Landscaping help for front of brick house

MichiganGardenMomMay 8, 2011

We took out a few overgrown evergreen bushes last year and now we are ready to put in new landscaping, but don't really know where to start! We live in Michigan, Zone 5, and would like something with winter and summer interest and, as you can see from my pictures, I do like some flowers. The previous owner put in the driveway and walkway-which give us a good start. Some of the plants that are already in are (from left to right): Japanese Maple, Spirea (5) and a wild ornamental cherry on the right. On the other side of the sidewalk in the "island" is a crab-apple and day-lillies. Our house faces Northwest and gets a fair amount of shade during the day due to the large maple tree in the front yard--mostly late afternoon sun. Any suggestions would be great!!

Here is a link that might be useful: Pictures of house

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lpinkmountain(5b/6a border PA)

Your house looks great and already has nice landscaping. Are you saying you want to add more plantings in front of the house? If so, I'm thinking you will want to widen the bed, because you don't want stuff right up against the house, even small stuff. You want room to walk behind it, at least a little bit. You might want to make a bed on the other side of the brick walk and extend it across the house. I love gardening so I'd extend the side bed around the tree, and plant a shade garden there. Easier to mow around and the grass isn't doing too well there anyway. But don't overplant or overmulch the area around the tree's roots, or it will have a hard time. A little bit will be OK, no more than an inch or so of mulch. Below is a link to a wonderful article I share with my horticuluture students about planting under trees.

Here is a link that might be useful: Planting under trees

    Bookmark   May 9, 2011 at 8:01AM
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karinl(BC Z8)

Your pictures show only the area right around the house, suggesting that by "landscaping" you are referring only to foundation planting. Yet it looks as if you have more yard to work with, and the big picture is made by the whole lot.

See how the deciduous plants near the house are all leaning out? They are chasing the light, and most deciduous and herbaceous plants will do this to some extent. Evergreen plants do grow upright even near walls.


    Bookmark   May 9, 2011 at 2:13PM
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lpinkmountain(5b/6a border PA)

Oy, I just realized that the maple tree in your yard is a norway maple. They are soil nutrient hogs, so hard to get anything to grow well under them. There are a few things that can make the grade though, if you're really into it.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2011 at 3:13PM
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Thank you for the wonderful comments. I have thought about extending around the maple--there are alot of exposed roots and little grass there. I checked out the link on planting under trees--quite helpful. It suggested perennials and you said you thought it would be tough since it is a Norway Maple. Do you think I could plant some impatiens? If I put a little dirt on top, away from the trunk, it wouldn't disturb the roots or bury them too much.

Karin--I guess I am talking about foundation planting. We had Junipers, Holly, and a pine that was as tall as the bottom of the roof that died. We took out the Holly and cut back the Juniper bushes. They were so overgrown! But now I miss the green in the winter. I also wondered if I should add something with some height? Or would some rhododendrons or azeleas work for green? I just can't "see" it. I think the picture is deceiving, there should be plenty of room to add plantings between the house and Spirea.


    Bookmark   May 10, 2011 at 1:49PM
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