I need some help and ideas

BronwynC(Z6 WNY)April 11, 2005

After making the rounds to the greenhouses yesterday, IÂm stumped After talking to a few informed nurserymen IÂm still at a loss of what to do. . I have an area in my front yard that is surrounded by a white picket fence. I wanted to do a corner garden in blue and whites, which is what I did last year. Needless to say, the garden didnÂt pull through winter since it is so close to the road. Does anyone have any idea what I could plant in this area that would survive harsh conditions? ItÂs the first to get the road wash and salt. I would like something to trail along the fence.

I really would just like a few plants that would stay if they could survive. I could fill in with annuals. Does anyone have any idea what I could plant in this area that would survive harsh conditions?

I thought maybe Four OÂclocks would be one option but IÂm not sure yet.

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randallxski(z6 Rochester NY)

I'm not particularly fond of them, but the daylilies around my mailbox seem to come back strong every spring. They apparently don't mind the salt or the dogs.

I've also seen pansies come back around mailboxes in my neighborhood, although they're not perennials. Perhaps a walk or drive around some neighborhoods over the next month or 2 will give you some other ideas.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2005 at 12:14PM
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Ditto the daylilies as salt-tolerant. I have a neighbor who is exceptionally free with salting on our sloping sidewalk and I'm on the downward side so my lawn and many plants have gotten damaged over the years.

When it comes to blue and white garden, these might be useful suggestions (you don;t mention size as a consideration): cotoneasters, thrift (armeria), blueberry (Vaccinum), candytuft (Iberis), mockorange (philadelphus), rose of sharon (hibiscus) are all pretty salt-tolerant.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2005 at 12:36PM
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BronwynC(Z6 WNY)

Thank you for the ideas. Some days nothing kicks in and I was very frustrated yesterday.

Size isn't a problem but blueberry and mockorange might be a great option. I have hisbiscus in the other corner garden, the thing is turning into a monster. LOL

    Bookmark   April 11, 2005 at 7:49PM
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Rosa rugosa the seaside roses love salt, I have them right on the street and they are thriving. In Rochester area they are planted on corners by the city and town of Brighton.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2005 at 11:31PM
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laurelin(z5a/4b Upstate NY)

I have a flower bed beside the road, and it gets BURIED every winter. Here's what thrives there for me:

Rose of Sharon
Aster 'Bluebird'
Lamb's ears
Euphorbia myrsinites (donkey-tail spurge)
Liatris spicata
Knautia macedonica
an unidentified intermediate bearded iris (a historic)
Sea pinks (armeria maritima?)
another unidentified aster

Scabiosa 'Butterfly Blue' did well for a few years then died off, but I think that's because it's a short-lived plant anyhow, not necessarily because of the salt. I've got a salvia 'May Night' there that I planted last year - it's not looking too happy; well see if it bounces back. I planted a creeping phlox there last fall, too ('Fort Hill,' I think), and it's looking good so far. Ditto for heuchera 'Palace Purple.'

Each year I plant something new in that bed, just one of each thing I want to try. If they live through the winter, I might plant more of the same. If something croaks, I haven't wasted a lot of money.

Good luck finding tough plants for a tough spot!


    Bookmark   April 12, 2005 at 1:15PM
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BronwynC(Z6 WNY)

Thanks for more idea Larelin! I think this garden is doomed. A mole/vole ate my Heaven on Earth and Flirtatious roses so I guess I'm dealing with more than salt! LOL

    Bookmark   April 13, 2005 at 7:58AM
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tracywag(Z5 NY)

Another thought. In my strip right by the road I mulch heavily with leaves in the fall (as many as I can get!). In the spring I rake it all off and toss it. This seems to keep some of the salt damage down. I have hardy mums there that are just insane, I have never seen any thriving quite like this.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2005 at 10:53AM
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BronwynC(Z6 WNY)

Thanks Tracy, that is another thought. I have more leaves thanks to the free standing timber across the road from. All 500 acres of it.

So far I have transplanted a Rosa rugosa from the back of the property to the front. I really didn't like where I had planted it orginally.

I still have plenty of room too! I need to stop this, my husband is going crazy.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2005 at 6:44AM
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laurelin(z5a/4b Upstate NY)


I forgot a couple ideas for your salty roadside bed:

I have ornamental onions there, and they're thriving. I have allium 'Purple Sensation' and nectaroscordum (allium) siculum. They've been multiplying steadily for a few years; the n. s. especially is thriving (it needs staking, however - I'm willing to fiddle with it because I love the flowers and seed heads).

Daffodils and tulips don't perennialize well for me there, but they do give a good "once off" performance from a fall planting, so you could plant them in the fall and treat them like annuals. Many gardeners do that anyhow.

I have a small clump of lilium speciosum rubrum in that bed. So far, it's growing well. It's set about 6 feet in from the road in a sheltered spot, and doesn't get totally buried, but I'm sure it gets all the salt runoff anyhow.

A roadside bed doesn't have to be a desert - keep trying, and you'll have a LOVELY garden there (even if you make your husband crazy in the process).


P.S. You could set a couple large containers in the bed as accent pieces, and totally control the soil to suit yourself. I've got blueberries in very large foam containers in my front bed this year.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2005 at 9:16AM
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BronwynC(Z6 WNY)

Thanks Laurelin the ideas help greatly. I actually raked road salt off the shoulder of the road last week before it ended up in the bed.

I had thought about doing some sunken pots out front which may be the way I'm heading. I have a honeysuckle on the fence that made it through winter, which sort of shocked me, so that is one plus.

I have Narcissus,Daffodils,Iris planted in a bed next to the one I am working on, they do okay. Alum would be great for height, I'll have to get some.

Hubby is used to being drove nuts this time of year. All I hear is, "Where did that come from?"

"What? Oh I moved it from over there." I point some place in the yard. He just wanders off and laughs since the plant most likely still has a price tag on it.

The weather is great and I'm enjoying it. Springs like this are pretty rare!

Thanks for the warm welcome too!

    Bookmark   April 17, 2005 at 6:13AM
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