Front Bed Garden Advice for New Gardener in Zone 6
I'm new to the forum- and to gardening! - but I've found many of your posts helpful! I'm hoping you can offer some advice specifically for me. I'm a new homeowner and will be attempting my first garden come spring (as soon as the snow melts)!
I want to garden the flower beds directly in front of my house. At first I thought I'd need a "foundation garden" but since the house is a split, there really isn't much foundation to hide, so the need for evergreens went from high to medium on my list. I live in MA, so not having all stalks in the winter would be nice. But my main objective when designing the garden was to not block the low windows to the house.
Right now I have a plan drawn up, but I'm having a lot of trouble finding the perfect fit for a shrub or flower to flank the doorway. I'd like a perennial, low maintenance, and it needs to fit in a 4" wide spot so it doesn't block the window. I've considered hydrangea, mountain laurel, an Emerald Gaiety.... but since it will be a focal point I'd like something that will look good the majority of the year.
The left side of the house is bigger than the right, and I am such a newbie at gardening that I don't know much, so I just tried to balance it out by just adding more of the same types that are on the right. I'm not dead set on the silver mound & brocade in the center- am open to putting in some flowers instead or even a blue star juniper.
So my major questions are:
1) what to plant on either side of the stairs?
2) how's the layout look over all? Too crowded? Too ambitious? Too ____? ;)
Here's a , which is drawn to scale (1 square = 1sqft). I am going to redefine the borders by putting in a brick edging, so I suppose the depth of the design could change if necessary. (In case you can't read the writing on the purple circle, it's a purple coneflower.)
and here's an (older) photo of the house. The yews (?) in front of the house have been pulled up, and the front door was replaced.
Another option is to extend the right side of the garden to plant all in that patch of grass between the pavement... I only hesitate b/c I'm not sure if it would be too much to take on in my first year.
Thanks in advance for reading and replying!! (I'm also posting this in the New England forum, in case any of the local gardeners can help.)