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Large area, no idea where to start!!

Posted by trophyman1 none (My Page) on
Wed, May 2, 12 at 19:37

WOW! What a wealth of ideas and information here! I have a pretty large area that I would like to landscape and have no idea where to start. I live in central Florida (9) and would like something that is green most of the time but does flower in season. In my previous house, in Maryland, I had very good luck with rhododendron and azaleas. Lots of color and not a great deal of maintenance.

I don�t see those plants at the local nurseries so I�m not sure if I can do the same here. But that is the effect I�m after. The area is quite large. The bed will be about 30 feet long and 25 feet wide. I would like to keep the crepe myrtle�s but I�m not tied to them. Advice on plantings, forming the beds and ground cover is greatly appreciated. Don�t see where to attach photos but they can be viewed here.
https://www.dropbox.com/gallery/70429679/1/LANDSCAPE?h=fd3324

Thanks so much.

Here is a link that might be useful: Picture of area


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Large area, no idea where to start!!

WOW!----I answer you quickly.
Photobucket


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RE: 23Large area, no idea where to start!!

You really need to post other more some pics that show the context and situated and conditions of the house ,They are not too close up).
first upload photo to any photo-hosting site.Photobucket and Flickr are examples . While at that photo on the site,
look for a link to "share." Then look for a way of obtaining "html code" (don't select the thumbnail version.)
Copy that code and paste it directly into your message here.


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RE: +65Large area, no idea where to start!!

I prefer to add some ideas on some photos.my intention is to avoid the result is very different from your image and
wordy suggests,help you easy read and visual understand a couple of examples of how to tie it all together and
great planting combinations.
Photobucket


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RE: Large area, no idea where to start!!

I think where you have to start is with the question of why you have decided to "landscape" this area; what you hope to achieve. That will direct you a bit in terms of whether you are talking hardscape or just plants, and if plants, what kinds. How do you view it? How do you use it? What does it do for you, or not do for you, as it is? How does it lie in the context of your whole property? What kind of maintenance needs can it create? And so on.

Karin L


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RE: Large area, no idea where to start!!

And what city are you nearest? Z9 has A & B parts. You are now 3 zones distant from Maryland so don't expect that the same plants work in the same way. There are Azaleas and Rhodies here, but probably not the same ones you're used to.


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RE: Large area, no idea where to start!!

Thanks for the replies. Sorry, I should have explained the area and included more photos and shown the area in context. We have 11 acres with most of the pastures in hay production. The area that I am currently working on is in front of the house. We have a long (1000 ft) driveway the winds up to the side of the house to the garage.

Plans are for a hardscape (pavers) parking area in front of the house with a winding walkway to the front door. I plan on starting that project in the fall/winter when the weather is more moderate. My immediate focus is on the area in the photos and shown in blue in the 3D rendering. Perhaps even joining the 2 beds together to make one larger planting area.

As you come up the driveway you pass this area. I want this area to be bright and welcoming. Right now, as you can see, it's just grass and a crepe myrtle. The view that I have in mind is people driving up to and parking in the driveway in front of the garage will see this area first. I don't mind a bit of maintenance but I don't want to work on it everyday. I will have in-ground irrigation on timers so water is not an issue.

I know nothing of plants and how they go together. I am thinking something that will stay green year round with perhaps some blooms when in season. (hydrangea, rhododendron, azaleas??) and then perhaps something tropical (sago palm etc.) Not concerned with how big they will get. I would, perhaps, consider a hardscape (pathway, fountain etc) if you think it will look good with the area. I have the space, time and a strong back so feel free to let your imagination run wild.

YARDVARK>> I am about 10 miles north of Ocala.

I hope I've adequately relayed what my vision is. Please comment and advise.

http://doowopridge.com/landscape/2.jpg
http://doowopridge.com/landscape/3.jpg
http://doowopridge.com/landscape/view1.jpg
http://doowopridge.com/landscape/view2.jpg
http://doowopridge.com/landscape/top-down.jpg

Thanks ever so much.
Pat


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lets try the pictures again


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RE: Large area, no idea where to start!!

The typical approach to planning a piece of property would be to create a master plan which would show the location of all that you plan to construct. Then, at whatever pace and breadth you determine is appropriate, you would plan and build the various components (hardscape and planting) in accordance with the master plan. This could be done in one fell swoop or in phases. From what you've submitted, I can't tell where along in this process you are. Is the shape, layout and size of future paver areas already planned? For the planting area that you are concerned with right now, it seems that it will relate to the automotive approach and parking, but without seeing plans for those areas, it's not possible to know what should be done with planting. Hardscape areas should be planned, at least to the master plan level, before any planting is planned or built around them. To place plantings in an open field without any idea of how nearby structures and spaces were laid out, would be without much point. While it could end up being a lovely garden in and of itself, it could just as well be oriented in the wrong direction or mistakenly blocking nice views.

