how many design elements did i slaughter

ymaddox(ky 6)May 9, 2007

Thought i would just post pics of my flower gardens and front yard to see how many designing elements i just completely slaughtered :). It's quite a interesting forum here so i am curious to see what others think. Any idea's on what to add to or take away from?

Here is a link that might be useful: my yard and flower gardens

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karinl(BC Z8)

Well, it's hard to say from your photos because the design isn't really in the flowerbed layout or plant selection... but you haven't read the threads on red mulch or on planting around things (perimeteritis), have you :-)?

Even if the photos did show a more comprehensive view, I think it is as hard to judge a landscape as it is to advise on a landscape if you don't know the particulars of the personality, lifestyle, gardening and maintenance capacity, and expectations involved.

My only sort of design thought is about the placement of the trees in the front yard; one of them seems too central and blocks a key view axis to me.


    Bookmark   May 10, 2007 at 1:38AM
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lindasewandsew(So Cal 9)

Hi, Your yard looks very nice to me. I hang out over on the Garden Junk forum and probably won't be any help for your design, because over there, we just keep adding stuff for the fun of it. I'm wondering what that nice red mulch is. All I ever see here in So Cal is bark or cocoa mulch. Thanks, Linda

    Bookmark   May 10, 2007 at 3:37AM
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One thing that stands out is the lack of strong vertical accents in the front beds; everything just seems like it's creeping along the ground...Something bold and tall would really help. Also, I think you would benefit from some evergreen interest.

Also, the tree circles are just not my taste at all, but if you like that look you need to make them much bigger. Please don't make a volcano around the tree trunk (there is a lot available on this website about the perils of this). If you want those mulched areas make them larger and cut in an edge around them to separate them from the lawn so they don't seem as if they "landed" on the lawn.

Your plants look extremely healthy and well-cared for. You obviously know how to garden, so researching into basic design...balance, size, shape...and so forth will put you on the road to lovely landscape.


    Bookmark   May 10, 2007 at 8:17AM
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catkim(San Diego 10/24)

A few photos show a narrow mulched bed along a fence going: space, rock, space, plant, space, rock, space, plant, space, rock, space, etc. Lined up like a parade. This appears cold and unfriendly. Your rocks and plants need to make friends and get cozy! May I suggest: rock, rock, rock (in a tight group, not a line), plant, space, plant, plant, plant (again, grouped, not lined up), space, rock, rock, plant, space plant, plant, rock, space, rock, rock, rock, plant, etc. Play around with the groupings. Think of them as groups having a conversation, rubbing elbows, patting each other on the shoulder. Diversity is good for plants, too: some tall, some round, some spiky. Oh, and bury the rocks 1/3 to 1/2 into the soil so they don't look like they are planning to roll on down the road later in the afternoon. Hope you are enjoying gardening.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2007 at 1:07PM
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ymaddox(ky 6)

i actually think the mulch is a dyed mulch and we got it from our local gravel quarry. thanks for all the advice on my garden. I am not much into tall plants in my beds but maybe just because i do not understand how to do it that way...what kind of flowers would you consider to add to the bed, maybe a few examples will stimulate a idea for me. If you notice also things are spread out to as i have this thing about organization...dont ask me why i just dont like everything on top of one another, is that weird? I like cottage gardens but they have to be very well organized...just weird i guess. I may definately consider extending the beds around the tree's...although only the one has the volcano look...the other is actually a bit bigger...i just wanted a rose there and so i just did not have the heart to mulch everything else and not that :). the rocks in the rose bed along the deck are not all staying there i just planted all those on tuesday...they are actually for another spot i have not completed yet....there used to be other things in that bed but i got the roses on clearance and thought that was a great place for them. The big ones on the ends are wonderful though to keep the garden hose out of the bed when i am pulling it around, so a few will stay. i never even realized that bed showed, i am new to photobucket and thought i was only posting the one album, my raised vegetable bed and all are on there oops :). thanks again for the advice.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2007 at 11:27PM
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With no apology for pedantry the elements are the things so as I didn't look I will go with kim's take that, unless you built mulch volcanoes you have not murdered any materials. The shoeless person suggests that it is the 'principles' that you may have slaughtered and may be what you meant in the first place.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2007 at 5:03PM
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You want honest? You have slaughtered every single design element there is, broken all the rules. I can't even begin to say what is wrong. Suffice it to say that there is nothing right at all. If you want to DIY your own landscape design, at least read a few books on basic landscape design principles before you start. Best fix - rip it up and hire a design professional. That red mulch - there ought to be a law against it. Meow!

    Bookmark   May 12, 2007 at 11:36PM
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ymaddox(ky 6)

inkognito i am going to go ahead and admit it...i had to look up pedantry to see what it meant :). learn design and broaden my vocabulary =P. i have learned alot from these forums...i have a new raised vegetable bed, renewed a interest in houseplants, and learning different methods of starting plants, and the list goes on and on. lots of great information here. i can say i don't think so much about proper design element when i am playing in my yard...i say playing because i love to do it. i just think about what i want and what is going to make me happy and i do it, that by no means does not mean i'm not open to suggestions because i am always looking to make things prettier. it is more of a stress relief than anything and of course i like things to look nice. i have seen alot of comments on here about what works and don't and was curious how my yard fit into the whole scheme of things discussed here. i have been told when i suggested a few times planting hosta and roses in the same bed that you can't do that. you can see by my pictures you can do that and they both do thrive as my hosta's are huge and my roses which i cut back to about six inches this spring are thriving as well. the hosta by all means has to be sun tolerant, but it can work.
i am curious when people talk about needing strong vertical accents...when the roses get big enough to bloom will they not be a strong vertical accent and if so is that still not enough? I am curious to see what kind of things people may suggest to add more vertical accent to the garden. my mom agreed that it may be good to add those type of things to the garden...of course she never give any suggestions...go figure.
karin as far as the tree goes i know your right and i think i made a suggestion one time on another home because the front porch really made the house but you could not see it for a tree. But for me i guess it is more for privacy which is sometimes hard to find in a subdivision. when i saw the pictures i immediately realized it. i can however sit on my front porch without being stared at by all my neighbors. i wish my home sit on about 10 acres in the country somewhere.
kim that is a deck and the plants are new roses, it did not look so nice until today, was on my to do list and i was embarrassed to show it. stupid neighbors dogs got on my deck furniture and tore up my cushions and i replaced them today, i was so mad. looks better now though.
anyway thanks for all the food for thought, i do appreciate all the suggestions.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2007 at 11:54PM
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ymaddox(ky 6)

kat there is not one right thing...not even one? wow!!! you have been a registered member for one whole day, are you making friends fast? and the meow at the end of your threads are both distasteful and annoying. however i do appreciate you taking the time to post maybe you can give some suggestions other than ripping the whole thing out cause that is not going to happen in this lifetime...not mine or yours! have a pleasant day and happy mothers day :).

