Tricky Area for Planting

millefioriNovember 9, 2006

Hello! Can't believe it took so long to find gardenweb, but now that I have, I have a question about planting a tricky location in our yard.

It is a west facing location, right near the house foundation. Being located in Central VA, we have that horrible red clay, and since this is near the foundation, of course it is the worst possible soil. I will amend with organics and raise/slope away from the house slightly.

The location microclimate is slightly cool for a western location and a little bit wet in the winter. It gets full morning shade, however, from midday to late afternoon it gets full sun, with light/heat reflecting back from the brick, particularly baking in the summer.

Hostas don't work, daylilies do okay but I would really like to add some things with height like 4' grasses or taller plants for view from the window interest. I don't want the typical foundation type evergreens in this location. Thought about a rock garden with succulents, but think it might be too wet in winter. Any suggestions?

Thanks!

~ Tru

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meldy_nva(z6b VA)

Miscanthus comes in several heights; the pink plumes are quite attractive in late summer. Sedum, such as Autumn Joy or Neon, will do fine if you give them a good slope. Plant lots of bulbs, especially those in the allium family. A shrub, but carefree, is callicarpa(Beautyberry). Low-height interest/borders can be provided by using bearberry or lingonberry. The newer varieties of Rudbeckia have a very long blooming season; they will love the sun but also like a bit of slope to prevent water standing. Interplant a long-blooming mildew-resistant phlox such as Katherine with amsonia (blue spring flowers and bright gold fall color). Katherine is only about 30" but David is quite tall; carolina phlox gives a different feel and is well-behaved. Don't forget to provide winter interest, there are several blue-toned and golden 'evergreens' in differing sizes and shapes, which will be nice when every thing else is hibernating. West-facing will be awfully hot in the summer, you might want to consider planting a sumbucus to one side, to shade the house.

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    Bookmark   November 9, 2006 at 12:18PM
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