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Name: Rachael
NY (Zone 5a)
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all!
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EyeDelight
Mar 24, 2016 12:07 AM CST
Hello fellow plant enthusiasts, my name is Rachael and I'm a little obsessed with turning nothing into something. I live in Northern New York, zone 5. I am also coutning off the minutes until my last frost date because I am itching to plant things ! ( long post incoming )

I have always lived somewhere where I had to keep things in containers. This past year I moved and was able to hastily put together a planter at my new place with a few Gladiolus that I neglected to dig up, some bleeding hearts, several different types of ferns, cardinal flower and a couple other things I forget now. They were not supposed to live in this planter, however I was unaware that where I wanted to plant them wasn't feasible because of a lot of old fill. Carpets, furnaces, statues, you name it and it's probably in there. I did manage to get a few bare root Ninebark shrubs to grow on a pile of dirt in this inhospitable place which is technically across the road/state land. Hey, I see it out my window can't blame a girl for trying. One Ninebark in particular is most healthy looking and no kiddding -- it's planted on a very old carpet mound covered with black dirt. I placed the roots and fanned them out and put some more dirt on top and it grew very well last year despite the condition, late planting and never planting a bare root anything before. Almost everything I got from the mail order nursery came up -- save the bearberry.

So far I've taken some of the ferns out and placed them in a less scorching area and planted some fall bulbs I neglected to plant last year, who knows if they will come up but I have very few options. One must use what they have.

I have morning glories ( heavenly blue I actually returned the Grandpa Ott's after doing some research ) , moon flower, nasturtiums, foxgloves, big fluffy poppies and chinese forget me nots started inside for some pots I have left over. I'm really surprised some of them have even germinated since I guess they don't take kindly to being started the way I started them. I also have some lillies to put in a bare spot near that one planter.

What's vexing me is the rest of it. Particularly the sandy hill. Now it's nearly 2 am and I'm fairly tired so I don't have pictures of the sandy hill,( however I can rectify that tomorrow or if anyone has the fortitude and interest to get through this post.) The weed infested sandy slope that, surprise surprise, drains into a little ditch on the neighbors land. Now, if I could fix all this I would most certainly but I'm just living here and I have to make sue with the situation as it presents itself.

I have gotten a few bags of wildflower seed to scatter over the area but they are mainly annuals for some quick color. The main issue is erosion control, groundcover and something that will outgrow the bindweed and horsetail. In full sun, until it gets past the tree line in the later afternoon, then the bottom half of the ditch is shady. Wet at times, and pretty much the same deal as across the road. I'm running into issues because I have at most $150.00 ( preferably less ) to spend on this very large area and I don't want anything invasive ( but aggressive is ok ). So far I've looked into sedums, juniper, phlox, and ajugla of different varieties for the slope. Obedient plant for the lower part of the ditch, which I might not be able to control was my biggest contender but since its breezy here they might get flattened or they could grow rampantly and I'll have a bigger mess on my hands than I already do.

I haven't been here but nearly a year now and I don't have an intimate knowledge of the specifics of the land, I know that slope is full sun though. My s.o wants to put in a veggie garden near this slope ( it's really the best area sun-wise ) and I'm concerned that building a raised bed near this slope will have bad consequences. So I want to get some decent looking plants to stabilize the hill.

I'm driving myself nutty , have 45 tabs open and I'm just a bit overwhelmed. If anyone has some advice for a lady with a lot of ground to cover and some tight purse strings I'd certainly appreciate it. I will upload some pictures tomorrow so that anyone that may look can get a better idea of what I'm dealing with. At the very least I've gotten some of it off my chest and hopefully can sleep better now. I really don't like asking people for help, I feel like bother but I realize I may not be able to pull this off all on my own. Pictures forthcoming!

I hope everyone has a lovely night/morning/afternoon !

