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Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

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Thursday - May 01, 2008

From: Murphysboro, IL
Region: Midwest
Topic: Groundcovers, Grasses or Grass-like, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Plants for narrow strip between sidewalk and fence
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I have a strip of land about 5 inches wide and 30 feet long -- between the fence and the sidewalk -- that I would like to plant something that would look nice and wouldn't require the weedeater every few days. The location receives full sun for most of the day.

ANSWER:

Here are a few suggestions for some low-growing plants that will fit nicely into your area. Some of them may overhang your sidewalk a bit; but, as long as it is relatively wide, they should work nicely. You could use any of them alone or mix them for variety. Also, you can see more possibilities on the Illinois Recommended page.

Carex pensylvanica (Pennsylvania sedge)

Fragaria virginiana (Virginia strawberry)

Coreopsis lanceolata (lanceleaf tickseed)

Geranium maculatum (spotted geranium)

Geum triflorum (old man's whiskers)

Heuchera richardsonii (Richardson's alumroot)

Phlox pilosa (downy phlox)

Sisyrinchium campestre (prairie blue-eyed grass)

The following plant prefers shade or part shade so it may or may not work in your strip, but it does make a nice groundcover.

Mitchella repens (partridgeberry)


Carex pensylvanica

Fragaria virginiana

Coreopsis lanceolata

Geranium maculatum

Geum triflorum

Heuchera richardsonii

Phlox pilosa

Sisyrinchium campestre

Mitchella repens

 

 

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