The Realtime 3-D renderings are difficult to read and do not convey what is existing and what is proposed. Can you generate a 2-D plan drawing (a SIMPLE drawing... without textures or too much color) that shows what is existing? It would be more useful.

Where is the planning that is finished so far?


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RE: Large area, no idea where to start!!

OK>>There is not, and probably will never be, a MASTER PLAN. This is purely a project to brighten up an area that is viewed when you drive up the long driveway to the parking area in front of the garage. As I stated above. While it's obvious to me that landscaping is a passion for many here (that's why I choose this site, I have way too many projects and hobbies already, I don't want or need another. I simply asked for advice on plant selection (larger plants in back to smaller plants in front???) in a forum of people with a lot of knowledge and experience on the subject.

If you wanted information on the correct way to construct a chrome-molly tube frame chassis for a street rod or NASCAR race car, I could help you. Plants---I know little about except they look really nice when placed in a landscaped bed. I suppose I could hire a landscape designer/architect, but I am the type that likes to get his hands dirty and enjoy doing it myself.

I DO have plans for hardscapes, if that is what it is called, a 30' by 100' area of pavers (guest parking) that is marked "fall 2012". Other than that, I haven't given a lot of thought to the landscape. What have I done so far? Not a lot, I have the boxwood bushes that run in front of the house in beds and mulched. I only have 1 large tree directly in front of my house about 50 feet from the front door ringed with mulch. Beside my house a have about a half acre of fruit trees. Mostly citrus with two peach for the wife. I "cut" the grass (Bahia) about 60 feet around the house. The remaining acreage is Bahia hay cut and round bailed two to three times a year.

That's it. All I'm asking for is some advice on what to plant in the area shown in blue and how to place it in that area. The red line is the path up the driveway and the yellow arrows show the view to the area. The area can really be any size, but I was thinking about 30 feet long by about 25 feet wide. ANY configuration is fine.

Thanks again.


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RE: Large area, no idea where to start!!

  • Posted by catkim San Diego 10/24 (My Page) on
    Fri, May 4, 12 at 13:17

I see you are most concerned about the look from the drive. It appears this area is not really visible from inside your home, correct? But it will be viewed from the walk toward the "fall 2012" area. Will the area between the blue planting bed and the walk remain grass?

Is the wind a constant factor?


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RE: Large area, no idea where to start!!

When it comes to car frames, Trophyman, does one size fit all? Or do you have to know something about the intended car before you start cutting and welding? It's not likely one could call you and order a car frame without giving you some specifics about what the car is supposed to be: it's size, shape, intended use, limits of endurance, speed, etc. I'm not trying to get into an off-topic argument with you, but you're asking someone to come up with an "alleged" property improvement... but not expecting them to know what it is they're improving, how it relates to existing features of the property or ties into future work. Not until your latest post is it made clear that "Fall 2012" is the area of pavers. From what you've offered, it'd be impossible to know if the planting scheme you are asking for is supposed to draw one into a view of what's beyond... or screen it. You don't need to say, "...I haven't given a lot of thought to the landscape." It's apparent. What you're likely to end up with is a planting scheme, whether it makes sense or not, that could be "pinned" on your yard like a giant brooch. And you're likely to wish in the not too distant future that it were different. The plantings you are now wanting to create will not only be based on the function of adjacent areas... they will probably BE PART OF the function.

If you can't provide a base plan of the area in question, it's likely that you could get some help based on photos. However, there don't seem to be any head-on photos that show the area in question as it would be approached by someone entering the property. I'm getting a sense that you are wanting the plantings to help a visitor make a decision about where they should go as they're arriving... (?)


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RE: Large area, no idea where to start!!

Probably sometimes to my own dismay, I tend NOT to take a Rube Goldberg approach to some things. In spite of that I have a yard and gardens that many people have found worth stopping to look at.

The only thing I might give some thought to regarding the blue circle - plant for a pleasant view from all sides, and not just from the marked approaches. Rather than a circle, make the space a bent lozenge shape ending at the lower left of the projected parking pad. You might want something to look at from the fall 2012 guest parking piece of hardscape. In that case, tall in the center and graduated smaller all around.

I know nothing about Florida plants, but a good garden center would. They would more than likely be delighted to work with your projected design, sell you the plants, and install - voila, one less possible hobby although more expensive than DIY.

And, yes, I do know this is the Landscape Forum and simple (simplistic) approaches are not in high regard.


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RE: Large area, no idea where to start!!

