The Q&A Archives: Landscaping

Question: We are landscaping our yard. We live on Lake Erie outside of Buffalo. What type of plants would be best for this area? Some of the planting beds are on hillside and we need to prevent erosion. We would like perennials and low maintenance type of plants. Any suggestions would be helpful

Answer: There are many different plants you could use. There are many factors that go into landscape design and plant selection. One of the most important is winter hardiness. Based on your zip code, you are located in winter hardiness zone 5A or the coldest part of zone 5. If it is very windy, your actual zone might be as cold as zone 4. I would suggest you work only with plants that are considered winter hardy to zone 4 or colder.

Then you will need to analyze the growing conditions in each planting area with regard to the amount of sun it receives and at what time of day, what type of soil, the amount of wind, and also the space available for the plants to mature. Then you would select plants based on those criteria along with your overall design goals.

Since you have such a big project, I would suggest you work with your local county extension, your local professionally trained nursery staff, and also possibly with a professionally trained and degreed landscape architect and/or local garden designer to develop a landscape plan and select appropriate plants. Best of luck with your project!

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