An Impossible Plant required

dottyinduncan(z8b coastal BC)August 10, 2010

We are required to put some landscaping into an impossible situation and I thought I would see if there is a miracle plant that would survive. It is a little 10 foot strip on a commercial property that is a puddle in the wintertime and waterless in the summer. We are supposed to have a hedge, not more than 3 feet high. Personally, I think plastic would be best, but our city council knows better! Any thoughts?

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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Why is it a puddle? Heavy, compacted soil? If they will let you excavate and replace the soil (no buried utilities or maintaining of public access involved) or even dump better soil on top, plant in that (make a berm) then all you have to do is plant drought resistant plants. There is a ton of small shrubs that will survive our summers here (once established) if the soil is open enough for them. Think rock roses, junipers, various other Mediterranean style climate plants commonly seen here.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2010 at 12:27PM
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ian_wa(Sequim)

Callistemon sieberi. Just be sure to find some that are correctly labeled!

    Bookmark   August 10, 2010 at 5:40PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

If you are supposed to produce a full-looking planting ("hedge") you won't get it from that one.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2010 at 12:02AM
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ian_wa(Sequim)

Callistemon sieberi is a variable plant with many forms - I think I have five or six and none of them has ever been winter damaged. Some of them have a very dense habit. I do have one form with very prickly leaves that is not at all dense and would not make a good hedge unless pruned regularly.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2010 at 11:16AM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Very dense as in a yew, holly or box? That may be the kind of appearance being called for.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2010 at 1:00PM
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grrrnthumb(z8 WA)

How about that short laurel cultivar that's in all the big parking lots around here? I thought I remember somebody calling it persian laurel, but I'm not sure. Leaves darker green & slightly narrower than English laurel. Tough as nails.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2010 at 1:41PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

'Otto Luyken' will not want to sit in puddles for long periods and often has a terrible problem with Prunus Shot Hole fungus.

In time it grows well above head height, although this does not happen overnight.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2010 at 2:33PM
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dottyinduncan(z8b coastal BC)

Thanks for the replies. I was thinking about a berm bboy, it might work. I will research suggestions to see if they are on the approved list for our city. Thanks again.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2010 at 4:43PM
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