Sunday, April 13, 2008

idiot's guide needed

It's getting time for us to talk about what type of plants we'd like to thrive in our yard. Although we're in the same zone as home, it seems like my favorites don't do well around here. I've asked around, looking for indeginous plant-people to question, but so far I've not found a single person who has anything in their yard other than dead grass. I'm currently struggling with online search engines to try to find possibilities for us.

We have a 6' high brick wall in the back of the yard. We'd like to plant something across the back that will be pretty and develop some kind of decorative hedge. Right now we're leaning towards crape myrtles dotted across the back in 5' spacing.

We also have a space to plant a tree in the back. We'd like it to give shade and would prefer for it to have a pretty foliage change in the fall. All of my favorite trees would get way too tall for the small space, so we're trying to think outside the box. The Hater says that shade trumps ornamental factors, and I'm okay with that so long as we have some kind of color change in the fall.

Meanwhile, we need to plant something in front of the AC unit to help give it shade. Our other option is to get one of those fabulously obnoxious AC team covers.

Our front beds are still slim. I need some kind of ground cover for the front beds - something that likes full sun, hot hot, but not something that will take over the place. The front beds are low priority for us right now. The Hater is pulling for the low maintenance of mondo grass, but I'd like to see something with more color and charisma.

Eventually we'd like to extend the back porch to make a place big enough for an outside table. Then we want to create another bed on the back side of the house. We have no idea what we want to plant there.

I have a bad experience looking for green-thumbers at the nursery because we've found that they'll tell us anything to get us to buy from them. That's not cool and makes me jaded to go back for advice.

So if you have any idea where I could go for advice without pressure, let me know. We really don't want to commit unintentional herbicide, but we want to make informed decisions.


Andrew said...

I found a little information here for you. Its about good deciduous trees for your OK climate.

(That's one long html address btw. I had to break it up for the blogs comment section.)

Hope it helps.

Also, you might like to know that the government classifies your climate zone as type 7a. Doing Google searches on this climate type may give you some info.

Mommavia said...

Remember that color change in the fall also means racking leaves in the fall.

What about planting a creeping vine along your brick wall? Something that flowers??

Happy gardening!

Vol Abroad said...

I'd be hesitant about the crepe myrtles - they're lovely, but can up and die on you in a harsh winter. And if I'm not mistaken, OK City gets some worse winter weather than even L'burg. Of course, a brick wall depending on which way it's facing may offer quite a bit of warmth and protection.

Something that does look cool on a brick wall - pyrocanthus. Tough old vine. Not much on the flowers, but beautiful berries in the fall and winter - some in dazzling red - and some in Volunteer orange. I guess it depends what color your brick is what's a good one to go with. If you want to go "shrubby" what about viburnum? There are some lovely nearly evergreen varieties. And there's also the shrub variety of dogwood - they have beautiful colored branches in the winter (red to golden yellow). I don't know if they're hardy in your area or what kind of drought tolerancce they have.

Tree-wise. Sorry, but I'm not getting a picture about how much space you actually have. Many trees do stay quite small - or grow so slowly that it won't be your problem (depending on how long you're planning to live there - I mean, is this really your forever house?)

Really small tree? What about a magnolia stellata? (Star magnolia) - a very small deciduous tree - beautiful, lightly fragrant spring flowers - or perhaps another small magnolia - there are many varieties and one of them has to be right for you.

On the other hand, what about a dogwood or a redbud?

Please don't buy anything until you call my mom. She knows a great nursery in OK City - you may have to travel out of your way, but I know she has a good eye for nurseries.

Sorry gotta go... baby's crying