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Tuesday - April 15, 2008

From: Liberty Hill, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Privacy Screening, Grasses or Grass-like, Herbs/Forbs, Shrubs
Title: Plants for Liberty Hill TX in full sun
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

We recently bought an acre of land in Liberty Hill, TX. We have a large planting area in the front that is devoid of any plant life. I would like to turn this into a semi shaded area with some annual showy flowers. The area is not manually watered, and receives full sun. We are also looking to create a natural looking hedge like barrier between our yard and the neighbors, also in direct sun and not manually watered.

ANSWER:

Let's start with barrier-like hedge plants. First of all, even though you won't be watering them on a regular basis, you may have to do a bit of watering to get them established. After that, the shrubs that I am going to recommend should do well with no supplemental watering. After all, they are natives that have to survive with the rains that fall in Central Texas. You would probably prefer evergreens if you are looking for a privacy hedge. Many of these also have the advantage of producing berries that attract birds and other wildlife. Here are a few suggestions:

Mahonia trifoliolata (agarita)

Ilex vomitoria (yaupon)

Morella cerifera (wax myrtle)

Leucophyllum frutescens (Cenizo)

Juniperus virginiana (eastern redcedar)

This redcedar can grow into a large tree, but can also be pruned into a hedge. Also, if you already have Juniperus ashei (Ashe's juniper) trees in the area (Mr. SP would be surprised if you didn't have at least a few), they can be pruned into reasonable trees or shrubs, too, to give you shade and privacy. They are definitely well-adapted to our climate, etc. You can keep them in check by further pruning and by cutting down small ones that crop up.

For the area where you want to grow perennial flowers, I suggest that you visit our Central Texas Recommended species pages. There you will find a large variety of perennials and annuals to choose from that do well in Central Texas. Mr. SP recommends that you include some native grasses with your flowers. For example, Schizachyrium scoparium (little bluestem) and Bouteloua hirsuta (hairy grama) are perennial clump grasses that are attractive even after they have died in the fall.

Here are a few perennial flowers from the list that should do well:

Melampodium leucanthum (plains blackfoot)

Lantana urticoides (Texas lantana)

Malvaviscus arboreus var. drummondii (wax mallow)

Salvia farinacea (mealycup sage)

Thelesperma filifolium var. filifolium (stiff greenthread)

There are many more for you to choose from and, since your area is fairly large, you might like to read our article "Meadow Gardening" for recommendations on how to plant and maintain your area.

 

 

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