Re-landscaping Project

honey_mi(Z5 MI)September 13, 2006

We finally got the port for my memory stick reinstalled on the puter. So hereÂs the re-landscaping project so far.

This is the right side of my front porch. The area where the Weeping Norway Spruce is, is where we had to dig the 5Âx5Â hole to waterproof the basement wall behind the stairs. IÂm real happy with the shape of the spruce.

In front of it in that little courtyard, are 3 varigated Azalea Silversword, one that is a bit confused and blooming:

On the other side of the courtyard, (where we had to dig out a 3Â stump), are more Azalea Silversword and an evergreen, curly leaved, privet (canÂt remember the name):

In front of the courtyard on that side, are 9 Buxus Green Mountain and 5 double Knockout Roses. In this pic, IÂve temporarily placed some mums whose homes are TBD:

In front of the courtyard on the other side is a Blue Spruce 'Montgomery IÂve placed one of my containers beside it for some color for now:

The front portion is where we had to dig out the limestone slag. I took this pic just as I beginning to determine how big a job it was going to be remiving that stuff:

To the right of the Montgomery and temp. container is Acer ÂFireglowÂ, a sport of ÂBloodgood that gets 10Âx10Â. ItÂs approx 5 now:

HereÂs the rest of the area in front of the garage. Next to 'Fireglow is the rescued Daphne, more Boxwood, the area reserved for Magnolia ÂJane' and a Tiger-eye Sumac. IÂm not sure I like the latter and/or like it there:

HereÂs the infamous boulder retaining wall. You would not believe how heavy these boulders are and how many times I shoved them around and turned them around. The 2 on either side of the end of the walk have to be moved somewhere else, but I donÂt know where:

HereÂs the other side of the retaining wall. There are 5 Weigelia Wine & Roses and Sedum Angelina around the pear tree.

The idea behind using the boxwood hedge, is to hide the skunky appearance of perennials at this time of year behind them. I like the 'S' curve of the boxwood, but may have to adjust the placement, reduce or add to them when the Magnolia gets delivered.

Now I have a question for you guys. I need to add some evergreens. IÂm thinking about 3 ea oOn either side of the new walk and am considering 'Juniperus horizontalis ÂLimeglowÂ. Below is a link. IÂve mocked it up using Hakonechloa which is similar in texture and color. What do you guys think?

So thatÂs it so far. I think I need my own gardener that I can just direct!

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Honey - what beatiful results to all your hard work. It looks FANTASTIC!!

I think the limegreen Junipers would be stunning flanking the walk.

I have a Magnolia Jane and a Tiger Eye Sumac. Jane is new this season but has setteled in nicely. I'm completely in love with the Tiger Eye, in fact mine way outshines the Sambucus Sutherland Gold, keeping its beautiful colors all season. It has also been very well behaved - no suckering at all.

The weeping norway Spruce is a beauty - it does indeed have a wonderful shape.

Your new landscaping incorporates the very best design elements with different textures, colors and pleasing lines. Congratulations on all you have achieved!


    Bookmark   September 13, 2006 at 8:09PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
honey_mi(Z5 MI)

Thank you, Mary, for your kind words! I think I'll feel more comfortable when I get all the plants in and they get a bit larger.

What you said about the sumac is interesting, b/c I had been thinking of using Sutherland's Gold there but was concerned about the berries and whether or not I could prune it to keep it small. The nursery here told me that the sumac doesn't get as large here as in warmer climates so I decided to try it. How big is yours?

My hesitation about "Limeglow" is it's color retention as it grows and ages. I'll have to do more research, I think.

I'm just trying to take this one layer at a time so I don't overwhelm myself.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2006 at 8:31PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

OK, I just lost Firefox along with my reply to you Honey. So briefly, I love what you are doing, think Tiger Eye is fabu-fabu, know what work it is, but think you are doing way better than any landscaper would have done. Your specimens are beautiful and everything will look super in the winter too. Way to go!

    Bookmark   September 13, 2006 at 8:55PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

It's like kids Honey. You wish away their youth and then when they get bigger, you wonder why you were so eager for them to grow up! So take it easy, things will grow bigger than you can foresee. Sometimes they sulk, but at least they don't talk back or ask for the keys to the car!

    Bookmark   September 13, 2006 at 9:03PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Wow, Honey, you've done alot of work there! Is this your design? I think the Junipers would look great. Marie is right about mature size of most plants. The tag guidelines usually indicate 10 year size. I have a couple of Knockout roses and they can get quite large-at least 3-4 feet tall and wide. You can prune them severely in the spring though.

