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Snow/ice melting chemical damage

Chevy Chase, MD(Zone 7a)

On this hot day, I wanted to divert your thoughts to cooler topics -- snow and ice.

I've never planted much by the street. Our property goes right to the curb - no sidewalk.

But now I am thinking of planting perennials right next to the curb.

What is your experience with the impact of snow/ice melting chemicals? Do most plants shake it off, or not? I'd hate to put in a lot of plants, only to lose them to the snow trucks. Are some plants more or less sensitive?

(I might post this in the perennial forum; just thought I'd take your barometer first. Further north they'd have more experience with chemicals because there is more snow -- but on the other hand, they'd get more chemicals so plants that might make it here might not make it there.)

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Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

Don't know bout the plants. Do know that is one super cute pupster!

Maybe edge the curb with something cheap and known less destructible- Liriope comes to mind. To bear the brunt of the chemicals.

Chevy Chase, MD(Zone 7a)

I know liriope. It is a great suggestion, but my street is liriope headquarters. I was hoping to avoid that route...

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

Is it lawn grass now? Does that show much damage?

Chevy Chase, MD(Zone 7a)

No, the liriope looks fine. So do ditch lilies.

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

They would, wouldn't they (rueful shrug)
Bigroot hardy geraniums!!!

JK

I have green periwinkle on my front edge, seems to me its been buried in plow mounds lots of times. Not much more exciting than liriope and ditch lilies ...Wintercreeper euonymus would no doubt thrive as well.
I think I recall that gypsum helps prevent salt damage.

Chevy Chase, MD(Zone 7a)

I've heard that about gypsum too -- but I'm betting I'd forget. Actually, I like the idea of the bigroots. I wonder if they'd be more susceptible though since their roots are so shallow? Plus, I don't recall that they died back completely (do you?), which might also leave them more susceptible.

I'd like something more "present" than vinca or wintercreeper, etc.

Maybe I'll just put something there I can easily replace and see what happens. Ajuga. Sweet Woodruff. Or a Tiarella. Maybe I'll try one of the $2.50 Home Depot Rozanne geraniums.

central, NJ(Zone 6b)

I just love some of the articles about converting or taming the inferno strip
http://www.bbg.org/gardening/article/curbside_gardens/
http://gardenwalkgardentalk.com/2010/08/02/taming-the-hell-strip/


I have sedum Fulda Glow next to the road, slowly but surely filling in, when I remember I pull off a piece and shove it under the soil in one of the empty spots to have it fill in faster

You can do an advanced search on Bluestone's website and look for plants that are seaside/salt tolerant

Chevy Chase, MD(Zone 7a)

Those are all great ideas -- maybe I can put Sedum Autumn Joy there?


This message was edited May 28, 2012 10:38 PM

central, NJ(Zone 6b)

Autumn Joy is listed as salt tolerant

Chevy Chase, MD(Zone 7a)

Funny -- while all the articles talk about the problems of salt damage, they don't indicate which plants are in fact susceptible to salt damage. Maybe it really isn't a problem. Maybe the bigger problems are heat, pedestrian traffic, drought, etc.

central, NJ(Zone 6b)

Maybe not, idk...would be more concerned with snow piled on it if we got more of it(wish we did)

Chevy Chase, MD(Zone 7a)

That Bluestone list is really helpful -- thanks for directing me to it!

central, NJ(Zone 6b)

I love their advanced search, Garden Crossings is another that has a really good search feature

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

You could certainly try Autumn Joy sedum. Easy to get thru sharing. I can give you a ton of it...I could throw bare cuttings into a box right now and theyd grow for ya. Did you take any sedum 'blue spruce ' I had? Ditto. Its a creeper, goes everywhere. Maybe not what you want. You'll get more "au courant' ideas from a list like Bluestone. All I can think of are easy old reliables.

Chevy Chase, MD(Zone 7a)

Sallly -- that's what I want -- the old reliables. I have plenty of Autumn Joy as well -- I'm going to root it today -- plus I have the Blue Spruce you gave me. I have a more honored spot for the Blue Spruce -- I'll wait until I have more to squander it on the roadside (gives road kill a new meaning).

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

Quote from happy_macomb :
Sallly -- I have a more honored spot for the Blue Spruce -- I'll wait until I have more to squander it on the roadside (gives road kill a new meaning).

That will be in about one year. It spreads like crazy, in a several inches a year along the ground sort of way, granted. not the seeds all over or rhizomes kind of way.


Chevy Chase, MD(Zone 7a)

Sally -- does the Sedum Blue Spruce "stand up" the way Sedum Angelina does if it gets some sun?

Chevy Chase, MD(Zone 7a)

Is this Blue Spruce? I know the photo isn't helpful -- I took it from above -- the plants were about 3" or 4" high. It was in a window box at the edge of a restaurant's patio area in Bethesda.