    Bookmark   May 13, 2007 at 12:10AM
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ademink(z5a-5b Indianapolis)

lol - atta girl!

    Bookmark   May 13, 2007 at 12:26AM
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The first and foremost design element to me, is whether or not it pleases the owner. If I am working on someones home, and I let my ego get in the way of what they want and like, then as far as I am concerned, I have screwed up. No matter what Kat says, if you are pleased, you have satisfied rule 1.

I would agree with those who have suggested some height in the flowerbeds closest to the house. You have a multitude of horizontal lines there, Roof line, all the windows are the same exact height, etc. If you put something in that was taller, window height or so, it would help break up the line. Give viewers something for a focal point. Think about it this way. If you were selling your home, and the realtor was going to do a drive by with a busload of potential buyers, you don't want the only thing that catches their attention to be the "For Sale" sign in the front yard. As they scan through the houses in your neighborhood, you don't want their eye to run along the horizontal lines right over to the next home. You'd want them to notice your home, and for that you need an attention getter.

I totally appreciate organization and neatness, (from the perspective of one who has no talent in that area), but would it go against your organization to make some of the round circle beds oval? Or irregular shaped? Again, visual interest.

And the red mulch, by next year, won't be red anymore. It will resemble a dishwater blonde who used Miss Clairol Auburn 8 months ago. My feeling about mulch, is it is like a frame for a painting. It is there to serve as a background to make the plants look good, not detract from them.

Again, remember, it doesn't have to please anyone but you.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2007 at 4:31PM
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ymaddox(ky 6)

shady i love the hair color very cute. i think mulch is something that needs renewed every year that is what i do, cause your right it looks pretty crappy the second year. i chose the red for a couple reasons...#1 there is a hint of red in my brownish brick and thought it might pull that out a bit and it really in my opinion makes the flowers seem more vibrant especially the greenery. this is my first year with the red i usually use just regular mulch, for this year i like it...i may get bored by next year and do something different.
what types of flowers do you think would add that height you speak of? any specific that come to mind that you really like?
my daughter thinks that off the walkway up to the porch i should put another bed she thinks it will set the entire area from the corner of the porch up and around the walkway to the driveway. would it look good to put a irregular shaped bed there or would it look better in that area to stay square like the bed running across the front of the house, or would you not place a flower bed there at all?
thanks shady and all for your replies thus far they have been both honest and tastefully written...i got alot out of it and i appreciate you guys taking the time out of what i am sure is a busy schedule especially this time of the year. happy mothers day to all. btw i got a beautiful hanging basket, i dont know how to explain it it is in like a plastic tube and you hang it on a fence or something...hope you know what i am talking about, and a small bench with a lighthouse scene that the way home. so i hope the rest of you have a wonderful mothers day!!!

    Bookmark   May 13, 2007 at 5:03PM
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I did give a suggestion, two in fact. One - read some books and two - hire a professional. Meow!

    Bookmark   May 14, 2007 at 12:24AM
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As far as what plants, I cannot say, since you know what your sun/shade exposure is, your soil composition, etc. I tend to like contrast, so I would pick something that would stand out against the brick. A house I recently did, I put black cohosh in the rear against the red brick, to be a backdrop for the hostas. Again, that was personal preference, since my client gave me a free hand.

I would like the colors of the Ninebark Diabolo shrub against your house but it really has the potential to get too big.

Maybe someone else has a better idea.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2007 at 10:00AM
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I think some russian sage would be a very nice addition. Also, possibly certain japanese hollies. A clematis trained up a trellis or an obelisk would be lovely too.


    Bookmark   May 14, 2007 at 11:02AM
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ymaddox(ky 6)

someone forgot to take their kitty prozac today, the meow seems to be more intense for some reason =)!
anyway back to adult conversation, shady and barefoot thanks so much for your idea's i looked each of these plants up and will consider each. I again appreciate your time, all your suggestions, and your kindness!

    Bookmark   May 14, 2007 at 12:14PM
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You can follow the principles of design to any degree and not slaughter any of them; however, that doesn't guarantee a "wow" landscape. Artistic application of the principles is the key.

Propose a list of the principles and grade your design against them. You'll see that you have followed a few and not others.

From your pictures, I noticed that you have focused on individual plants and garden design. Look at the entire landscape vista, as a framed picture and see if it is interesting to you. Look at this vista from other angles and from within it, but don't focus on any individual design element (plant, red mulch, or edging...).

    Bookmark   May 14, 2007 at 1:44PM
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TwoMonths(So Calif)

ymaddox, just ignore the kat. She was probably neutered under another name but like most kats, they come back a few more times to be katty....maybe she is a professional landscaper and needs business but this is not the place to find it or advertise.

Red mulch here in the sunny So. CA is colored sierra mulch. A neighbor used it in his back beds and I thought it looked nice so I finally gave in and have started using it. His barely faded by the end of the first summer and none the next year and still looks good. when you have a lot of green in the yard it is nice to have a contrast. Neighbors problem was it got into the yard in one area he had not edged the bed with something. We have been advised here not to use any mulch with source from the south or FL cause of the trees they are cutting up and mulching have been thru hurricanes and some have termites. Some still gets thru.

the perimeter of your property line - perimeteritis
word often used for crossing the line, getting into someone elses territory....not a fungas or disease caused by red mulch, lol.

I thought this is a more relaxed forum but it looks like a more formal garden is the preference. And read a book. A lot of time those books are just photos of someone elses gardens and copying text out of other books and plant encyclopedias.

I think one key is to fit your home as you like it with the flowers you like and can manage to weed and water. enjoy it...the exercise is better than going to a club. From looking at your garden, you would like reading the post over on the GardenJunk forum. And by the way, that is a very professional presentation of your photos.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2007 at 3:14PM
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I can appreciate organization, too, since my situation has been to thin out a little for wanting to see a bit of ground here and there. But there's a happy medium that can be achieved.

Have you thought about a clematis for the street facing side of your fence? In your zone, you can grow all types except probably c. Montana. The easiest group to deal with is group 3 which bloom on the current season's growth and can be cut down very late in the fall or early spring. The most popular and tried and true is the Jackmanii with large deep purple blooms. This type typically blooms from mid-summer through the fall.

