How would you design this corner garden?

peachymomo(Ca 8)June 28, 2010

I love this corner but I'm not sure what to do with it.

View from the entrance to the front yard:

View from (near) the front door:

It is a wonderful focal point and I would like to have a raised bed with a specimen plant surrounded by some shrubs and perennials. The jog in the fence is 8ft, and the raised bed can extend as far as 20 ft into the yard. The exposure is dappled shade from about 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., and then full sun from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. I would like a winter display of some kind, showy fruit like persimmons although the spot is too shady for them.

I think I will plant a red rhododendron in the darker, farther away corner and I want to have a sitting area in the shade under the tree (which you cannot see in this picture, but it is shady under there for most of the day.)

Suggestions for designs and/or plants would be greatly appreciated! I'm in California, USDA zone 9b or Sunset Western 14.

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ideasshare(z6)

    Bookmark   June 29, 2010 at 7:40PM
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littledog(z7 OK)

So, whatcha got growin' in the pots?

    Bookmark   June 29, 2010 at 9:15PM
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dsb22(z7 VA)

There look to be a lot of tree roots in the area, which I'm thinking is why not much is growing there now? Will a raised bed be a problem to either the tree or future plants?

    Bookmark   June 29, 2010 at 9:56PM
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peachymomo(Ca 8)

I've got roses in the pots, I've recently become addicted : )

There are a lot of tree roots, that was why I was thinking of putting the plants in a raised bed. But I think the reason not much is growing is that part of the garden hasn't gotten any water all summer. During the rainy season it was chock full of weeds.

We just had a tree trimming service come and prune some trees and remove some others today, I don't have a picture right now but the yard looks a little different and the corner will be getting a bit more sun.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2010 at 10:50PM
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peachymomo(Ca 8)

I really like the look of the oak branches that I can see now that I've had a couple of other trees removed. I'm afraid I'm going to have to remove the Liquid Amber tree that got topped (I didn't ask them to top it, but that's another discussion) so I will probably put in a small stone patio where that tree and it's roots are.

I think the far corner still gets enough shade to be a good spot for a rhododendron, but the closer corner is too hot and sunny in the afternoon. Do you think a Heavenly Bamboo would look good there? I like the look of them but I'm not sure that they are 'special' enough to be the specimen plant in my beloved corner. Do you think a Butterfly Bush would get enough sun? (6 hrs morning dappled, 4 hrs afternoon full.) I'm also not sure how much area I should make into a garden and how much should be left grassy.

Any ideas?

    Bookmark   June 30, 2010 at 5:29PM
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dsb22(z7 VA)

That's plenty of sun for a butterfly bush. I had one (a black knight) that was getting less sun than that and I had to give it to a coworker because it was getting too big. I only have dwarf heavenly bamboos so I can't picture how large the regular variety would get. Nice plant though.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2010 at 10:41PM
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lavender_lass(4b)

I love butterfly bushes...in fact they look great with roses. I have some in the corners of my "fairy garden" or butterfly garden for the nieces. They look great with old-fashioned roses and hybrid musks. Hybrid musks also like a little shade. I know your climate is different than mine (I'm five miles from Idaho). We have hot dry summers up here and the butterfly bushes are beautiful :)

Also like butterfly bushes with coneflowers, pink/white/lavender cosmos, catmint, and even coreopsis and marigolds! LOL

    Bookmark   July 1, 2010 at 5:14PM
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wellspring

I'm also very fond of my Buddleja--butterfly bushes...but I wouldn't put them in the role of specimen plant.

I soooo don't know your zone and the wonderful plants you could use. Wish our CA regulars would chime in. There are things you have access to that can bloom for months on end. Maybe do a search for "Bahia" in the forum search box. He's a one man encyclopedia for what can work for many Calif gardeners.

Just looking at your zone, and without any clue as to appropriateness, I'd go to my notes on fragrance and use shrubs that I can't grow here at all. I'd be checking out
Michelia figo evergreen, 10Âx10Â (7-10)
Osmanthus fragrans evergreen, 20Âx20Â (IÂve read raves on the fragrance. Z7-10)
Choisya ternata z7-10)
Gardenia jasminoides evergreen z7-10

Please understand that my suggestions may be ridiculous, but I just donÂt think you should limit yourself to a butterfly bush.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2010 at 11:40PM
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peachymomo(Ca 8)

I was just looking around for evergreen alternatives and saw Choisya ternata, it's in my local Master Gardener's 'best plants for Sonoma County' list so it sounds great.

I was shying away from Gardenias because they don't like afternoon sun in this climate, I have one on the other side of the yard where it gets morning sun and afternoon shade and it seems quite happy.

They are all great suggestions though, I'm looking for something that will provide winter interest because most of my other plantings will be roses and perennials.

Thanks!

    Bookmark   July 2, 2010 at 10:45AM
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rosiew(8 GA)

bump

    Bookmark   July 3, 2010 at 4:20AM
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