Third times a charm - Novice pleads for feedback

danell(7)January 16, 2011

Third time is a charm, so it is said. I reviewed everyone's comments and redid my planting plan (top left of link) and attached additional photos. Do you think with what I've done it will be okay? Did I get the right mix of good design elements? What is your overall impression? Any suggestions, changes, other?

Would someone be so kind as to review my measurements of mature sizes, this has sent me back to the drawing board numerous times.

Last I need suggestions for the creek bed and the Liriope:

I currrently have Elfin Thyme along existing creek bed but had thought to either keep it (since it is already there and doing well) but put something different along extension in order to keep the number of bees down - dogs don't like to get stung and this is right at their feet - or replace it all. I thought perhaps Hernia Glabra or someone else suggested combination of Scotts and Irish Mosses. What do you suggest?

I've heard Bloodgoods do not like to have their roots disturbed so should I replace the existing Lirope? It has been there about a year and needs to be divided.

Sheesh, I didn't know designing could be such hard work!

Here is a link that might be useful:

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Wow, you have done a lot of work and detailed planning. I am not a professional so I would need dimensions and shape of each of your plantings to get a picture in my head--a silhouette of the bed from the front of each bed--to 'see' what it would look like. I hope someone with more experience will respond. It looks like you are a good ways into a finished product.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2011 at 7:39PM
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Hi Danell 7, The design experts will jump in soon.I don't know how it will come out after you plan is planted. I personally love your plan and hope you share your before, during and after pictures as the garden developes! From a gardener propective, that you should start ordering your plants and plan to plant when the weather breaks. Once you start, it will take three years before you really see what your garden is showing you and you will be able to make the neccessary adjustments. I have a detail plan of my gardens but not one garden has remained as planned on paper because, the soil type and shade and weather or micro-climate caused the plant to grow differently than was expected.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2011 at 8:20PM
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You have done a great job- hard work pays off. I just have a couple of thoughts - and I have to confess I haven't seen your other posts so I dont know how this evolved. Please forgive me if these issues have already been addressed.

The first thing that jumps out at me is the amount of space between plants. Its perfectly fine to have space between plant if you are doing it intentionally, but if you are going for a full established look you probably have to add more plants. If you want each plant to stand on its own with mulch in between you are on the right track. Depending on what grass you are planting I think the size is still off on that - I would think most tall grasses would be 3 feet wide.

The second basic concern i have is the proximity of the laceleaf japanese maple and whatever tree you plant. Thats a lot of competition of roots in a small area.

The final thought I have to share is an overall idea about the design. It is not a symmetrical yard and not a symmetrical design; but in striving for balance in the design you are placing certain elements symmetrically, such as the dwarf gold cypress, the joe pye weed and the two large trees. I think those are going to be the focal points in this design and by setting them up symmetrically you are encouraging a viewer's eye to bounce around the yard. My approach would probably be a little different in that I would think about how I would like a visitor to experience the yard and move through the yard both visually and physically. To create that experience I would place these strong focal points in a way that makes movement and flow and less symmetry. By initially getting the placement of the focal points, the supporting plants will fall into place.

It is hard to juggle all of the different aspects of plants in a design. You have to think all at one time about light and moisture needs, color, interaction between plants, parts of the design that already exist and cant be moved, other needs such as sharing the space with pets, views, sizes, etc. Its a lot to consider!

    Bookmark   January 18, 2011 at 8:39AM
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OMG so that is the brick wall I've been hitting my head on. Drtygrl, I think you may have just hit the nail on the head. Here I've been throwing time and money at this tyring to force it and knowing something was off but not knowing what. I was trying to force symmetry, form and a formal design onto an asymmetrical, informal yard and idea. Hoot! Where were you a year ago? I think this is going to be much easier this time around. - Back to the drawing board.

I'll try to keep adding pictures and plan revisions, maybe someone will be able to learn from my mistakes (chuckle). There was a post recently on Design Principles, a very good read. I recommend it.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2011 at 8:41PM
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I am so glad I could help! I never know what reaction things will get on this forum. I was worried I was being too critical.
Remember grouping/massing of plants for a stronger effect.
I cant wait to see where you go with it please do follow up :)

    Bookmark   January 18, 2011 at 9:17PM
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tibs(5/6 OH)

One thing popped out at me. Is 1.5' wide enough for a dog run? Even for a little dog, that seems mighty narrow. I am a cat owner, so don't know. Dog people?

    Bookmark   January 19, 2011 at 3:43PM
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Tibs, 1.5 works great for my guys. They weigh in around 15-18 pounds and have been using this walk for a year now, they love it. They also like to play in the tall grass (Japanese Blood Grass is tall to them), roll in the sand of dry creek bed and hunt for treats left in hollow logs and such.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2011 at 5:04PM
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I'd position the fountain so that it is not only a focal point from your patio seating, but also as a focal point from a main room/window within your home. For me, that's my kitchen window.

I love that you have designated dog walk areas. LOL. I shovel pathways in my back yard in the winter months to give my dogs more romping room.

I tend to also look at what I see in neighboring properties that I may not necessarily want to see - for example, if I want to block a view from a neighboring window for more privacy, disguise the corner of a neighbors garage, disguise my garbage can, etc. and I plant my trees accordingly. I'd also position the bench across from a focal point.

Most of all, have fun doing it all!

    Bookmark   January 27, 2011 at 7:49PM
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