I like Ninebark, too, "Dart's Gold" is potentially smaller than "Diablo", but a definite color departure. Am kind of at a loss for shrubbery since here we see a lot of evergreens and conifers - yews, juniper, spruce, mugo, arbor vitae but with a scattering of spirea, alpine currant, honeysuckle, mock orange, viburnum, and hydrangeas.

An easy care smallish shrub for inside the fence would be Potentilla - probably falls out of favor because it's so common, but they come in yellow, white, and pink with small wild rose-like flowers. Nice texture change from hostas and roses and would be a good complimentary plant for either or both.

A tall perennial would be garden phlox which comes in a wide choice of colors. Peonies are stunning - the only drawback is the blooms don't last long enough. Gorgeous for a couple of days then all the petals drop. The foliage is nice for the entire season, though. For relatively tall and spikey - daylilies, tall bearded iris, or Siberian iris. Oriental lilies make a nice statement planted in clusters of at least three. Those will multiply over the years becoming quite a display. Veronicas, nepetas, and salvias are good choices. Gypsophylia (Baby's Breath) comes in pink or white.

Again inside the fence, annuals are a good way to test things out for height and texture - snapdragons come in all colors and in short, medium, and tall varieties. To see if you like something on the fence, plant a few morning glory seeds. To cover a little bit of the ground - portulaca (that was what I used to grow as a child and after all these many years, I couldn't resist buying a market pack of them).

I'm all over the map here and little help. But you've got some nice spaces to work with and my bottom line is what others have said as well, if it pleases you you're heading in the right direction.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2007 at 3:38PM
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Holy Cow!!!!!!!,,, I cannot believe how rude some people can be. ymad I think was looking for some suggestions and maybe a compliment or two for all her hard work and for the great job she did WITHOUT admittingly knowing very much about landscape design.
You know what people???? She tries!!!! Unlike a lot of people who own a yard with great potential who choose to let their grass grow to a foot before mowing and don't even plant one flower. (I'm sure we all have some of those neighbours around)

ymaddox CONGRATULATIONS on the job you did. I'm sure as the years go by you'll change your design over and over as you get more and more ideas or maybe you'll just love it the way it is. Forget the sacred RULES that some people THINK we need to follow if you like it,, that's all that matters.

Asking for a little help is what forums are for, not getting slammed because someone else doesn't like your plan.

And yes, I agree, the meow thing is just about as immature as the cut downs you've recieved.

Thanx for the Mother's Day wish and hope yours was great!

    Bookmark   May 14, 2007 at 11:42PM
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Brent_In_NoVA(z7/6 VA)

sweetrain: I am confused. Except for the posts by a trolling feline this seems like a very positive thread with lots of constructive criticism. It did not sound like ymaddox was looking for 20 posts saying "looks great!" What help would that have been?

BTW, I have started typing up a reply to this thread 3 or 4 times. Most of my thoughts have already been said by others. I think it is a great start, but there are things that could be improved. My basic advice would be to not focus on the plants. A great garden design includes plants but plants (especially annuals and perennials) should be thought of as the finishing touches. You would not start to design a house with the artwork to hang on the wall or the trinkets to place on the mantel. Step back; think about the garden as a whole and then think about how you can use plants (and hardscape, and lawn, ...) to create your garden.

- Brent

    Bookmark   May 15, 2007 at 11:56AM
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ymattox, I certainly hope that what I have said here didn't come across as rude! Please accept my apologies if it did, it certainly wasn't intended that way. Sometimes the written word without expressions or tone of voice can be very flat.

I took your request to mean that you were looking for other opinions, suggestions, impressions and as Brent said, constructive criticism. No matter how many gardens I do, I ask for other opinions, take some, throw some away. (Shoot, I even listen to my husband occasionally)
Take what is said here as a different perspective, and throw out what you don't like!

    Bookmark   May 15, 2007 at 1:32PM
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I admire how clean cut your landscaping is. In the long term do you picture the yard as being very structured or more casual looking?
If structured is your ideal then you are doing great with that.
One of the problems I run into in mine is getting everything to relate to each other. Each of the planting areas in your yard have a thought out structure with focal points etc. and the items in each area seem to relate and create a 'whole image'.
When you back up and look at the whole you don't see that same 'wholeness'. I am wondering if you don't need a focal point for the entire thing. A tree might have done it but two break up the focus. (I am old but I like things in 1s, 3's, 5's and 7's not even numbers by the way) Perhaps another tree of an eyecatching variety?
Possibly focusing on your entry way might give that focal point. Trellis or arbor or bench? Something larger by the door way might help tie it together.
Another off the wall idea is framing your view. If larger things are planted at the sides and back of house to frame your house it does pull the eye to the house by enclosing it.
I really am not all that good at this but when I do mine I please myself. When I stand back and look at it does it make me happy and smile? If so I win!
If yours makes you happy smile cuz you just won! (and gardening is never ending so next year there is bound to be changes from new ideas that are even now percolating in your creative centers!)

    Bookmark   May 15, 2007 at 4:35PM
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Same goes for me, ymaddox, you're one of the posters who seems to take things with a great deal of aplomb. And that's a gift!

It struck me in looking at your pictures, that your spaces have already been pretty well defined so my plant suggestions were merely ideas for vertical interest, a filling in for gaps, and how to enhance all that nice fencing.

Since gardening is not an exact science, we all bring a little something different to the table. We all enjoy certain aspects of it which is what brought us to these forums in the first place. No one here has a lock on all that is right and correct, but we can surely learn things and come away with something useful.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2007 at 4:55PM
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brent in nova, I agree with what you just said, but,,,,,
If you read my post once more you'll see that I didn't say she wanted JUST kudo's for her garden but also suggestions to help.

I by no means meant to insult anyone for their comments except for maybe this "trolling feline".
My point was,

I go through alot of these forums looking for tips and help with my own garden and it just irritates me how some ppl just think they are God's gift to landscaping.
We all try and some of us are just a little better at things than others. Thus the reason for forums!

To the rest of you (including brent) it's always a pleasure to read your posts and please keep up the good work. :-)

Once again, I'm sorry if I was misunderstood. Stupid ole internet!

