different & small yard, what to plant?

terryr(z5a IL)June 28, 2005

We've moved back (Dec. 2004)to my hometown in North Central IL. While living in TN (17 months is all), I got big into natives and plants for wildlife. I planted like a crazy woman! Unfortuantly, I had to leave the majority of them there. We also had lots more land, in the country....I'm now in town, on a corner lot that measures 64 x 134. An 1896 (that's taking most of my time...but that's a whole nother story!) 2 story house and a 2 car garage on the lot. I've also got overhead wires to deal with. They're on the side by the corner, and there's 1 wire from the house to the garage in back. The house came with a row of spirea (the whole length on the side between my house and the one next door), and the back/side 1/4 of the area on the other. I've got an arborvitea in front (near the wires, but it should be o.k.), a crimson maple (again in front but the other side), an unidentified ash (On the same side and the previous owner told me it was an ash but I haven't been able to identify which one), 3 boxwoods (out back by the deck), peonies (both sides), iris's and hostas. That was all here. There was a Quaking Aspen in the back side yard, but in a yard this small, I didn't want to deal with the suckers, so it's gone. Oh, and common lilacs were here also. There's 3 after the hedge of spirea and 1 in front. I brought with me and bought some of the following: elderberry, nannyberry, blackhaw viburnam, mohican viburnam, autumn jazz viburnam, dawn viburnam, asian beauty viburnam, wild raisin viburnam, another viburnam I can't remember the name of, red and bottle brush buckeye, serviceberry, sweetshrub, (3)strawberry bush, native columbine and alumroot. I lost a Michael Dodge viburnam and another yellow fruited one this spring. I've also got a snowball viburnam...had to have that 1 as my friend down in TN has 3. One has bigger than normal flower heads on it, so he calls it Craig's bighead. Hence the having to have...reminds me of him. I've got good black soil, but no wet spots. I haven't had my soil checked, so I don't know if it's acidic or not. I have a cedar out by the garage that I know the city will be coming after in a year or so because it'll be up in the wires. I'm going to have to have that taken out. The tree's that were already here, were planted in the last 5-6 yrs and aren't large enough to cast any/much shade. What are some native/wildlife plants, trees, shrubs, perennials, that I can add to this small lot? I want to get rid of as much grass as I can, as natural as I can. The things that were here, will stay until later.

Thanks for any suggestions!


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Terry it sounds like you have quite alot of shrubs and I guess not much room for any large trees? You got rid of the quaking aspen? How about some of the smaller native dogwoods? I have a Cornus alternifolia. The birds and squirrels and chipmunks love the fruit. Another small tree that is beautiful in late spring is kentucky yellowood. That's a start.Hopefully you will get some better ideas Sarah

    Bookmark   June 28, 2005 at 10:53PM
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terryr(z5a IL)

I had to deal with a quaking aspen at our other house here in IL. The neighbor had one and it was coming to my house. I still go and visit that neighbor. She has suckers every where. The new owners of our house told me that the suckers scare them. When we lived there, I was in her garage and cut a sucker that was coming up threw a crack in there! I did research on it, and it's probably a great tree if you have lots of land, but not on this small lot. I've never heard of a kentucky yellowood, but will research it. Thanks!

    Bookmark   June 28, 2005 at 11:18PM
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