Formal landscape advice

joannembApril 18, 2010

Wondering if anyone can help me with this... The link below shows what I have so far--and it's all newly planted, so it's pretty sparse. I'd like the boxwoods to form a neat short hedge (right now they are still little round balls.) In front of the boxwood hedge (not toward the house, but toward the street) are a row of carrie ann mini hostas (green with white margin and white flowers.) Some of them are just starting to peek up now so you can't see them in the picture. The tree on the left is a Tardiva hydrangea tree and the tree on the right is a kousa white flowering dogwood. On the right side of the house, we will be planting a hedge of limelight hydrangeas (8 of them) with the first one starting at the edge of the porch.

Globemaster allium are on either sides of the house columns--in groupings of 5. The planters will be filled with white annuals like superbells and some lamium for a spiller.

The left bed is newly planted with white nancy lamium---hopefully it will cover the entire inside area around the tardiva tree kept in bounds by the boxwood hedge around it.

My question is about the bed around the dogwood (on the right.) I'd like to repeat the lamium around that area--for balance, but feel like I need something to keep it contained. I was thinking about planting a different mini hosta like blue mouse ears or teaspoons to form a circle around the tree (I know, the dreaded tree ring...but since it's kind of a part of bed and not just in the middle of the lawn I'm hoping it isn't quite so dreadful? I don't mind them personally, but I know it's seen as a faux paux right? Anyway I'm wondering, should I just continue the carrie ann hosta around this bed (would be the safe route) or should I add a different shape/color hosta for variation? I really think any more of carrie ann would be overkill, and I'd like to add a different shape.... but I don't have anywhere to 'repeat' it in the landscape, so will it just stick out like a sore thumb? Be kind of unbalanced? Your thoughts?

Lastly, I know the landscape should technically come out from the house more, but we have kids--who like the yard to play baseball etc. and I'm just trying to do what I can with the little bit of space that is my own :)

Here is a link that might be useful:

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Here are 2 more pictures. Sorry I only get the pictures to work by creating a link :(

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    Bookmark   April 18, 2010 at 8:30PM
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Right bed (dogwood) --- ideas??

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    Bookmark   April 18, 2010 at 8:32PM
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    Bookmark   April 18, 2010 at 9:42PM
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STOP! Let this grow out for a year, work on pruning the fuzz-balls into a hedge and see what happens.

The only thing I would do is add something sprawling under the tree in the last picture. Repeating the lamium would be good. I like large swathes of the same plant gbecause it's more dramatic than onesey-twosy style.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2010 at 9:26AM
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Maybe it's just me and my personal preferences, but I don't like seeing plants blocking a straight line view to the front door, as viewed from the curb. A solid hedge line in front of the house and front door (those 4 as the curve starts) basically set up foreground that pushes the house backwards into insignificance (okay a little exageratted but lessens it), and makes me look at the blank lawn.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2010 at 10:08AM
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Yes I do see what you're saying. After planting I had the same thought---not so much when I see it in person, but in a photograph. I'm hoping that other perennials will soften the look because at this point my husband would kill me if I uprooted those boxwoods. :)

On the other hand too, it does look really nice when you are coming up the walk to the front door... has a grand entrance kind of feel that I like--especially when lit at night.

Lazygardens--- yes, I probably should just stop. Wait. Be patient and see how it all grows in. That without a doubt is the hardest thing to do. I hate looking at those puny little balls. The hedge was supposed to be the bones of the design, and the perennials would soften it all and add a lush English garden feel. I'm eager to have a bit of that while I'm waiting for the boxwoods to grow in. 2 years maybe? Ugh :)

    Bookmark   April 19, 2010 at 10:55AM
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"I like large swathes of the same plant gbecause it's more dramatic than onesey-twosy style."

I forgot to add-- I do too---I love things planted in mass, monochromatic color schemes and a lush full (but neat and well balanced) look. I knew nothing at all about landscaping, but am learing that this is pretty much a "formal" style. ALSO learning, that it's ridiculously expensive to accomplish. I'd like the carrie ann mini hostas to grow together to form a continuous edge---that meant planting about 40 of them in mass. They are such a pretty variegated color with sweet white flowers (one of the few hostas with pretty ones imo) that I thought they would soften the line of the boxwoods. I like hostas and have luck with them, so I wanted them as a main player in the landscape. There is a designer-- Deborah Silver who plants these limelight hydrangeas in mass and they are so beautiful. I wish I had more room to put a hedge, but will have to settle for the side of my house at this point (sorely in need of some kind of wow factor---hoping the limelights will be it.)

    Bookmark   April 19, 2010 at 4:35PM
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Hostas can be divided in a couple of years to fill in the gaps.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2010 at 8:33PM
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Lol--there's that phrase again "a couple of years"

My husband reminded me of that fact when I purchased over 30 minis. "Rome wasn't built in a day Joanne" he says. I'm out to prove that it can be I guess eh? ;)

    Bookmark   April 19, 2010 at 9:10PM
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Put my ideas into 'paint' -- I ALMOST "stopped" lazygardens, but did add some dwarf candytuft edging in front. What do you think?

The purple are alliums, in the planters will be allysum, lamium (white nancy) and white superbells. Lamium is the light green color in the picture. Carrie Ann small hostas are the dark green edging line, and the dwarf candytuft is the white edging line in front. I didnt' add the limelight hedge because it's on the side of the house.

Only thing is the candytuft will be evergreen by the time the annuals and trees are blooming... but you get the idea.

Anything you'd change? (Anything that doesn't involve ripping out the boxwoods--my dh would kill me!) :)

    Bookmark   April 22, 2010 at 1:48PM
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Here it is:

Here is a link that might be useful: house

    Bookmark   April 22, 2010 at 2:19PM
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