Newbie NEEDS Help please

originalcarlienApril 19, 2014

I have no idea where to start from. I think I will like to keep my bushes but add variety of color flowers and red mulch, maybe white beach rocks. I have never gardebed before and will love your input and ideas. Thank you so much

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You could select some my design depend on your budget.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2014 at 12:07PM
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Not THAT kind of help! Grow up and offer something useful if you're capable of doing so.

It's a small space. Unless there's some over-riding need, I'd forget the red mulch - it bleaches out to an icky pink, and the natural colored mulch is so much more attractive to begin with. The rocks are a pain; they get dirt splashed and weeds will grow through and are a chore to clear away if your taste changes.

If you're new at things, get your gardening feet wet with annuals for constant color throughout the season. The garden centers and big box stores will be loaded with a wide variety of them and they're inexpensive as plants go. There are annuals for sun, part sun, part shade depending on the direction the house faces. If you want to add a few easy care perennials to the mix, look at the salvias, nepetas, sedums, dianthus.

The bushes you have are fine and will be a backdrop for infill plants - which don't have to be all jammed together in a solid mass... mulch showing through is a nice touch.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2014 at 2:07PM
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I totally agree with duluthinbloomz. The colored mulches are gimmicky and most experienced gardeners only use the natural mulch which is not dyed. Just like normal soil looks normal, normal mulch will look right. I agree the rocks are a real pain and not a natural look at all. The existing shrubs look fine, I'm not sure how big they will get but it is a mistake to let shrubs grow up to cover the windows. So if they are flowering shrubs, typically they are shrubs that you can prune somewhat AFTER flowering and keep them a sensible size. You can make a garden of mixed annuals, just a few varieties, or make a nice statement with just one type of annual. The garden center folks will help you select one or maybe 3 kinds of plants. Don't plant them in rows but place them in a naturalistic pattern, many people find groups of (odd numbers work best) 3 or 5 same plants then a similar clump of another plant and maybe a nice ornamental garden spiky grass (not talking about a lawn grass), and repeat. So something like clumps of ornamental grass -- 3 pentas -- 3 gaillardia. Repeat. See what is out there and what colors you like mixed. Good luck. You can even throw a little cherry tomato or eggplant or pepper into the mix for edibles.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2014 at 6:15PM
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catkim(San Diego 10/24)

You are embarking on a lifelong journey of gardening. Most of us start with colorful annuals -- they are instantly rewarding and good for experimentation and education. You will eventually either want more, or less from your garden. Get a good reference book for your region, dive in, and have lots of fun.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2014 at 8:39PM
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Thank you SO much for the help. I really appreciate all the advice.i was trying to copy my neighbors work but I don't think that will be too smart lol. I saw and fell in love some annual flowers when I went to lowes today. I think I wanted to do some perenials because I didn't want to have to do it again next year lol. I will post my project up when im done. Thanks again

    Bookmark   April 22, 2014 at 12:47AM
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The completed yard is my neighbor's yard work that I'm using as inspiration.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2014 at 12:51AM
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close up of their yard

    Bookmark   April 22, 2014 at 12:52AM
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jadie88(7 MD)

It really must be gardener snobbery, but you'll see "RED MULCH!" At the top of many "garden offenses" lists. :)

I'm a minority voice here in that I started out with a perennial bed for my first foray into garden design. In fact I'm only now starting to embrace using one season wonders. So much depends on your sun exposure and climate, but I'd definitely throw in a few perennials...heuchera, ferns, and hosta if you have afternoon shade, ornamental grasses and a whole slew of options if it's sunny.

I would put an upright-growing shrub at the left curve to frame the setting and bring some dimension. Again, highly locale specific....

ninebark? Golden torch barberry (I'm not a barberry fan, but this cultivar blew me away!), Dwarf fothergilla? Loropetalum? Some dwarf evergreen like thuja? Flowering interest like dwarf lilac? A beautiful spirea...anyway, you get the picture... :)

    Bookmark   April 22, 2014 at 1:21AM
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First let me say I am no professional designer. I am just a hobby gardener. Please do not further embarrass the neighborhood with more red mulch. The red edging material is an unattractive distraction from your garden.

Your really should tell us your location and needs. For example, your neighbors' yard makes me wonder if drought tolerance should be a goal. Do you have underground sprinklers and if so does the bed get watered each time the lawn is watered. Do you know the name of the plants you have? What specifically made you so enamored with your neighbors design? If the bed goes around the corner a picture of the side would be helpful. By the way, your garden is already more attractive than your neighbors. Not that it matters.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2014 at 4:22PM
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I think you should place a SMALL flowering tree (preferably multi-trunk) at the left corner, in the center of the circular portion of the bed. But first, enlarge the circle as it's really too small (relative to house size and space) to properly contain the tree and shrubs or groundcover below. Take another look at the white rock mulch in the picture and notice the similarity it has to what a rambunctious puppy might create out of a fat roll of paper towels if left alone at home with one. It looks a lot like some kind of a litter mess. I would convert to a wood based mulch (preferably dark and fine textured) and get rid of the rocks.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2014 at 9:10PM
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littlebug5(z5 MO)

Ugh! That picture of the gray/green house with the black door is your neighbors' house that you are using for INSPIRATION??!! It includes all the elements that I try to AVOID.

It all looks plastic. Plastic orange Easter-grass mulch and fake flowers. Is that the look you are going for?

    Bookmark   April 24, 2014 at 10:52PM
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