Tropical ring

mj05March 15, 2013

My mature spruce tree on the front lawn died.... IâÂÂd like to have âÂÂtropical ringâ in this place: Musa basjoo (I grow lots of them), windmill and other hardy palms....and lots and lots of color.....and water feature (??): is anybody willing to help me with this design?

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yardvaark

probably someone will. You just need to post the basic information about site conditions--including pictures--and tell what your objectives are.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 8:03AM
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yardvaark

probably someone will. You just need to post the basic information about site conditions--including pictures--and tell what your objectives are.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 8:04AM
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Suzi AKA DesertDance

What kind of water feature? How big? Like do you want a waterfall and a pond surrounded by the tropics?

How will this fit with your current landscape?

Suzi

    Bookmark   March 17, 2013 at 4:54PM
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mj05

As you can see, âÂÂringâ will be on the right side of the driveway. It is a triangle (trapezoid to be exact) 18x12â (long x wide). Waterfall?? Yes! However, I do not think we have enough room for the pond...

    Bookmark   March 19, 2013 at 3:12PM
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yardvaark

When you say "ring" do you mean landscape bed/"island" such that it is a planted area surrounded by lawn on all sides? What landscape goals are we trying to accomplish with this endeavor?

    Bookmark   March 19, 2013 at 3:22PM
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mj05

Yes, âÂÂbed / islandâÂÂ.
The main objective is to âÂÂtake outâ empty space (left over after cutting 30 feet spruce tree) but also to put my imagination to work âº
Yes, I can dream, I can dig however creating is a different story....

    Bookmark   March 20, 2013 at 10:45AM
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yardvaark

You describe a specific shape and size, but it is not clear from the photo where it is. And it's not clear why it must be that shape and size. The objective ("to 'take out' empty space...") seems little different than just "owning or having an object" ... as though it is unimportant exactly where that item "resides." I suggest it's beneficial to use a landscape bed to enhance your property, and therefore it's siting makes a difference. Is your selected size and shape in the optimum location?

I've seen many water features created by homeowners and it's not uncommon for them to be a liability to the landscape rather than an asset. I suggest that if you wish to have a water feature that it be of high quality and to the proper scale (sized to the property's space.) "High quality" covers a lot of ground, but it implies that there must be some level of sophistication to its design. It's safer to err on the side of simplicity, such as a small, quiet pool. There are already too many water features that look as if a truck dumped off a fresh load of rubble and now someone needs to clean it up. (Most homeowner-built stone stream-and-waterfall units look like this to me.) I think it's better to stick with plantings and ditch the water feature if there's not time and money to make a really nice one. That's not to say a fairly nice one couldn't be built without a lot of expense. These days, one might even find a decent, ready-made, feature "off the rack" if they're looking for something on the small side. I've seen some not too shabby eternally pouring jars and overflowing vases that seem well suited to small spaces.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2013 at 1:03PM
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mj05

Thank you Yardvaark!! Well, you proved in fact that I need professional help âº
As I said before I would like to have island/bed filled with tropical plants which I am already growing in my garden ...but honestly itâÂÂs all I know at this point âº
Total size of this part of my front lawn is approximately 200 square feet but because trees on the road side first 10 �" 12 ft. are in the shade. The rest (size, shape, plants, yes/no water feature) is just up to âÂÂcreative mindsâÂÂ.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2013 at 5:08PM
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mj05

Bump
Help please

    Bookmark   March 26, 2013 at 9:43PM
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yardvaark

Seems like you could use some visual "insulation" from the neighbor at the right so I'd consider placing the bed near the R. property line. A bed needs some tall material. I'd place that near the back of the bed (as seen from your point of view.) Here's a loose sketch that illustrates generally what I'm talking about, You could adjust to suit the conditions. Fill the rest of the bed with material that is shorter in height, shortest at the front. Keep the shape of the bed very simple.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2013 at 10:53PM
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mj05

Insulation! ThatâÂÂs the word! :) Thank you very much Yardvaark! I have Musa basjoo (they will grow 8-10 feet in first year), potted palms (6-7 feet), and quite a few hardy but small palms (windmill, dwarf palmetto, pindo etc.), birds of paradise. Is any chance you could guide how to actually plant / space them? Also, maybe.... just maybe we can add âÂÂless tropicalâ plants to add more color and variety to, âÂÂspiceâ it up?

    Bookmark   March 27, 2013 at 1:54PM
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yardvaark

If you want help with specifics, you should post a to-scale plan view sketch of the right half of the yard and add some photos that "explain" that portion of the yard better. I'd suggest some overlapping pans taken from the positions shown here. (Don't convert them to panoramic photos.)

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 10:18AM
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mj05

Yardvaark,
This part of my front lawn resembles two (one on âÂÂthe topâ of other) trapezoids:
- base (parallel to the road) is 50 ft. wide
- Blue arrows mark heights
- red arrows mark the width
I called it âÂÂtropical ringâ but size/shape is opened to your imagination.
I do apologize for my âÂÂdrawingâ skills.
Please let me know if i missed something.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2013 at 4:07PM
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yardvaark

the white fence that shows behind the van ... where is it in your plan diagram? And the left boundary of your diagram ... that's the drive? The right edge is the property line?

What's the prognosis for any of the plant material you're proposing getting taller than the banana? Please refresh my memory ... I thought Indiana was mentioned, but I don't see it now. Where are you, again? As this is a venture into unknown territory, you might create a list of the realistic expected plant material heights.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2013 at 5:40PM
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mj05

Yardvaark,
White fence is 50 ft. back, it divides front yard from back
Rear of the van âÂÂmarksâ top of my diagram
Diagram is the area IâÂÂm trying to âÂÂdevelopâÂÂ
Your first drawing (on the picture) centers âÂÂringâ in very good position, however it can be bigger and move toward street. Also, it doesnâÂÂt have to be âÂÂroundâÂÂ
Driveway is on the left and property line on the right
IâÂÂm in zone 6b (central NJ)
Bananas growing fast and vigorously and my windmill palms will need at least few years to compete but I was thinking (if you agree) about bamboo (?)

    Bookmark   April 9, 2013 at 7:14PM
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yardvaark

fence is 50' back from what ... road? (which would make it within the diagram shown. But it's not drawn or marked.) You show 9' dimension at top of plan. Is fence farther "up"/back than that? Are the two street trees within the lower portion of the blue area?

    Bookmark   April 9, 2013 at 10:04PM
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mj05

Below actual blueprint:
- Red arrow points to the location of the fence (50 ft. from the top of blue figure)
- Blue arrow: top of my blue diagram/plan (9 ft. mark)
- Orange: center of the area in question
And yes, trees are at the bottom of blue area.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2013 at 12:30AM
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yardvaark

here's a thought on a proposed bed location. The orange arrow seems too far forward to me. The tallest material would be at the back side of the bulbous ends. (two different plant types.)

    Bookmark   April 12, 2013 at 10:06PM
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