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Hardy plant for tough environment

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2006
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by Gyrobob on January 04, 2006 05:23 AM
I've been tasked by my community association to find a bush (or ground cover) that can meet these requirements:

- Stays green all year long
- Can grow in Atlanta area (7b) heat, cold, dry spells, and rainy seasons
- Slow growth rate
- Survives in full sun and in partial shade
- Requires little maintenance
- Never looks "neglected"

We have 9 entries into the various subdivisions that all have tacky-looking "shrubbery." They are about 50' long and 4' wide surrounded by a concrete gutter with asphalt outside of that.

We need a solution that will keep the entries looking tidy, but without a whole lot of maintenance. The plants will have to endure some summers that might have weeks of no rain, and other times of the year that will rain 40 times in two months. The concrete and asphalt that surrounds the 50'x4' plots of dirt tends to soak up and then store heat during the summer.

We have had some suggestions so far: Indian Hawthorne, Yucca, and Liriope.

Any info that solves our problem will be greatly appreciated.

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Robert W. Rominger
by tkhooper on January 04, 2006 06:03 AM
Arbutus unedo 'Compacta', Strawberry Tree
Arctostaphylos uva ursi
Buxus sempervirens 'Variegata', variegated boxwood
Camellia sasanqua 'Yuletide', Camellia
Choisya a. 'Aztec Pearl', Golden Mexican Orange
Cistus 'Silver Pink', Rock Rose
Cotoneaster dammeri, Bearberry

I'm sorry the list isn't complete but I have to go. Here are some to consider.

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by mike57 on January 04, 2006 07:06 PM
HI Gyrobob Here are three very nice ones you might like.
Creeping Wintergreen
Bugleweed Black Scallop
Vinca Illumination
hope this helps.your friend in gardening.mike57

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No One Can Make You Feel Inferior Without Your Consent.
by Oui on January 04, 2006 11:23 PM
Gardenia would be pretty. And it would make your entrances smell heavenly. If you trim them they would make a beautiful evergreen ornamentation.

Mine is pretty unkept. But it bloomed like crazy this spring summer and autumn. Just one bloom makes my walk way smell lovely. It is 4ft tall but they can be trimmed to look like hedges.

You will have to baby the plants the first year. Then they are pretty hardy.

I went to Stone Mountain last summer. There is a neighborhood near there that has THE MOST BEAUTIFUL Crape Myrtle trees. Crape Myrtles bloom all summer and are low maintaince. Maybe some Garednia trimmed like hedges with Crape Myrtles. Just a suggestion.

This is what my Gardenia looks like in the winter..I just took this picture.

by Oui on January 04, 2006 11:28 PM
oops not sure why the pic did not turn out right..
Second try..

by Oui on January 04, 2006 11:36 PM
Evergreen Ground Cover suggestions.

Periwinkle Vinca virtually maintaince free. It is evergreen and has little purple flowers in spring. Beware this plant is so tough you cannot dig it virtually cannot be killed. So if you decide on this be sure you want it there for a long, FOREVER.

Also English ivy is very hardy, and evergreen.
by Oui on January 04, 2006 11:49 PM
Oh and re the Crape Myrtles. Just in case you decide you would like to add these..There are SEVERAL different sizes available. There is one that can get 40ft tall. Be sure you verify the mature height of the trees before you buy. There is one that gets 8-10 feet which would be nice for an entrance.


They have vinca minor (periwinkle) priced at 100 plants for $39.50...CHEAP..1000 plants for $275.00

Alas they do not have Crape Myrtles, or Gardenia.
by hisgal2 on January 08, 2006 03:02 PM
Just a thought with the Periwinkle. We have it on our front slope...and while I really like it when its blooming, it can look a little...umm...shaggy if it doesn't get some sort of a trim after a year or so. ...and I tend to get bored with it when its not in bloom.

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