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starting over.....

Posted by terryr z5a IL (My Page) on
Mon, Mar 27, 06 at 12:13

I decided this morning to start a new thread...going along with my starting all over again in yet another yard. If you were starting over, or are starting over, what plants would be your must haves? I don't care if you're on 20 acres or are lucky like me and only on a 60 x 132 lot :o). What would you do over and what was a mistake? Favorite plants? Trees, shrubs, perennials...any and all.

Terry


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: starting over.....

Terry,

Youve probably seen me mention at least some of these before, but here goes.

Lindera benzoin (spicebush) catbirds love it; it's a host for spicebush swallowtail butterflies (havent noticed caterpillars on the plant, but I have seen the butterflies in my yard)

Ive just started having a butterfly garden, so not sure if other plants are even better, but from what Ive seen:

Lobelia siphilitica (great blue lobelia, blue cardinal flower)
Asclepias incarnata (swamp milkweed)

For attracting bees (and added points, since its starting to come up already and give me hope for spring!):
Tradescantia virginiana (Virginia Spiderwort)

Lori


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RE: starting over.....

My never do agains? Some poplar/willow hybrid that grew like crazy and the birds loved but was so shallow rooted that they came up and did amazing damage.

If you would like, I will type up the plant list that is going into my starting over plan (and why). They were all pretty carefully chosen by both me and my designer based on my specific goals. (provide habitat, attract birds to the yard...which is hard since about 1/2 mile away we have undisturbed woodlands with a large river running through so their needs are pretty well met...encourage butterflies without butterfly bush, encourage hummingbirds now that the neighbor cut down the (dreadful) mimosa that drew them in the first place, minimize turfgrass, provide cover for small mammals...and not drive my neighbors crazy with wildness...all in a yard smaller than Terry's)

There's about 80 varieties I think...if you want the list I will be glad to type it up.

Robin


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RE: starting over.....

Robin, would you do that? I'm constantly amazed at the generosity here at GW. I would love to see your list. I have the same goals as you, only...I don't know, driving the neighbors crazy would be kind of fun....

Lori, we'll see how my spicebush made it thru the winter in about another month or so. I'm not really sure when it will start around here. I've got to get a bog and plant some of that lobelia. Tradescantia ohiensis is on the list of natives to my county. Wonder if I can find any...hmmm....
Oh and your swamp milkweed, does it tend to go all over? I have some sort of milkweed, but I can't remember it now and frankly right now I'm just too lazy to go find it :o)


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RE: starting over.....

I am happy to share it w. you guys! It helps to advance the conservation efforts of all of us...and that's a cool thing!

Front yard strip bed (between neighbors and our house)
Dwarf Fothergilla and Red Chokeberry *Brilliantissima) surrounded by Chasmanthium, Rudbeckia Fulgida, Echinacea (the kim's knees one), Chrysogonum Virginianum,

Front yard island bed

Washington Hawthorn & Sugar Maple surrounded by Viburnum Dentatum Blue Muffin, Potentilla Fruiticosa Goldfinger, Heuchera Americana Dales Selection, Amsonia Blue Ice, Geranium Cantibriginese Biokovo, Coreopsis Verticillata Zagreb, Amsonia Hubrechtii,

Front bed running along house and dividing front and side yards. Already has 3 elderberry, Jones and York maybe?
So a bed is dug along the front of the house and incorporates the berry bushes...adds this: Kalmia (species), Rhododendron Minus, Potentilla Tridentata, Sedum Ternatum mixed with Aquilegia Canadensis, Solidago Sphacelata Golden Fleece, Aster Oblongifolius October Skies, Penstemon Digitalis Husker Red, Coreopsis Verticillata Zagreb, Monarda Petite Delight

