Help! need some ideas

JankosJune 5, 2013

We are doing some volunteer work at a non-profit daycare center this weekend. See pic of the front of building that needs work. I have several more pics. The area is on the south side of the building with plenty of sun. Zone 5 West Michigan. It is around 70ft in length and around 25-30 ft from building to parking lot, with a big slope starting around 15 ft from building. We were thinking taking out the plants along the building and starting from scratch putting mulch down and planting a mix of shrubs/perenials, and a couple small trees (we have a owner of a garden center willing to donate plants..). Any ideas would be appreciated, it is in bad shape (weedy grass).
Thank You

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Mike Larkin

Once it is completed who will care for the plants? That might impact how much is going to be planted and what plants selected. Also It may be good to ask what the garden center owner what he is willing to donate.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 10:01PM
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There are volunteers at the center that will take care of the plants, we also may have to do a volunteer day a couple times a year. We definitely need lower maintenance plants/shrubs.Here is another pic.. The garden center told us to put in a request, anything they can't provide could also be purchased, we have a $500 budget as well..


    Bookmark   June 6, 2013 at 6:51AM
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Here are some suggestions that re-use the Iris and Liriope. Once plants are installed, it's important that they are weeded regularly during the establishment period ... especially perennials as it's difficult to eradicate weeds from them after they've gotten a foothold. Mulches will help, but weeds need to be eradicated first.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2013 at 8:16AM
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I like the idea to move around the existing plants...Do you think it would be a good idea to create a bed along the stairs and up around the concrete walkout as well? Is there a shrub you would reccomend to plant with the Iris/Liriope. Also - what tree would you reccomend, something smaller that flowers, maybe dogwood or redbuds? Thanks!

    Bookmark   June 6, 2013 at 9:07AM
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I would only create a bed along the steps IF it was a low (less than 8" ht.,) tough groundcover with a bed width matching the upper landing. Know that installing a groundcover where there were formerly weeds requires diligence in making sure that weeds do not return. If they do, then the work is in vain.

I would not plant a shrub WITH the Iris/Liriope ... but only INSTEAD of it or in that alternate place I mentioned.

Usually, with these volunteer & charity situations, there is limited variety of plants available. Once you know what's available, pick what you know to be good or post a question about it here.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2013 at 2:00PM
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