U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Washington > Seattle area
 [Register]
Seattle area Seattle and King County Suburbs
Please register to participate in our discussions with 1.5 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
Jump to a detailed profile or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Business Search - 14 Million verified businesses
Search for:  near: 
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 04-11-2009, 04:06 PM
 
Location: Seattle area
857 posts, read 2,619,056 times
Reputation: 494

Advertisements

So it looks like the winter freeze killed off many of the bushes in my front yard.

I really wanted to do work in the BACK yard this year, but I can't just leave giant dead bushes in my front yard.

Problem is I have too little imagination. This was a "mature" landscape and the house kinda needs some small, medium, and large plants or it'll look funny.

Last year I got some landscape designer-type quotes and they were super expensive.

How does a tech-type person who likes being outside and likes pretty yards but has no idea how to do it get some nice looking plants arranged nicely in the yard without spending an arm and a leg?!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 04-11-2009, 04:51 PM
 
11 posts, read 20,362 times
Reputation: 12
If you don't mind doing the work, just look on-line. I go to Better Homes and Gardens' website and if you enter your zone you can find plants that work well in your area. If you like working in the yard you'll just play around with plants and find arrangements that you like and learn as you go.

Also the local extension service should have a lot of info on your area as well as just going to the garden center.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-11-2009, 06:17 PM
 
Location: Seattle area
857 posts, read 2,619,056 times
Reputation: 494
What is an extension service?

Thanks.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-11-2009, 06:36 PM
 
Location: WA
4,248 posts, read 5,255,761 times
Reputation: 2297
An extension service is a farming/gardening outreach service usually provided by a state's land grant university. In Washington, it appears to be WSU:
WSU Extension

Extension services provide information on types of plants that work well in your area, soil health and getting rid of weeds, farming issues, etc. In many states, you can send them a soil sample and they'll analyze it for free or for a nominal fee.

You can attend a Master Gardeners session (just google for Master Gardener Bellevue or whatever area you live in), where gardening experts can tell you what types of shrubs will do well your yard, given the shade level, soil moisture, etc.

As for where to actually put the plants and make them look nice, that's a different story.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-11-2009, 06:56 PM
 
Location: Seattle area
857 posts, read 2,619,056 times
Reputation: 494
Quote:
Originally Posted by seattlenextyear View Post
As for where to actually put the plants and make them look nice, that's a different story.
Heehee... yeah, I was hoping some landscape design software would help me there, but honestly, it doesn't.

I remember last summer people were wanting $1-2k for design ideas on paper. I'm sure it's nice and money well spent, if you're serious about a major landscape but I figured I'd rather go take some classes than spend that much for papers, especially when just to get in a patio and some shade cover they're talking $10,000. Uh, hmm. I'd really like to be able to safely get around my backyard, but I'm seriously thinking about taking a saw to the stupid unsafe/tiny/high-up deck and cutting it to pieces, extending the balcony stairs down with whatever wood is left over, and digging into the ground myself. I bet I can figure out how to move sprinklers. The problems in the backyard LOOKED simple enough to fix when we bought the house, till we started digging and realized the teensy sunk-in patio is part of the foundation and there's actually a drain in it. Stupid stupid stupid. I'd love to be able to support the local economy and all, but when people are quoting thousands of dollars to cut out a deck and patio and thousands and thousands more to replace it, it's just not an option. Sorry. I just had to write a five-figure check to the government for additional taxes on relo benefits (MS didn't "true up" enough, they were $11k short because I work too and that puts us into the top tax bracket once you include all the relo bonuses and cash, every cent of which went into the downpayment on the house, which is gone now... but I guess nobody's really going to cry for me, either, huh, and I don't blame them ). Now my plants are dead. AND I still can't use a quarter of the backyard because it's not safe. And it's all just slightly too hard for me to figure out. I almost can. But the technical issues of how-to-remove-a-stupid-patio-from-the-foundation and the artistic issues of what-should-go-here-anyway are over my head. I wish I could just select plant into yard from nursery where plant=hardy and plant=pretty and plant=cheap, but unfortunately it doesn't work that way. If you don't have those genes then you get to pay like crazy for it. Gah.

All I want is a usable patio and an area for my kid to play in back, and something nice and inviting (not dead or ugly) in front. Not a hot tub, not a pool, not a fancy garden, no slate, no fountains, nothing crazy. This should not be so hard. I hate being bad at stuff.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-11-2009, 09:55 PM
 
8,334 posts, read 14,857,085 times
Reputation: 3765
A couple of thoughts:
The extended frost in December wrecked havoc on a lot of plants, and a lot dies. But some just seemed dead and are actually not totally dead. Give em another week or two before you yank 'em...