    Bookmark   May 16, 2007 at 1:03AM
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ymaddox(ky 6)

I posted the topic so that i got honest criticism. Both to hear the good points and bad points and what to build on. I have taken no offense to any of the postings...although one certain kitty that seems to be a bit in a bad mood whether due to flea infestation or what have you has been a bit annoying...but as they say " some people's kids". Really did not even get upset over kat's comments i think sometimes you just have to look at the source...quite obvious it was meant just to annoy as there was nothing productive to take from it. So i just had a little fun with those particular comments. But honestly i made the subject line in a way that i got honest opinions and i was well strapped in for what might follow...i have read this particular forum for awhile =P, so i knew what may come, although it was not near as bad as having my molars pulled lol.
All jokes aside i do appreciate all the feed back and it has been helpful. I have not taken any offense to anyone and thank those of you that thought others were being rude and pointed it out...although i think the majority would agree it was limited to one poster. again thank you for your time and help it is always appreciated.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2007 at 7:21AM
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Actually I found "Again, remember, it doesn't have to please anyone but you." to be the least useful statement when a person has asked for comments regarding her gardens layout. Taste is for sure a personal matter but a garden can be held to some objective standard even if only for the value of the exercise. I did finally have a look at the pictures and assuming that it is 'principles' we are talking about it is probably 'unity' that is missing.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2007 at 8:37AM
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Annette Holbrook

How about joining the 2 trees in the front yard into one large bed. I have trouble with the slideshow format, the expanding pic makes it hard for me to see the entire view and really study it. If you have the 2 trees as part of one bed, you can add a few evergreen shrubs, some perennials and some annuals for long term color.
Overall, I think you've done well so far and you are obviously a neat person (unlike me). I think the landscape should continually evolve as your tastes and needs change.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2007 at 10:19AM
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Do you have the photos somewhere online besides the slideshow? I wanted to look at them, but quickly began to feel motion sickness from the zooming. I'd much prefer static photos that I could advance at my own speed.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2007 at 10:56AM
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karinl(BC Z8)

After a little more thought, I think I can begin to name some principles that you've not ... incorporated, shall we say. I agree with Ink that unity is an issue; I would also name "scale" and "bones" and "framing." Some of those have been addressed in substance in the comments you've had, but they have not been named.

Scale: it's a big yard, too big for those tiny beds you've put around things (perimeteritis is not the perimeter of your yard, as someone suggested, but the urge to plant around everything). I can't even figure out where most of these little beds are from your photos, but on principle I would agree with the idea of making bigger beds that incorporate a couple here, a couple there. More work of course!

Bones: what will you see in winter (even if only as lumps under the snow)?

Framing: your other thread suggests that you need a boundary definition on the right, and perhaps you can also put one on the left if there isn't a driveway that would serve. A fence there with a border of substantial shrubs with real presence, including some evergreen, would help.


    Bookmark   May 16, 2007 at 1:26PM
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inkognito, interesting idea about whether it pleases you being a useless statement.
It is always fascinating to see other peoples viewpoints on this sort of thing.
Maybe the thing to decide is if you are doing this for your pleasure or for the viewing pubic. If for the viewing public then I would have to agree with you.
If for yourself then rules are made to be broken IF the result is something you like AND if you can deal with a viewing public that might think you are nuts.
For instance I like long grass. I like my house with the peeling paint look. (bad I know already!) I like a jungley look. It takes me back to my grandparents house and my grandpas garden. Now I know the rustic look had a lot to do with his poor health but as a child I loved it and would like that for my grandchildren.
The point being that what is not good design in one persons eyes may be exactly what another is looking for.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2007 at 1:36PM
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Bogart(6 Ont.)

Hello - two immediate thoughts:

Having mulched beds in a lawn with no edging or deep cuts between the two is inviting lots of maintenance issues.

You might ask yourself if you want the landscaping to look similar to the house (long, low, fairly boring) or have something more unique and interesting. That will determine both your choice of plants and the shape of your beds.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2007 at 2:21PM
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I would not disagree with any of that susan but my point included "when a person has asked for comments regarding her gardens layout" and this is the difference. What you have described is your own personal taste which you should feel free to indulge in.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2007 at 2:22PM
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What about the unity?

The grass is well kept everywhere, the red mulch is similar across the landscape, and there are somewhat matching tree straddling the walk.

If there were more 3-D forms (grass/mulch very 2-D), like the screening bushes or the framing Karin mentioned, then unity would be resolved. Also less ornamentation in each bed. They appear to be individual vigenettes as Susan as alluded to. What else...?

    Bookmark   May 16, 2007 at 3:42PM
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Brent_In_NoVA(z7/6 VA)

ymaddox: I take it by the title of this thread you are not 100% happy with your landscape. I would be interested to hear about the aspects of your landscape that you are happy with, the aspects that you are not satisfied with and what ideas you have for improving your landscape.

Here are some links that you might find useful:
Basic Principles of Landscape Design
SULIS: Landscape Design

- Brent

    Bookmark   May 16, 2007 at 4:01PM
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The basic principles of landscape design is very nice. Very easy to understand yet informative. :D Great link Brent.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2007 at 5:08PM
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saypoint(6b CT)

Since this is a landscape design forum, the point is to discuss design and design principles and to promote learning about what constitutes "good" design.

Beginners usually make a lot of the same mistakes. Being happy with your DIY efforts is important, but there is a lot more to design than most homeowners and casual gardeners realize.

I can make the analogy of someone who was raised on plain home cooking. It may be nutritious and wholesome, and you may be satisfied with it, but until you go to some really fine restaurants and acquire a taste for more complex fine dining, you will never know what you are missing. Never mind being able to recreate the recipes at home without studying the culinary arts and much practice.

Same with landscaping. There are many levels of quality, and this is not to say that one is "better" than another, but if you want to talk about design, why promote the landscape equivalent of Kraft macaroni and cheese when you can be learning about gourmet food?

I think it would be a disservice to anyone coming here for advice if they weren't made aware of what was possible beyond what they have experience of.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2007 at 5:52PM
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ymaddox(ky 6)

saypoint i guess that is what i am looking for something beyond my experience. Brent i am very happy with what i have done and i add to it every year...year to year my taste changes too. That is why i thought adding a new perspective would be good also. My ideas may be what suits me for now, but maybe you have one or two ideas to teach me and those two ideas turn what i already thought was beautiful into stunning. always room to learn and grow. Brent thanks for the links i will most definately check them out.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2007 at 6:04PM
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saypoint(6b CT)

ymaddox, as long as you have the desire to learn more, you will continure to improve on your past efforts. In the meantime, you will learn more about plants, how to grow them successfully, what works and doesn't work in your garden, and what really suits your taste. For many gardeners, learning is a lifelong process, and the journey is what it's all about.

