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Small area by garage, no good ideas

Posted by seanneryop CA (My Page) on
Wed, Jul 25, 12 at 16:41

Hi guys! This is my first time posting so I apologize in advance if I'm doing something wrong!

I've got a patch of dirt in this area, and I have no idea what to do with it. We planted those flowers there last year as a placeholder but we figured its time we do something with the place. I was thinking about putting some manzanitas that would become trees there, but I wasn't sure how to place them or if that would end up looking terrible or not. Anyone have any suggestions? (The flower can be taken out, they're just their so it won't look empty)


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RE: Small area by garage, no good ideas

  • Posted by catkim San Diego 10/24 (My Page) on
    Thu, Jul 26, 12 at 1:51

Hello seanneryop. For anyone to give you useful advice, you will have to cough up a little more information. For one, your climate. CA is a big state, please help out and either give us a USDA zone, or a Sunset zone, or a location.

Next up, manzanita and bird of paradise don't seem a match. One of those is going to grow while the other languishes -- that brings us back to the climate description, please. :-)

Next, and sorry if this sounds picky, but your photo doesn't show us much. Is that your front door at the end of the concrete pathway? Where is the street? Where are north, south, east, and west? Are your neighbors 2 ft. outside the photo frame, or 1/4 of a mile distant? Context is very useful. If possible, please add a photo of your entire house from the street.

Lastly, what was it about Manzanita that made you like it? Are you looking for privacy? Was it the form or color that attracted you? Please expand on the look you want, or purpose for this bed. If there were no purpose, it could be grass, right? Presumably, you want something more than grass. Please expand on the topic.


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RE: Small area by garage, no good ideas

seanneryop, if you're going to be placing small trees at the corner, which seems OK on the face of it (though as Catkim points out... not much can be seen of the house so whether it works with the architecture is still a question) then I'd enlarge the bed in order to keep them farther from the walk... at least 3 1/2' to 4'. That would make the bed 7' or 8' depth from the walk outward. It's one thing to pass by a landscape "island" on your way to the destination, but I think it's undesirable to hem a long, narrow walk in along it's entire length with plantings unless they're exceedingly low, like grass... or very low ground cover, not more than 6" ht. Up to 18" ht. in the tree island itself seems OK.

I'd put a back slope on the face and ends of the hedge that is adjacent to the walk. It gives the feeling that it is already encroaching on the walk. Whatever the little tree is that is beyond the window near the entrance, it's past time to limb it up and shape the upper portion. And if that's a juniper at the window, I think there are lots better choices for that position.


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RE: Small area by garage, no good ideas

Wow I wasn't expecting a response so quickly :)

(first time with html images, hope they work!)

When we redid the front we actually had some plants that filled this area up nicely, but the deer kept eating it so we had to move it someplace else (I forgot to mention whatever is here has to be deer resistant)...

To catkim:

I live in south bay area near San Jose so its pretty dry here in the summer(google search tells me that I'm in zone 10b so no snow, though it does sometimes hit 32F at night in winter). The pictures above is what it kinda looks like from the street view. The house faces Northwest and this area gets sun from midday-late afternoon as a result.

I love the way manzanitas look, from their flowers, leaves, to the awesome trunk (don't like bush shaped manzanitas though since they don't get to show off the nice brown bark). Not really looking for any privacy in that area because those two windows only show the interior of the garage. Frankly I'm just looking for something that will look nice in this area (no grass though haha, the dirt area used to be all grass but we removed some after we redid the front yard to save some water)

to yardvaark:

I apologize because my first picture is kinda misleading. The concrete path actually leads to a lava rock path, which I think is clearer in the other pictures. That door the concrete path leads to just ends up in the garage so that door never gets used.
I like the design you had in the picture, unfortunately there are some water pipes and sprinklers in the grass area so I can't change much there unless I want to dig up lots of dirt and mess with pipes (I'm not very confident with that stuff :( ) In the back the tree is a japanese maple (It used to be cut so it was kinda blocky but I'm letting it grow out naturally from now on since last year so it does kinda look weird on top). The plant next to it is not a juniper, I actually have no idea what it is other than it has a lot of yellow flowers in spring, is evergreen, and grows into a large shrub (yea we just kinda bought it at the time as a placeholder, again :P)

You guys seem really experienced with this stuff, it's nice to get input that's more than "eh, if you're ok with it (my family isn't really into this haha)


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RE: Small area by garage, no good ideas

The bed at front looks wide enough (from walk toward street) that a tree would be comfortable. Where bed turns near the garage, it looks to be about 4' wide... not wide enough for a tree to fit in the bed and look comfortable.

I don't see the advantage of growing the Jap. maple as a huge shrub instead of in the tree form. It looks like there are architectural features that are hidden by it.


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