Front of house - looking for plant ideas

themurfsOctober 2, 2011

I'm having front of house redone (driveway, front steps, brick wall along one side), and am looking for some plant/design ideas.

Front of house faces NW. Live north of Atlanta, zone 7. Driveway is directly in front of house (drive up driveway toward front door and turn left into garage). Area looking for plants is between driveway and front of house, both sides of front door.

Left side of front door is mostly sunny during summer once sun gets above house (6+ hours direct sun per day). Right side is shaded for much of the day by large oak tree (maybe 1-2 hours direct sun per day).

With new driveway/brick wall, left and right side of the house will be same size, same elevation, but as above, different amounts of sun. Plants will be barely 2 feet below bay windows.

Looking to put in plants (shrub? or other ideas?) as backdrop for flower beds. Thinking evergreen plants as backdrop, since this is in front of house, but maybe not evergreen?

Bloom isn't necessary; easy care desired, i.e. do not want shrub/plant that has to be trimmed/hedged a couple times a year, would prefer small, slow growing that keeps under 2 feet tall even after 10 years.

Soil has been amended some (compost, peat moss), but can be amended more if needed.

Sprinkler system in place, so watering not an issue. Biggest issue is hot-hot-hot on left side, not so hot on right, humidity of Atlanta area, need for plants that remain below 2 feet tall. Searched lots of sites/plant references, but not sure what would really work in this heat.

Ideas? both sides same plant? different plants on either side? other thoughts and ideas? Nuke crepe myrtle and do something else there? Any and all ideas will be appreciated.

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bahia(SF Bay Area)

You don't say how deep the planting beds are between walls of house and driveway, which is critical information to have if you intend shrubs as foundation plants against the wall fronted by flowering perennials or annuals. There are few shrubs that will only grow to 2 foot tall and take both hot mid-day sun and dappled shade and remain looking similar at both sides of your entry. A picture would be helpful, and probably posting this on a plant forum dealing with your part of the south here on the gardenweb would generate plant choices that would be most useful. Given that you dont want to have to prune anything on a regular basis, I'd suggest that herbaceous perennials such as daylilies might be a good fit for the sun, and compact dwarf Nandina or Pittosporum tobira 'Wheelers Dwarf's for the shady side. Crinums might also work. If Trachelospermum jasminoides is reliably hardy in your zone,it can easily be kept trimmed to a neat 2 foot height indefinitely with just a once yearly trim. Acanthus mollis _might be another choice of perennials for the shady side, along with classic southern plants like Liriopes or Acorus gramineus 'Ogon'.__@

    Bookmark   October 3, 2011 at 10:00PM
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