Side yard: Existing Fence, one Red Native Elderberry in corner of raised beds along house behind the existing elders. This sideyard is my nod to my love of perennials and roses and fragrance. So, technically not natives entirely. But my indulgence. It is VERY small. Along the side walk on the hilly spot below the fence, Nepeta Faasenii Walkers Low. In raised beds, Phlox Paniculata David, Baptisia Australis, Allium Scenescum Glauca, Liatris Spicata Kobold, Echinacea Mango Meadowbrite. In the beds dug in the yard in front and encircling the perimeter of the yard and along the house, 10 landscape roses of various variety (not teas...the indestructible shrub kind), 2 climbing roses, lilac bush, Bignonia over the trellis, Salvia Nemerosa Marcus, Coreopsis Verticillata Creme Brulee, Liatris Kobold, Sporobolus Heterolepis, Asclepsia Tuberosa, Echinacea Mango Meadowbrite, Penstemon digitalis Husker Red, cheddar pinks Baths pink,

Back yard: This is a big bunch of stuff. Already there:
red oak, pin oak, magnolia, crab apple prairie fire, pink dogwood, cutleaf sumac, Amelanchier Canadensis, Viburnum Dentatum Autumn Jazz. Adding: Oakleaf Hydrangea, Juniperus Virginiama Corcorcor, Vaccimium North Blue, Thuja Occidentalis Smaraga, Caenothus Americanus (New Jersey Tea), Physocarpus Opulifolius Diablo (Purple leaf ninebark), Sweetfern, Yellowroot, Chelone Lyonii, Broad Leaved Mountain Mint, Black sedge, Sedum Ternatum, Little Blue stem, Lobelia Cardinalis, Heuchera Americana Dales Selection, Tiarella Cordifolia Slickrock, Ostrich Fern, Heuchera Macroriza Autumn Bride, Wooly Thyme, Panicum Virgatum Northwind, Panicum Virgatum Shenandoah, Penstemon Smallii, Rudbeckia Triloba, Coreopsis Lanceolota,

In the (little!) meadow, Little bluestem, October Skies Aster, Nodding Pink Onion, Rough Blazingstar, Slender Mountain Mint, Showy Goldenrod

There is a retaining wall just around my driveway and shed and behind the perennial garden on the side...it faces the street. So we decided to make it happy for butterflies and the neighbors: It has a cutleaf sumac anchoring a corner, then a meadowlike mixture of Showy Goldenrod, English Lavender Hidcote, Gaura Whirling Butterflies, Perovskia Little Spire (a dwarf), Agastache Sunset,

There you go! I think I got them all. We will be planting fools for the next year!
Robin
PS...we tried as much as possible to stick with natives endemic to this region....


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RE: starting over.....

Robin,

Thanks for posting that! I just made a copy so I'll be able to research any plants I don't know. It should be very useful since NJ and Pennsylvania are pretty close to each other.

Terry,

I've had the clump of swamp milkweed for about 2 years and it has gotten larger, but I wouldn't say it's all over. On the other hand, obedient plant spreads like crazy for most people, but just doesn't like my yard enough. I actually wintersowed some because it just doesn't spread for me.

My SIL thinks the spiderwort I gave her spreads too much, so if that's an issue you might want to avoid it. I have it in a pretty shady bed, so I like that it spreads. I really do enjoy seeing the bees making use of it, and for some reason just really like how it looks (until end of season, must admit I cut down the foliage if it looks too ratty).

Lori


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RE: starting over.....

Robin, what a list! Like Lori, I'll be making a copy to see if we have some plants in common. If your lot is smaller than mine, where's the house with all those trees? I have heard that the sugar maple will eventually choke out anything under it. Choke out or smother? I can't remember now, but I do remember being told not much would grow under it. I think the shade is too dense? My dad has some in his timber, so that's why it came up before.

Lori, I won't know till I plant some whether or not it spreads too much for me. It really depends on the plant. You also get the what spreads too much for one person isn't the same for the other? I think obedient plant was another one of those that I had previously in another lifetime it seems, that likes moist soil. So if I get my bog like I want, I'm going to try. If it spreads to much, I'll just plant it in the park caddy corner behind me :)
Oh and did I mention that I finally found a native plant sale? I have to drive about an hour and half or better, up to the burbs in Chicago, but hey, it's a native sale!!!

Terry


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RE: starting over.....

