What small plants/flowers for outside entry to house in Texas?

czz_eddie(91360)September 9, 2010

I'd like to get some ideas about what plants or flowers to plant where the two red stars are in this picture. I dug up the old ugly plants.

I'm looking for something attractive that won't grow all over the place.

I'm not a gardener by profession or hobby. Don't know much. My dad had a green thumb but I never paid much attention. This is my first house.

Thanks for any suggestions!

The house has pinkish/red brick with beige/white siding.

The palm tree in the middle has been pruned big time since this picture was taken.

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ideasshare(z6)

YOU should dug up the old ugly walkway too.palm?it isn't cold in winter your place.I add some ideas,you select.

Here is a link that might be useful: if need more pic design

    Bookmark   September 10, 2010 at 1:31AM
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missingtheobvious(Blue Ridge 7a)

czz_eddie, please ignore ideasshare.

I can't help you as I am not familiar with Texas, but someone who does know what does well in your area will doubtless be along shortly.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2010 at 2:26AM
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reyesuela(z7a)

I wouldn't try to frame both sides of the entry. You won't find a plant that doesn't look crowded on the left. Instead, do some shade-loving plants under the window to the left.

I know for sure that a Skyrocket juniper will do well on the right in your area. An Italian cypress might do well, too. Put it diagonal from the corner, not right smack in front of the support column.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2010 at 9:40AM
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reyesuela(z7a)

Ooops. You said small.

Hosta, ferns, coleus, and impatiens do well there.

Elephant ears and caladiums do, too, but usually must be lifted (or they usually come back stunted), but that close to the house, they'd probably be fine.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2010 at 11:42AM
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sleepy33(5b KS)

I like how ideasshare thinks everywhere in America is cold. Poster lives in Austin, TX, plenty warm enough for a palm, besides which you can clearly see that it's not too cold for a palm since he HAS A PALM. THAT IS ALIVE.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2010 at 6:37PM
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bboy(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

For once an ideasshare layout actually looks fairly suitable and what he said was it wasn't cold where you were.

If you are thinking matching pairs at the front door don't do that, like most built more recently your house does not have a geometrically symmetric facade calling for matching pairs.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2010 at 10:22PM
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reyesuela(z7a)

I have no idea what that shrub is on the right, but I don't think it grows in that part of Texas. Also, only SOME palms do in Austin--a minority. It's zone 8.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2010 at 10:48PM
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czz_eddie(91360)

Thanks, everyone. I think I should post an updated picture and will take one today. I'll bring it out more so you can see the right side area.

What ideasshare posted is confusing to read? I like the picture this person took the time to create for me. But the landscaping is far too extreme for my tastes. I'm a football watching, motorcycle riding 38 y/o bachelor dude.

I just want to spruce things up a bit.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2010 at 12:44PM
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missingtheobvious(Blue Ridge 7a)

ideasshare's first language is not English, so verbal comments tends to be cryptic.

He/she has access to a large photo library but only limited knowledge of plants.

The Photoshop skills have improved considerably over the years, but inserted plants are still not to scale (2' perennials shown as 7' tall, etc.). Plants are shown much closer than they could be placed IRL (pictures are two-dimensional, whereas living plants have actual depth).

The use of color is particularly extreme by 21st century American preferences, as evidenced by the giant magenta-flowered shrub underplanted with the prostrate orange-red flowers.

I doubt you'd consider planting groundcover in front of your garage door -- but that's been Photoshopped in. And the driveway has been altered to cut across the front yard at a 45º angle. We can only wonder why.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2010 at 2:19PM
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czz_eddie(91360)

I thought the picture was super helpful. Sometimes it's good to see things even if it's not what you're looking for.

Having sizes proportional would be preferred of course.

Well, I couldn't find any of the flowers mentioned by reyesuela at Home Depot. Though the HD guy said the impatients were out of season here right now.
So I just picked up a couple flowers that looked nice to me.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2010 at 7:17PM
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bboy(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

HD is not the place to go for selection. And quality depends on what they do have on hand having just been delivered.

Big box and supermarket plant departments are not nurseries!

Landscaping your yard with only what HD has is like doing all of your eating out at a McDonald's.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2010 at 10:38PM
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bboy(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

If you are expecting either of those to last through the winter they may not.

Mixing the bagged soil into such a small area, or replacing the existing soil with the bagged soil in such a small area will not enhance the growth of the plants. No matter how many times you see a diagram or instructions telling you to do this, it is wrong - and began to be seen to be a mistake at least 40 years ago.

Always plant so that there is the same soil throughout the entire potential rooting area of the plants. Strictly speaking something like an Angelonia, during the time that it might last there might not manage to root over a much bigger area than the part that has been cleared of sod. But still you don't want it left in a small pocket of modified soil surrounded by different soil.

The problem is how amending of planting holes affects the movement of water into and out of them.

And what effect this has on the plants.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2010 at 10:45PM
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czz_eddie(91360)

I got them from HD because I was there at the time. The nursery was kind of out of the way. I agree in principle though.

Each plant got one full bag of potting soil dedicated to it. That isn't enough? I'm not sure what to do then.
Not sure what I expect out of the plants either. Aren't you supposed to replace them every four months or so with a different season plant?

    Bookmark   September 12, 2010 at 4:32AM
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reyesuela(z7a)

Oh, dear.

In this case, I'll be more explicit. One little flower on either side of the door will not improve the looks of the house. Make a real bed that extends from the sidewalk under the window to the left that is 4' deep. Kill or remove the grass, dig in amendments, and make a clear, clean line between grass and the flower bed. (It can be maintained with a string trimmer.)

Plant a line of large hostas along the back. They are NOT "out of season" in Austin right now. They are perennial. (I'm pretty sure that they have a VERY short dormancy in Austin, but I can't remember that clearly.) However, you still might have to wait until spring to find them if you only want to shop as Home Depot.

In front of them, plant a bunch of annuals. These will die every year, so they have to be replanted each season. In October, plant pansies in front of the hostas. Don't plant just one row. Plant three staggered, with the center line offset. Plant them pretty close together.

When it warms and the pansies begin looking ragged, pull them out and plant periwinkles, if you can find them, and if you can't then plant impatiens. The New Guinea type will give you more "bang." (I advise periwinkles over impatiens in this case because they are lower care, whereas impatiens in your climate need more water.)

You can even find periwinkles, impatiens, and pansies at Wal-mart, let alone Lowe's or Home Depot.

If you would rather not mow under the palm, you can underplant it with jasmine.

On the right side of your front door, go out at a 45 degree angle 3' and there you can plant a skyrocket juniper.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2010 at 12:57PM
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reyesuela(z7a)

If you want to stay in the existing bed to the right, you can replace my skyrocket juniper suggestion with cannas, which are easily contained with mowing but will spread to fill the space. They, too, can be found at HD, but you may have to wait for spring.

You don't need to buy topsoil or anything for them. They'll grow in straight clay. Just kill the grass and remove it.

Every year, when the leaves are dead to the ground, you can cut the canna back.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2010 at 1:05PM
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