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looking for suggestions for plants

Posted by journalbee zone 6 (My Page) on
Wed, May 25, 11 at 20:11

i've been lurking for the last week or so. doing lots of reading and admiring your beautiful gardens. before it gets too hot i would like to work on a garden along my driveway.
it is full sun from around noon. since it is only 4 feet deep i don't think shrubs are the way to go. i would love some suggestions on what to start with.
thanks in advance

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: looking for suggestions for plants

My first suggestion would be to look for plants that say drought tolerant :) Being right between driveways (I'm guessing that's why 4' deep) is tough on a plant. Also, look for plants that are salt tolerant, if you salt your driveway.

Some great plants that should do well though are:
Oriental Poppy

RE: looking for suggestions for plants

the area is between our front yard and driveway. the post and rail fence is about 4 feet tall and the bed will also be 4 feet. it's actually 6 feet between the fence and the driveway. i'd like to make the bed deeper but i'm afraid someone like me will run over the plants. so i'm looking for something that will get about the height of the fence give or take. that will be good with full sun and hopefully that the deer won't like. that's a lot of factors i know. i like so many plants. but i'm just not sure which ones should go at the fenceline.
i will look up your suggestions. thanks!

RE: looking for suggestions for plants

Journalbee, I was going to ask about height and I see you answered that question above. Ornamental grasses might be nice, even some taller ones. Mine get a little floppy in my soil but where you have a fence you could always tie them up. I tie mine to my picket fence. I have a 6' border and a bunch of really tall (up to 12') plants in it. It's pretty dramatic in the fall.

Here are some suggesions for smaller shrubs that might work and are not just green. Not sure how low maintenance you want it to be but I find shrubs and grasses are so easy and can add some great structure. Plunk in a handful of perennials (especially daylilies) around them and it would be pretty easy maintenance.

'Crimson pygmy' or 'Helmond Pillar' barberry (if it's not banned in your area)

'Fairy' rose or carpet roses bloom until well into Nov. I haven't had much luck with Knockout roses here but I've seen everyone elses amazing photos and they are gorgeous.

Deutzia gracilis-blooms white in May (nice mixed with salvia 'May Night')

Dwarf Alberta Spruce-good conical structure

There is a dwarf rose of sharon that only gets to about 3'. I think it's 'Lil Kim'. Mine are still teeny so I'm not sure how wide they would get but I can't imagine much more than 4-5'.

I have a bunch of 'Leonard Messel' magnolias planted along my split-rail fence. Magnolias get tall, but they are quite narrow and could be limbed up which would work in the space requirement. Not sure about their shallow roots and the driveway though.....

I also planted climbing hydrangea on my split-rail fence.

There may be some great Ilex (holly) that would do well in your zone. I always wish to be a little further south to enjoy more hollies.

The deer have stayed away from all the shrubs I've listed above and we sometimes have a dozen at the buffet.

Hope that helps a bit!

RE: looking for suggestions for plants

thyme2dig, those are all amzing suggestions. see now i'm getting confused again.
i have peonies about 2 1/2 feet from the fenceline. i think i have 2 every 12 feet or so (don't ask why). eventually i think there will be 3 every 12 feet. so i think i should stay away from the shrubs. but you are sure making it difficult with those suggestions. the climbing hydrangea can they take full sun??? i would love something climbing on my fence as well.

thanks for taking the time to respond.

RE: looking for suggestions for plants

Nice rounded tree roses, surrounded by iris, daffodils, tulips, and pansies. Yummmmm.

RE: looking for suggestions for plants

  • Posted by simcan z5b/Toronto (My Page) on
    Fri, May 27, 11 at 7:50

Good suggestions so far. I would also think about some tall, narrow conifers like Degroot Spire cedar and Blue Arrow juniper (which will also help catch the eye of drivers), and some scrambling stuff like cotoneaster, with great berries in the winter. Even boxwoods. Point being I think the structure and year-round interest of shrubs is not something I would give up on just yet. Also, I would consider a few climbing roses along the fence.

RE: looking for suggestions for plants

Here is my driveway bed from 2006....not much wider than your talking. I am in the process of putting in more shrubs to give it more winter bones.



Deer are a pain and will eat anything when hungry enough. Some successes are iris, spirea(all types), barberry, peony, mugo pine, heliopsis, buddliea, ornamental grasses, crocosmia, shasta daisy, kolkwitzia, daffodils, alliums, lavender, fritillaria, russian sage, oriental poppy, lupines, viburnum and salvia.
They ate the sand cherry, nipped some of the daylilies & orange asiatic lilies, but not all.


RE: looking for suggestions for plants

you pretty much have an open slate - one thing to do is to drive around and see what other gardeners are doing - local nurseries rather than the big box stores will be able to give you advice on what grows in your area. You pretty much can't go wrong with daylilies, blackeyed susans, yarrows, salvias - all tough plants and will give you all summer bloom. KnockOut Roses are wonderful - clematis along your fence - it just depends on the ultimate look you want - have fun .....


RE: looking for suggestions for plants

lynne - i will prob end up with all that you suggested. those are the plants i lean towards anyway. add in lavender and russian sage. i just can't decide what should be in the back.

flora - thanks for the pics. i don't know many of the names you mentioned. i will have to look them up in the am. my neighbor has sand cherry and the deer don't bother it. but i think if i put it in the driveway they would have a feast. lol

simcam - i agree i should have shrubs somewhere. but i think i am going to add them next year. roses would be lovely, without the thorns.


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