I'm stuck! #2 With pictures of complete front yard.

huntergptJuly 8, 2010

All suggestions (plants, designs, what to keep, what to add,etc...)are appreciated. I'm a beginner and would like to have low-maintenance flowerbeds.

Right side: Full sun-DKO roses with Speedwells

Carpet rose at the corner of lawn. Will put lamppost there.

Left side: Partial sun-river birch, gardenia, compact holly with hostas and impatients

Vitex in mid of lawn

On porch, a 2.5ft X 2ft container- hoping to put a dwarf evergreen as an anchor.

Many thanks.

Here is a link that might be useful: http://www.flickr.com/photos/51820848@N05/

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I think the DKO roses will be OK on the left side too, but will that be too "rosey"? Is it OK for the 2 sides not to be similar (symmetrical)?

    Bookmark   July 8, 2010 at 3:20PM
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Here's a home that's similar to yours. At least it's a good visual..........

Here is a link that might be useful: landscape

    Bookmark   July 8, 2010 at 6:07PM
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karinl(BC Z8)

I don't think symmetry matters, either from a big picture perspective, because of the garage, the tree on one side, and other differences, nor on the smaller scale because you don't experience the property symmetrically - you don't come up a walk up the centre, but rather in from the side.

I think the photo Annz linked to is quite useful as it addresses something I'd change about your home - all your landscaping is somewhat crammed up against the house. Since the yard is quite commodious, it isn't clear why this is, other than that foundation planting is just "done" a lot so it's what people gravitate to. The Vitex is a start at addressing this, and I would personally do way more there, or on the other side, than at the foundation.

And I have this weird theory that when your beds are in the right place, you have far less doubt about plant selection because a good place for plants suggests shape and size and character of plant. I think one reason it's hard to choose plants for an unnecessary foundation planting is because nothing looks any better or any worse than the next selection you think of. It's all just OK, and you can't get to "great."

Now, I didn't ask for the better photos, but I'm chuckling because it's possible that someone is going to ask you for one closer up that shows the sidewalk better and you've removed those photos from your album. From the street view, the sidewalk looks narrow and a visitor might be puzzled how even to get to your door. Depending on what you want to achieve (make it all look more welcoming or easier to walk, for instance, or more plants for you to enjoy up close as you walk in), some tweaking of pathways might be in order.

Also remember that treescapes mature and change. If that birch is a little close to the house, plant a new tree or grove now further away, and take the birch out when the new stuff gets to a decent size.


    Bookmark   July 9, 2010 at 11:37AM
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Thank you Annz and Karin for the suggestions. You are right Karin. Looking back, I have been focus a lot on foundation. I guess it's b/c we just pulled out all the pathetic looking prickly bushes (and replaced them with prickly rose bushes on 1 side :)I'll be browsing the net and magazine for ideas for walkway, etc...- and perhaps mounded bed by the carpet rose and/or expanding the mailbox area. Again, your recommendations are appreciated.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2010 at 12:48PM
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I love an informal look, so I may be impartial. But, to me, what would look absolutely beautiful is to have a climbing rose going up one of your posts. It adds a little drama, height, and softens the look of the porch and house. A yellow rose would be beautiful.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2010 at 1:15PM
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Edie(5 NY (Finger Lakes))

First, please take all of my advice with a grain of salt, because I've been a renter my entire adult life. I think you will be much happier in the long run for planning things out the way you are right now. I've lived in a lot of places where the owner didn't think things far enough ahead, or didn't maintain the landscape properly.

You definitely need a defined walkway or path. Without a path, you will end up with a muddy rut to your door. Possibly two ruts, one from sidewalk to door and one from driveway to door. You could wait for the grass to wear out along the path of least resistance, and then pave that as your path. But I think you'll be happier with something solid and dry underfoot from the beginning.

Your landscape right now looks like a jigsaw puzzle in progress, with only the edges done. That's great, because you get to fill in the middle according to your wishes. A path, even if it's just some stepping stones from the driveway to the front door so visitors know what they're supposed to walk on, is a big chunk of the center of the puzzle. Once that's in place, designing and decorating the rest of the yard will be easier. If you were making a fancy cake, you'd start with the cake part, and put the frosting on last. Flowers are frosting.

When you design your decorative beds, start small. Plan on expanding them later, but don't try to do everything at once. Keep in mind that the yard is already going to need maintenance, even if you don't change a thing. The lawn will need mowing and raking. The driveway will need sweeping and shoveling. The inside of the house is going to need cleaning. Add only what you can take care of at any given time. A well-tended grouping of two or three large planted containers is always going to look better than a big, out-of-control garden that hasn't been weeded or groomed in a month, no matter how pretty the flowers in between the weeds are. Have fun, and may you and your garden grow happily together for years to come.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2010 at 8:20PM
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What you said about the pathway reflects what Karin was saying. There's a concrete pathway from the driveway (garage) to the front door. I deleted the close-up pictures from the file so you may not see it. I took Karin's advice and am working on making the sidewalk more visible. I also made an appointment with a landscape consultation for further advices- very excited.
Also, I appreciate you remind me to work a little bit at a time. I tend to bite off more than I can chew :)

    Bookmark   July 13, 2010 at 8:47PM
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