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Old 06-27-2013, 01:24 PM
 
252 posts, read 248,500 times
Reputation: 119

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Okay, I have pulled up 8 shrub bushes in front of my house without a plan. It is completely bare now and I am looking for ideas. Here are the details:

--Rectangle area between brick front exterior and sidewalk measuring 40'x3'
--Full sun from sunrise to 11:00 am
--North Alabama is highly seasonal with frost in winter and up to 100 degree, humid summer days
--Don't want to plant annuals every year
--I like Hostas and they thrive in my yard so they will probably line the front portion next to sidewalk
--I am thinking Hostas front and Elephant Ears behind?

If anyone has ideas, please let me know. I will post b4 and after pics.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 06-27-2013, 01:33 PM
 
Location: Southern New Hampshire
6,737 posts, read 11,788,796 times
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Do you have a photo of the front of your house that we could see now? That would be really helpful.

I look forward to others chiming in ... I will be tearing out some shrubs in the not-so-distant future too!
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Old 06-27-2013, 03:02 PM
 
252 posts, read 248,500 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karen_in_nh_2012 View Post
Do you have a photo of the front of your house that we could see now? That would be really helpful.

I look forward to others chiming in ... I will be tearing out some shrubs in the not-so-distant future too!
Hi karen_..., Unfortunately I do not. I will post a pic when I get it tonight or in the morning.

I surprised my wife by getting the shrubs out (she mentioned removing them every week) and when she saw them removed she said "oh, you removed the shrubs, what are you going to put there" instead of "great job honey". Being the idiot I am, I did not even think about it and I told her yesterday I had a GREAT plan and she will see the finished product in a couple of weeks. I have set the bar high for myself and I already miss those stupid, plain shrubs! This rookie gardener needs help!!

BTW, I live in a snobby neighborhood where I am breaking all the covenants. Yes, I am that guy... the garage is not for cars, it is meant to store tools, old bicycles, and boxes to the ceiling... dandelions are yard flowers... clover, ground cover... garbage container should just stay at the curb... and if I want to work on my car, it is fine on blocks for a couple days.

This is a big step for a redneck living amongst doctors and lawyers.
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Old 06-27-2013, 03:23 PM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
36,437 posts, read 41,744,189 times
Reputation: 47043
Why did you rip out the shrubs? What were they? Were they diseased? have pests? Hrealthy? Bloom? Unruly or overgrown?
We need more info. What zone are you in? sounds like you have east expposure which will give you a good place for hosta but most don't do well in direct sun for very long. Do you have deer problems? DON'T PLANT HOSTA IF YOU DO. DEER CRACK!!!
What is wrong with your plan is that those are not foundation plantings. You need something evergreen- color to hide the foundation. If not you will have completely bare space in the winter. Azaleas would work if I am seeing it correctly or Mountain Laurel depending on how low your windows are.

Keep in mind some very important issues:
Safety- Don't get anything so dense the boogey man can hide back there
Ultimate grown size- remember it is called a nursery cause they are baby plants. most people plant way too close and too close to the house
Bee or insect attraction- don't plant anything which will attract a lot of bees right at your stairs or walk

If you have room plant something evergreen along the foundation and then plant some perennials in front of them with the tallest in the back of course but it usually doesn
t look very good to have something really tall in front of the foundation plants

I am retired landscape designer and I can tell you I haven't written a plan or planted a single annual in almost 15 years. I do enjoy annuals in pots on my front porch and back deck but I'm kind of miserly and perennials and bulbs are my favorite plantings.

You need to get your utility people out to mark any cables or wires you should avoid. When you get the all clear use a rototiller to break up the area thoroughly and add amendments like peet moss, compost, sand- depending on what kind of soil you have. Remember you only have 1 time to do things right and digging a bunch of individual holes for a bunch of perennials takes up a lot of time and energy and isn't always the best way to grow decent plants.
Contact your local County Extension office (dept of agriculture) to get a good idea of what grows well in your area. A Master Gardener might even work off her/his required volunteer time by drawing up a simple plan or giving your recommendations. But remember- you get what you pay for.

Last I just have to say--once you have a nice yard and take pride in your home you will see why folks don't like neighbors who put cars up on blocks or don't take care of their lawn. It diminishes the value of the whole street and especially next door neighbors. Everybody understands there is a period of transition when moving in a new home so most will be patient when they see you are trying. Good luck.
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Old 06-27-2013, 03:24 PM
 
252 posts, read 248,500 times
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Okay, I found a photo of my house on Google Earth. It is not real clear or current but will give you an idea:

http://www.city-data.com/forum/membe...picofhouse.jpg

The shrubs before I removed them completely covered the area from the left corner of house to the front door (center to left corner of photo). I'll try to post an up-close pic tomorrow.

Thanks so much.
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Old 06-27-2013, 03:28 PM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
36,437 posts, read 41,744,189 times
Reputation: 47043
sorry- no picture comes up for me
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Old 06-27-2013, 03:30 PM
 
252 posts, read 248,500 times
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@no kudzu - I am depressed now. I will do my best!
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Old 06-27-2013, 03:36 PM
 
252 posts, read 248,500 times
Reputation: 119
Sorry, I have never uploaded a picture. How about this:

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Old 06-27-2013, 04:28 PM
 
Location: NC
6,082 posts, read 7,067,633 times
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About the picture, the house did look rather odd with those shrubs haphazardly planted where they were. Your best bet going forward would be to take a photo of the house and yard with you to the local garden design center and ask if someone could help you make a plan. This way you would get plants for your area, guaranteed to grow the way they are supposed to grow. Be able to tell the designer the path of the sun over your house as well.

I think it is a cute place and could look pretty nice.
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Old 06-27-2013, 07:03 PM
 
Location: Former LI'er Now a Rehoboth Beach Bunny
7,265 posts, read 9,645,456 times
Reputation: 6942
One comment re: elephant ears. They are fabulous BUT will they return in your area year over year with frost as they can be very finicky. What about some hydrangeas?. I have mine in De. in the same exposure and they are gorgeous but the ones I had in NY in the same place exposure wise were just OK.
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