I would urge you to see if there are gardens that are open to the public that you can tour. Some of the larger nurseries will have display gardens which are a good place to see mature specimens of the plants that are lined up for sale in little containers, and ways to combine them to make attractive plantings. Check the Garden Conservancy Open Days schedule online to see if there are gardens near you that you can visit on the days they are open to the public. Also, check with your town, or surrounding towns, to see if they have garden clubs or historic locations where gardens are maintained. The ladies who maintain the garden at my local historic society have a wealth of information and experience that they are always willing to share (along with plant divisions) in return for a little help with the weeding.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2007 at 8:58PM
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I agree with Brent's suggestion that to look at the landscape as a full view is something to consider. You can often get an idea of how someone views his garden by the way he frames his pictures, in my opinion (his or her - I'm getting tired of writing both and was I taught that his was the default when I learned English, but I feel bad when I do it).

These pictures are framed very tightly for the most part and the compositions may work in that context. But most people take in the bigger picture - sometimes consciously and sometimes unconsciously. It is the bigger picture that is not very well addressed in my opinion. I would guess that is where Ink sees the lack of unity as well.

If you think of it this way it might open up a new perpective. When you have just a plant, its beauty is itself and nothing more and nothing less. When it is put into the ground you began to build a composition around it to enhance it. It started with the plant and worked outward with the plant being the starring attraction. You may essentially be landscaping the plant. Another way is to look at the property as a whole and finding the starring attraction(s) that are present to begin with by virtue of their visual power.Most times the house is the most dominant part of that. Working to enhance what is good about those features as a whole and mitigating what might not be good with them is the progression that treats the landscape rather than the plant. Working from the big toward the small or concept toward detail is the other way of doing it or seeng it.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2007 at 10:04PM
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ymaddox(ky 6)

I must say that this thread has allowed me to look at things different. I was out riding yesterday and i guess before i always just looked at the flower beds, but yesterday i looked at how the trees accented the homes, although i read that tree's behind a short home made it look taller and i dont really see that but what i do see is it gives it more interest. I looked at flower beds, not so much at the flowers i may or may not like in the garden as i would have before, although i am sure if there was something that caught my eye i would remember it. but i looked this time more at placement of beds and flowers than at the types of flowers itself. I live in a historic town so downtown has alot of beautiful old homes with very established gardens, although the yards are much smaller than is easier to critique a more established garden even though i have had mine for a number of years i am talking gardens that have been there for probably 50 years or better. It is good to look in that area to view symmetry and things of that nature but because it is a mostly shaded area hard to look at the plantings because they may not work in my yard as it lacks the shade that these homes have. But it was good just to look at design and almost made me look at that strictly because of the fact that the flowers may not work well in my garden.

What i am finding hard to do is critique my own yard/home, anyone else have this problem? there seems to be unity, balance, and repetition in my space but maybe to the point of monotony (thanks for the link brent =) ). I think transition and proportion is where my problem lies and most probably just some visual interest problems in general. I cannot view the home itself as a focal point i dont believe, because it is in a row of cookie cutter homes that only the brick facing is different. Therefore, i have to look at landscape design and since the tree's i have are well established most probably that is not going to change as well, with the exception of maybe adding a few ornamentals for interest.

so maybe the interest i need is in bed placement. I agree i need to add more vertical interest in the existing garden and any new ones. what about since the bed across the front is a square bed, accenting with beds other places...i think there was a suggestion of hooking a large bed around the two center tree's. Maybe a curvy oval bed?

also i thought about a bed down the right border since i want to somehow create some privacy between the neighbor and i, here is a link to that area:

...should i continue with the box look down through there or make more of a curvy bed, and should i make it directly off the existing bed or come off the end of the privacy fence, if i make it off the existing bed it is going to be a huge flower bed. If i make the bed down the right a square bed it is going to box my yard in, so i am wondering if this is going to look tacky. Although i could set it off with curvy beds in the yard around the two tree's and maybe one along the front sidewalk up to the door entrance or is this going to be too much?
here is a link with a view of my front yard and a little shot of the right side as seen in the pic above:

Add a few short growing ornamentals for interest in the front and side yard, although i have not decided placement, but maybe one at the corner to the right for visual interest i also read that short tree's or tall shrubs at the corner made the house seem taller.

Or have i missed the points of the posters all together? i really am trying though, please bear with me!

    Bookmark   May 17, 2007 at 1:24PM
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My favorite local gardening writer, Don Engebretson, has some great design information on his site "The Renegade Gardener" (link below).

Although I wince just a bit recommending this particular part of the site because of its name, check out "Don't DO That!" and scroll down to the Don't DO That Archive link. He has a long list of archived articles with titles like:

"Don't cut live branches off evergreen trees!"
"Don't design straight lines into the landscape. "
"Don't use rock as a ground cover around trees and shrubs."
"Don't circle trees with stuff."

And then he goes on to explain, with words and pictures, what's wrong with each Don't and what he suggests you do instead. He can be a little... blunt, he's a man who doesn't mince words, but the information is extremely valuable!

Here is a link that might be useful: Renegade Gardener

    Bookmark   May 17, 2007 at 4:26PM
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ymaddox(ky 6)

ouch lol, well isn't he cute =P.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2007 at 5:30PM
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Brent_In_NoVA(z7/6 VA)

I wanted to throw this out...I get the best ideas when instead of thinking about the shape of planting beds I think about the shape of what is not a planting bed. For me it is the paths, the patios, the seating areas, the lawn, and such that should drive the design.

For some reason I find myself thinking about this thread often. I think that is partially because when I look at your landscape it reminds me a lot of my landscape 4 years ago. This forum was a big reason that I was able to progress. I still have a lot to learn, but I definitely have better design skills than I did then.

I also find myself thinking that it is hard to give real critical feedback without context. If you said you paid $50k for a professional design and installation I would say you got ripped off. If you said that you have been an avid gardener all your life and that you have lived in this house for the past 15 years I would have expected more from your garden. Looking at your garden I have to think you are a relatively new gardener or at least new to the idea of garden design and that you don't have a lot of money to throw at your landscape.

- Brent

    Bookmark   May 17, 2007 at 6:17PM
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ymaddox(ky 6)

brent you hit the nail on the head...long time gardener for what i knew and that never consisted of design in the least...maybe what i at the time considered design. I think you always look at your things with rose colored glasses until it is put in front of you differently. Your right i don't have alot of money to throw into my landscape, i do things as budget allows. It is a stress relief for me, probably some of the hardest work i have done but most definately the most enjoyable.

"I get the best ideas when instead of thinking about the shape of planting beds I think about the shape of what is not a planting bed. For me it is the paths, the patios, the seating areas, the lawn, and such that should drive the design"
...i just want to sit and cry but i am not sure i know how to do that and it is so frustrating!

do you have pictures of your landscape i can see, at least it may motivate me to believe i can do it.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2007 at 6:29PM
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bill_g_web(z9 CA)

Saypoint's got a point. It's instructive to ask what's wrong with your landscaping but the journey is a slower endeavor. After you've read some books and maybe toured some great gardens and as the money allows, you'll be able to slowly improve your design. Some good suggestions have been given - maybe you should go through this thread and compile a list of what's been suggested. For better prices on plants, look for sales by local garden clubs or a community college horticulture program.

