Front bed design help ...

nbreauJune 6, 2011

I'm at a loss for what to do here ... looking for some suggestions, zone is 4b/5a, not sure what to do here at all, thinking maybe a mix of evergreens or an english style flowerbed ? Would love some design suggestions....

pics can be found at

The bed is 5 feet deep and 12 feet wide ...

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missingtheobvious(Blue Ridge 7a)

You could have anything in that flowerbed -- at least, anything that grows in your zone (I've no idea) and can deal with the exposure and any possible snow issues. If possible, I'd want whatever's at the back of the bed to reach the porch floor, because of the way the porch overhangs the bed. (How deep is the overhang? Is there a risk of varmints hiding back there?)

It would help to know how much sun the bed receives. Also to know what's planted elsewhere in the front yard and if you had particular color preferences for this bed.

By the way, when you're posting a single url, you can have a working link in your post by placing the url in the "Optional Link URL" box just below the "Message" box you type in. You'll need to name the link in the "Name of the Link" box. The link will always show up at the end of the post. If the link works in the Preview, it will work in the actual post.

[Other options for creating a link include using the html code which might be provided by your photo-hosting site, or adding the code to the url yourself, or using a Firefox add-on which creates the code.]

This is how it appears:

Here is a link that might be useful: OP's photo

    Bookmark   June 6, 2011 at 7:25PM
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karinl(BC Z8)

Best place to go is your local nursery - not a big box store, but a single-purpose garden shop.

You might be able to think it through on paper - you could indeed do anything here, and it should really depend on your preferences. Knot garden with boxwood, a riot of annuals, dependable herbaceous greenery (hostas and so on)... tall and thin or short and wide... and then go to the nursery.

Weed and mulch, and then plant what appeals to you. See how it looks. Change up as needed. It's never a final product anyway, as plants die or overgrow and from year to year you'll be checking out the nurseries again.

It's a good idea to visit the plant store throughout the season as they always try to offer what is in bloom just then.


    Bookmark   June 7, 2011 at 1:59PM
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You want to choose your plants carefully in this type of spot in a snowy region. If you have deep snow and need to remove snow from the roof to ease the load, the woody plants will get smooshed with snow off the garage roof on the right side of the bed. So in this type of situation, you want to have either herbaceous plants which will die back in winter or shrubs that don't mind being cut to the ground in spring if they have been damaged by falling clumps of snow, such as yew, spirea or 'Annabelle' hydrangea.

You also might want to put lattice (you can get pvc lattice so rotting and paint maintenance aren't and issue) or hardware cloth between the bottom of the porch and the soil so that you don't get critters such as skunks moving in under the porch as prevention is easier than removal.

For actual plants and plans, I'd get a bunch of pretty photo type garden books and magazines and look through for photos of front of the house porch and front door plantings that appeal to you. Then you can take copies of those with you to the nurseries along with a photo with dimensions when you go looking for plants so that the nursery staff can help you find those or other similar plants that will work to give the effect that you want. Take a pen that will write on your photo or plan to write down what goes where so you don't have to remember where you have planned plant things.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2011 at 9:22PM
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