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I'm in NE Missouri & live in a very rural area. I've got grandiose ideas about what I want my yard to look like. My wife of 25 years & I are extremely hard workers & don't hesitate to get dirty.

We live on 150 acres. Mostly white oak timber, with 40 acres of open ground that we garden for wildlife. What I need knowledge & inspiration for, is our 3 acre yard. We've got a nearly blank slate to work with. I just don't know a lot about different plants & what they like. We do like natives & have brought some of the natives off out farm into the yard, with plans to do more transplanting this fall & next spring. Our landscape style is rustic, to almost ruins like. We like rusty metal & stone.

I really hope we can find inspiration & knowledge here. Here's a few pics of the slate we're working with & a couple of projects we've started.


Kya D

Active Member
Hi Pinwheel. Welcome to our clan
I am sure that you will get lots of help from the folks here, they know alot about gardening and have great ideas about ways to get things the way you want them.
I love your place thanks for showing us the pic.


Super Moderator
Staff member
Hi and welcome to our forum. what are you thinking? do you want bushes or flowers or what and what zone are you in? It will be much easier to help you. I know growing natives is much easier than trying to change your area into something it is not.


Super Moderator
Staff member
Hey Pinwheel!
Welcome to our forum!
Looks like you have a range of different growing conditions from dry hill top to moist bottom lands!
What are the soil conditions?
Knowing which direction prevailing winds (during the summer and winter) come from would help too! You may need to plant trees to break the winds!
Preciate the warm welcome.

lynpenny, not completely sure what we're thinking. Living in the country, we've got a lot of wildlife in the yard, so naturally, deer are a consideration. At the same time, we've got lots of birds that like hanging around our place as well. Hummingbirds flock in here in unbelievable #'s. So, I guess we're looking for things that are attractive to the birds & butterflies as much as anything.

This summer was our first real attempt at landscaping & planting & for the most part, we felt very successful. Planted a large variety of annuals & several perennials. White & blue astors, butterfly bushes, multiple coneflowers, salvias, ect. Also planted several new trees. crabapples, flame maple, apple, peach & cherry trees. Have redbuds growing in pots, ready to be put in the ground when we find the spare time. (could use help in deciding best soil & lighting conditions for them)

We're in zone 5.

You're right, we do have different conditions. Our house is on top of the hill. We've got timber to the north & west. Summer prevailing winds are southwest, winter, northwest. Like I mentioned earlier, we're on 150 acres & have a tractor with front end loader, so I can cart in soil from different parts of my farm. My farm has a wide range of soil types, as it's got upland, bottomground fields & bottom ground timber.

We've got a pretty green thumb, but we lack knowledge of what different conditions different plants thrive in.

We've got a big area to work with & are very open minded to suggestions on what will grow well in each of the different projects we'll undertake.

Kya D

Active Member
I got looking and found this site that list deer resistant plants
Some of them may not do well in zone 5. I would avoid fruit trees unless you want to fence them against the deer.
We have fruit trees and the deer tend to munch on them on a regular basis
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Super Moderator
Staff member
Hey Pin!
I was thinking that you will need to plant some windbreaks to help block winter winds, as well as drying summer winds!
There are a lot of tree species that would work well in your zone and soil types!
Poplars and Ash seem to be the ones used around here on the farms!
Both grow fast!
Birches (especially the paper birches) would be a good focal point/showpieces in any garden area (they also grow fast)!
Bottomlands would be conducive for quick growing Weeping Willows...I'm particularly fond of the Corkscrew Willow! The nice thing about willows is that they raise the soil level as their root system develops over time!


Super Moderator
Staff member
NE Mo. Could that be near St Louis? I would say you could put so many pretty bushes, trees, and flowers. That is really nice country. I like Ron's suggestion of birches and willows. I personally love willows. I think Sandhills plums would grow there. They make nice bushes in the country and you can make jam out of the plums. The deer love them but if you plant enough you can share with them


Super Moderator
Staff member
Hi Pinwheel,
WELCOME! Wow , how awesome to have all the land to work with. I live in Florida so not real sure about to many things in zone 5. But I sure can't wait to see what you go with. Glad you found us.


Super Moderator
Staff member
Been researching windbreaks for farms and came up with this article:
There is also a list of possible trees and shrubs.

Here's a good listing of fast growing trees

You should work out a 5 year plan! It would help to break down the overall picture of what you would like to accomplish each year! I always found it easier to do things in phases so it won't be overwhelming!
I don't think wind breaks are needed Ron, but appreciate the links. I've got big timber to the North & west of the house that provide plenty of wind break

As for being overwhelmed, if you knew me, you'd know I don't intimidate easily.:D Remember in my introduction, I mentioned hard working married couple? See the split rail fence, I split the rails & put in the fence in just a couple days. The raised bed with the old plow? When we started, there was nothing there but a hillside. We placed all the rock for that bed, plus the other one down by the split rail fence in a weekend. Once I've got a plan in my mind, I make short work of the project.

I'll try to gather some more pics & an arial of the yard in the next day or so to help with the brain storming.


Super Moderator
Staff member
I hear you Pin!
We must be kindred!
I posted the info for anyone thinking about creating a windbreak!
The sites will help anyone reading this thread on which species to look for!
Are you planning shade gardens?
Believe it, or not, you could create a dry garden for cactus....I'm working on collecting cacti that are winter hardy to zone 5/6! So if you are interested I can direct you to sites that sell seeds so you can start your own! You can even have agaves and various other xeric species that you will not see at any garden nursery or centre!
In all there are well over 150 cacti species, and most of them are native!
I'm actually becoming an avid addict when it comes to drought conditions I'm always on the lookout for species that require these conditions!


Active Member
Welcome to the forum, Pin! :D That fence you built looks awesome.
Hey Ron, we're totally flat here and we do 40 acre squares surrounded by trees. It's great windbreak for most things but yeah, some plants like shade so extra trees are a good idea too. :)
You could do some windbreaks with clumping (not running) bamboos and elephant grass. Those always look awesome! How deep is the pond? A small pier and some willows would look really cool there. Thanks for sharing the pics! :) I'll be watching for more. :D


Super Moderator
Staff member
Hi Jacob!
Welcome to our garden forum!
There is a lot of good information in the various threads.
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