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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

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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Monday - July 21, 2008

From: ELMIRA, MI
Region: Midwest
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: Evergreen privacy hedge and drought-resistant garden
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I am looking for a hardy evergreen hedge for privacy in Northern Michigan. I have sandy soil. Also am interested in planting a drought garden with mostly sun in same sandy soil.

ANSWER:

Juniperus virginiana (eastern redcedar) is very hardy and also can grow very tall, up to 90 feet. However, it can also be kept pruned into a very thick evergreen hedge. University of Connecticut lists several cultivars of interest, including dwarf ones.

Thuja occidentalis (arborvitae) is another candidate. It also has a number of cultivars to choose from listed by University of Connecticut and Ohio State University.

The final suggestion for an evergreen hedge is Tsuga canadensis (eastern hemlock) with smaller cultivars listed by Ohio State University and University of Connecticut.

You can find plants that are commercially available and suitable for landscaping in Michigan, by choosing the state from the map on our Recommended Species page. When you have the list of over 150 species, you can use the Narrow Your Search option to choose the characteristics you want under Habit (general appearace), Light requirement and Soil moisture. Here are a few species that will do well in full sun and sandy, dry soil:

Aquilegia canadensis (red columbine)

Asclepias tuberosa (butterfly milkweed)

Helianthus strumosus (paleleaf woodland sunflower)

Lupinus perennis (sundial lupine)

Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (kinnikinnick)

Dasiphora fruticosa ssp. floribunda (shrubby cinquefoil)

Amorpha canescens (leadplant)


Juniperus virginiana

Thuja occidentalis

Tsuga canadensis

Aquilegia canadensis

Asclepias tuberosa

Helianthus strumosus

Lupinus perennis

Arctostaphylos uva-ursi

Dasiphora fruticosa ssp. floribunda

Amorpha canescens

 

 

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