Help Me Please!

applewayApril 11, 2012

I would appreciate any help with this project! We have lived in this house for 4 years(it was new when we bought it) and still haven't been able to decide what to plant in this space to the left side of our front door. We really can't afford a professional landscaper. We're just doing a little piece at a time. I've looked at pages and pages of shrubs and foundation plantings in numerous books and various websites. I'm thinking about Loropetalums, Barberries, Cleyera, etc. but I just can't make up my mind! I've got two Japanese Maples, one on each side of the house, and I love them but I'm thinking another one in the front might be a little much. I'm just not sure. This area faces east and is sloping. I've included a picture of the space and if anybody can just guide me in the right direction I sure would appreciate it!!

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gardenscout(z6 NE RI)

East facing, good drainage (slope) and a brick background. Just on those features alone, I would put in a hedge of Niko Blue (or similar) Hydrangeas. Then leave the dried blooms on during winter for interest against the brick.

But it really would be better to see a pic of the whole space, and the other plantings nearby. I really don't have a sense of scale, and how high of a shrub you need there.

Here's the pic at the link above:

    Bookmark   April 11, 2012 at 8:07PM
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gardenscout(z6 NE RI)

Can you picture this in that space?

It would take a few years to get that fullness and height, but worth the wait.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2012 at 8:14PM
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Thank you Gardenscout! That looks terrific but I was hoping for lots of different plants. We started to take the sod off a triangular section of the area(you can see the start of it in the photo) and wanted "stuff" to fill in that whole area. Like starting with tall stuff at the back(next to foundation) and graduating to ground cover. But I think you have already convinced me to start with the Hydrangeas!I'm going to insert another pic to help with scale of area. We've got 3 burning bushes nearby and a weeping "I forget what you call it" there in the middle(which hopefully can be moved if necessary) Thank you muchly for any and all replies!

    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 1:09PM
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Here you go:

I'd make the bed larger to encompass those shrubs to the left- heck, my beds are expansive enough to go around that concrete slab and include the little JM as well. Then use conifers for all season structure and save the hydrangeas for sort of a second tier facing, otherwise it will look bad in the winter.
Face that with some perennials and you will have all season interest and room for lots of goodies.

That said I think an even further back photo would help tremendously- it's impossible to judge scale and balance when looking only at a small portion of the property.
It does need go with the rest of the house, after all.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 2:07PM
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I can't see the rest of the house, so I will just make some suggestions.
If you are zone 7, what about a magnolia tree? An evergreen one like a Teddy bear.
Look up online Magnolia, there are evergreen now that are very hardy, and they are ideal for slopes.
They aren't real expensive, so buy a nice size one. Mulch well.
Don't move that weeping conifer when it is hot out. It will die.
Wait til fall. Or you could leave it there, it might look nice when your garden is done.
Also, just for another suggestion, "Chuck Hayes", gardenia.
It grows in zone 6, so you should be alright planting them.
They have double flowers, evergreen, bloom twice a year and smell wonderful near an entrance way.
I bought mine at Home Depot, but you could look at your local garden centers for them.
Also, another shrub to consider is a Sweet Olive shrub.
I think it will live in your zone.
They are evergreen, you can trim it to suit your garden, hardy, and the fragrance is outstanding. You have plenty of room for it to grow in front of that big house.
Good luck! Your home is going to look great when you are done.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 9:36PM
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blue23rose(6b IN)

Oh how I love picking out plants for a space! I've done it a couple of times in the last 4 years. Everything I've planted is just what I see at the landscape centers and visualized myself. Here is a picture of an area that was all in grass and we put in what I call my "sitting garden" in 2008. I started with a few plants and added each year filling in spots.

You may want to do yours gradually too. Just get the area lined out, put down some weed mat, add mulch or rock and then start picking out plants.

My suggestion would be to take your picture to your local landscaping center and just start picking out what you like or even ask for suggestions from someone that works there. Your area landscapers will carry plants that are hardy for your zone.

I like having something blooming at different seasons. You could have daffodils and tulips with a drift of creeping phlox for spring, daylilies for summer (which I'm a sucker for!), and crape myrtles for late summer. I think crape myrtles are awesome because they bloom when a lot of other things aren't in our area. I have a Rose of Sharon (Althea) shrub that I love, but these things reseed and come up all over the place. They bloom late in the summer and are good for that though. Weed mat may help but mine doesn't have it underneath.

If you want more shrubs and something with fragrance, a lilac next to the steps would be great in the spring. I have a 'Miss Kim' lilac and it is about 5 feet tall and wide.

Whatever you do, you will have fun with it I'm sure. Trial and error is sometimes the best way to learn. Some plants just seem to fit in certain spots and thrive. If not, move it and put something else in its place.

Good luck and please post a picture when you get it laid out.


    Bookmark   April 13, 2012 at 8:24AM
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Thank you all so much for your great suggestions! I'm taking all into consideration and will post a pic when I'm done. I did go to a local nursery and talked with one of the folks there and they also gave me some good information. I've got to assimilate it all and then assemble it all and hopefully won't do something stupid! Thanks again!

    Bookmark   April 23, 2012 at 2:10PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

do you have any ability to lay retaining wall bricks ???

if so ...

i would suggest one or two different courses 2 or 3 high .. to create FLAT planting areas ...

the issue here.. will be the ability to water PROPERLY ... and until i owned a hill.. i never knew how near impossible it is.. to water deeply and thoroughly ... w/o washing all the soil downhill ... and the plants

and if you cant water properly.. nothing will thrive ...


    Bookmark   April 23, 2012 at 4:24PM
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