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Looking for some plant/tree suggestions  RSS feed

 
Jayden Thompson
Posts: 120
Location: Danville, KY (Zone 6b)
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My driveway has a stretch of about 150 feet up a hill with woodland on both sides.  There is a tall but sparse overstory of walnut, sycamore, and some other trees (not sure what they are).  The understory is all native plants that I've been told are "wild honeysuckle" although I've never been able to confirm it.  But it's pretty much the only plant growing in my understory, and it's also the primary plant that grows along all fence lines in my area of Kentucky.  i've posted a couple of pictures below.

Anyways, I'd like to beautify the driveway a bit.  The soil is shallow, rocky, and sometimes steep. Along the edge of the driveway gets partial sun, but mostly shade. I'd like to start cutting out some of this so-called wild honeysuckle and plant something a bit more visually attractive, preferably with color and wildlife benefit, but it also needs to grow on it's own with no help of mine.  I'm thinking it needs to be shade tolerant, and able to grow in healthy but shallow/rocky soil.  Preferably I'd find something that is a low ground cover on the very edge, and something a bit taller behind it to trasition smoothly into the woodland canopy.

Any experts out there with some ideas? 
driveway.jpg
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understory.jpg
[Thumbnail for understory.jpg]
 
Dee James
Posts: 4
Location: Back and forth between Florida and Alabama
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Hi Jayden,

What ground cover do you see growing in your area that you like?  I love to get ideas for what is prolific because it means it will do well naturally in the area and I don't have to spend a lot of time nursing it.  Do you have any you have noticed on Sunday drives?  Nothing may come to mind at first, but after you ponder it I am betting it will.

I am thinking you can clean up the driveway and fix the erosion with better water bars.  That was my first thought when I saw your pictures was trying to locate the water bars.  (Great pictures BTW)

If you have the water bars tie in with the new planting of your ground cover you can also divert a lot of nutrients and water into the new planting to help with watering.  Dee
 
James Freyr
Posts: 252
Location: Middle Tennessee
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I'm no expert, but check this out.

Ground Covers for Kentucky Landscapes

It's from UKY. There are oodles of plants mentioned, even some in a hillside and slopes category.

alright the URL link thing didn't work. It's likely user error, I'm not exactly tech savvy. Cut and paste this. http://www2.ca.uky.edu/agcomm/pubs/ho/ho78/ho78.htm

 
Jayden Thompson
Posts: 120
Location: Danville, KY (Zone 6b)
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Thanks for your reply, Dee. 

Dee James wrote:
What ground cover do you see growing in your area that you like?  I love to get ideas for what is prolific because it means it will do well naturally in the area and I don't have to spend a lot of time nursing it.  Do you have any you have noticed on Sunday drives?  Nothing may come to mind at first, but after you ponder it I am betting it will.


I see lots of stuff I like, but unfortunately I don't know native plants by sight at all.  This is part of my problem. 

Dee James wrote:
I am thinking you can clean up the driveway and fix the erosion with better water bars.  That was my first thought when I saw your pictures was trying to locate the water bars.
If you have the water bars tie in with the new planting of your ground cover you can also divert a lot of nutrients and water into the new planting to help with watering.


Yes, I'm still working on the erosion issue.  What the picture doesn't capture is that the driveway is in a valley, with an uphill slope on both sides.  So I'm digging a trench by hand through solid rock on the left side, and will run the water over to there.  I'm not sure if I'll use water bars, or just continue to try to slope the driveway towards the ditch (this is how it was originally done, before I moved in - although they didn't have a good ditch to the side)  The good news is that once I get the runoff over to the ditch I don't have to worry about erosion because it truly is just solid rock.  Unfortunately this makes it a lot harder to run the water bars over as irrigation.  I really need to just run them into a ditch straight to the creek at the bottom, because when it pours here there is pretty much a river coming down that hill.  If I try to get fancy and run the water over to some plants, I'm afraid I'll to wash out a massive area by accident. 

If you know better about water bars though, I'm open to your suggestions.  I'm not planning to do much with the driveway until the Spring rain season is over. 
 
Joylynn Hardesty
Posts: 231
Location: Officially Zone 7b, according to personal obsevations I live in 7a, SW Tennessee
11
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Jayden Thompson wrote:

I see lots of stuff I like, but unfortunately I don't know native plants by sight at all.  This is part of my problem. 


Next time you spy a plant you like in the wild, take a picture and post it in the Plants Forum here. We may be able to help you with identification.
Or you can just travel with a shovel... Just don't store duct tape and rope in your trunk too. Folks may get the wrong idea.
 
Angelika Maier
pollinator
Posts: 938
Location: cool climate, Blue Mountains, Australia
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This driveway could be a huge edible alley! I would not hesitate and hack a lot of it back and would rather have some apples, pears, plums, quinces and the like. Or maybe something more unusual like goumi etc. You could plant spring buls underneath and strawberries, alpine strawberries .... There is so much space! Or hazelnuts....
 
K W-Schornak
Posts: 4
forest garden trees
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Yarrow and Trillium are both beneficial native low-growing flowers that like living in the forest shade. Also, may I suggest raspberries? Maple trees have very pretty leaves in the fall; you could find a species native to your area.
Seeing what you're working with, go for something that likes forest floors.
 
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