My unprofessional 2 cents?
I'd loose the store bought knickknacks and florescent mulch. Try some curves and increase the size of everything - the planting areas and plants. Let nature into your ideas. Clump stuff together; put away the straight edge and ruler. You may decide you like classical designs, like Versailles, but be careful because you need the house to go along with it. Elements of classical might work but to me it takes a real skill to incorporate them into a suburban site like yours.

One OT design suggestion - your writing will be easier to read if you use appropriate capitalization.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2007 at 8:18PM
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Brent_In_NoVA(z7/6 VA)

I am not sure my landscape will inspire you but there is a link to my flickr account on my member page with pictures. Some are getting a bit dated and it sure seems like my landscape looks better in person than in picture. I moved in April 2006 so I am starting over.

Don't cry! I am currently working through ideas with my front yard. Front yards can be tricky because often the purpose is not as clear as the backyard. In my backyard I want lawn for the kids and dog, a play set, a patio, a veggie garden and such. Laying out those items dictates 90% of my backyard. I am not exactly sure what purpose my front yard serves.

Removing most of the grass in your front yard would be an option, but it would be very ambitious, time consuming and costly. I like the idea of a large bed that connected the two trees and I could see a foundation bed that was at least 8' deep that included some evergreen shrubs.

If you wanted to create one new bed this year I might suggest an L shaped bed that ran along your wooden fence and extended out to block the view of the neighbor's driveway. I am thinking of something similar to my "North Garden" photoset. This would give you a chance to play around with shrubs, evergreens, perennials, grasses and such and address the trash issue.

I have to mention that the "peonies around mailbox" picture confuses me. Do you have more than one peony planted in that tiny spot? Unless you have some sort of dwarf peony, be sure to give them about 3' of space. That rose stuck right up next to the base of the tree looks odd to me as well.

- Brent

    Bookmark   May 18, 2007 at 4:26PM
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runktrun(z7a MA)

I have both the blessing and curse of having a berm located about 1/3rd the distance from the road to the front of my house and again about 1/3rd of the distance from one abutter to the other. The berm is actually a WWII navy kitchen garbage dump that is chock full of Navy flatware, dish, glassware, and god knows what else. My well is about 50 from the berm and for that reason I do not want to greatly disturb this mound. Over time I came to realize this berm allowed us a corner of privacy in our front yard that most folks on smaller lots (1 acre) arenÂt afforded. Not only do we have this quiet corner but our seating (Adirondack chairs) face the front of our house where we have invested a great amount of time and effort on both the home and garden. All of this front dressing is usually for the benefit of the passerby, and as much as I would never recommend creating a berm, you might consider designing a quiet corner in your front yard. If I have been vague let me know and IÂll post some photos. kt

    Bookmark   May 18, 2007 at 7:29PM
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What a great thread! This may sound strange, and there is certainly no judgement meant by this humble suggestion, but I think I'm seeing a more maintenance minded homeowner. My suggestion would be to plant a long, irregularly curved, clipped hedge to unify the front of the lawn and incorporate the trees (perhaps yew?). In future years, as the budget allows, the inside of the curves could be planted with boldly shaped, floriferous or contrasting shrubs of various heights and perennial flowers to taste. Maybe even some topiary type forms inside the beds! I can hear the Real Estate Agent now: "just look at the fox jumping over the hedge followed by all those foxhounds!" Your house would stick out.

This would satisfy the unity and privacy problems, give many microclimates for future experimentation and satiate the "perimeteritis" tendencies. And, finally, it would lend itself to the urge to "manicure." If only I had the perfectly groomed grounds that you have (sigh). I'm the one with the foot tall grass in my neighbourhood!

I have to agree with Bill G Web, formal designs need fairly formal homes to truly be successful. While I can appreciate the formalist urge (true southerner) it is not applicable in every instance.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2007 at 12:50AM
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ymaddox(ky 6)

brent ambition is not a problem...i shoveled 4 1/2 ton garden soil into a raised bed for my vegetable bed...i'm not worried about the work and i can spend hours working in my flower beds on my days off. My biggest dilemma is the design, motivation and ambition is there...but now that i have read a little on the design process i dont want a bunch of square beds i want variety, i am glad i have learned alot from so many people nice enough to share their thoughts and i have to really stand back and incorporate them. Then really think about the plants to place for variety, winter interest, vertical interest etc... i am excited about the whole endeavor but it can be a bit overwhelming as well. I have looked at alot of different garden designs on bh&g websites, lots of good ideas there as far as shapes and it gives you a great idea of height and texture the plants they have planted...for instance will they mound, spread etc...

I'm still new to the shrub and small tree idea because i am not a big shrub fan...i don't particularly care for a bunch of shrubs in a flower bed, to me flower bed says just what it should! But i can also see picking the right shrub to place and give height really livens a flower bed up, and i can also see different grasses to give interest whereas i did'nt care for them before. I would also however like to have a few conifers in my yard one in my side yard and one in my front yard to decorate at christmas time...not something that is going to get huge just something nice to decorate and something that is going to continue to add interest beyond that particular time of the year. I guess this thread has allowed me to think more outside the box. I see how design should pull you different places, interest you into journeying on to see what is around the corner, and although a square bed has it's place it does'nt do it better say wow all on it's own.

As far as the peonies, they were given to me by my grandmother before she passed on and there is two huge bushes in my back yard. I don't know what possessed me to put them around a mailbox realizing now that the bloom time is not that long. It would be great with a large bed there and that being one of the flowers in a conglomeration of alot of other flowers. I just placed them around and this year there was a ton of them there so i moved them around to fill in. I will just let them grow and thin as i need to. The one's in my backyard are huge and you could not get your arms around them if you wanted to...they are absolutely stunning!

nippersdad i love your idea i just have to find some shrubs etc... that really catch my eye as i made mention they are just not something that ever caught my eye before...but definately peaking my interest more and more. Thanks for the maintenance minded homeowner compliment... i do take that as a compliment. If you knew how many times i told my dh that this or that had to be picked up because it looked like a bunch of hillbillies lived here, he gets so mad at me and swears there is not one area on the whole place that is his lol...i'm just funky about my yard...actually moreso than my home, kinda weird huh? Probably why you see alot of clean lines in my yard, just because that is the way i think...working on that as well though.

bill, lol, are you a english teacher? I giggled when i read the capitalization comment, i promise i will work on that. Although, i probably slaughtered this post =).

