Add A Little "Flower Power" to Your Landscaping Projects
Renovating your yard or outside property is more than just moving earth around. The finishing touches often require a little finesse. Knowing which plants to use to decorate your property is important. You don't want to plant something unable to withstand certain seasons. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) zone map of the U.S. helps gardeners know which plants are best suited for annual temperatures, called the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map. McDowell and most neighboring counties are in zone 7b (counties up the mountain 7a), indicating extreme winter temperatures can dip from 0 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit. So what plants are great for landscaping and decorations but can also survive in zone 7? Here are just a few but there are several more not listed below:
Conifers (most common) -Pine -Spruce -Cedar -Fir -Juniper -Cypress -Arborvitae Some are trees, but some are smaller shrubs. Know which you are committing to before you start planting.
Rhododendron (and Azaleas) So popular Bakersville, NC has an annual Rhododendron Festival. Beautiful flowers and can grow up to 20 feet.
Abelia Part of the honeysuckle family, this shrub has bright, glossy foliage backing fragrant, bell-shaped white flowers. Great screen or barrier.
Camellia Used for teas, tea seed oil, cooking, and cosmetics. Thick, serrated, glossy leaves.
Creeping Phlox Moss-like growing habits. Flowers are very densely packed together. Typically 6" height with about 2' wide.
Heuchera (cowbells) Small bell-shaped flowers on tall stems attract hummingbirds. Leaves are shades of purple, lime green, rose, gold, red, and more.
Lilyturf Stems of tiny blue and white bells with evergreen grassy leaves. Great for groundcover or an edging plant.
Lenten Rose Not actually of the rose family, though named after rose-bud like flowers. Makes for great groundcover.
Calamintha Bushy, dense greenery that spreads on its own. Tiny, tubular, two-lipped, purple and white flowers bloom in the spring and summer seasons that bees love.
Indian Grass It can grow 3-6 feet. Typically blooms in yellow, with a red/rust color. Grows in clumps and attracts butterflies.
Miscanthus (silvergrass) 3-8 feet to 8-20 feet tall. It grows in a vase-shape formation with fluffy ends with silvery seeds.
Switchgrass Very deep roots, it is a very rugged plant that can survive most extreme hot and cold climates. Great for erosion control, soil conservation, and ground cover.
Japanese Forest Grass Low-maintenance once established and slow-growing, this ornamental plant is not invasive. Great for ground cover or as an edging plant.
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