Front garden beds help

nadine33May 4, 2014

Looking to work on foundation garden beds and mailbox garden bed. I was going to expand the mailbox bed due to the grass being destroyed next to it when the curb was installed. Other forum suggests keeping it small and working on foundation beds. Any advice?

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Left bed

    Bookmark   May 4, 2014 at 6:49AM
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Right bed....that's a dead hydrangea in the furthest corner that was planted last year.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2014 at 6:51AM
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    Bookmark   May 4, 2014 at 6:52AM
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Imagine how the conifers are going to look swelled up larger ... incompatible, I think, with future good looks. Would ditch all the existing plantings and create a look more like this:

    Bookmark   May 4, 2014 at 9:22AM
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The house is "pulled back" as if it's afraid of the street, because of the huge expanse of lawn.

I would expand the foundation bed at the left forward, and the mailbox bed towards the house until they met in the middle, eliminating that lawn area. Use a mix of evergreen and deciduous with an underplanting of various perennials. A small tree would be nice, especially if it flowers.

And make a better path between front walk and driveway. Where you have dead grass along the drive indicates you need a paving strip for people getting out of cars there.

Angle the bed to the right of the walk from the light to the corner of the house, or swoop it in a curve that uses that small tree as one end anchor

    Bookmark   May 4, 2014 at 9:36AM
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yardvaark...what kind of shrubs/plants would you suggest based on the pic?
Lazygardens, the house to the street is at least 50 feet, doesn't that seem to much space to have no lawn? Or maybe if someone had a pic for me to understand better. I agree the stepping stones aren't ideal...they came with the house. What exactly is a paving strip?


    Bookmark   May 4, 2014 at 10:39AM
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Nadine, instead of me suggesting plants, why don't you make suggestions based on what grows in your area and appeals to you? I've revised the drawing with letters marking each plant type, with suggested plant heights. "A" might be a lilac, for example. What would you put?

This post was edited by Yardvaark on Mon, May 5, 14 at 9:44

    Bookmark   May 4, 2014 at 11:46AM
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So here in the northeast I typically see rhododendrons, boxwood, yews, azaleas, holly, eunonymous and hydrangeas..and the arborvitae. I drove around today and most foundation plantings are fairly similar. This was installed by the builders landscaper so while it's basic, it's typical for what's around here.
Personally I don't like prickly yews ( at least I think they're yews). We have 2 small azaleas one on each side which I like. I really like the blue hydrangea look too. Of course I'd like to add some flowers but I think I need to focus on evergreens at the moment as it looks pretty bare in the non summer months.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2014 at 6:17PM
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Yews are not prickly. Those are probably junipers.

So ... of all those things you mention, Nadine, what appeals to you for what position (A-H)? (And you didn't mention any small trees or groundcover.) You need to convert ideas into a plan in order to make a landscape installation work.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2014 at 8:24PM
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dekeoboe(7B NC)

Yardvaark - I just wanted to say that the two photos you provided are very helpful. I like how the heights in the second one explain how you designed the landscaping.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2014 at 9:27PM
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Nadine33 - Yarkvaark gave you great advice and the scale and proportions really complement your home. What is the orientation? North, South? That will have a great bearing on what plant material will flourish. I'm in the northeast also so I understand the fickle weather. Print off a copy of Yarkvaarks design and go to a local garden center. They can make suggestions. Make sure you use a mix of deciduous and non deciduous plantings, so you have some structure and winter interest. Prep the bed by amending the soil, which will raise it and will look much better. A nice clean edge between the bed and grass will go a long way. Good luck.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2014 at 5:07AM
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Good idea to seek recommendations from a local garden center. But, N, it would be interesting (and coming full circle for the thread) to report what plants you decide to use for what positions.

I revised the drawing to show your existing flowering tree grown out so it can be seen that there is balance. Other things are shown mature size as well.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2014 at 9:49AM
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It's going to be a little while before I'm able to do this planting. I'll try to post what I do though. Thanks for the info.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2014 at 9:30PM
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I think many are interested more in what you're PLANNING, than the planting.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2014 at 9:40PM
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ok here goes.
I really would prefer not to dig up all my current shrubs so I was trying to think how to work with them. I really like the look of the blue hydrangea next to the stairs. I would like to extend the garden bed a bit down the walkway. Again would like to get rid of stepping stones, but that probably won't happen, so trying to work with them. Deepen the beds a little. Get rid of the funky green shrub in the midlle of the right side bed. replace with deep green round arborvitae? Add in some rhododenron on either side and maybe one on the left side to match the right. I added in some hostas as I have pretty good luck with them, and then some yellow perennial splashed around too. I added in a couple astilbe on each side as I really like them also. Tried to stick with a blue, pink yellow color scheme as I Think that goes well with the house? I stuck a butterfly bush in the far right corner as a place holder as I don't know what would go well there? Would repeating the blue hydrangea be bad? I think this type of design is something I could do. HAven't touched the tree or mailbox yet. :)

    Bookmark   May 8, 2014 at 2:17PM
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Left bed

    Bookmark   May 8, 2014 at 2:19PM
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