need help quick - big sale on shrubs - front garden plan

roorezzi(Poconos)June 11, 2010

the local nursery is having an early bird sale tomorrow and they are having shrubs and trees 40% off. DH and I had been talking about doing something with the other side of the house and this might be our best chance.

I am attaching pictures but we are looking for something that is easy maintenance. THe area gets AM sun til about 1-2:00. The area is under our 2 front bedroom windows. It is a ranch house and we need to hadd some depth to the house - since it is flat from end to end.

We have talked about moving the boxwood to a different part in the front and add something that has a little more height. So that is also an option.

I would like to have some shrubs - been thinking about Hydrangeas - dwarf alburta spruce... and also some flowers in there as well. We are in a wooded area nad have to tend with deer - they normally do not go in the front and eat anything. The bed by the walkway is a few years old - never had any issues with it.

Would love some suggestions....

Overall view of house (2 car garage not shown)

View of front walkway and garden - we have a rhod (Nova Z) and an azalea - possibly maybe we should consider movingthe azalea out and over to the other side.. is it too much in there when they get older.

View of area - about 24 ft long - rough estimate. You can see the boxwood here.

Another view of the area - straight on. You can see the peek and the windows are not symmetrical - it drives me crazy but theres nothing I can do about it.

Any help would be greatly appreciated. What would you do with this space... sorry for the short notice and immediate need. But this sale is incredible and I just found out about it. We were going to wait and now we can't pass the opportunity.

Thanks in advance.


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missingtheobvious(Blue Ridge 7a)

The reason the nursery is having a sale on shrubs is that this is the wrong time of year to plant shrubs. They are best planted in fall or early spring.

That said, even though it's the wrong time of year, you can still plant now -- but you must take extra good care of your shrubs if you want them to survive and do well! Dig a large hole, add appropriate amendments (depending on your soil), and water regularly through the fall.

[I will confess that I planted my small dwarf mugo pines this time of year two years ago -- and it was blistering HOT and we were still in our multiple-year drought. They survived and have done well ... and I am now in the process of moving seven of them (couldn't begin until last week, and if I wait till fall they'll be larger than I can handle). I will baby them ... and I'll be embarrassed if any of them die....]

Here's the Shrubs forum's FAQ, which includes info on how to plant a shrub:

Make sure to plant your shrubs well away from the house. You want to leave at least a foot or two between the house and the shrubs, for window-washing, painting and house maintenance, as well as maintenance of the shrubs. Note that whatever you plant will be growing, so you want to plant it far enough from the house that after several years there will still be that foot or two of clearance between the house and the shrub. For instance, if the shrub's mature size is 5' in diameter, place its center 3 1/2' from the house (2 1/2' for half the mature width + 1' for clearance).

It might be advisable to move the rhodie and azalea. Do you know what cultivars they are and what their mature size will be? Azaleas vary considerably in size. Many (most? all?) rhodies just keep growing and growing and growing.

About that asymmetrical roof: I'm not a professional designer, but here's what I'd do: center a small tree (or large shrub) between the windows (not directly under the peak, but midway between the windows). The idea is that its crown will conceal the location of the peak.

You might want something evergreen; I'm not sure how effective bare branches would be in the winter.

The tree should be located several feet from the house. You want something with a relatively narrow crown, because you don't want to block the windows (or shade the front yard any more than it already is). You want something which will reach the height of the roof relatively quickly -- yet you don't want something so huge it will endanger the house.

The shape should be rounded: you definitely don't want one of the narrow columnar evergreens or anything triangular (pointy Christmas-tree type).

Unfortunately I am not knowledgeable enough to suggest what tree (or shrub) would be appropriate for your zone. But unless the nursery is also having a sale on trees, you have plenty of time to do research.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   June 11, 2010 at 10:23PM
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