    Bookmark   May 21, 2007 at 1:52PM
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ymaddox(ky 6)

I am wondering if this particular design of bed along my front walk would soften up the square bed across the front of my house?

    Bookmark   May 21, 2007 at 2:01PM
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saypoint(6b CT)

Not too bad, but except for the evergreens against the house and one ornamental grass that will persist through winter, there is nothing there for winter interest. It will look like a dead garden.

You could make the garden a bit larger to give you space to add something that will still look interesting when the snow flies and the perennials die back. Red or yellow twig dogwood, other ornamental grasses, Winterberry holly, there are lots of things you could add.

Google "garden in winter", then click "images" at the top of the page. You'll find some photos of winter gardens that you can study to see what makes them attractive, even better if they're part of a website that explains what they did.

As far as using shrubs in a perennial garden, see if your library has any books by Christopher Lloyd or his garden at Great Dixter. I've linked the website below. Books with good photos and explanations of what's planted and why might give you a new appreciation for the use of shrubs in a mixed border, as opposed to a strictly perennial border.

Also, see if you can find a copy of Adrian Bloom's Gardening with Conifers to see what can be accomplished using evergreens. The gardens are fantastic.

While neither of these gardens may be what you are looking for, there is much to be learned by studying what others have done, and borrowing the bits that will work for you. I was inspired by both of these gardeners.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2007 at 4:07PM
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saypoint(6b CT)

P.S. Good for you, for putting yourself out there for a critique of your first efforts. Some people get mad and run away when everyone doesn't love what they've done. You have obviously given a lot of thought to the comments and advice you've received here, and have come away with a better understanding of what is possible.

Keep it up. The more you learn, the more beautiful your gardens will become. It may take a lifetime, but as I said before, it's about the journey, as humbling as it can be in the beginning. I think you are on your way.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2007 at 4:12PM
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ymaddox(ky 6)

thank you saypoint for the words of encouragement. I had no reason to run away, other than one poster that i chose to overlook, all the criticism was constructive...good people trying to be helpful and teach me some good idea's. I'll admit it is hard to allow others to critique things you have worked so hard on. However, after i stood back and thought about it and really saw what others was saying and what i could incorporate and what fun i could have it really is all worth it.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2007 at 4:51PM
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I'm glad that you took the maintenance thing as a compliment, it was meant as one. Gardening ideas, indeed ideas of all sorts are easy. It is the application over time which differentiates the vision from the reality. Visionary gardens are started every day and abandoned just as often...the key is to create something that can grow with your tastes; something that you can build upon. Have fun!

    Bookmark   May 21, 2007 at 11:11PM
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hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

Hated the slideshow zoom-in thing, hard to see what's there and what's not.

Pluses: everything looks neat and clean and well cared for and weeded. Maintenance is an unsung hero of gardens. It counts for a lot! So you have a enormous plus there.

Minuses: garish, unnatural color of red mulch detracts from natural beauty of plants. Scale: seems like you've either got big (trees) or little (bedding plants) with nothing in between. Think about adding some medium.

Suggestion: if you decide to add some planting beds, work from the size of the plants, instead of just making a shape in the lawn and removing some grass. Pick out some plants you like, figure out their mature size, figure out a pleasing layout and determine the bed size and shape from that. Just try it as an exercise: pick 3 or 5 or 7 large evergreen shrubs or small trees, add some medium perennials to surround them, and some little plants as edgers, and play at arranging them in different ways. Use buckets or sticks as placeholders to help visualize. It's fun.

Another suggestion: what do you see when you look out the window of your favorite rooms? What do you want to see? Make your views beautiful. It makes your home a more beautiful place to live, and it increases your home value too.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2007 at 3:15PM
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ymaddox(ky 6)

i know the slide show was a disaster but i don't know how to post that many pictures without it being in a to photobucket. It does kind of make you dizzy. anyone want to tell me how to do it so that you can just look at pics without the slide show?

    Bookmark   May 22, 2007 at 3:41PM
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thanks for posting the links to the Renegade Gardener. He had me LOL more than once!

It must be something in the water up there, so many humorists: Al Sicherman, James Lilleks, Dick Guindon (dating myself with that last reference).

Below is a direct link to his "Top 10 blunders " list. Mea culpa as well, but like they say, ya gotta break a few eggs...


    Bookmark   May 22, 2007 at 3:42PM
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bill_g_web(z9 CA)

Just read the 10 blunders and now I've gotta go tear out the Aureolian Circle I just put in. I thought it was a good idea to hide large surface roots of the grand old Sycamore and eliminate the grass which I figured was hogging the water that the tree would like. Plus, the mow & blow guys were dinging the exposed roots, a moot point now that I stopped using them and their noisy machines.

A couple of neighbors have some nice looking tree circles though - nothing as unnatural as the renegade gardener shows.

What's the consensus here on tree circles?


    Bookmark   May 22, 2007 at 8:25PM
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saypoint(6b CT)

Well, I don't think you'll find anything like a consensus, but here's an old thread on the topic.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2007 at 7:44AM
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Guindon?! Sicherman?! view west, you're my kind of people! I'm so going to miss Uncle Al's stories of going to the hardware store four times and never getting the exact thing he needs. Or his two-day adventures in baking popovers, trying to make them flop.

Sorry, I digress... Don E (Renegade Gardener) drives around the Minneapolis suburbs to take photos for his site each year, and I've recognized neighborhoods in his pictures. I keep praying he won't find anything to mock in my yard!

It's funny - if one person in a subdivision cuts a circle and plops a wishing well in it, next year four more people do the same. He'll always have sources for new material!

    Bookmark   May 23, 2007 at 2:23PM
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cynandjon(Z 5/6)

Hi Ymaddox
Starting a garden is an adventure, its trial and error. I know that when I put in the garden at this house, I would plant something then say the next year, I have to move this or that because its not working.
To me gardening isnt necessarily about rules, but about pleasure. I guess there are certian rules to try to follow but most of all, it has to be pleasing to the eye.
I learned a lot by joining a garden club & going on garden tours in our area,observing what other people are doing in their gardens, reading and researching the internet.
I do have to agree about the red mulch, Personally I prefer a more natural look. Again its all in the eye of the beholder.
good luck and enjoy Gardening.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2007 at 10:20PM
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playsinthedirt20(z6 HudsonValley)


First of all - good for you to even be gardening! It relieves stress, is good exercise and beautifies our surroundings. And it's your house, so do what you like!

