Hello and thank you!
Hello! I just wanted to stop in and thank all of you who post here regularly. IÂm a new homeowner, and found the GW forums while on my quest to improve our landscaping. I have been reading through old threads for the past few weeks, and find myself extremely grateful for all of the wisdom and knowledge shared here.
WeÂve been in the house a few months, and spent the summer and fall doing mostly cleanup and removal. The property had been vacant for a while, so everything was either overgrown or dead, and full of weeds. We also have that horrible black clay soil, so IÂve been cultivating and improving the soil. I was all ready to start digging and planting in the spring, but realize now that we need to get gutters to address some drainage problems, and will need to probably regrade parts of the lawn.
We have lots of big plans for the property, but weÂve been unable to really articulate how all of that can be done to best improve both our enjoyment of it, and the aesthetics of the property. For example, the beds in the front have bugged me since day one, but I could never really say why. They were planted with some dwarf Yaupon hollies and Indian Hawthorne. Both plants are suitable for this area, and the size is appropriate for the size of the bed, but after looking at those shrubs for the gozillionth time, I finally realized that the combo makes sort of an evergreen meatball effect. TheyÂre not bad shrubs, but they could be so much better with some contrasting shapes, textures, and colors next to them. It took a lot of time and thought to finally see the overall effect, and realize what I didnÂt like about it. So it is with the rest of the place.
Anyway, after reading many, many pages about landscape design, I have decided not to jump into the spring planting frenzy. IÂm going to see about those gutters, and continue to improve our soil first. I am going to play around with some annuals, though. We really do need some color and texture -tan house with meatball shrubsÂughÂ boring, anyone? Besides, we still have plenty of other repairs and improvements to make to the rest of the place. In the meantime, weÂre going to really focus on what our needs are for the landscaping, and how best to go about that. IÂm going to keep reading this forum, and do a lot more reading and studying before we get much beyond that.
So, thanks to laag, saypoint, karenl, wellspring, duluth, nandina, and all of the other regulars who contribute so much! I feel just by reading your posts, I have gained a ton of insight, and most definitely saved a LOT of money and aggravation. IÂm sure IÂll be back with lots of questions (clean slate? ha!), and I promise not to storm off in a huff if I donÂt like the answers. Oh, and I promise not to EVER use red mulch or plant tree circles, but IÂm keeping my gnome. ;)