Need some hedge etc suggestions please

bradleyheathhays(6)May 5, 2014

Just joined the board here and I'm hoping to get some good advice to make the front and sides of my house look really good. I've let it go for too long and even though it's a little late already this season to be planting bushes I want to go ahead and get it done this year once and for all. If I put it off another year who know how long it'll take. Here's some pictures of what's there now... (all pics at the end)

House faces ESE so I'm facing the sun when it comes up. Looking from the front the left side of the house gets sun a lot of the day, filtered until 2P but then full sun for the next 5 hours, then filtered the last 2. The front sees filtered sun until around 2P then it's in the house's shadow for the rest of the day. Right side where's there's just nothing except those really ugly windows that need covering gets practically no sun at all. I'd consider that side 100% shade all day. Central Kentucky Zone 6 so the summers here get up into the mid and sometimes upper nineties in July and August.

Don't know what to say other than that obviously I'm totally new to landscaping and could use some good advice on what I can put around my house that'll make it look good, if not great. Although I'm interested in suggestions for all 3 sides of the place, since the left side has a little something there already (and because I'm in a hurry) for now I'd like to concentrate on just getting something up front, and then on the right side after that. Keeping it simple in the front I'll be installing a new wood bordered raised bed, about 7 inchs on both sides of the front door. Our soil is hard packed and I think fairly nutrient deficient so a raised bed of nutrient rich soil is probably the best bet for establishing anything new out there. Not sure where to source the dirt though. Bags of miracle grow soil would be ideal if they weren't so expensive. I've got a trailer so hopefully that'll open my sources up to maybe some kind of wholesale landscape dealer. I've heard the old rule always plant bushes in odd numbers so I'm thinking about 3 bushes on each side of the front door. I was initially drawn to some of the box woods because they can do well in shady circumstances. But because they'll be shaded much of they day I'm sure that kind of thin leaved evergreen won't grow fast enough to fill the space any time soon. So I'm very open to suggestions as to what might go well and fill out fast in the front. Priorities are that it be green throughout the year, grow fast, and hopefully be as entertaining as possible, with color etc. And as for the right side I am entirely open to your suggestions as well.

Well now ok I've finally done something to get this thing going. I'm all ears.

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This post was edited by bradleyheathhays on Tue, May 6, 14 at 0:06

    Bookmark   May 5, 2014 at 11:56PM
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    Bookmark   May 6, 2014 at 12:07AM
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    Bookmark   May 6, 2014 at 12:08AM
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    Bookmark   May 6, 2014 at 12:10AM
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Replace the walkway,add a fence along the porch,plant hydrangea,boxwood,dogwood,forthia,hosta,j-maple.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2014 at 12:42AM
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babera(5a (Montana))

I love your brick house. You have some good visions that would work, but they could be expanded on.

I would expand the beds on either side of the front entrance. In doing so, I would stay away from the straight lines, make it a little curvy but not wavy. Bring them up to the walkway (which needs to be addressed as well). about 5'. I think a snowball bush, Annabelle hydrangea and/or bridal veil Spiarea would work good with the brick and white trim. The snowball and hydrangea would be the best choices for the front with the light conditions, while the Spiarea would work for the left side (more sun) It doesn't look like theres room for 3 shrubs on either side but expanding the beds you could bring one out further rather than having them up against the house.

As for the right side, deep shade, I agree with the above comment. hostas and astilbe do well in the shade. For height you could add a climbing hydrangea to the left corner, which appears to be the most visible when pulling up to the house.Add some good sized boulders and some bark for a finished look. If it were me, I would plant nothing but snow on the mountain. It gets about a foot tall (fast), does bloom white flowers and needs lots of room to spread out. Have fun, good luck.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2014 at 12:36PM
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I don't think you could be more certain of destroying some of the opportunities to create a fine looking setting than by building the raised wood planters. I would ditch that idea. In all of your pictures I see green plants at all levels so there's no question but that things will grow. A little fertilizer and/or soil amendments at planting time might even improve that.

Creating a nice looking landscape is not going to come just from suggestions of what plants to use. It'll be that plus their placement, arrangement, size, forms and finishes ... half of which is determined by how you'll maintain it. In order for the suggestions you get here to be meaningful, you'll need to turn them into an actual plan before you begin installing the work. Then you'll end up with what you intend and want.

In order to upgrade the look of the house, consider substantially widening the walk. It could be done by bordering it with brick. That leads into an opportunity to dress the whole yard up by separating beds from lawn with a clearly defined brick mowing strip. A simple, non-busy planting would better show off the features of the house. I am not the least rigid about the use of symmetry, but with what the scene is already offering, I think it works well here ... providing an air of formality without the bother of precision hedge clipping.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2014 at 3:04PM
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Wow, Yardvark! This looks great

    Bookmark   May 6, 2014 at 4:11PM
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Yikes! Thanks!!

    Bookmark   May 6, 2014 at 6:23PM
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I love Yardvaark's widening the pathway with the brick. You could start with just doing the sidewalk to the house, and add the mowing strips around the beds at a later date if you are short on funds to do it all now.

I also agree about skipping the wood trimmed raised beds in front. A "rule" of thumb that I learned from a class is to make the beds in front 1/3 as wide (front to back, or from house to front edge of bed) as the height of the house. 7" would be way too narrow.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2014 at 10:44PM
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