(And really, katt, get a saucer. We're supposed to be supportive here.)

Personally, from what I could see in quick-zoom slide show, it seems a bit disjointed: an expanse of gorgeous grass, then a tiny red circle with one plant in the middle. Then more grass, then another red bed around one tree. The garden-schmutz (little statuary, figurines, etc.) is not my taste, but if you like it - fine.

What I'm not seeing is unity. You've got a hosta, a rose bush, a tree. Do you have some plants that you particularly like? Then load them into a naturally flowing bed (please, not a perfect red circle). Plants seems to look really nice when massed. In the shady areas, you can do a hosta garden. In the sun, you can plant several roses. Don't be afraid to spread out a little more. It feels a little uptight, as we used to say back in the day.

And I agree with those members who cautioned about the red mulch. It has to be dyed and heaven only knows what toxins it contains.

So to sum up: I have no idea how many design elements you slaughtered. So what? Maybe you'll come up with your own list of design elements that pleases you. Think about unity; about what you want your garden to say about you. Keep playing, and don't let those "kitties" get you down!

    Bookmark   May 29, 2007 at 1:13AM
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saypoint(6b CT)

"I have no idea how many design elements you slaughtered. So what?"

Sorry, but this the the Landscape DESIGN forum. We're here to talk about design, not gardening, which is a different animal altogether. If someone wants to be congratulated for sticking plants in the ground any which way, they need to go to the annuals or perennials or regional forums, where the topics are about the plants, not the design.

This is not directed at the OP, who came here to learn something about design.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2007 at 9:25AM
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ymaddox(ky 6)

I for whatever reason seem to have kept things stirred up quite a bit around here even when i'm not here...this poor post just don't want to seem to die lol! I do however appreciate all the support...everyone has been really nice.

I have learned alot from this post and have at least three large beds in the front i want to place...mostly curving to add some flow and charm to the already existing square bed. Just trying to figure out in my mind at this point how much would be overkill or if it really is ever overkill, yeah i am sure at some point it is overkill lol. This does not include the plans i already had in my mind for the i may get it all done on my 80th birthday lol!

I am also looking into some conifers and ornamental/flowering tree's. I have gotten some great advice from someone on the conifer forum to add some winter interest. My big thing is to find things at this point that you just don't see in every other landscape...i don't want just any old boxwood you can buy at walmart that everyone in the neighborhood has...i want to sit my landscape apart from the rest. I also really like weeping cherry, and may incorporate that somewhere along the way.

My landscape will always have a bit of a country edge to it, just because that is what i like...i just made some tipsy pots that is in a flowerbed as you enter onto my back deck. That is who i am, and for this year i love the red mulch...i add mulch every year so next year i might go back to a regular cypress mulch, who knows.

But after reading everything on this post and also looking at some garden designs on the better homes and garden website i have learned a ton. But when it is said and done and you pack it in at the end of the day, it is about personal taste...fortunately this particular post has allowed me to broaden thanks so much for all the contributions and encouragement.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2007 at 12:43AM
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ymaddox(ky 6)

By the way i have decided i dont like the renegade gardener. I think i incorporated at least 8 out of the 10 blunders he speaks of, in my already existing landscape. Who pulled his chain anyway lol ;)!

    Bookmark   May 30, 2007 at 12:52AM
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playsinthedirt20(z6 HudsonValley)

Hi again ymaddox,

I'm glad you've gotten inspiration from these posts. I thought that was what this whole website was supposed to be about.

To those of you professionals whom I have obviously insulted, I'll just slink back to the "gardening" forums, where folks seem quite a bit more friendly.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2007 at 1:26AM
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playsinthedirt20: "To those of you professionals whom I have obviously insulted, I'll just slink back to the gardening" forums, where folks seem quite a bit more friendly."

No doubtthey can be brutal here, in some discussions, not only tearing apart landscapes (which, I suppose, is to be expected and in many cases, invited), but the homes they surround as well. Many of the posts provide a friend of mine who is a landscape architect (and arborist but who does not post here) a stream of free comedic entertainment. To maintain the friendship, we agreed long ago that we would not regularly counsel each other in our respective fields. Given what I've seen in this forum, it was probably a wise decision.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2007 at 8:37AM
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saypoint(6b CT)

playsindirt, if you mean me, I am neither insulted, nor a professional. It just seems that to come to a design forum and say that design principles are not important if you like what you've done is just silly. People come here to talk about design (OK, some come for a free design consultation, but that's OK). If this was the kitchen forum, and someone was planning to put the oven and dishwasher where their doors would bump into each other, would you tell them? Or the decorating forum, and someone asked for opinions on a truly hideous paint color? Ever take an art class? The critique portion is the most valuable part of the exercise, IMO, and helps you do better next time.

Folks here are not unfriendly, but some can be quite blunt and direct. It takes all kinds, but overall, a lot of very good information is disseminated here, and people really try to be helpful. I think the OP was very open to suggestions and constructive criticism, and is going to go on to improve on what's already been done. I'm sure there will be more mistakes, and more learning, and more improvement. That's how it works.

Being "nice" and saying, "yes, what you've done is lovely, as long as you like it" is not helpful.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2007 at 9:23AM
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ymaddox your yard looks great. i guess some of these older gardeners forgot that it takes a longggg time to learn and grow in gardening. ive been gardening for quite afew years and i still make mistakes. i still move every thing around and put plants in the wrong place.and whatever you do, dont put anything flowering near that front door as been suggested (clematis) or u will get bees. just enjoy your gardening. i love that mulch. i have it to. i also have a small circle in the MIDDLE, the very MIDDLE of my yard, i love it and it looks good! and djee i thought uncle al was only in ohio. u gettin old djee.lolololo. ohgirl

    Bookmark   August 9, 2007 at 2:17AM
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cybersal(8 Heart of Tx)

Please post update of your yard.
The main thing holding it back was simply a little age - giving the plants time to spread and the on-going process of adding plants that everybody does. I am not crazy about the colored mulch but its not that bad and just a part of trial and error. (Whereas at the time my beds are empty unplanted dirt-I'm even more not too crazy about that). A 4ft very open wire trellis with a whispy vine could be your vertical interest and by now your statues must be peeking out through the leaves.
Please give us another chance and recent photos. Thanks, Sally.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2009 at 6:21PM
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I would get some nice edging around those beds, that don't have any..

    Bookmark   February 20, 2009 at 4:37PM
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Thx for post

Or take a class in the culinary arts from a school of culinary art culinary school usa. Baan thai cooking school Culinary Schools in Florida culinary classes in singapore.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2010 at 6:21PM
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