Sometimes you can get large plants inexpensively or free on Craigslist...
Also, some nurseries have people who are friendly, helpful, and dispense free advice. Sky Nursery in North Seattle and Minter's Earlington Greenhouse/Nursery in Renton are two ( and Minters is about the cheapest around)..

Get compost and use it liberally. If you don't have a pickup truck to get a truckfull you can buy it in bags. It will not only help keep the plants a little warmer, it will also crowd out the weeds and enrich the soil...Unless you happen to know a dairy farmer, in which case get some cow manure, which also works wonders...King County also has a Master Gardener program and they make appearances all over and dispense good and free advice.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-11-2009, 10:20 PM
 
Location: WA
4,248 posts, read 5,255,761 times
Reputation: 2297
Quote:
Originally Posted by jenlion View Post
This should not be so hard. I hate being bad at stuff.
This is why our society has division of labor. You don't have to be good at everything. Someone people are good at telling computers what to do, some people are good at designing landscapes, and some people are good at digging holes and putting shrubs in them.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-11-2009, 10:52 PM
 
Location: rain city
2,654 posts, read 7,331,166 times
Reputation: 3682
Quote:
Originally Posted by seattlenextyear View Post
and some people are good at digging holes and putting shrubs in them.
That's me!

I think a lot of the plants grown around Seattle are inappropriate to the climate.

Technically Seattle is listed as zone 8, which I consider to be inappropriate. I mean, this puts Seattle in the same zone with Texas, Louisianna, and Alabama--which is clearly incongruous. Seattle is 150 miles from the Canadian border, not the Gulf of Mexico.

There are a lot of plants installed around here which are supposed to grow in 'zone 8' which are clearly not loving Seattle. Yuccas are one of my pet peeves. And palms. They may survive by a thread but they look really crappy.

If your bushes took a hit this winter, remove them and plant something more fitting the Seattle climate. You'll be much happier and so will your shrubs.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-12-2009, 02:31 AM
 
Location: Seattle area
857 posts, read 2,619,056 times
Reputation: 494
Quote:
Originally Posted by seattlenextyear View Post
This is why our society has division of labor. You don't have to be good at everything. Someone people are good at telling computers what to do, some people are good at designing landscapes, and some people are good at digging holes and putting shrubs in them.
In theory, yeah. In practice, that has not worked out for me.

Financial adviser lied her head off about what was covered/not covered in attempt to simply collect more fees. Doctors lie, many incompetent (I have the literal scars to prove it), won't even check their notes (if they have one) to see Which foot is it that was broken again?, prescribe things you're allergic too or can't be taken with your other drugs and get mad if you politely point that out. Don't get me started on dentists -- Seriously, is there anyone who can recommend a good dentist around here? (I just switched. The last one f'd up badly, TWICE -- first time maybe it could happen to anyone, second time I'm done with you). We hired people to remodel a bathroom in our last house and they did a terrible job. We didn't know better... but we learned from their mistakes. When we did our other bathroom years later, we did it ourselves and did a much better job.

Nobody CARES! Nobody's GOOD at what they "do", it seems! Nobody's going to care about your body, your house, your property, your money the way you do -- and it shows!! People just want to collect a fee for "services" that ... suck! So I keep trying to catch up. I'm good at hanging drywall, mudding and taping, texture, building a shower (the RIGHT way, with vapor barriers and cement board), tiling (the RIGHT way), installing floors, everything else we've wound up doing ourselves simply because competent people can't seem to be found. The things that escape me tend to be design-related (I know when I like what I see, but lack imagination sometimes) or finance-related (I don't understand fee structures and ratios and all that crap).

Daycare -- EXPENSIVE daycare -- turned downright dangerous in the space of a week. You just can't trust anybody, period, with anything. I don't trust a hospital with my body, I don't trust a daycare with my kid, I don't trust a doctor with decisions about my care, I don't trust my financial adviser not to lie to me, I don't trust a remodeler not to take shortcuts that will cost me dearly in the near future, I don't trust anybody for ANYTHING anymore. Angie's list helps, but honestly, it really just seems like most everybody is just LAZY!

I WISH division-of-labor worked. I wish it was fair, verifiable, reasonable. But I just don't think it is, anymore. If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself. Period. I'm so sad about that, too.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-12-2009, 01:51 PM
 
204 posts, read 524,536 times
Reputation: 84
I am not sure if this is technically "legal" but I am sure it was years ago. Just go into a big local county park (lots of them) and carefully remove a few seedlings of local wild plants. Put them in your yard. Works for us. We have gorgeous cedar trees planted. Nurserys are selling same for $20 each, and who knows if they are adapted to the local climate. Have fun.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Options
X
Data:
Loading data...
Based on 2000-2011 data
Loading data...

123
Hide US histogram

Over $84,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Washington > Seattle area

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2014, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25 - Top