Ask a Question forum: Hellstrip planting?

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Region: Texas Butterflies Native Plants and Wildflowers
Aug 24, 2016 8:34 PM CST
I live in Central Texas. Recently I moved onto property that had a compacted gravel parking lot. I've been making beds with cardboard and decomposing wood chips. This was to be the year for me to plant between the curb and fence. Overhead are the power lines. I'm wondering what to plant in the hellstrip.

There is a recently planted row of Everblooming Texas Sage. I'm hoping it will grow higher than the 4' high chain link fence since I'm needing privacy. Inside the fence will be native Wax Myrtles, eventually 15'+ tall. All privacy will be welcomed.

In considering what to plant, a short list came to mind of a row of Almond Verbena, Kidneywood, Desert Willows, or Texas Persimmons. Preferably something that isn't too slow in growing. What would you recommend? I've attended NPSOT meetings and am interested in providing food for all the creatures, be it winged or not. However, my neighborhood doesn't have any small critters to feed, if that makes a difference. I had thought of a set of 3 plantings of small trees, since power lines are overhead, along with perennials to flank each side of those trees.

I'm open for suggestions. Thanks so much.

Thumb of 2016-08-25/CrystalIvy/cb910a

Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Seed Starter Vegetable Grower
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Aug 24, 2016 8:55 PM CST
Welcome to NGA, @Crystalivy !

That sounds like a really difficult area to plant... I hope someone from a similar climate will have some great suggestions for you! Smiling
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Name: Sharon Rose
Grapevine, TX (Zone 8a)
Grace of the Lord Jesus be with all
Daylilies Composter Cottage Gardener Hibiscus Enjoys or suffers hot summers Zinnias
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Aug 24, 2016 9:13 PM CST
Hi CrystalIvy, Welcome! There is a Texas forum with very nice people. I do not have the same climate or soil as you. One of my daughters lives in your area, but I am not really sure of all of your plant options.
@Bubbles is in your area. I know she will give you good suggestions!
May your endeavors be blessed with success!
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Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
Texas Gardening
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Master Gardener: Texas
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Aug 24, 2016 10:37 PM CST
Welcome to NGA, CrystalIvy! I'm going to suggest that you call the Travis County Extension Office and ask for the Master Gardener desk. Let them know you are looking for small tree selections, and request the landscaping booklet that they send out. (I know that Home Depot and Lowe's usually have the landscape books at the registers). They are free. 'Have colored photos and suggestions of what to plant and where. They will be more helpful than I can be. I only have the smaller Hell strips in front of our sidewalk, filled with salvias and assorted verbenas, etc. You can request any "how to plant" handouts that you like. They will send them to you within the week. They are very helpful. I used to work the phones as a Master Gardener ( back in the Stone Age)! Whistling You will be surprised at how helpful and knowledgeable the folks that answer the phones are. Be sure and let them know about the power lines that cross the area.
Do you know that you can get mulch for free at the city dump? Looks like you have quite a job in front of you, but I'm sure it will be beautiful when you get it finished. You're doing it the right way! Keep checking in and showing us your progress.

Travis County Extension Office
Name: Kat
Magnolia, Tx (Zone 8b)
Aug 25, 2016 8:38 AM CST
Mountain laurel, Desert willow, if you add esperanza get the dwarf spring blooming ones. Winter privacy will be the problem- blooms for late summer as well as spring.

Region: Texas Butterflies Native Plants and Wildflowers
Sep 25, 2016 12:46 PM CST
You guys are great. Been dealing with computer issues and forgot I had posted asking for help. These are all good ideas and I thank you all.

Didn't know that there was a dwarf spring blooming Esperanza. I've got a larger one already planted. Just planted an Arroyo Sweetwood in my Hell Strip. To the outside of the chainlink fence is the Everblooming Texas Sage which blooms lavender. The Arroyo Sweetwood is deciduous which should give it plenty of sun in the winter. Also fast growing. I'm hoping to start some seeds if I can find some.

Thanks again for all your help!
Temple, Bell County, Texas... one hour north of Austin

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