Plant idea for a problematic driveway strip

paulsiu(5a)April 17, 2011

A relative has this driveway strip that he has tried to grow plants over the years. He's tried bushes and hostas, but apparently nothings grows there because of road salt. The neighbor also occasionally drive over it by accident. Right now, he has stones there to prevent weeds from growing.

What do you suggest?

My thought is to use stone crops, they appeared to be relatively salt tolerant, have pretty flowers and is next to indestructible. It probably won't survive being run over but will probably grow back. I am not sure what species to use though. Keep in mind the area may be partial shade and stone crop is usually full sun. There's a tree nearby. This is also zone 5.


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Ajuga, it will spread nicely, takes foot traffic and once established will probably take a car. If a car runs over it, with a spading fork lift from the sides and push in. One warning, be sure to deadhead when the flowers fade. Its in my lawn, but its green.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2011 at 8:58PM
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I suggested Ajuga, but they didn't like the appearance. I wasn't aware that Ajuga was salt tolerant though.


    Bookmark   April 17, 2011 at 10:50PM
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Why should there be salt damage so far from the road.
I know that salt spray can indeed cause trouble but with relative care of washing the plant with water, it should come through winter unscathed.

For such a small strip I would suggest you go back to evergreens....small specimens of hick's yew or box and line the entire strip with them. They are low maintenance and look great.

Tell the drunken neighbor you'd appreciate him driving with more care lest he has to replace the plants.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2011 at 4:10PM
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If it were my driveway,I'd put a nice fence or some kind of barrier up to prevent the people beside from driving over my yard..I would then place nice hanging pots with a variety of plants in them.It would look very nice and you would have some privacy and your driveway back...

    Bookmark   April 23, 2011 at 12:34PM
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Fence would be a good idea, but they can't afford to put one up. Apparently the salt comes from the snow that gets shoveled to the side. When the snow melts, the salt end up soaking into the ground. They have tried to grow a variety number of stuff over the years, including tough Juniper, but they all died.

As for the neighbor who occasionally run over the strip. Let's just say that plants are the least of their worries.


    Bookmark   April 24, 2011 at 12:56AM
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Sometimes we just have to accept the inevitable--neighbors' carelessness, snow damage, too much rain, not enough rain, soil that is not up to par etc etc etc...but we have to consider the look of the property...especially where others look on it, as in the front of our properties.
So to that, I still say a low growing hedge that stays green all year and is an enhancement of the strip is the way to go.
Surely we can think to guard the plants in some ways and think the neighbor might appreciate the look of greenery surely does reflect on his house as well being a boundary line item.

Getting on friendly terms with the driver about how he can also guard the hedge might make him appreciate it as well.
Then there's the other side of the coin....plants that live for ???...a short stay and then die. What look is left. A flowering hedge--such as a rose hedge, would look super, but then even a rose dies back and winter is not on friendly terms with this plant. Hedges can do so much.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2011 at 11:43AM
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Well, they really like to have some sort of shrub, but they have tried and everything they try died, including Juniper. It may be the soil. The problem is that I am not really a good gardener myself. I just read a lot and have managed to progress to killing all of my plants to growing a few plants :-)

May be as an experiment, I'll try to plant a bush of some kind at a corner. If it works, plant more.


    Bookmark   May 4, 2011 at 1:21AM
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Bay berry is salt tolerant Would need trimming to fit the area.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2011 at 9:00PM
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tsugajunkie z5 SE WI

Whatever you plant, you might want to stick a few big old rocks in there as well. They have an unforgiving way of correcting careless drivers.


    Bookmark   May 5, 2011 at 10:35PM
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Hehe. The big old rocks are a good idea.

After some research, we're going to use Day Lilies, there are some on the property that are shade tolerant. Day lilies are listed as one of the most salt resistant plant.


    Bookmark   May 9, 2011 at 8:48AM
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I put in a raised bed in a similar situation. This takes care of salt and accidental vehicular plant-slaughter. If you can't raise a bed sufficiently, then maybe paving stones with creeping thyme and houseleek (hens-and-chicks)? The occassional larger stone for interest? Periwinkle is also a tough plant, once established.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2011 at 4:52PM
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