  • Posted by catkim San Diego 10/24 (My Page) on
    Fri, May 4, 12 at 19:58

This is going to sound a little bland because I can't recommend precise plants for your location. After looking at your photos and renderings, I suggest a kidney-bean shape bed, very large, with the curved side of the bean toward the curving drive, and the indented side of the bean toward the flagpole. I would select something tall to center on the ovoid end of the bean near the garage, and something 1/3 to perhaps slightly more than half that height for the center of the ovoid of the bean furthest from the house. For me, I'd pick a multi-trunked palm for the tall plant, and maybe a dwarf meyer lemon for the other. I would be sure to very concisely define the edge of the bed, probably with a spade-cut edge. I might add some boulders in front of the palms. Wispy purple flowering poof ball behind the palms (as viewed from the drive), hot orange flowering plant with strong vertical presence to left of palms. Add low growing ornamental grass outside the crown of the citrus. Or better yet, some bromeliads. Mulch heavily. Fill in any bare spots with the Florida equivalent of Santa Barbara daisies (Erigeron).

Now that I have hopefully created a picture in your mind, you can react to it. Maybe you hate it. That's okay. My only point is to put something on the blank canvas to help you get started, break the writer's block, jog the creative juices. Your end point will probably be completely different, and that's fine with me. I will be interested to see where it takes you.


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RE: Large area, no idea where to start!!

You need to direct visitors to the front to of the house, since they will be arriving at the side.

I'd totally go tropical paradise.

Bougainvilla! Drifts of cannas with awesome foliage colors! Palms! Bannanas! Elephant ear! Meyer lemon! A bay laurel! Oleander!

:-)

Choose the right plants, and it will take care of itself, almost. For example, in zone 8 and above in the south and Texas, cannas make ever-spreading clumps that never need irrigation. Oleander will need to be whacked back once in a while or else it will get taller than the house and will be severely damaged in high winds.


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RE: Large area, no idea where to start!!

OK, after reading everybody's posts, I have a better understanding and, if only in my head, a plan. Yardvark, you are obviously very knowledgeable and I do appreciate your input. When I "plan" to do something I research enough that WHATEVER I end up with I'm going to enjoy it. AND if I don't--- I'll just till it under and start over. No big deal.

CATKIM: As to the area in blue, you are correct. It is not visible from inside my house or even the front door. In ten years I think I've only answered my front door (strangers) about 5 times. Everybody (friends) come up the driveway and park outside the garage and enters the house through the garage.

I have a security gate at my entrance with security cameras. If someone wants in they have to buzz the house and we open the gates IF WE WANT TO. Keeps solicitors away.
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I built the walls and columns, installed the caps and lights myself. Again, no formal plan. When I went to purchase the block for the structure the guy asked for my plans so he could figure how much material I needed. I picked up a bag lying on the counter and drew the walls and columns from the picture in my head. Put some measurements to it and the next day I have 3 pallets of block a pile of sand and several bags of Portland sitting in my drive.

We do have a breeze most of the time but not more than 10-15 mph unless during storms. As for the area between the blue circle and the walk, I can make the bed any size I want to. Whatever is left will be reseeded with St. Augustine grass. The Bahia grass does not lend itself to a good lawn grass, great for hay though.

I love the idea of a double trunk palm (I love palm trees). I have a 4' phoenix palm that was gifted to me. I think that I can trade it for a dwarf palm of some type. I
also have 2 ea. "gold" and "orange ice" Bougainvillea, a good place to start I think. As to the border plants, I'll have to give some thought and research to those.

Reyesuela: I also love the idea of going "tropical". I think that your vision, along with CatKim's, I now have a much clearer picture (in my head) of what that space should look like.

Thank you so much for the "view" inspration and ice breaker. Again, you people are

great!

Pat


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RE: Large area, no idea where to start!!

>OK, after reading everybody's posts, I have a better understanding and, if only in my head, a plan.

Hooray! I wasn't going to nag, but I fully agree. :-)


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RE: Large area, no idea where to start!!

Thanks reyesuela, where in NM are you? Wife and I traveled through NM last year on our way to daughters house in Phoenix. Spent a few days in Roswell. Loved it there!


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RE: Large area, no idea where to start!!

I WAS in NM 5, 6 years ago--in the mountains, between Albuquerque and Santa Fe. Now I'm in MD. Last time I tried to update my page was years ago.

Living in NM was a super challenge, especially in the mountains. Everything just scorched there. I planted full sun perennials under ponderosa pine trees! (I lived at a high enough elevation that it was mixed ponderosa/pinyon forest, not just pinyon scrub.)

