Border for new deck

jyoung03April 14, 2014

Completed a new deck last season (20' running length 10' on either side), preparing to cover the sides all the way around with Hummingbird friendly plants. I live in way, way, upstate NY, (Zone 3-4). I would prefer something perennial since I am not gardening proficient, however, am willing to give annuals a shot if it is the best bet. The deck faces NE/SE so sunshine is mostly in the AM. Soil is approx. 3-4" deep, then predominately sand. It is on level ground so no draining away. Hoping y'all may have some suggestions on how to best tackle this. Thanks ahead of time for any help, Jonathan

This post was edited by jyoung03 on Tue, Apr 15, 14 at 14:42

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shillanorth Z4 AB

My best perennial hummer plant so far has been Monarda Jacob Cline and Raspberry something or other as well as Dropmore Scarlet honeysuckle. These would certainly be hardy in your area. They have survived and flourished on my brother`s ranch west of here as well and he is probably a zone lower than me because of the mountains. For annuals, they have come consistently to Scarlet Runner Bean, Salvia Coccinea and Fuchsia Gartenmeister. I have really gravelly ground around here and so I dig in a bunch of compost in every planting hole along with a generous trowel full of bone meal and blood meal. That`s all I do and everthing grows fine. I`m not one to fuss over plants, they have to be tough to survive in my garden!

    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 7:19PM
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shillanorth Z4 AB

Here`s one of a hummer on Dropmore Scarlet Honeysuckle - they visit this as often as the Monarda. I planted this alongside my brother`s deck about 4 years ago - constant entertainment!

    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 7:44PM
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mehitabel(z6 MO)

Wonderful to see your pictures, shilla. Thanks.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2014 at 9:56AM
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mehitabel(z6 MO)

Agastache 'Ava' attracts hummingbirds to my window. It gets tall, mine are 5' after three years. The wonderful thing is you get blooms the very first year, and it blooms all summer and fall from about mid June til hard frost around Thanksgiving. Three together look like a big fat bush, 5 x 5.

Bees love this. In summer there are actually four or five different sizes of bee on it.

If you get a catalog from High Country Gardens, they mark every plant that attracts hummingbirds. Even if you don't order from them, you can get an idea of what to plant from it.

BTW the red honeysuckle someone mentioned also attracts them. It's very vigorous, mine is at least 10 feet tall after three years, but just makes a wall of red in May and June. Knocks your eye out. Then blooms all summer til fall. It will need a strong support.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2014 at 12:20PM
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jyoung03

Great! Thanks for all the suggestions, I am moving toward the Monarda Jacob Cline given what the first poster said, and what I have read online. My only question is, it is somewhat confusing when they list sun requirements. Some nurseries list it with full sun, as does Wiki. However, some claim to have had success in morning sun, partial shade. This will be my growing environment (PM, house blocks sun). Does anyone have any thoughts on its success under this condition? Thanks so much for everyone's responses! Jonathan

    Bookmark   April 21, 2014 at 1:41PM
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shillanorth Z4 AB

All of the Monarda I have in my yard only gets partial sun - some of it morning sun, the clumps in the photo get some late afternoon sun - none of it strong sunlight. I believe, because of that, they don`t bloom themselves out so quickly. Mine are in bloom from about late June until late August, early Sept. I know some people in warmer areas find them on the invasive side but mine just slowly increase each year. I am also going to add some penstemon and foxgloves(ambigua and mertonenesis) this year as well. Bring on the hummers!

    Bookmark   April 21, 2014 at 6:21PM
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