Living out on the prairie (zone 4) come with obstacles when it comes to gardening and landscape. With being flat, limited on trees, shrubs and harsh weather, choosing the right plants that can withstand all these factors sometimes can be a struggle. I live on a 2 acre property that is pretty much a blank canvas for me to start designing a garden/landscape. I have a shelter belt that is three row deep and lined with Junipers, and other miscelaneous trees. Here are some aerial pictures of my property. The large building is the house and the outbuildings are the coops and potting sheds. As you can see there is a lot that can be done to beef up the tree strip. I want to plant the open spots in the existing tree strip and start a living evergreen wall to create a beautiful year long back drop for the property.
With having such a big area to work with and not being sure how I want things, I decided to start small and plant around the duck coops and go from there. I want to have a raised bed in-front of the small coop with plants that could be enjoyed all year and be multi purposed. In the back of my mind I wanted to go with Russian Sage but I don’t like how it always flops and looks like a mess. After looking around online and visiting the local garden center, I found a variety called Denim and Lace Russian Sage from Proven Winners.
This variety was a perfect fit. Being hardy down to zone 4 (-30 degrees Fahrenheit), it would be just fine with the South Dakota winters/springs. It’s height is about 32 inches, therefore it doesn’t flop and the blooms stay on for a long time. Of course the foliage is just beautiful. The other great attribute to this perennial is that its great for the pollinators. All the bees and hummingbirds were constantly on or around the plants. I definitely would like to plant some sort of pink or soft yellow tulips or daffodils for some spring time interest, considering that the sage doesn’t bloom till midsummer and maybe some dark purple Huechera for fall interest.
I don’t have any flower beds for annuals but I do substitute the beds for hayracks and containers. There are four windows in the front of the house that I have hayracks hanging in front of. I have planted them with different varieties of Proven Winners’ Supertunias. I have had very good luck with supertunias, they have been hit with constant 40mph winds, hail, freezing, freezing rain and hot dry heat. I don’t need to deadhead them making them very easy to tend to. Supertunias come in an array of colors and are a great filler to any flower arrangement.
Over the spring and early summer I tend to plant up some pots and place them on the front and back porches just to add some pop of color. I usually will plant pansies, violas, petunias and some other arrangements.