Help with front garden plant choice please

descoutFebruary 27, 2010


I have a front garden area I want to plant. I am looking for some blooming flowers. Perennials would be nice as I do not want to plant every year. Also if I could get a variety in there to keep some blooming for most of the year. I was looking at putting a bigger plant/bush in the back and keep it about 3 ft tall and then put smaller flowers around the front of it up to the sidewalk.

The area is in full sun in afternoon. I am located in zone 7. I have posted pictures of the spot. It is located in the front of the house just to the left of the door if you are looking at the house. I am just looking for some plant ideas, I will do some research to see how they grow here. Thanks

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karinl(BC Z8)

Doing what you suggest will create a dark well in your entry way. Is that really what you want? If this were my entryway, I think I would want to make it feel more open, not more closed.


    Bookmark   February 27, 2010 at 5:07PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

It's not a big area - what are the plants there already - the ones with the reddish foliage? How big will they get? Maybe the best idea is to just fill the area with appropriately colored annuals while the existing shrubs fill in - or will whatever is there got too big and need to be removed?

    Bookmark   February 27, 2010 at 5:46PM
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In response to KarinL

I am not sure quite what you are meaning. The plants that are there are about as tall as I want to go. I guess I am not following the "dark well" since it is already higher in the back than in the front the way it is set up. If you have any suggestions to open it up I would appreciate it since I would like to keep it open as well. Thanks

    Bookmark   February 27, 2010 at 6:03PM
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In response to WoodyOak

I am not too sure what the red plants are that are there. I was thinking about replacing them and starting over. I am not sure if these ones get big but I have seen ones that are similiar that are bigger. Just not sure if they are the same.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2010 at 6:10PM
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That red plant looks like one of the more brightly colored Nandinas.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2010 at 6:37PM
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I agree with esh that the red plants look like Nandinas. Depending on the variety they could get pretty big. It might be worth it to move them now, while they're still smallish.

You could try replacing them with Shasha daisy (white daisy), Black Eyed Susan (yellow daisy) or Gaillardia (red and yellow daisy). They all bloom pretty much summer to frost and are good in full sun. You wouldn't need very many--that space isn't very large. 3 would probably be plenty.

You might think about underplanting whatever you put in there with daffodils or other bulbs, they're so beautiful and it would be nice to have them so close to the front door!

    Bookmark   February 27, 2010 at 8:38PM
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karinl(BC Z8)

I was responding to "I was looking at putting a bigger plant/bush in the back and keep it about 3 ft tall"

I think a three foot tall shrub back there would close in the porch.

My instinct would be to carpet the area with low plants. Annuals, perennials, or subshrubs like cistus might work. Actually irises would work well, because they tend to spread so annoyingly that this confined area would be perfect for them. But be warned that most flowering plants have an all-too fleeting appeal and a very long off-season for something that you're going to look at every day close-up. It really depends on what you want this area to do for YOU.

Then I would put some sort of a vignette on the porch - maybe a wicker chair and a big vase or planter, or a bench to put your bags down while you open the door...

But I also think I would be tempted to put a small tree in this bed. It's a shame it's such a small bed, I'm not sure you can get far enough from the house, but something columnar or very upright might work and you can get a lot of kinds hat will grow well in full sun. A tree would eventually shade your entry a little, and you can get one that flowers if you want.

You have a lot of room to put taller plants and/or flowers outside the curve of the sidewalk where they wouldn't render the porch claustrophobic, and also where the meatballs now are.


    Bookmark   February 27, 2010 at 9:06PM
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tibs(5/6 OH)

The little evergreen at the corner of the sidewalk and driveway needs to be moved. It is going to outgrow that spot, even if it is a slow growing dwarf. It is going to get in the way of opening car doors and foot traffic. What about creating a bigger flower bed out into the lawn then the path from drive to house will bisect it?

    Bookmark   February 28, 2010 at 10:28AM
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Thanks all keep them coming!!
Karinl I see what you are meaning now. I actually had looked at putting a small tree there as well but ended up thinking it was too small of a spot. So I am looking at putting one more out in the open in front of the house.

tibs: I am already planning on moving the tree...Thanks

Puffie: thanks for the ideas. I like how you were specific. It gives the amaeture like my self something to work with.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2010 at 1:47PM
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