Speaking of Native Sales...Lori there are a couple over my way in early May if you want to drive a bit to PA. One toward Philly and one in the Allentown area (my backyafd)
We are just across the river from Phillipsburg NJ.

The soil in my yard is well drained, slightly more than slightly acidic and used to be farm land so the plants were specifically chosen to thrive in the soil. If you have clay or sandy soil you might not be as successful without amending.

Terry, Norway Maple for SURE does that. Sugar maple they say sends out fewer roots to suck down the water. Though it does create dense shade. The plants around it are really at the edges of the island where sun will peep in, or, if under the trees, then quite shade loving. The good news is that sugar maples are slower growing than some....guess I will never know. At 53 I am not likely to see it get full grown....it's about 12 feet tall right now (not in ground yet, but selected from nursery).

So, where's the house? LOL. The front and the side are rather neatly planted. Normal landscaping...just native plants...but dense enough to eventually require no to little weeding. We live in half a double home, about 25 yrs old. It's on the corner. (think end of townhome...) I think the yard/property total is like 1/3 acre or less. So I would say a little smaller than yours Terry. The back is VERY densly planted. The maple and hte hawthorne go in a island bed in the front to screen us from the street. But out back I already had most of the trees. One oak (the red) just off the front of the deck. The pin oak down at the lower right corner of the property and the crabapple along the fence line between the two. Then off to the left the magnolia....and below the red oak the dogwood. Kind of a circle or elliptical shape to where they are situated around the most useable portions of the yard. It is true due south west so VERY sunny and hot. Unbearable without them....but I am developing quite a bit of shade actually. In the center of this elloptical area created by trees is goiong to be the little minifalls, creek and pond. Encircling the entire thing is a big gravel path structure.....which crosses over/through a boulder wall. The property slopes....so needs some better contours....we are lifting up the a more flat area above the existing slope...then stringing this retaining wall across the entire yard made from boulders. They won't be huge and are meant to look like a natural rock outcropping. Below it there are no trees....and inside and just beyond the pathway down there is the tiny meadow. When my normal pc comes back from the Gateway hospital I will post a the picture of the plan colored in with watercolors so you can get an idea.

Robin


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RE: starting over.....

i wouldn't have wasted my money on hostas and tricyris..plus research concering dry shade tolerant plants!


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RE: starting over.....

Hey fairy! Where ya been? Haven't "seen" you around in awhile. Nice to have you back!


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i've been rejected :(

hello. just lurking when i have the time. very busy, waiting to be able to "move some dirt around" :)


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RE: starting over.....

Hostas and Tryciris? Did I miss something?

Robin


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RE: starting over.....

Robin, fairy was saying she wouldn't have wasted her money on planting hostas or tryciris. She only answered part of my question...the what wouldn't you plant again. She says she's busy, so I'm guessing she just didn't take the time to say what she would plant. Except to say that she'd do more research on plants that want dry shade.
The way you describe your property, it sounds huge! We live in a house built in 1896. I guess nobody but the PO planted any trees. Unless the one on the lot line out back is really mine. I've already gotten rid of 3 trees...a quaking aspen and 2 cherry trees. I just plain don't like the aspen, I've seen what it can do, sprouts all over the yard etc. And the cherry trees were in the wires and heaving the sidewalk. There's a crimson maple out front that leans badly and it doesn't do anything for me either. It's not big, so it'll be easy to remove. I'm obsessed now with finding the perfect shade/street tree. One not too big for such a small lot, yet one that will cast shade.
I can't wait to see pictures! BTW...I didn't know there were any Gateway hospitals anymore. I thought they closed them all. I say that because my last computer was a Gateway and right when my 3 yr warranty expired, the thing just went black. We lived in TN then and it was my lifeline to the world and to here, which is home. Anyway, when it died, they had just closed up all the Gateway stores.

Terry


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RE: starting over.....

Terry, it is not huge by any means. Truly not. It will be very dense and much more wild than most of my neighbors will ever approve of....with most of the wildness at the perimeter (nearest to them). But they will like it better than the previous jungle and better than the black plastic. It is a HUGE amount of landscaping for a teeny tiny property. (Did i mention...only a few feet of turfgrass?)