-Rachael
Name: charles
Anderson, S.C (Zone 8b)
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papa
Mar 24, 2016 6:46 AM CST
Hi Rachael and Welcome! to ATP. I'm just a old southern boy here so sorry I can't help much but there are a ton of knowledgeable northern gardeners here just give them a minute and they will find you. And don't worry about being a bother everyone here loves to help when they can.
Name: Jo Ann Gentle
Pittsford NY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cat Lover Heucheras Hellebores Container Gardener
Birds Region: New York Irises Garden Ideas: Master Level Avid Green Pages Reviewer Lilies
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ge1836
Mar 24, 2016 7:10 AM CST
Rachael, Welcome to ATP. I'm sure you will be at home here pretty soon.
Name: Marilyn
CT (Zone 5b)
Birds Daylilies Dog Lover Garden Art Heucheras
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RobinD
Mar 24, 2016 9:48 AM CST
Hi Rachael.....glad you have joined us......I would plant a very low growing (carpet) juniper to hold the sandy soil. Raised beds are a great idea for veggies.....I wouldn't plant in that soil, sounds like stuff was dumped there....Daylilies are also great for spreading & holding the soil, plus you get the flowers if deer aren't a problem...
Name: Lucy
Hamilton, MA (Zone 6b)
irises
Charter ATP Member Cottage Gardener Enjoys or suffers cold winters Region: United Kingdom Region: Northeast US Irises
Region: United States of America
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irisarian
Mar 24, 2016 9:58 AM CST
Juniper sounds like a great idea. using them to hold the soil & planting color in between would make an interesting garden. Plants taller than the juniper? Is there a county agent with whom you could discuss the problem? I would do veggies where there has NOT been fill.
Name: Marilyn
CT (Zone 5b)
Birds Daylilies Dog Lover Garden Art Heucheras
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RobinD
Mar 25, 2016 7:23 AM CST
Lucy & Rachael, how about iris clumps? They, too, hold the soil, & bloom.....
Name: Lucy
Hamilton, MA (Zone 6b)
irises
Charter ATP Member Cottage Gardener Enjoys or suffers cold winters Region: United Kingdom Region: Northeast US Irises
Region: United States of America
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irisarian
Mar 25, 2016 9:10 AM CST
of course they do ☺/ the smaller irises are great & the larger ones are spectacular. There are plenty of older varieties which don't cost a lot of money while you experiment.
Name: Ronnie
Southeastern PA (Zone 6b)
Morning Glories Garden Photography Region: Pennsylvania Charter ATP Member Orchids Dragonflies
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Photo Contest Winner: 2015 Garden Ideas: Level 1 I helped beta test the first seed swap Bookworm Bee Lover
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luvsgrtdanes
Mar 26, 2016 6:29 AM CST
Hi Rachael Welcome!

A lot you can do with full sun. My neighbor planted carpet juniper on my side of his driveway and I hated it, was a real bugger to get out too. It is great for erosion control if you like the look of it though.
I would suggest daylily too, forms nice clumps and you get flowers.
Seeds would be most economical if you are patient enough for the perennials to get going. You can also fill in with annuals in between.

There is always someone selling daylilies in the classified here at ATP http://garden.org/forums/view/forsale/
check craigslist too, sometimes people will give stuff away for free if you are willing to dig it up.
It happens in a flash, but the memory of it last forever. It can not be borrowed or stolen, and it is of no earthly good until it is given away. So if in your hurry you meet someone who is too weary to smile, leave him one of yours, for no one needs a smile quite as much as he who has none to give...

Name: Rachael
NY (Zone 5a)
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all!
Image
EyeDelight
Mar 27, 2016 10:47 AM CST
I have written a very lengthy response twice now & lost it. I wanted to thank you all individually but technology is not cooperating.

However, because of your wonderful and helpful suffestions I have decided to go with juniper. I have selected Blue rug and Calgary junipers with alternating strips of snow in summer. I would have loved to get several little junipers but I could only afford four. I have the snow in summers and a wildflower mix ( with some perennials mixed in) for some instant coverage since the junipers will be tiny.

I also got lavenders, a dark purple nine bark and will pick up a couple red twigged dogwoods. I'm posting this now so I won't lose it again!
Name: Rachael
NY (Zone 5a)
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all!
Image
EyeDelight
Mar 27, 2016 10:56 AM CST

Thumb of 2016-03-27/EyeDelight/c8880a

That's the tentative layout. I have pictures of the ditch but they are on a different device.

