trees they are expensive in larger sizes.

Again this is a matter of personal taste but I really dislike the dwarf Picea glauca like 'Conica'. I find them over used and too stiff and formal in appearance for most American architecture and landscapes.

Wooly thyme tends to become rather ratty looking over time without a fair amount of maintenance. The appropriate choice for what to plant below the yellow line is going to be partially determined by what you select for the area above the yellow. If it is plants that don't need much supplemental moisture once established applestar's suggestion of Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (Bearberry or Kinnikinnick) might be a good choice. If you want a more colorful, less naturalistic, look I like
Dianthus gratianopolitanus (Cheddar Pinks) selections like 'Bath's Pink'. It needs shearing once a year after flowering but is quite low maintenance. Whatever you choose don't let grasses, especially perennial grasses, get established in your ground cover.

What is your soil like? Is it sandy or more toward clay?

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rainbowgardener
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I do think your area will be beautiful with something tallish (like a big shrub) to anchor it (but as AS noted not like a big tree that will obscure the house).

I LOVE MaineDesigner's suggestion of lilac. I have a huge old lilac in my front yard and it is stunning and gives so much pleasure.

If not that, serviceberry is a nice native tall shrub/small tree, very pretty with berries that 40 different species of birds love.

The nine bark was another good suggestion of native shrub, attractive to birds bees and butterflies. There is a purple version with rich burgundy purple foliage and pink flowers, very glamorous

https://farm3.static.flickr.com/2671/3799247693_6b28c1fa4b.jpg
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tomf
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If it is the xmass kind of holly it has sharp thorns on it.

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