Leave some space for permanent containers and summer annuals that will carry you through with color for most of the growing season. The evergreens will shine the rest of the months. You people may convince me to try one of these Tiger Eye sumacs a search on the shrub forum-people are having suckering problems and seeing signs of vigorous growth and I just don't have room for something like that.


    Bookmark   September 14, 2006 at 8:47AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Honey, you are amazing! I can't believe the amount of work you have accomplished. I love the curving boxwood and am wondering where I could copy that. LOL It looks so well planned. I love your container and think it is a great idea to leave a few spots for containers.


    Bookmark   September 14, 2006 at 9:55AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Wow Honey!!!! That was a load of hard work but it is paying off and looking wonderful. (Bug already used fabu-fabu so I thought I'd look for a different adjective. LOL) Anyway. I really like the curved line of the boxwood. Lovely! That weeping spruce is a beauty. How large does it get.

I groaned in sympathy pains when I saw all those rocks you've been moving around. I know that drill and I'm tired thinking about it.

I think those junipers will look dynamite there.

I agree with Sue about leaving space for permanent container/s and annuals. That very large urn in my driveway garden looks really good all season long and adds an archetectual element that pleases in all seasons.

One observation, you know that largish round rock in that last photograph in front of the sumac? (BTW, I'm thinking I need one of those sumac as well, you enabler you!)Anyway the rock is a bit 'perched' and might look better if it was dug in a bit or are you going to plant something at its feet?

It all looks terrific and you've done an amazing job.


    Bookmark   September 14, 2006 at 9:55AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Honey, this is beautiful! What a lot of work it has been but it has turned out beautifully!


    Bookmark   September 14, 2006 at 10:26AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Honey, what a great job you have done! And it will only get better and better. How I would love to start all over with my beds. I look back at pics of my beds when I first started them, and they look so much better than now. Ahh well.......

    Bookmark   September 14, 2006 at 11:18AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
honey_mi(Z5 MI)

Thanks for all your comments and support. I appreciate it. This is so way beyond my skill level that Im really nervous about making costly mistakes.

Marie, LOLOL "at least they dont talk back or ask for keys to the car."

Sue, Deanne, a lot of the design ideas were mine which is why I was so upset w/the designer. I wanted that Weeping Norway Spruce by the front porch, evergreens perhaps Azaleas in the courtyard, boxwood curves, blue spruce shrub/red maple combo (I wanted Acer "Shaina" b/c it stays small but no one has it here), and a tall ornamental behind the pear I asked for Jane or tri-colored beech. Also on my list of OK plants was W&R Weigelas. He extended and redefined the edge of the beds which I liked, and came up with the placement of the blue spruce and Weigelas. He also suggested Fireglow which was the only small upright maple I could find but he had it placed so that it would block the courtyard and the spruces behind as it grew. Tom & I moved that maple around and redug the hole several times before it got planted.

Next to the maple, he had 3 dappled willow, Hakuro Nishiki. I liked the plant and texture, but after researching found that it needs constant pruning to keep its color and it often greens-out. Thus, instead I put the rescued daphne there. He suggested the sumac but had 3 instead of one specd. The jury is still out on the sumac for all the reasons you guys stated. Since I got it for $20, its no biggie if it doesnt work out.

I wanted evergreens at the end of the beds and he specd Birds Nest Spruce. I like them, but theyre ho-hum and I think I need bright and color against the boxwood and Jane behind.

Mary, thats great to know that Jane" has settled in nicely for you. I cant wait to see it when it blooms. What I heard from various nurseries is that the plants in the little girl series havent read the labels. At the nursery where I bot Jane, they have some gorgeous, huge, Betty and Jane, some 15 in diameter. But they can be pruned.

Thanks T, and Marian. It has been alot of work, even without the stumps and dumps to clean up.

Deanne, Ive heard and read various things about the size of the Weeping Norway Spruce. Its supposed to be a slow-grower, so size hopefully wont be a problem in my lifetime. I like the way the lower branches spread out like a skirt. Im keeping it staked so the leader will grow upright a little more before it starts to weep.

Funny, I thot of you when moving those boulders. The two on the end are just there temporarily. I do plan to dig them in when I decide where theyre going. Yesterday, a friend gave me a tip on moving them buy a couple pieces of sheet metal and slide them! Could work!

Thanks Michelle. You, Deanne and I are on the same wavelength about the container. I moved that one there for temporary color and found I liked it. I love Marties idea of cascading petunias out of a container. It would work well there if I found the right urn. I also like the idea of incorporating more containers, but Im not sure where. Hmmm.

Any ideas on perennials in the courtyard? I thot of echoing the varigation of the azaleas by adding Hosta Patroit or Fire and Ice, or Lamium White Nancy. There might be too much sun tho.

