How to create bed near foundation under eaves with no gutters

yorkie14April 20, 2013

I need help with trying to figure out how and what to make the front of my old home more appealing. This area is right up against the foundation of the house. The pounding of the water running off of the house makes it impossible to even have grass. Also, this area is right under a huge magnolia tree that shades most of the area. Any tips on how to start anything in this area would be wonderful. I have many, around 40. large boulders and different types of rocks that I am taking from a waterfall in the backyard that I would like to incorporate. I kill everything I have ever planted, so need something extremely easy. Do I use all gravel. Do i need to make a trench between gravel and foundation? Completely dumb when it comes to all of this!

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I don't think planting right up against a house is a good idea for any number of reasons- they plants get no rain which in turn means they always get spider mites.
It leaves you no room to service the house- painting, window washing, any number of other routine chores.
It encourages bugs to invade your home.

Best to stay at least two or three feet away from the house for your "foundation plants," and that is taking into consideration the mature sizes of any plants.
Are gutters perhaps in your future?
They really help manage water issues.

If you give us a full view of the home from the street (showing the entire setting) I'm sure tons of ideas will be presented to you to help you improve your curb appeal. The way the house sits and what direction it faces are bits of info that will be very helpful as well.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2013 at 5:01PM
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I have a problem with the area surrounding my entire house, not quite the same as yours, mine floods in the back even with gutters and grass can't take it but weeds can and they won't go away. my decision, that we haven't done yet, is to cut in approx 1.5 feet out, and either stone or lay a crap load of mulch down to stop weeds and place large potted plants around it just so it doesn't look so bare.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 3:40AM
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Yorkie, would you consider having gutters installed? I haven't priced them but know how great it is to have them.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 7:33AM
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deviant-deziner(Oh zone)

I would be inclined to do a cost comparison of installing gutters vs. installing a landscape that will solve the problem that you are having.
While addressing the problem I would also examine any drainage issues .

One simple way of solving the problem of mud splash to the house is to install a clean dirt free surface with small rocks / pebbles.

Attached is a photo of a modern set-up showing what I have described above.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 1:43PM
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I will go inhead and install gutters in this area. Would love any input on what to plant in this area if I go ahead and take care of drainage issues and put down small rocks. This area is shaded by huge magnolia tree and only gets west sun.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 7:11PM
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Yorkie, we are all 'dumb' at one time. If you truly have some interest, you can certainly learn.

You're in Louisiana? What part of the state?

How about posting a pic of the boulders you mentioned. I'm thinking if you're in the southern part of the state you could do a simple effective planting of aspidistra and maybe groupings of ferns which thrive there. If you drive around and see things you like but can't identify, try to find someone to ask.

Hope you end up with something you're proud of.

Rosie, in GA

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 7:34PM
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Hi Rosie! I live in Southwest LA....25 miles from Texas border and 45 miles from coast. I really love tropical plants but don't quite understand the sunlight/water thing obviously because I kill everything. And I do love ferns. Tried to upload more photos to show area and the rocks but for some reason it will not allow me to?

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 7:55PM
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Yorkie, start tomorrow asking questions at a local nursery and ask your neighbors who have the same exposure you have. It's high time you quit the 'kill everything' cycle you've been in. Then call a good gutter installer. Very little can survive happily with the deluges y'all have.

Prime time for planting is now, or as soon as possible. Looking forward to your updates.


    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 8:09PM
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