My front porch and need new plant ideas

WonmoKangApril 17, 2012

Hello Everyone,

I am in need of some help.

I am a newbie and the men who never had any interested in the plants.

I bought my first house Sep, 2011 and my house looked like this.

I know nothing about the gardening, but it looks ugly.

So, I started with side wall of the house.

I planted 7 of Double Knockout Roses from Home Depot and transplanted the plants from front porch to side wall of my house.

I realized that there is too much space between the wall and the roses. So I did it again.

I finished the side and I need to plant something on the front porch.

This porch became to this.

However, I have no idea to pick right one.

The front porch is facing north and in full shade even in 2pm today.

I took a look at the neighbor's house and these plants looked nice to me. But I do not know what kind of plants those are.

Do you have some idea for my porch? I want to have some full bloom hedge plants.

Please give me some advises.

Thank you for reading,

Wonmo Kang.

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I hate to tell you, but in your 3rd picture I think the roses were actually a little too close to the house. Now, they are WAY TOO CLOSE! Placing their centers at 30 or 36" away from the wall would be better. The hostas would be better used in blocks rather than in lines (which are in front of other lines.) Do I see English ivy growing on the house in the first picture? Even though you've removed it, be vigilant about fending off its return and keeping it off the wall. I love English ivy, but on a house it's asking for trouble. You'll need to define the shrub beds clearly, separating them from the grass, and install mulch. This will help dress things up and in controlling weeds

Your picture is too dark and too far from the plant so I can't guaranty, but I think the red flowering hedge is azaleas. They'll only bloom strong for a couple of weeks.

You don't have a picture that shows the front of the house including the right portion of the front yard taken from a distance. It would be helpful to have. I sense the need for a small flowering tree there providing a sense of shelter and protection on entering your private sidewalk. Any thoughts if such a tree is desired?

    Bookmark   April 17, 2012 at 6:00PM
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I selected some plants,they may work under your condition.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2012 at 6:47PM
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    Bookmark   April 17, 2012 at 6:55PM
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To Yardvaark,
Thank you for reply.
I think need to replant roses again.
I am worried that roses are ok with frequently replanted.
I will take another photo from distance.
I am not considering plant any tree.

To designoline6
Thank you for the pictures. It looks nice.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2012 at 8:47PM
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I would go to neighbor & knock on door & tell them you so admire their beautiful red flowers & ask what they are! You might make a new friend & I don't think they would be upset. Most gardeners love it when someone likes what they have done!! Something as tall as the top of your steps(like a small bush) would soften the look on both sides of your porch area. If that doesn't seem like a good idea than get a couple of nice pots with a plant in each to brighten up entrance to the house. Not much room there but maybe something that could trail over the edge of porch would soften the look. Like your brick house!

    Bookmark   April 17, 2012 at 10:38PM
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It looks like the previous owner has laid rock mulch in the front bed, leaving you the "privilege" of raking it out!
Definitely edge the beds - right now, the lawn is endangering your hostas. Try typing "edging" in the forum search - there have been many discussions here over which edging is best.
With your shade and likely acidic soil (neighbor's azaleas growing well), you have good conditions for many evergreen shrubs, and one possible location for them would be next to staircase, so that they hide the concrete foundation. Again, check the mature size of plants and give them room; choose something that doesn't get taller than 4-5ft.
Hydrangeas would look good in the shade, and I'd use some plants with white or bronze variegated foliage in front.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2012 at 4:28AM
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Wonmo, here's a suggestion. I don't think you have enough room under the window for azaleas so it uses but one on the downhill side of your stoop. At the far left is a bigleaf Hydrangea surrounded by Hosta. and in front, both side of step, the Hosta continues. I'd use all one leaf type and find a different place for the other type of Hosta.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2012 at 8:18AM
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Hello all,
Today, it is raining in Virginia.
I replanted roses and hostas. Thank you, Yardvaark :)
Here are some pictures.

Do you know what kind of those two roses from the first picture?

Thank you for all advises.
And this is another picture of front.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2012 at 12:16PM
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Yardvaark, thank you for the picture.
What is the name of the plant on porch? I cannot read. (M?dran??a Macromyllea?)
What do you think about planting hydrangea?
Do you think it will survive in shade?
There is sunlight 5pm to 7pm at porch.
Wonmo Kang.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2012 at 12:42PM
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To sunnyca
I will try to ask them. Thank you :)

To timbu
I research Hydrangea and it looks beautiful.
What kind of hydrangea do you recommend?

Ps. I hate those rocks.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2012 at 12:54PM
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The roses you've moved farther away from foundation look better.

The large plant at far left in my picture is Hydrangea macrophylla... Bigleaf Hydrangea. 'Nikko Blue' is a nice one and available many places. But there are many others, too. It will grow fine in that location. Adaptable to wide-ranging light conditions.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2012 at 1:16PM
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Hi Yardvaark,

There are Nikko Blue and Endless Summer in my mind.
Which one will be better shrub you think?
and which one will be survived in my porch better?

