Newbie-Landscaping for New Construction

momtothreeboysApril 10, 2012

Hello All,

I have been reading the forums for some time but have just joined recently and this is my first post.

We are building a new construction home that will be finished in about two weeks. The builder will be sodding the front yard, seeding the back and providing minimally landscaped front flower beds. They took all the trees out of the front of the lot unfortunately and I would like to plant a couple of flowering trees asap once we move. I have been thinking Crape Myrtles or Cherry Blossoms perhaps? Also we have a utility pole sticking out just next to the driveway that is an eyesore as well as an electrical box on the property line, I'd like to do some plantings to not so much cover them as distract attention from them. Any suggestions? I was thinking hydrangeas or peonies...I like cottage gardens type arrangements with a lot of flowers, not so much shrubbery and grasses.

A little more info-the house faces ENE and gets a good amount of sun in the morning to late afternoon. We are military and will be needing to rent the house out in a few years so I'd like to invest in perennials that will have minimal upkeep for future renters (I can put annuals in for color while we are in the house too). I don't mind upkeeping the garden/landscaping but don't want to plant anything that will look horrible if the renters don't attend to it. I would love any suggestions as to what to plant or design ideas, I love to garden but have so much still to learn!

Here are some pictures:

There are also now two ac units on the side of the house facing the neighbors that I'd like to hide with lattice and plantings-its very shady there except early morning. Any suggestions for privacy along that property line would be appreciated as well-there is a drainage ditch between the two houses and they cleared everything there as well.

Sorry for such a long post, thanks in advance for any advice/direction you could provide!

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Well, don't go giving your builder the stinkeye about the trees. Around here all the subdivision folks get all gooshy over the little stands of trees the builder leaves in the yard. Thanks to compaction, direct damage, and removal of the other trees that were helping to buffer the wind, the trees are down in 5 years anyhow.

If it's going to be a rental and you're expecting the renters to maintain the beds, keep the perennials to an absolute minimum.

How are the deer? (don't say "tasty")

    Bookmark   April 10, 2012 at 12:25PM
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A renter may be more easy to maintain some evergreen shrub,such as barberry,loropetalum,boxwood...

    Bookmark   April 10, 2012 at 5:47PM
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Not a landscaping reply but rather a concern...
Why are the house and driveway below street level? Have you had a heavy rain yet? Was there any water in the garage?

    Bookmark   April 10, 2012 at 8:00PM
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The driveway angles down then back up (hard to see) so there will be a line of drainage along the middle but no flooded driveway thank goodness. We back up to wetlands which is great for no neighbors along the back but I had not thought about the deer yet! My only previous serious attempt at gardening was ended abruptly all in one night by deer...

    Bookmark   April 11, 2012 at 7:07AM
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Brad Edwards

I like the loropetelum idea. I also think two evergreens anchoring the house on each side would help, its such a tall home. Maybe a large arborvitae "the dark green would go with the blue". I think evergreen dwarf hollies would go well along the bed, maybe some forsythia "yellow would look good with the blue in spring". Just some ideas.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 11:23PM
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bahia(SF Bay Area)

I'd also suggest it might be more pragmatic to use evergreen or deciduous flowering shrubs for the color rather than perennials if you have rental/maintenance concerns down the road. Most of the more common perennials will need regular dividing and replanting at least every 2 to 3 years, although some such as Daylilies are less demanding. If you have deer, definitely stick with stuff they leave alone. Beyond flowering shrubs, you might also consider shrubs with different foliage tones to give year round interest without all the work. I'd suggest giving all shrubs enough space at initial planting to avoid the need for pruning to control size; again it will make it easier for renters to maintain. You might also consider using bulbs which naturalize in your area and come back each year, planted within low growing ground covers to give seasonal color. I'd expect things like Muscari species, Daffodils, Crinums, Lycoris, Ipheion and Hymenocallis would all do well in your area. Some interesting evergreen foliage shrubs if hardy in your area might include Camellia sasanqua, Daphne odora marginata, Osmanthus heterophyllus 'Goshiki', dwarf Ilex cultivars, etc.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2012 at 9:36PM
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Thank you for your help and suggestions!

    Bookmark   April 14, 2012 at 3:27PM
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