Here are some plants I need places for or can redirect out front:

Leucanthemum Highland White Dream
2 Hemerocallis 'Romantic Returns' and 2 When My Sweetheart Returns
3 Heliopsis Loraine Sunshine
1 Deep Purple Magic Fountain Delphinium
1 Lt. Blue Magic Fountain Delphinium
Hosta plain dk. Green w/yellow edge, sun-tolerant
1 Hemerocallis Big Smile (lt lemon yellow)
Bearded Iris, yellow and deep blue (from Jain)
1 Sedum Frosty Morn
5 Sedum Purple Emperor
Tons of Hermocallis Happy Returns

See why Im overwhelmed? I need more room to plant these treasures!

    Bookmark   September 14, 2006 at 12:52PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
chloehoover(z6b VA)

Honey - wow, o wow - what a lot of terrific work you've done. Definitely landscape designer!!

I dont know how valuable my comments might be but here are a couple - I personally think you might want to consider repeating somehow the red/purple of the Acer near the walk or w/ the sumac & yellow tones/ it would "punch" that up even more - just to make it "sweep" thru to the eye? I think the boxwood G.M.'s get pretty healthy good size after a couple years also, (at least in my area, which is warmer, so maybe that's not so true of yours) so you may want to save some early pruning/moving by not planting so tightly? -- I sure do love the curve of them that you've put in though. It is just luscious. [so much for my few pennies of suggestions - but you are obviously more expert at this than I - not out of your depth at all !!!!!!!]

And your conifers -- yummy! They look just terrific where they are. You've sited them to full advantage I think.

I've been eyeing Magnolia Jane for some time myself but decided I was afraid it would get too broad for the location I had in mind. I think you'll love it - it looks like it could be as wide in that location couldnt it (shading the walk eventually)?

Again, I am in awe of all the back-breaking, sweaty, ditch digger work you and DH have done and the fantastic skill with which you've planned this. You'll have neighbors asking your advice all the time now !!



    Bookmark   September 14, 2006 at 1:44PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
honey_mi(Z5 MI)

T, Thank you! BTW, The curvy beds and boxwoods happened b/c of you. I kept thinking, 'curvy', 'curvy', lol.

Cindy, what nice things you've said! Thanks.

I agree w/you totally about repeating the red on that side. I just haven't figured it out yet. One thot is to put Ninebark 'Summer Wine' in that corner instead of the sumac behind the 'Limeglow' Junipers.

The boxwood were/are a puzzle. I have absolutely no experience w/them so I appreciate your comments. The nursery suggested planting them 16" center to center so that's what I did. I bot the number that @#!%$ designer spec'd and may have too many. Also, I'm going to have to remove the boxwood behind the magnolia. I'll keep the S-shape, just shorten it up. I may have enough boxwood left over boxwood for other areas.

The area between the brick garage wall and walkway is 8-9 feet and it faces directly east. I realize I may have to prune 'Jane' eventually if she gets out of bounds.

I don't know about skill, tho. I'm still learning from the experts here! Actually, I'm struggling and am finding this more of a challenge than I thot it would be. But isn't that always the way! Thanks again, Cindy.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2006 at 3:08PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

My two cents again: I have Frosty Morn and really like it with pink veronica against the dark backdrop of purple sandcherry. Friends grow it with the pink veronica against a Diablo Ninebark.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2006 at 5:38PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Honey, you know of course that I have no suggestions as to what would look good where. ;o) But I did notice all those curves.....and I noticed the curves you made using the boxwoods. I do like the mixture of foliage colors that you have, it adds so much more interest in a garden and I never noticed it before seeing Sue's garden in photos (and then in person). Now I wonder if I was just missing it or if adding more variety of colors, textures and such is a newer goal of many gardeners. Probably I was just missing it before. ;o)

I'd love to see the before photos if you'd care to share them---either here or privately if you'd rather.

Today I worked on my new curvy beds in the backyard. I hate to admit that the pile of wood chips have sat, unused, for the past couple months and I'm just now getting to laying out the beds. Better late than never?? (I hope! LOL).


    Bookmark   September 14, 2006 at 7:32PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Honey, you are doing a great job. I really like that weeping spruce in the courtyard corner. Also am really liking those Azalea Silverswords. I have not seen that variety and think they would would look good in my new bed.

The curvy boxwood are is a nice touch. I have seen that in a couple of gardens and always wanted to try it.
The new walk is gorgeous. I will sure want to see more of this as it progresses. Thanks for sharing. Norma

    Bookmark   September 14, 2006 at 8:23PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


How cool!!! We have twin projects!!! Yours is way ahead of mine, though. LOL

Glad your moving the box from behind the Magnolia since box needs as much sun as you can give it and the Mag might make the ones near the house short. I happen to love box, especially when it's used in combo with a grey foliage plant for knot gardens, but I digress ...

