in need of expert advice

jeffhorneOctober 4, 2010

hello forum members,yall have a great site i have been lurking for months and have seen the great advice you give out as a group and i am hoping yall can help a guy that is tech. challenged as well as landscaped designed here goes...i have recently relocated my family from cental the beautiful mountains of sw virginia.built a new house,working on out buildings,planted a small fruit orchard,and built some raised beds for vegetable garden,and some rather large raised beds for landscaping around the house-im open to suggestions -but the wife loves knockout roses and all flowering types of plants-if willing to help-i'll get daughter to post pictures tommorrow-i have done a lot of prelimanary work but dont have a clue how to proceed and end up with something nice.thanks jh

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Your vegetable garden,but their life always is short,orchard often isn't need add some evergreen shrub,trees.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2010 at 6:20AM
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You can't advise on plants with the info given. You have to know.

The light--are these beds in sun or shade. A shade plant will not survive in full sun and vice versa.

The moisture--do these beds get lots of moisture or are they tucked under the eaves and realitively dry.

The soil--is it sandy, clay or loam. Is the soil well drained. In other words does the water stay or does it drain away.

Plants enjoy different conditions. Some like it hot and dry with full sun. Some like the shade. Some must have wet feet and others die if it's too wet.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2010 at 6:45AM
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my daughter is trying to post pics for me to no avail-we know how to email them though.if someone that knows how could give us their e mail we could send the pics to you to post-see i told you i am tech challenged. thanks jeff

    Bookmark   October 7, 2010 at 9:32AM
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peachymomo(Ca 8)

To post pics you need to upload them to a site like photobucket and then cut and paste the HTML code for the pic into your post.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2010 at 10:37AM
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karinl(BC Z8)

Open an account on photobucket, upload the photos to your album there. Then look at the options for sharing the photos, you'll find an HTML tag. Copy that, and paste it into the body of your message here on gardenweb. It will look like a long string of letters and numbers. When you click on "preview message" though, the photo should show up in your preview.

Even after posting, I'm not sure you'll get plant suggestions... best way is often to go to the nursery and ask for guidance or just pick what you like, and arrange it in a way that pleases you when you get home. If you want more than the usual selection, then plant collection becomes an avocation of its own, needing to be done for a few years, sometimes at different seasons.

But for starters, let's get the photos up :-)


    Bookmark   October 7, 2010 at 10:41AM
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daughter created photo album in photo bucket-but give up trying to post it here-im still trying though.wish me luck

Here is a link that might be useful: pics of my house

    Bookmark   October 7, 2010 at 11:23PM
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i think i have done it-feeling proud of myself.the house face a few degrees south of east.has sun all morning and most of the day.plan on putting drip system in flower beds,soil was really hard compacted clay from site work performed so built beds and filled with half well composted barn stall cleanings(4-5 yrs in outside pile)-with 20 yr old composted bark/woodchip drains very fast and soil samples came back with neutral ph and no fertiler needed recomendation.if you look close you can see i have even built some planter boxes on the porch that i plan to fill with something-bewteen the garage and house those beds will be shaded quite a bit and i am thinking of some plantings that could be used as fresh flower cuttings-im pretty experienced at growing veggies-but in the past never gave the flower/landscape much thought- my dear precious wife loves beatiful landscape- so i am going to try my best to make it happen for her-thank you for helping.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2010 at 11:45PM
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karinl(BC Z8)

When you open the album, to the left is a list of the tags - just copy the HTML one, and paste it in here. But here's your first picture - you can't post them all anyway.

Great house and setting - I'm almost so green with envy I can't think.

In landscaping vs veg gardening, you need to think about plant shape/mass above all, and where you want those shapes.

Personally, to landscape this house I am not sure I would have put it all right AT the house, but if you have the beds there you need to think what general impression you want there. Think about coming home on a dark winter night as well as daytime in summer.

If you do mostly roses/perennial flowers it will be bare in winter. That might be good, quite open in winter - under snow? A few deciduous shrub shapes showing?

I think flat and open really works for the space and I'm not sure I would do too much of the big round kind of landscaping shrubbery that is evergreen. Maybe some groundhugging junipers with some narrow vertical accents to avoid complete emptiness?


