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Finding Native Plants for Landscaping around Your Cedar Fence or Deck

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Allegheny Serviceberry

Native plants are ideal for any garden, including those located near cedar fencing or a cedar deck, primarily because they discourage pesky invasive species. Additionally, native plants are often very low-maintenance, since they evolved to thrive in local conditions.

Planting native plants around your cedar deck or cedar fencing takes a little forethought to ensure that the species you select will be well-suited to their setting. For instance, many lupines native to the Pacific Northwest are water-loving beauties; they’re perfect for soaking up water near downspouts, and their unusual blue flowers attract amazing butterflies. However, if you plant a native lupine in dry, sandy soil, it is likely to die. To avoid unnecessary plant replacement costs, select native plants according to their sun, soil and water preferences.

Another thing to keep in mind when planting along a stretch of cedar fencing or near a cedar deck: Keep a plant-free zone right next to the wood, and avoid allowing plants to actually lean against the cedar deck or fence. Otherwise, the plants’ moisture could accelerate wood rot. Furthermore, in order to properly sand down and re-stain your cedar deck or fencing every year or so, you will need at least six inches of access space. Therefore, place your native plants near but not right against your cedar fixtures.

Here are a few native planting suggestions for your cedar fencing or decking area, organized according to ideal light conditions.

Shade-Loving Native Plants to Place near Your Cedar Deck or Fence

Astilbe, or False Goatsbeard. This woodland plant will wow you with full blossoms in the shade. It is a tall perennial that features feathery soft pink or white blossoms in early summer, and fern-like leaves for most of the year. Astilbe plants love waterlogged conditions in full or partial shade.

Smilacina stellata, or Star-Flowered Solomon’s Seal. Although this beautiful flowering perennial prefers partial sunlight and moist to slightly dry soil, it will grow almost anywhere – indeed, it’s native to most of North America precisely because it’s such a versatile species. You’ll love the Star-Flowered Solomon’s Seal’s blossoms – white, star-shaped and delicate, they will create a lovely color contrast against your cedar deck or fence.

Sun-Loving Native Plants to Place near Your Cedar Fencing or Decking

Amelanchier, or Serviceberry. This deciduous perennial shrub is native to most of North America. It offers three showy growing seasons: white blossoms in early spring, purple berries in the summer and brilliant red-and-orange foliage in the autumn. The best placement for this native species would be in a sunny area near your cedar deck, as a privacy shade. Serviceberry bushes can reach up to six feet in height, so don’t plant them in limited spaces.

Dodecatheon Jeffreyi, or Sierra Shootingstar. Unusual rocket-shaped flowers make this flowering perennial a stunning selection along cedar fencing or near a cedar deck. The Sierra Shootingstar’s purple, white or rose flowers point down, toward the earth, with the petals spreading up toward the sky. Native to meadow landscapes across the West Coast, Dodecatheon usually does best in residential applications when grown from seed. Plant it in sunny locations that get plenty of water; it often grows along stream banks in the wild.

 

[ Photo by: dw_ross, on Flickr via CC License ]

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