Gateway support now has you send the pc via DHL to the support center in Texas. If under warranty they have DHL pick up and take there, then send it back to you. I am truly lost without it!

Robin


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RE: starting over.....

My kind of yard! I really don't want any grass. What's the point? My neighbors might have a tree or two and I see daylilies in the summer. That's about it. OH! The guy across the street (same side) planted some hostas. Who knows what they'll think when mine gets growing! I'm on a corner lot, in back is an alley with a business behind (or in front, whichever way you look at it) and just the one house then beside me. I know that guy doesn't like the privets. I wondered who they belonged to, I asked him and he said they were mine, followed with "I never should have allowed them to plant them there". Allowed? I don't have a clue what he meant, I wasn't going to get into it with him. It isn't on the lot line, it's inside of it. The privet is going....it's just being replaced by other things. He told me they used to be "all wild"...hmm....I'm a thinking he won't like what I do either.


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RE: starting over.....

so, i can use some practice on my reading comprehension skills, eh? i am only in college.... :)

i am actually still "starting" and many things i recently planted and shouldn't...ie, those mentioned earlier.

last year i planted some blue cohosh i am hoping will come up, and several other things. from there, then we shall see if i need to start over. if only that maple tree wasn't there also. the classic maple tree planted neighborhood is where i live. grrrrr.

i don't get enough sun to plant the meadow grasses and forbs i would like.


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RE: starting over.....

Robin,

Looks like Allentown is about 80 minutes away from me. Early May probably won't work for me this year, but I would be interested in knowing more about it. One of these years Ill try to make the Bowman's Wildflower Farm in New Hope, PA. I know people on GW had recommended it. Its not super close to you, but Ill include a link with info from their page in case you or anyone else is interested.

Many of the plants youve listed are doing fine in my yard, but most of my soil is moist, and acidic, with many parts of it clay, so Ill keep your warning in mind since not everything is flexible about conditions.

Lori

Here is a link that might be useful: Bowman's Hill Wildflower Preserve Plant Sale info


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RE: starting over.....

Hi Lori, Bowmans was one of the two I was thinking of. Here is the one in my backyard... http://www.wildlandspa.org/calendar/plant_sale.html

The local native plant store...which also ships is here...and they are great! www.edgeofthewoods.biz

Robin


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RE: starting over.....

Thanks Robin!

I think I'd seen the nursery near you advertising on some site like the National Wildlife Federation (nwf.com), and added it to my favorites. I'm glad to hear you're happy with them. I see they have New Jersey tea, which is something people seem to have trouble finding nearby sources for. I've been happy with toadshade.com for perennials which is a mailorder company in NJ, but they're just getting started with woody plants.

I don't know if it's too far away for you, but there is going to be a NJ Plant Swap this spring in Burlington County. (I think I'm driving about 90 minutes for this). I don't think you'd be able to post on the thread (PA versus NJ), but I'm sure you and anybody else interested would be welcome. I'll put the link in just in case. At least 1 or 2 other of the people who plan on going are also interested in wildlife, hummingbird, and/or butterfly gardening. I've always enjoyed the ones I've attended.

Lori

Here is a link that might be useful: N.J. Plant Swap/Garden Visit/Potluck-May 7, 2006


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RE: starting over.....

O.k. question....why can only NJ people post? I think anybody can post on the midwest forum and I know anyone can post on TN.....that's just weird!


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RE: starting over.....

Hi Terry,

The thread I linked to is on the NJ Gardening Exchange Forum. Like the regional forums you mentioned, people from other areas can (and have) posted on the main NJ Gardening Forum.

Lori


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RE: starting over.....

It looks like the states that have their own forums are for those people only...the exchange part. But here in the midwest, it appears to be open to anybody.