Thank you very much your the advice. It's very nice of you to take the time to answer my question so fully.


    Bookmark   April 19, 2012 at 7:57AM
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I don't know your climate well enough to make precise suggestions. Annabelle, Oakleaf and Aspera, just to name a few.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2012 at 9:35AM
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Your question "which is better" is essentially about personal preference. Neither will be wrong. You might research each in greater depth--here and on the Dave's Garden website--and see what others say about it so you could get a feel for which appeals to you. I like the color intensity of Nikko.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2012 at 9:57AM
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natal(Louisiana 8b)

Hydrangeas are beautiful, but they're not evergreen. Maybe not the best choice for the front of your home. How about a camellia? Shishi Gashira grows to a height of about 4'. What zone do you live in? Can you grow gardenias?

Here is a link that might be useful: Shishi Gashira

    Bookmark   April 19, 2012 at 10:48AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Another vote to do some type of edging as soon as you can, you'll be so glad later.

In your last pic, if it were me, the urge to make a separate bed to the left of the sidewalk where the grass isn't growing anyway would be irresistible. Likely you can't really see any of your plants from inside, that would be a spot you could see out your windows. Even connecting it to the existing bed left of the porch would be good. Something fragrant and cheery to pass by along the walkway. I would use a curving line that's easy to mow along, no sharp corners.

A few of those rocks, a little pile at the end of the downspout-director might be a good thing to do with some of them, so you don't get a washout there.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2012 at 12:00PM
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I would go for a more traditional look in the front by using low growing boxwoods, rhodendron, and maybe keeping several of the hostas. I think the beds should start at the same point on either side of the sidewalk. The side yard needs the bed to be more defined and trenched so that there is a clear separation between the bed and grass. You have a very nice home that could have a wow landscape appearance with a little more work.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2012 at 12:17PM
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Here is today's update.
It took about 6 hours to finish.
This is edging, right?

    Bookmark   April 20, 2012 at 7:28PM
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You have been working hard. The roses look better moved away from the wall!

The bed looks much better that you have created the trench edge, but I think the wiggly edge where the grass dips into the bed would look better straightened out. To me that dip in the bed looks contrived because everything around it (the house, roses, sidewalk, street) is straight.

It wouldn't hurt to add a little more mulch at the trench edge so the bed did not look so deep.

If you can get the grass looking a little better, then EVERYTHING will look better.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2012 at 1:07PM
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I agree with Yardvaark about straightening the edge of the bed. What kind of mulch is that that is so dark? I think something more natural looking might look better (if you're going to add more mulch on top there).

    Bookmark   April 22, 2012 at 2:46AM
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I will make the bed straight and add some more mulch soon.
Thank you for advise.
I bought two plants of 3Gal Endless Summer (Home Depot and Rowe's do not have Nikko Blue in my area) and 5 small size of hinode giri azaleas. I will post some pictures of front once I finish.
Thank you.

To almondstriations,
I bought Scott's black mulch. I thought black mulch makes red roses look better.
Everything about the garden is new to me.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2012 at 3:39AM
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Figure that each shrub should be planted 30 to 36" apart (measured center to center). Not sure where you're putting everything, but you might have too many plants. You should leave some space behind hydrangea to access hose. Plant the Hydrangea (its center) 3' to 4' off the wall with spigot.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2012 at 10:40AM
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Here are some pictures of today.
I planted 2 months ago and roses and hydreangeas grow so fast!
I need some space for my hydreangeas and azelea.
Do I need to remove the hostas and give them some space?

    Bookmark   June 16, 2012 at 6:59PM
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In short, yes. You've got too much stuff too close together in that front bed. The azaleas are too close to the hydrangeas and the hostas are too close to the azaleas. That being said, they're probably ok for the summer -- we're headed into the hot and typcially dry season around here now and it's not a great time to transplant. In the fall, move the azaleas. You can either move them forward to where the hostas are (and move the hostas elsewhere) or you can leave the hostas where they are and move the azaleas somewhere else.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2012 at 11:57AM
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karinl(BC Z8)

There are different ways to accomplish the same objectives, depending on your taste and what kind of garden work you like to do. If you like a densely-planted look, you can cut many plants back every year (usually right after they bloom, but look this up) so that they stay within boundaries. If you like a more spaced-out look, then you could reduce the plant density. You could perhaps move some of the azaleas to be among the roses? Even then, the plants will need pruning to continue to look nice - and because even for more space, they can get too big!

I agree not to move shrubs at this time of year, but what I would suggest you do with the hostas while they are in leaf is separate out the green from the variegated leaves if you want to keep those as separate plants. Not sure how this happened - either you have a variegated plant that is "reverting" to green, or you got some root balls of one mixed in with root balls of another. You can do this in late summer once there is some prospect of rain, or if you do it earlier, be sure to water when you replant. Hostas are pretty tough plants anyway.

Karin L

    Bookmark   June 17, 2012 at 2:29PM
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