I'm in Maryland now. Planting here is a dream, except that I keep thinking I can grow things that did just dandy in 8a that sort of don't come back after the winter here. Ooops!

In NM, I had rabbits and ground squirrels and bears (NO water features, and we fed birds on the roof of the patio...) and rattlesnakes (every rock in our property was set into the ground, with no hiding places) to plan around. (The coyotes and occasional mountain lion at least didn't have to be taken into account!) Here, it's squirrels, groundhogs, and oh-so-many deer. (Don't have to design around the foxes.) So there are challenges, but compared to the difficult places I've lived before, this is like a gardener's paradise. I tend to get too blase about what I can grow where here!


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RE: Large area, no idea where to start!!

>I'm in Maryland now<

Funny, I lived in Bowie, MD for 20 years before moving to Florida. We're going back to NM this year just to take another thousand pictures or so.


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RE: Large area, no idea where to start!!

I adored NM's weather 6 months of the year. It was perfection where I lived--no heat, no cooling, nothing. For 6 weeks, we needed A/C, and the rest of the year, it was freezing. :-)

I'm right near Bowie. If you lived there for 20 years, I could tell you where our house was, and you'd visualize the turn!


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RE: Large area, no idea where to start!!

possible additions for the entrance area: add steel fence, limb up oak, add palms and other low maintenance planting.


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RE: Large area, no idea where to start!!

WOW--that looks great! OH NO!! another project!!

Ya know, we considered putting the fence on top of the low walls. Now that I see it, looks great. Problem with this area is it's almost 1000 feet from the closest water supply, close to the large white building which is my shop.

I am going to do some planting down there but will probably have to have a shallow well put in just for irrigation.


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RE: Large area, no idea where to start!!

"will probably have to have a shallow well put in just for irrigation." To each his own, but an alternative would be to use really tough plants & time installation to let the rainy season fill in the gaps between manual watering... using maybe temporary/ portable watering system. A lot of plants grew here before man ever showed up with his wells and water pipes.

Would look better with a double row palms each side, but too lazy to draw that.

Also, the columns would look great with their lower portions encased in cultured stone.


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RE: Large area, no idea where to start!!

Seriously, this is FL! Even in the driest parts, there are TONS of things that will do great there with no irrigation. :-)

A palm boulevard--how cool is that?


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RE: Large area, no idea where to start!!

I don't think the columns would be enhanced one iota with the addition of cultured stone. Maybe if it were the "not so attractive" foundation of a house - but as it is, it's a very nice entry.


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RE: Large area, no idea where to start!!

I finished the block on the entrance with stucco because it matches my house.

When I completed the construction on the entrance I knew that the area in front of the walls would have to be landscaped. But, as I stated, there was no water close to the area. My plans were to either trench 2" PVC pipe down to the area or sink a shallow well. I put crushed limestone down to control erosion and unwanted growth.

Now my thought process leans torward draught tollerent plants such as perennial peanut, caladium and tampa vervain. Any thoughts on this??


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RE: Large area, no idea where to start!!

Vervain would not be considered drought tolerant. It would need irrigation throughout its life, not just at the beginning. Caladiums are tough. I'm south of you (but still in the same zone depending on what map one looks at) and mine survive the winters... even the one we had winter before last. Seems that they would be best limited to modestly sized areas and in the winter, of course, they are nothing. I'd consider 'Big Blue' Liriope (some of the others get too tall) as one plant that could be useful to you. It's very tough. I don't have first-hand experience growing or living with perennial peanut but have become intensely intrigued with it as of late. I was impressed with several stands of it that I used to observe on a regular basis. I'm currently trying to hunt down samples of it. I see there are about 3 varieties that are suitable as a lawn substitute. From what I've read, it seems like nearly a miracle plant. Very pretty, too.


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RE: Large area, no idea where to start!!

I finished the block on the entrance with stucco because it matches my house.

When I completed the construction on the entrance I knew that the area in front of the walls would have to be landscaped. But, as I stated, there was no water close to the area. My plans were to either trench 2" PVC pipe down to the area or sink a shallow well. I put crushed limestone down to control erosion and unwanted growth.

Now my thought process leans torward draught tollerent plants such as perennial peanut, caladium and tampa vervain. Any thoughts on this??


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RE: Large area, no idea where to start!!

No idea why this posted twice.


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RE: Large area, no idea where to start!!

Cannas could probably survive a nuclear strike. Oleander and crape myrtle are tough as nails, too. Bearded iris. Daylilies. Any yarrow variety. Euphorbia. Youpon holly. Catmint. Possibly shasta daisies--they've died in 8b before for my parents due to crazy heat, but in 6a, they've thrived in the high semi-desert with no watering. Juniper.


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