Oh and even though I don't have any budget left for Iris plants I had forgotten I had planted sone last year which didn't come up but if they do this year I can hopefully transplant them to an area more suited to them.

I also have poppies and Chinese forget me nots started inside for the dogwood area toward the power pole.

Trying to cover that whole area with a very small budget is quite a task and you ladies and gentlemen have been exceptionally helpful.Thank you so much!! I see this area from my sun room, so I'd eventually like it to be a little more aesthically pleasing Smiling
Name: Marilyn
CT (Zone 5b)
Birds Daylilies Dog Lover Garden Art Heucheras
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RobinD
Mar 27, 2016 3:57 PM CST
That's quite a large area to be planted, but it seems you have a good idea of what you want...good luck!
Name: charles
Anderson, S.C (Zone 8b)
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papa
Mar 27, 2016 7:13 PM CST
Monkey Grass (Liriope muscari)
Lilyturf (Liriope muscari 'Variegata')

I don't know how it would do in your zone but its cheap and alor of people here use it as a border or filler
Name: Lucy
Hamilton, MA (Zone 6b)
irises
Charter ATP Member Cottage Gardener Enjoys or suffers cold winters Region: United Kingdom Region: Northeast US Irises
Region: United States of America
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irisarian
Mar 27, 2016 9:33 PM CST

After a plant has finished blooming, You can divide it. You can't cover the entire area in one year.
Name: Rachael
NY (Zone 5a)
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all!
Image
EyeDelight
Mar 29, 2016 5:42 PM CST
This is the puddle &a a picture of it sunny. I'd love to put a French drain there but I can't do it this year or at this time anyway, plus I'd need permission. It'll probably dry up some in time and I can get a better reading on it. For now there's mosquito dunks afloat in it.

Thumb of 2016-03-29/EyeDelight/c1ae3a
Thumb of 2016-03-29/EyeDelight/3ff004
Thumb of 2016-03-29/EyeDelight/7066b4

irisaraian, I've never actually dividen a plant. It makes me a tad nervous. I'll have to watch some videos Smiling I know it can't be covered in as little time as I'd prefer, but in time it might look prettier than it is now and that's all I can really hope for.

Papa, I found a version of that plant that's supposed to be at least as hardy as the lavender I got. If I protect them, they might survive. I might pick some up, thanks for the suggestion'
Name: Marilyn
CT (Zone 5b)
Birds Daylilies Dog Lover Garden Art Heucheras
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RobinD
Mar 30, 2016 9:21 AM CST
Siberian or Japanese iris would love that puddly place!
Name: Lucy
Hamilton, MA (Zone 6b)
irises
Charter ATP Member Cottage Gardener Enjoys or suffers cold winters Region: United Kingdom Region: Northeast US Irises
Region: United States of America
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irisarian
Mar 30, 2016 6:01 PM CST
Just stay away from Siberian 'Ceaser's Brother'. the real one is probably lost & the ones put out as C.B. can be anything.
Name: Marilyn
CT (Zone 5b)
Birds Daylilies Dog Lover Garden Art Heucheras
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RobinD
Mar 31, 2016 6:40 AM CST
Wow....I had no idea...that's one Sib I don't have.....I love the white ones...they just glow in the garden....
Name: Lucy
Hamilton, MA (Zone 6b)
irises
Charter ATP Member Cottage Gardener Enjoys or suffers cold winters Region: United Kingdom Region: Northeast US Irises
Region: United States of America
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irisarian
Apr 1, 2016 7:20 AM CST
Look at jpflowers.com. Go past the new introductions of Siberian iris to the older ones & you will find different colors of Siberians & other beardless irises.
Name: Marilyn
CT (Zone 5b)
Birds Daylilies Dog Lover Garden Art Heucheras
Image
RobinD
Apr 1, 2016 9:17 AM CST
Wish I could order more, but my gardens are filled!
Name: Lucy
Hamilton, MA (Zone 6b)
irises
Charter ATP Member Cottage Gardener Enjoys or suffers cold winters Region: United Kingdom Region: Northeast US Irises
Region: United States of America
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irisarian
Apr 2, 2016 9:25 AM CST
I. cristata is fine in partial shade.

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