I sent my order in for my wildflowers today. I was marking 3 of this and 2 of that...then I totalled it up and picked myself up off the floor.....then my mom called. Asked me what I was doing. Told her. She was watching my nephew while my sister was out of the country and she needed me to watch him last night. She hadn't fed him, we hadn't eaten, so she gave Cody some money in an envelope to give to me. Before I open it, I notice writing....it said Terry, Use the rest for your plants. She didn't give me that much, but all I had to add was about $15. Sometimes my mom can just be so thoughtful and nice........And then today, I call this place a little ways away, all native stuff, but they're more wholesale than retail, so you need an appointment. I made an appointment for Fri. Then I called my mom again....they've (parents) booked us to do work for them all this summer, so I asked for an advance. Man I hate being broke and addicted to plants!


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RE: starting over.....

Hi guys! Been awol for a couple of days. Lori, thanks for the swap link. I will have to see if I can make it. I drive into Jersey all the time! I am currently looking for some nice sized (like b&b sized) rhododendron minus so if anybody sees any give me a holler please?

Terry...I am SO addicted to plants. Sheesh. When the Prairie Nursery Catalog comes (as it did today) my highlihgter gets a big time workout! How cool that mama gave you some cash. I just had to give my dd some cash too....not for plants...but it seriously curtailed my planting a bit! Well, for a good cause and hte planting can wait a week or two.
Robin


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RE: starting over.....

You're just now getting the Prairie Nursery Calalog?? lol...I've had mine for quite awhile now. I can't wait to go tomorrow and get some plants!


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RE: starting over.....

Hello,

You wrote: "Washington Hawthorn & Sugar Maple surrounded by Viburnum Dentatum Blue Muffin, Potentilla Fruiticosa Goldfinger, Heuchera Americana Dales Selection, Amsonia Blue Ice, Geranium Cantibriginese Biokovo, Coreopsis Verticillata Zagreb, Amsonia Hubrechtii, "

I sure would appreciate it if there's someway you can "draw me a picture" of how these are arranged! I'm busily creating a wildlife habitat on our 2/3 acre...but I've always tended toward "Cottage Gardening" before, with tidy British herbaceous borders firmly controlled by edgers.

As a result, I'm having trouble loosening up and thinking more 3-dimensionally, especially with wildlife-friendly shrubs and in less "restricted" beds. I honestly can't figure out HOW to get over my hangups that cause me to plant everything on the perimeters. I have WAY too much green, empty lawn (there was nothing much here but a row of ancient evergreens across the south/front border of the property and a row of silver maples across the north/back border. Everything is PARALLEL!

I need help because I'm running out of "edge room" and still have serviceberries, quinces, elderberries, spicebushes, chokecherries, etc. in pots needing homes. Help me overcome my rigid thinking, please! :-)

Thanks.


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RE: starting over.....

Prairiegal....send me an email at rsmallen@rcn.com. I will send you some photos.

You know...as I looked at my newly installed island this morning I was struck by the fact that although it is natives, it is rather cottagey and formal at the same time. I guess it has structure...while still being...natural!!
Robin


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RE: starting over.....

Prairiegirl, I posted an album for you. Right now it has the plans...which give you some idea of the look. And a bunch of before pics of the front and side so you can see why I am calling it DogPatch to Divine when it is done! (NO LAUGHING at the deplorable befores. My rescue dogs did some real damage to the side and back yards!).

Here's the link to the slideshow. I will add to it from time to time as things are completed. Believe the front yard except the changes to the step will be done today so will post an update of front yard tomorrow. This weekend (if the weather cooperates) and next week will see the side yard come to completion.

For now....I will describe what is in the front beds for you.

In the strip that had tulips (would you believe they were covered over with black plastic for about 1 year???!!! It was like frost protection I swear. Anyway, in that strip, Chokeberry Brilliantissima in the center flanked by Dwarf Fothergilla. Then at the upper end, Chasmanthium, Green &Gold behind them, Sisyrinchium in front, below them Rudbeckia and Echinacea Kim's knee high.

In the Island, Upper end has the Hawthorne Winter King with Geranium Biokovo surrounding it. In the center/top of the island loaded with Heuchera Americana Dale's Strain, there are 3 Blue Muffin Viburnum in this section, two on one side (street side) and one on the other. On the street side slope (the bed is slightly raised) is Amsonia Blue Ice (GORGEOUS little plant)and Threadleaf Coreopsis Zagreb...and on the house side slope is Amsonia Hubrechtii. The Sugar Maple is at the lower end of the island and encircling the lower end of the island bed at the very slope side is Potentilla Fruiticosa Goldfinger.

