We own a beautiful Federal style inn in the southern Berkshires and I am working on a “wow factor” area behind the inn where our guests drive in and park. The sunny, steep sloped area is very challenging with heavy clay and very moist soil. Since the area is difficult to garden, I want plants that are fairly maintenance free so I am thinking flowering bushes might be best with a lot of ground cover. [Presently, the area is simply grass.] Any suggestions as to what plants would give maximum color and impact especially during the summer months, our busiest season? Thank you!
Can’t say these will all look good together but here is a quick list of large wet feet and sun lovers with showy summer features: Salix integra ‘Hakuro Nishiki’, Hardy Hibiscus, Eupatorium maculatum, Filipendula rubra, Viburnum nudum, Itea virginica. And some smaller plants: Mazus reptans, Myosotis scorpiodes, Iris versicolor, Iris ensata.
two more: Highbush Blueberry for great fall color. and Clethra alnifolia for fall blooms and scent. Also you might try Bog Rosemary (Andromeda polifolia) for year round attractive foliage. This can be a bit tempermental, but provided your soil is acidic, it should love the spot.
It was good to meet you at the Conservancy sale today at Margaret’s! Thank you again for all the suggestions…very helpful. Hope to see you at Loomis Creek sometime!
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Welcome! I’m Margaret Roach, a leading garden writer for 25 years—at ‘Martha Stewart Living,’ ‘Newsday,’ and in three books. I host a public-radio podcast; I also lecture, plus hold tours at my 2.3-acre Hudson Valley (NY) Zone 5B garden, and always say no to chemicals and yes to great plants.