The permanent container idea is a must, I think. And, the cascading petunias are so DARN easy and provide so much oomph.

I like the sumac. Perhaps you could put some pink/maroon-hued Sedum around the drip line to soften the edge by the driveway? It'd pick up the branch color and pull it together a bit, which is what I think might be bothering you about it?

Hooray for the rescue plant! It'll probably be the best material you've got in five years. LOL

No more suggestions -- it looks Great and was/is obviously a lot of work. Worth it though, IMHO>


    Bookmark   September 15, 2006 at 7:14AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
honey_mi(Z5 MI)

Thanks, Marie, about Frosty Morn. That combo sounds nice. I tested it between the Daphne and the maple and it really popped that area, too.

T, about seeing texture and color, I think we know what we like when we see it, but the detail of what makes the combo pleasing isnt apparent until its pointed out. Im learning about colors and textures, too and how to foil them against each other. So dont feel alone.

Thanks to you, I started a Before/After album and will combine all the photos later. To see some of the "Befores", click on the link below. When we bot this house, the siding, trim and roof were chocolate brown, screamed 80s and the landscaping overgrown. The first things I shovel pruned were: the berry trees by the front door that stained the porch littered the walk, and got tracked inside. Next went the horrid Pyracantha that covered the front and side walls of the garage. I also edited out several yews, weeded and just cleaned it up.

Next, we replaced the roof and gutters and painted the siding and trim. But several problems remained. The walkway was too close to the house in front of the garage (3 feet) for any shrubs other than yews and Pyracantha. The concrete walk had heaved or sunk in several areas, and the downspouts emptied roof run-off next to the foundation or onto the walk and driveway. After it rained, we had water problems in the basement and a lake by the front door. In winter, the walk and driveway were solid ice.

Before the walk install, we rerouted 3 downspouts to a central drain to carry the run-off under the lawn almost to the street to a pop-up that distributes it on the lawn. What a HUGE improvement that is!

Norma, thanks! Ive seen the boxwood being used and wanted to try it. Well see. BTW, I bot those Azaleas at HD. Check your stores, they might still have some.

Speaking of boxwood, Cindy, I double checked the Green Mountains and they are the kind that can be kept small here. Whew!

Martie, let us see your redo! And thanks for the Sedum and container suggestions. That would be a good spot for purple emperor. Re the Daphne, I can't believe the nurseries here want $90 to $149 for the same size/condition of that plant! That's why I couldn't pass it up.

Last night we bot 9 LimeGlow Junipers. So today Ill be moving the boulders around again and planting the junipers. Below is the link I promised. Thanks all, for your comments.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2006 at 12:05PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
taryn(S Ontario Z6B)

Wow, Honey, what great results from all your hard work! It will be wonderful as it matures, and certainly adds tons to the curb appeal of your home.

I don't have anything useful to add (feeling a little overwhelmed myself with my own huge pot ghetto), but you've got some great tips from others. I do think you should go back to that nursery where the ho-hum designer hailed from with pics of what you accomplished on your own. Maybe they'll hire you to replace him!

Great job, thanks for sharing...


    Bookmark   September 18, 2006 at 9:57PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Bought Colocasia esculenta tubers... now what?
I bought today a pack of 4 Colocasia esculenta tubers. They...
Elk in Dogs for mrtulin
The link is in here scroll down and have fun. Some...
Patty W. zone 5a Illinois
Big Mistake ! Chinese lantern
I just wanted to warn those who are thinking about...
Names of these two plants?
Can someone help me with the names of these two bushes?...
Welcome spring...
I usually spend most of my time on the Roses Forum...
Sponsored Products
'Superman' Plate - Set of Four
$8.99 | zulily
La Siesta North American Style Kingsize Hammock with Spreader Bars - NQR14-21
$199.90 | Hayneedle
Stone Scroll Mantel
$1,275.00 | Horchow
Waldon Trunks - Set of 4 - 87700-4
$357.99 | Hayneedle
Richard Schultz | 1966 Collection® Twin Seat Lounge Chair with Arms
Shun Blue Honesuke Knife
$179.95 | FRONTGATE
Outdoor Lighting. LV25VRD Landscape Lighting Path Light Low Voltage (12V) Die Ca
$70.11 | Home Depot
Illumine Outdoor Lanterns. 1-Light Wall Mount Lantern Slate Finish Tuscan Glass
Home Depot
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™