This message was edited May 30, 2012 12:10 PM

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Warrenton, VA

You could go with a REAL Blue Spruce, like I did. Bought a prostrate one at the end of the year last Fall - knocked about, growing tip was gone, but now, it is JUST LOVELY. And guarding our driveway and ditch just fine! We named it "Charlie Brown." It OWNS that patch of soil, and apparently, these lovely evergreens can take the salt.
Wait for the end of the season, watch your local nurseries, and be generous with the "Holly Tone" when your prize is in the ground. OK, I have to boast - that $75.00 shrub was ours for about $20.00. Including tax. Now, it was NOT in $75.00 condition to be sure, but cruising by it on the road, you'd never know it now.

You can always go with old-fashioned iris, too.

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

Sedum Blue spruce will stand up a couple inches . I haven't grown it in a large-around patch, just some several inches across patches and an up against the house patch. I'll try to post you a picture(s)

Chevy Chase, MD(Zone 7a)

Gracye -- what cultivar did you get? Do you recall?

SallyG -- thanks!

Warrenton, VA

Hello Happy! ARE YOU KIDDING?! I have the prettiest box with fancy handles that contains all the labels of my prides and joys... seed packets are in their own plastic zip-lock bag...and on and on...
I just opened it up, and, speaking of organization, I have clipped together all my shrubs and trees...

It is the cultivar "Montgomery Spruce." Picea Pungens "Montgomery." Grows up 4' - 6' tall, and 4' wide. Truly, I never thought I'd have one of these. But along came Charlie...the much fondled label says that these spruces go well with pines (could do the neat prostrate kinds), Spiraeas, Weigelas, and Viburnums. Never had a Viburnum (not on Dad's "Have-to-Grow list), so can't vouch for that. But Spiraeas and Weigelias, now, they are dandy-especially the old-fashioned varieties.

Charlie Brown is really quite the character - I'm glad he told me to take him home!

Chevy Chase, MD(Zone 7a)

Gracye: I am IMPRESSED (shouting now). And here it is on DG: http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/81127/. And on Mobot: http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/gardens-gardening/your-garden/plant-finder/plant-details/kc/l700/picea-pungens-montgomery.aspx It is a beauty! But phooey, it likes consistently moist soil. Can't do that!

You know what I love even more than Spiraeas are Deutzias.....



This message was edited Jun 2, 2012 12:49 AM

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

Mom's yard had Deutzias, really old ones. They grow slowly and kept a nice rounded shape with no help.

Chevy Chase, MD(Zone 7a)

My Mom had them as well. They are really easy to propagate. They grow fairly slowly, but not impossibly so. I love them in the spring -- they bloom right when I am getting excited about gardening all over again.

Warrenton, VA

Well jeese, happy - what lies in the bottom of a ditch? And remember that now, everyone seems to be singing the high praises of our (much aligned) "Virginia Red Clay." Seems that our clay soil retains water due to the structure...so, I am really angling for you to reconsider your OWN Charlie Brown!

Also, if you find a neat Montgomery Spruce or something similar, at the end of the growing season at an incredible price, if the thing dies, no big loss, except in loss of time in growing. Spruces are far hardier than we give them credit for...and I believe that they are pretty much native, to boot.

I am just as impressed as you are, and thought I'd found the motherlode when I came upon Charlie...now I'm QUITE SURE I found it! You go, Girl! You can do it!

What in the world is a Deutzia? I really don't remember anyone growing this, and appreciate a clue.

Chevy Chase, MD(Zone 7a)

Gracye (and anyone else): I'd be delighted to bring you a Deutzia. They sucker and it is easy to pull off new plants. My mom had what I think is a Slender Deutzia, and I've brought it to my yard. See http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/1434/. The pictures on DG don't do it justice (and I don't know where I have one of mine handy). It blooms in April and is really lovely when in bloom. It does take a few years to get big. It is nothing special when not in bloom, but it is a nice green and not unattractive - it just fades into the background. It is one of my very favorite plants -- I probably have 10 in various places in the yard (I keep sticking it in new places), many in what I grandly call the mixed perennial border - it only gets to be about 4' x 4'. It can take bright shade.

Gracye: I'd love to get your Charlie Brown! I just don't know if I have the right conditions for it. I don't think I'd put it near our front curb, because I don't want to have to use supplemental water there. As it is we use so much water on the yard that I am appalled, and I'd really like some areas where it isn't necessary to water at all. That is my goal for the front. So I run from plants that say they like it moist. And in the back of the house, where I do water, we have mostly bright shade and your Charlie Brown wants full sun. But if I find one for a reasonable enough price that I can gamble on it....

