Need help planning Native Borders

stramp crab
3 years ago

* Originally posted in Landscape Design, I thought it might be more appropriate here.*

I need some help filling out my border gardens. I aim to primarily use native plants, we are south of Buffalo, NY, Zone 5b/6a.

Quick tour starting at the bottom, a paver & cobble walkway leads in from between the house and the garage (bottom right square) The patio is 14'w X 20'l and is slightly higher than the yard. Grass slopes down away from it slightly and levels off behind the garage. My son's playset sits about the point it flattens out. The octagon is a veg. garden 7 raised edge beds and a pyramidal trellis in the center.

I primarily would like to treat this as a prairie garden, more grasses and taller perennials, though the back gets much more shade throughout the day and could fo more of a woodland garden. I'm in need of ideas.

LEFT EDGE - Bed is four feet deep, about 73 feet from front to back. Usually dry, late afternoon shade in front, heavier shade in the back. Mainly volunteers and leftovers from the previous owner. Not sure what to do with most the space. Would

TOP EDGE - 7 feet deep, 50 feet long, Semi-dry and gets morning/early afternoon sun. I planted 3 multistem Eastern Redbud trees last spring, so I need to account for their future growth. Currently, the area consists of the trees, lots of Columbine, Purple Coneflower, and Oenothera. A few slow growing Baptisia hiding here and there as well.

RIGHT EDGE - 3 feet deep, 53 feet long. Late afternoon sun for the mid section, top and bottom remain in much heavier shade from the garage and surrounding trees. There are three Spicebush along this wall, but haven't grown much in the 3 years they've been in. Tips for feeding them? Between the spicebush, there is primarily Prairie Coreopsis and Monarda fistulosa

BUTTERFLY GARDEN - The yard is roughly divided in half by our butterfly garden, primarily Anis Hyssop, Butterfly weed, Smooth Blue Aster, Prairie Coreopsis, Pale Purple Coneflower, Button Blazing Star, Monarda, Hairy Mountain Mint, Orange Coneflower, Little Bluestem and Prairie Dropseed. This is perfect how it is, would love for the rest of the borders to fill in as well as this has.

UPPER RIGHT - Here I spread a wildflower mix in front of a bird bath on an old apple tree stump, with a clump of Sawtooth Sunflowers behind.

UPPER LEFT - Former compost area, became too large, too weedy, so now it is scaped clear. Gets full sun in very early morning, then is shaded throughout the day. Thinking of making a seating area here, most secluded part of the yard. Maybe benches and some lights?

PATIO - Most convenient area for groups of people and grilling, but bakes throughout the day. May add a pergola or canopy this year. But garden wise, to the right is the wall of the garage, I would love to add some trellis and have some climbing vines here. Virginia creeper or trumpet honeysuckle perhaps? To the left, there is a rose/swamp mallow and some Solomon seal (in constant shade from the fencing around it) in the corner, and some purple Iris that I would like to do something more with. More of them? Something to compliment? Should I take out the narrow strip of grass on this side and bring the garden right up to the patio? What should I use to give this space some impact?

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