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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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Sunday - July 18, 2010

From: Grand Blanc, MI
Region: Midwest
Topic: Shade Tolerant
Title: Screen and shade for pool in Michigan
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

We recently moved to a new home that has a pool. There is no shade nor privacy. What types of trees, plants would you recommend for our small backyard?

ANSWER:

You can look at our Michigan Recommended list of native plants that are commercially available for landscaping in Michigan.  Using the NARROW YOUR SEARCH option in the sidebar you can select various criteria for your plant.  For instance, under GENERAL APPEARANCE, select 'Tree' or 'Shrub' and under LIGHT REQUIREMENT select 'Sun - 6 or more hours'.  You can also make selections from other categories.  Here are a few recommendations from that list, but you can make your own choices:

SMALL TREES/SHRUBS

Crataegus mollis (downy hawthorn)

Ilex verticillata (common winterberry)

Rhus glabra (smooth sumac)

Cornus racemosa (gray dogwood)

Dasiphora fruticosa ssp. floribunda (shrubby cinquefoil)

Physocarpus opulifolius (common ninebark)

HERBACEOUS PLANTS

Lilium philadelphicum (wood lily)

Lupinus perennis (sundial lupine)

Monarda fistulosa (wild bergamot)

FERNS (these ferns will grow in full sun)

Dryopteris cristata (crested woodfern)

Osmunda cinnamomea (cinnamon fern)

Since I don't know all the characteristics of your site (e.g., soil moisture and type), you should check the GROWING CONDITIONS on each species page to be sure they are compatible with your site.

Here are photos from our Image Gallery:


Crataegus mollis

Ilex verticillata

Rhus glabra

Cornus racemosa

Dasiphora fruticosa ssp. floribunda

Physocarpus opulifolius

Lilium philadelphicum

Lupinus perennis

Monarda fistulosa

Dryopteris cristata

Osmunda cinnamomea

 

 

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