    Bookmark   October 8, 2010 at 1:02PM
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thanks karinl the side walk was a spur of the moment extra concrete on the truck from garage pour kinda thing-just trough the form together and let it rip-then i was left with what to do about landscaping and where to start or stop the beds so finally decided to go all the way out with them.i was wondering if up close to the porch if a permanent low growing green shrub like the ones with the little red berries that birds enjoy is a necessity,and if there is a variety that would stay low and not grow too tall?and then have to plant ground cover type roses and other flowering stuff that has to stay lower than the low hedge(green thing)running along the porch.then planting a flowereing borderalong sidewalk-with the only place for a taller type setting such as wisteria(my little girls favorite yellow thing in early spring) on the corner opposite of garage- harder to exspress thoughts in type than i would have thought -thanks jeff ps.we love the wildlife and my young son loves birds thinking of a mulberry tree somewhere and that was the reason for the little berry type hedge- just sharing

    Bookmark   October 8, 2010 at 6:08PM
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jlcjlr(9b Sacramento CA)

Beautiful. How exciting for you and your family to build a home. If you're not sure what you want, drive around and find a "look" that appeals to you. Even take photos of things you like. If you find a particular shrub or tree that you like, you can post a picture on the "name that plant" forum to find out what it is. Maybe take a few photos at different distances making sure one is close enough to show a good picture of the leaves. Most folks don't mind if you knock on their door and let them know what you are doing. Many will know and can tell you what they have planted. I've knocked and asked about a plant and had the gardener of the house dig some up and share!

Don't be in a rush, enjoy the process of choosing. Some ideas to consider: a tree for lights at the holidays - either bare branches for draping or a conifer-Christmas tree shape. Consider wild-life: attracting and NOT attracting - are deer a problem? Consider seasonal interest: different bloom times, fall color. Consider upkeep: some things only require once a year maintenance like ornamental grasses and many perennials , some shrubs and trees require no care. With a young family, choose nothing that is high maintenance. You have your vegies and fruit trees to keep you busy. Don't ever feel like you've failed if something doesn't work. If it dies, it wasn't meant for that spot. Even if you just don't like it, dig it up and move it or get rid of it. A garden is a living thing, a process, not a task you complete.

Keep us all posted on your progress!

    Bookmark   October 9, 2010 at 4:42PM
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thank you for the suggestions-we are out in the woods-over an hour from wal mart or lowes-is there any plant suppliers on the web you would recommend?and i was hoping that some of you techie gardeners could maybe do the photo with plants thing that i have seen yall do.and oh please dont say that planting the beds with flowers is not a task to complete-cause i am only TASK oriented-right now my task is to complete the installation of drip to the fruit trees and flower beds-and to stain and seal garage before winter sets in.... thanks jh

    Bookmark   October 9, 2010 at 8:23PM
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missingtheobvious(Blue Ridge 7a)

This is a good time of year to plant trees, shrubs and bulbs, but probably a bit late for herbaceous plants. I'm not sure what kind of luck you'd have ordering bulbs the second week of October; I haven't done it, but I gather it's best to do that in the summer.

These are vendors I can recommend; most I've ordered from, and the others have excellent reputations:

Perennials or mostly perennials:
Bluestone Perennials
High Country Gardens
Paradise Garden

Shrubs and trees:
Musser Forests

I haven't bought from these, but you might be interested:
RareFind Nursery
Nearly Native Nursery

If there isn't a nearby Walmart or Lowe's ... perhaps there's a real garden center somewhere in the vicinity? That would be preferable to WM or Lowe's.

Or there may be a landscaper in your area who can order trees or shrubs for you from a wholesaler (I don't know how likely this is, but it can't hurt to ask). They'd get a mark-up, of course, but it might be simpler for you.

I know this isn't what you want to hear, but I think you're better off waiting till spring for most of the planting. Read, learn, and plan over the next few months. Also observe your weather, views you'd like to enhance or block, other site conditions, and your preferences.

You've got a lot of space to fill in those front beds. I'd put a lot of it in low (if not prostrate) shrubs. You can look for plants by height, amount of sun needed, and other characteristics at sites like these:

This one's very picture-oriented; it can be useful if you have a plant in mind but don't know its name:

    Bookmark   October 9, 2010 at 11:21PM
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thank you for advice guys-i am planing on planting in the spring and taking this winter to gather all info i can-and when april comes around get with what ever plan i can come up with....i stoppped at a big green house operation the other day and meet with the owner and all they grow are ferns and vegie sets-- the other big nursery outfit i found carried everything( in the same city as wally world)and i asked about a designer or a planner that could help me landscape and was told "just decide what you want" not really the help i was looking for. 15 years ago i built a house as a newlywed in fl.there i knew a landscape architect called him-he came by talked a few minutes about how much maintance i was into-took a piece of paper sketched out bed size- told me plant species, plant spacing,followed his 5 minute sketch-sold the house 3 months later and for the next numerous years would occasionly go by there and was always amazed at how simple and pretty the planting was as it matured. i guess i will be learning alot more about plants this go around...all i do know is if a person just starts buying what catches their eye and planting it doesnt look near as good as one someone with artistic abilities along with plant knowledge produces---- and i just happen to be lacking in both artistic abilities and plant knowledge.also thanks for suggestions on web sites---i have already recieved a catolog from bluestone about a month back and will be checking into the other ones..most things we purchase is from web---just hate going to town

    Bookmark   October 10, 2010 at 3:42PM
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