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Simple landscaping design recommendations (pics)

Posted by epic_laydown Michigan (My Page) on
Tue, Apr 6, 10 at 5:30

Hi there. I'm looking for a simple landscaping design for a border around my condo. The residents are free to design the border however they choose as long as it is attractive. I'm not that creative as you can tell in the pics. Any simple recommendations would be appreciated, even if the recommendation is to hire somebody lol.

PS. I'd even like plant a few pepper plants and some basil around the southfacing part of the building since it gets a lot of sun. If you need any other pics, I wll try to provide them.

Southfacing part of building.

West facing part of building

Southwest facing diagonal

Closeup of the southfacing part of border.

West facing part of border..northern end.

North facing part of border (mostly shady)

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Simple landscaping design recommendations (pics)


One tip that I might suggest is moving your bulbs into groupings. If you drive around MI right now, you'll see that the more 'professionally' landscaped places have bulbs in groups so that they look more like 'bouquets' when they bloom. I just did this to mine today, my previous arrangements looked more like yours (bulbs in lines or sort of spaced out).

RE: Simple landscaping design recommendations (pics)

Hi Epic
You can do this! You don't have a ton of land and it should be fun. I found these landscaping books by creative homeowner press to be great. They give pictures and layout for every kind of normal home - not these grand landscapes you see in many books. They surely have a similar arrangement of what you have. The books come out by region. Not sure what yours is, but Lowe's, Home Depot carries these according to what you need. Also, you can go to your library and look at the landscaping section. Have fun. It can be beautiful!
Hope that helps!

Here is a link that might be useful: book I mentioned

RE: Simple landscaping design recommendations (pics)

I really don't know what grows well in your area, but the first thing that hit me looking at the pictures is that there is no height. You need a couple tall bushes or small trees in there somewhere.

RE: Simple landscaping design recommendations (pics)

You just need some bulk; not bitty things in dibs and dabs running in a line along the foundation. I'm guessing most of Michigan is in Zone 5, unless you're in the UP which drops to Zone 4 and 3 in some spots.

I'm in Zone 4 and the ever popular "winter interest" is generally buried under a few feet of snow; so I leave winter interest for those in warmer climes. And if you're limited to the already established planting beds, you want to be aware of how big shrubs and trees can eventually get. You don't want to plant a conifer or potentially large tree 3 feet from your foundation.

What I would do is just add some heft. Tulips are great in mass plantings rather than lined up. I'd move what you have to make one or two larger drifts... or simply buy and plant some more when they come into the stores in the early Fall. I see some lilies starting to poke up on the south side among the tulips, so digging without destroying will make the going a little slower. Also, planting your peppers and basil will help to hide the tulip and lily foliage once it starts to die back.

Some things are just tried and true - hostas are great plants; they come in a variety of shades of green and "blue", some are mounding, some are uprights and in the cooler zones can take a lot of sun. All around no care plant to fill up space. Sedums are good clumpers with long lasting flower heads. Sedums look good with hostas. Walker's Low Nepeta is a real nice plant; mine blooms from early summer until the first killing frost. Nepeta looks good with hostas and sedums. Perhaps spireas have been done to death, but Anthony Waterer is a winner that doesn't get overly large is easy to keep in bounds and has dusty rose flowers which compliments the dusty rose flower heads on some of the sedums.

A tour through a good garden center with a little notebook to write down plant names, mature heights, widths, light and water requirements etc. would be the best first step.

I could never tell anyone where to put what - I have to be physically in a space moving things around in their pots until the arrangement looks right.

RE: Simple landscaping design recommendations (pics)

Create a nice bed shape/lawn shape and make a tidy, distinct boundary between the two - a row of bricks or stones or something. Your bed shapes can be a feature irrespective of what is in them.

Your deciduous shrubs look to be growing in nicely. Give them some time, but decide this year whether they are in the right place for the flow of the bed, the placement of windows, etc. They can be moved, but the longer you wait, the harder it gets.


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