Chevy Chase, MD(Zone 7a)

I found the Montgomery for $19.99 (plus shipping) at http://www.kiginursery.com/picea-pungens-montgomery-dwarf-blue-spruce-1year/. But here's something wierd: It says "Picea pungens ' Montgomery ' A blue dwarf form of Colorado Spruce. One of the most popular dwarf blue spruce on the market. Can be a flat globe or an upright conical dwarf. Plant was found about 1949. 1 year grafted spruce."

My question: How do you know if you are going to get a flat globe or an upright conical dwarf????

I wonder if you can buy an ungrafted version....

It is also available for slightly more at http://www.highcountrygardens.com/index/page/product/product_id/2262.


This message was edited Jun 2, 2012 1:00 AM

Warrenton, VA

Happy - I advise that you do like I did. Haunt the local nurseries all through the summer, and then, POUNCE!

LOL! I swear that I had never seen good ole Charlie, and then, he appeared, all sad and kinda thrown off to the side. Actually, I found the shrub by it being placed on top of a railroad tie where all the other spruce were (that had my drool all over them, I admit..) I like to look at what I buy in real life, to see the form, and touch it, etc. That message about the two versions is a weirdness. But the spot at the end of my driveway is UGLY, having inherited all the community's overhead wiring and the anchoring to the ground, so whatever Charlie decides to do, so be it!

I went all through the "grafted v.s. not" saga. I don't like grafting, usually. But, have to go with the flow sometime, and my craving for Blue Spruces overrides my opinion. Most are, did you know this? I didn't.

One huge caveat - they are SLOW growing. Painfully so, methinks. Meaning, in general, anything that is reasonable in cost, will probably not mature in our lifetime. I took a chance on a beaten-up, big shrub. I don't normally do this (if you could see my Castle series $$$ Hollies that suddenly decided they like life on my land), but I think that every gardener has a bit of the Hunter in them...and also the Nurturer comes out so that's what the Close-Out sales are for...

And this is what gardening is all about. Finding the creative balance. There stand my $$$ highly-bred Hollies, but within a rock's throw is Charlie, who is every bit as proud as those two "primpy" hollies...gotta love 'em all.

Ah, gardening! I send my best to you!

Crozet, VA

Yet another quite interesting topic I just found today. I am loving reading about Happy's upcoming project and learning a lot while doing so. It will be lots of fun to keep up with the future project all the while learning from these seasoned gardeners. Gotta love it.

Ruby

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

My roadside curb and easement srtip only has/had the Kwanzan Cherry Trees in it.

Many, many winter's worth of salt have been dumped on that easement strip.

My grass is Ok--can't say what effect the salt had on the Cherry Trees---they are all
in different states of decline. BUT--They are all also close to 50 years old.
We all planted them on the same day. Trees were trucked in from NJ.
We all had our holes dug and it was "Ploppety-Plop--how many do YOU get.

It is hard to realize how OLD our neighborhood is getting.

Gita

Chevy Chase, MD(Zone 7a)

50 years? That's something to be really proud of!

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

Happy---

Well---This fall I will have lived here for 44 years.
The trees were about 4' tall when we all planted them--so, I figure, I can, easily,
add another 5 years or so to their age. May be a bit less--but OLD any way.

Gita

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Warrenton, VA

I think it's a real shame that most of the pretty, spring-blooming modest-sized trees have a fairly short lifespan, in general. Gita - WOW. Enjoy every bloom for me! I opted for an ornamental Plum, a new variety, as my ONE accent tree in that corner of the yard, and it is absolutely breathtaking. Foliage so dark and thick...this is the second year of life in our yard. And the blooms were very nice this year - although short-lived.
But, getting this does not mean that I can't admire those ornamental cherries. Too much of D.C. in me, I guess. And yours is just lovely!

Chevy Chase, MD(Zone 7a)

Gita -- Do you know what cultivar of flowering cherry you have? I intend to buy one at some point....

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

Happy---

We all planted these at the same time--back in 1972.

They are Kwanzan Cherry Trees.....Easily available. SO pretty when they bloom--
like a tree filled with tissue carnations.....
Please Google them to see---I cannot find the pictures right now....

Gita

Chevy Chase, MD(Zone 7a)

Thanks, Gita. I know what Kwansans are like -- I just can't decide between the different cultivars. I love cherries....

Lucketts, VA(Zone 7a)

Happy, have you ever seen Okame cherry trees? I saw one years ago at the Philadelphia Flower show. I like all the cherries, but I think Okame is one of my favorites. It has been on my wish list since that year I saw it at the show.

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

National Arb, bloomed very early in the Asian Garden- the cv is around here somewhere- in my article too.
If my front yard dogwood croaks, it'll become a cherry

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