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See through plants

Posted by meslgh DFW 8a (My Page) on
Sun, Nov 3, 13 at 7:09

I am making a bed at the front corner of my yard, and there is a fire hydrant in it. I figure to use groundcover immediately around it, but as I move further out, I'd like to find plants that will provide a little height but still won't obscure the fire hydrant. Even though I'm posting here on the perennial forum, I'm ok with an airy shrub or grass as options. So far, I've found gaura as an option. Any other suggestions?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: See through plants

Verbena bonarienses and
Foeniculum (fennel), the herbaccious type
are both quite upright, somewhat airy

and in my garden thrive under similar conditions as Gaura lindheimeri:

full sun, dry-ish in summer, rather well drainig soil.

Bye, Lin


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RE: See through plants

I would think your city will not appreciate your planting around a fire hydrant, so you may want to rethink this or at least contact them before doing it.

Needless to say your planting would be trampled if there was a fire and the fire dept needed to use this hydrant, but around here at least our hydrants are flushed usually once a year, so someone may need complete unobstructed access to it all year long. I don't think they would appreciate having to worry about trampling flowers while doing their job.

Just a thought

Kevin


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RE: See through plants

see link

add your city and state..

and see if the info is online ...

i note one of the links talked about being ticketed for infringing on the hydrant ...

if that fails.. call the closest fire house ... on the NON emergency line.. and ask them for info ...

your are literally.. playing with fire here ...

and all i see is you complaining.. when they make you remove it all ... or destroy it.. etc ....

what you need to think aobut ... is a garden bed.. somewhere between your houe and the hydrant.. THAT BLOCKS YOUR VIEW OF IT .... but leaves the hydrant.. free and clear ... perhaps a berm.. to gain some height to aid the job ...

you are in a box.. and that box has the hydrant in it.. step out of your box... and find another solution ... it shouldnt be hard.. once you quit focusing on the dirt around the hydrant .....

ken

Here is a link that might be useful: link


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RE: See through plants

Perhaps I did not make myself clear. This is certainly not a bed designed around a fire hydrant or designed to hide a fire hydrant. It is a much larger bed, that happens to contain a fire hydrant. I have done reading around the web, and although I have not found my city's ordinances (and I do plan to call for that information), what I have seen generally says that for 3 feet there should be nothing other than groundcover. It is exactly my intention to use groundcover for that distance. That's not just because it is the law, but because I do not want to make any firefighter's job harder. If any plant I put in gets trampled, sure, I'll be disappointed, but that's just a chance that I take. No plant is as important as any lives or even someone's house.

Now, I have also read that a fire hydrant should be easily visible from 75 feet away. Obviously, if I plant a dense 4 foot shrub right at the curb, even 3 feet away from the fire hydrant, it will obstruct the view of the fire hydrant. I do not want to do that (whether it is legal in my city or not). What I would like to do, is find some 2-3 foot plants that are open and airy enough that, although they provide some height and interest to the bed, at a distance of more than 3 feet from the hydrant, they still allow the hydrant to be seen from the street.


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RE: See through plants

I would do a ornament. Birdbath, potted plant. birdhouse, butterfly house etc.


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RE: See through plants

meslgh, I'm kinda confused! :) Just how far back from the road is this hydrant? I have these images in my mind of it being in the middle of your yard, lol! I guess since you seem to be planting *all around* it, it confuses me, as the hydrants around here are 1 to 2 feet from the road, (with no sidewalks) so here one would normally just plant behind it, between it and the house. And I guess here no one really plants to either side of one either because again, it's so close to the road and no one plants that close to the road. Just wondering... :)

My thought was knautia macedonica. The plant itself is quite low, I'd say no more than 8 inches or so (in my garden, at least) but it throws up stems about 3 feet high, with gorgeous little airy blooms. Similar in form to the verbena bonariensis mentioned above. I have it in shades of pink and purply-fuschia and I love it. It does reseed, but not aggressively so, IMO.

Dee

Here is a link that might be useful: knautia images


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RE: See through plants

How about Red Hot Pokers? There are some really nice cultivars and some dwarf varieties. And, well, its sort like keeping with the theme maybe?

I found this beauty online, Wow! I may have to get one myself. This is a photo from Cambridge, England: Botanic Garden (Kniphofia caulescens)


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RE: See through plants

Stipa capillata is a see-through, very vertical grass. I planted this on my median down by the street. Its a very low, 6" tuft of leaves and it sends up stiff straight stems early in summer that have seeds with long tails that curl as they mature. You easily can see right through the grass, its a subtle vertical statement and it glimmers in late sunlight. I planted seeds I bought from Pace Seed three years ago.

I have a photo of mine but its sort of hard to see so I pulled this off google because it shows the grass better.


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RE: See through plants

This is certainly not a bed designed around a fire hydrant or designed to hide a fire hydrant.

==>> super.. you are on the right track ... and we had to make sure of that ...

i would give the hydrant a 5 foot circle.. and flat ... clear and free...

after all.. it will be your house that needs that hydrant ...

good luck

ken


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RE: See through plants

crikey ....

what i came to say .. lol ...

i pictured this 3 foot circle around the hydrant ... completely obscuring it.. and interfering ...

and you are well out of that mind picture ..

ken


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RE: See through plants

What about something tall blocking your view of the hydrant, well away from it, between house & street? Maybe a stand-alone fence section, with various plants around/behind (looking from street)?


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RE: See through plants

Serviceberries are nice, airy shrubs. They also have great fall color.

Here is a link that might be useful: Fall color


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