Along the fence and the house front bed are, of course, the three elderberries. 2 are still quite small since this is their second season and last year's drought was hard on everything. SO, into that bed goes Monarda Petite Delight, More Coreopsis Zagreb, Penstemon Digitalis Huskers red, Aster Oblongifolous October Skies, Golden Fleece Goldenrod, Aquilegia Canadensis, Sedum Ternatum, Potentilla Tridentata, 2 rhododendron carolineanum and a kalmia.

So far we have birds visiting the small trees, butterflies galore visiting the island and nothing is in bloom so I think it must be for the dung in the bed that I used for amendment! What I think is neat is that since it is my front yard and fairly public it is very habitat friendly while being neighbor friendly and provides great curb appeal. The neighbors LOVE it...as they drive by going into their own neighborhoods they are smiling and giving us thumbs up. I suspect they don't know how ecology friendly it really is! The back will be more wild...but still structured enough not to offend the world.

Credit for the landscape design goes to Gary Campbell who is local to me. He has been a GEM to work with and I am a VERY happy customer. VERY. VERY. His website is here: http://www.campbelllandscape.com/

I will post descriptions of the side beds when we get there next week if you like. Keep checking the album as I will be adding pictures to it as we go.

Robin

Here is a link that might be useful: Robin's slideshow


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RE: starting over.....

Thank you SO much for the pictures! That was very nice of you.

I hope you don't mind, but I've even printed out the blueprints, so I can sit calmly and maybe even color in the plants, trying to get a mental picture. (my artist daughter--very right-brained--laughs at her hopelessly verbal Mom, who even gets lost driving around a town of 1000 after two years residency. I have no spacial skills at all...)

We didn't have too much "doggie patch" damage (although a large portion of the backyard had been a kennel) when we bought the place, but we didn't have much of anything else, either. I did have the sense to allocate my limited gardening funds toward IMPORTANT things, like trees, the first two years (maybe I'll get to see a few grow large? At 50, one's expectations start to shrink)....but that's left me completely by-passing a lot of hardscaping (I don't even have a walk to my front door!) and so forth (the siding is masonite and we'd love to see it GO but that'll have to wait for our ship to come in..)that I'd like to see, too.

But, I do have the plants going in as fast as my sore little plump lady arms can dig. Now, though, I need to incorporate them better,fill in the gaps, etc. and your plans will help!

Here's an idea of what I'm working with (but woefully in need of an update. My gardening links are from our older house, and 2004.) But you can see the nearly blank slate we got to play with....

Here is a link that might be useful: our


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RE: starting over.....

This actually is Prairiegal, posting under my old screen name (garden web won't let me respond to my own posts! ;-)

I posted the wrong link, before. This page has a better view of all that blank lawn we have before us....

Here is a link that might be useful: farmhouse long view


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RE: starting over.....

Prairiegirl, your property is wonderful! And I love what you have done in the past and are doing. SO pretty! Hope the pics help. Not sure if you can see the numbers for the plants in the plans but if you can, obviously anything with a W suffix is a shrub/tree/woody plant and a P is Perennial.


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RE: starting over.....

Hi Terry,

What natives are you looking for. I actually just answered your huge post. We are moving this summer and my lot is being cleared for development, so everything needs to go. I have a lot more shade natives than sun... I also have cold hard cactus and other drought tolerant plants.

Where are you? I'm about 20 miles west of Chicago.

Jeanne


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RE: starting over.....

Hi Jeanne, I'm about an hour and a half from St. Charles...just off I-80 westbound, in Princeton. That's a hard question to answer! Are you talking about perennials? I'm being a bit picky, wanting them native to this region. I don't have much shade, it will come in a few years. I have good garden soil that doesn't stay wet, but drains well. Shoot me an email from my page and tell me what all you have.

Terry


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