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Plant choices for community islands/medians

Posted by KCgreen none (My Page) on
Sat, Sep 14, 13 at 20:11


I've been lurking here for a bit and recently I've been asked to help resolve some landscaping issues in my community.

The problem is with the "islands" in our cul-de-sacs. Currently they a pretty barren with half dead dirt and grass, and some have 3"-4" maples. These areas do not have irrigation so I am trying to figure out some combination of low plants and ground cover that would be low maintenance and tolerant to sporadic rainfall. I live in the Kansas City area so we have hot summers (sometimes with extended drought periods) and cold winters.

My first thoughts would be to get rid of the grass completely, and maybe go with some short bushes with mulch or some sort of ivy ground cover. Adding in some color in the form of flowers would be an extra bonus.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I haven't been able to find any good resources for these types of areas.

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RE: Plant choices for community islands/medians

Would they be exposed to road salt? Do you want it to obstruct views?

Baptista Australis likes gravel and is a Nitrogen Fixer native to the great plains. Purple Prairie Clover is another one that bees like.

In general plants that like beaches like roadsides and median strips (because of road salt) Virginia Rose has flowers and Fall fruit, and tolerates dry conditions and road salt. Beach Plum likes road salt and produces fruit. American Holly has winter interest with evergreen leaves and red fruit. Bearberry is a salt and drought tolerant ground cover that produces edible fruit (although I've never got it to take)

An area contained by road on all sides would be a great place to put a slightly "weedy" vine like Trumpet Vine.

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