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Old 06-05-2019, 03:37 PM
 
1,365 posts, read 949,222 times
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I'm looking to add some curb appeal to the front of my house. Right now it has a hedge of azaleas and some very simple underplanting (not sure what the plant is called). I recently cut back every other azalea with the thought of putting some different shrubs in between and/or some flowering perennials. I haven't actually removed the stumps yet, in case I change my mind.

Some pertinent info:
Coastal SC, zone 8
Changing the shutters is an option, but repainting the trim is not.
The area gets partial sun and the soil is sandy and well draining.
The palm tree on the right and the mature camellia on the left have to stay.
Low maintenance is important.
Budget is flexible but not extravagant.

I'd love to hear any advice or suggestions for seasonal pops of color and year round visual interest. I'd prefer to keep at least a couple of the azaleas. The flowers are a beautiful pink and it's kind of a rite of spring around here.
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Old 06-05-2019, 03:45 PM
 
Location: Former LI'er Now Rehoboth Beach, DE
8,554 posts, read 11,446,151 times
Reputation: 9104
There are some wonderful coleus plants that are sun tolerant. I have a burgundy and chartreuse one that is stunning and I put it at the foot of a few evergreens to brighten it up. You can do phlox, new guinea impatience, & geraniums for this time of year but they are annuals. I would love black or navy shutters but I am not sure the color of your roof so, if it is a gray either would be fine.
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Old 06-07-2019, 03:08 PM
 
1,365 posts, read 949,222 times
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Thanks for the suggestions. I definitely want perennials. Replanting every year is NOT in the plans.

I'm surprised there haven't been more comments. Is there a different forum that's more active and appropriate?
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Old 06-07-2019, 04:01 PM
 
2,082 posts, read 808,434 times
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Have you thought about extending your planting bed forward? Can you move the azaleas from so close to the house? I don't know if they are old and cut or what.

A grass that does not spread can make a nice border such as non spreading lirope or dwarf mondo grass that spreads but barely and then stops. Then some mulch in front of the bed and less lawn to take care of.
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Old 06-07-2019, 05:30 PM
 
Location: Minnesota
2,275 posts, read 1,068,297 times
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Definitely extend the planting bed in front of the bump out a few feet so any plantings are not so close to house. Do hostas grow well in your area?
I would plant a row of varigated hostas in front if bump out and a few in a couple of other spots to the left and right. Or something with logher colored leaves. Then some impatients here and there for some summer flowers.
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Old 06-07-2019, 07:12 PM
 
Location: Maryland
2,279 posts, read 839,734 times
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I agree about the comments suggesting foliage that contrasts with the darker brick and grass. Working some Dusty Miller or maybe White Sage or Russian Sage into some spots as accents, or the variegated Hostas (assuming you haven’t a deer problem like here).
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Old 06-07-2019, 07:59 PM
 
Location: Upstate, NY
890 posts, read 372,054 times
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I don’t know the best plants for your area, but I think a boxwood hedge would be nice near the foundation, under the windows. That would contrast nicely with azaleas. Typically, taller, narrower shrubs might fit on the sides of the plate glass window. This would be a more traditional look. Maybe black shutters. Like the idea of bringing bed out and adding color, too. Lots of leaves in your yard. Consider clean up and how you could manage that before planting. Also, you may want to trim down overhanging trees.
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Old 06-08-2019, 12:54 AM
 
8,226 posts, read 4,478,976 times
Reputation: 17801
Quote:
Originally Posted by JonahWicky View Post
I'm looking to add some curb appeal to the front of my house. Right now it has a hedge of azaleas and some very simple underplanting (not sure what the plant is called). I recently cut back every other azalea with the thought of putting some different shrubs in between and/or some flowering perennials. I haven't actually removed the stumps yet, in case I change my mind.

Some pertinent info:
Coastal SC, zone 8
Changing the shutters is an option, but repainting the trim is not.
The area gets partial sun and the soil is sandy and well draining.
The palm tree on the right and the mature camellia on the left have to stay.
Low maintenance is important.
Budget is flexible but not extravagant.

I'd love to hear any advice or suggestions for seasonal pops of color and year round visual interest. I'd prefer to keep at least a couple of the azaleas. The flowers are a beautiful pink and it's kind of a rite of spring around here.
I would try to unify the look across the entire frontage by bringing out the planting area in the front of the house as others have said at least even with the area of the palm. It doesn't need to be a straight line. I agree with trimming some lower branches of the trees to the left and possibly move some or all the azaleas into a grouping under those trees.

It's hard to see where your property extends on the other side of the driveway where the red reflector is in the second picture but I would try to use the same dark natural mulch there as in front of the house and around the palm. The back of that area could also be a landing spot for a couple of the azaleas with the front the same as what you put in front of the house. The rocks and few pots by the palm don't really help. To modernize and lighten the look I'd try to mostly use some limited growth decorative grasses in front of the house and by the driveway with a few small colorful bloomers and keep away from regimented rows and borders of anything for a casual look.

Taking it a step further I see the roots of the big tree in the middle of the yard are a problem for the grass so you may want to create an island around it with minimal plantings similar, but probably smaller than what you'll have in front of the house. The island doesn't need to be a perfect circle. That tree might also benefit from taking off some lower branches,

As far as changing the shutters I'm not sure whether you're actually talking about replacing them or just painting; they are very narrow for the house but that may be due to very limited clearance for the one next to the bump out. Those will always be in the shadows but the ones framing the big window just look odd. If you only change that pair make sure you match the style and the frame thicknesses and locations to those that will remain.

Painting the shutters and (inner) door a lighter color, possibly a light sage green will complete the brighter look. I'll leave it to those more familiar with your area to suggest specific plants but anything with the word "dwarf" in the name sounds good as does anything with minimal maintenance requirements.
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Old 06-08-2019, 01:25 AM
 
Location: Silicon Valley
18,632 posts, read 24,785,021 times
Reputation: 37105
I agree that painting the shutters would give you some visual contrast and that's what you're lacking. It would immediately make the house and yard look nicer and would be a fairly easy and cheap project. I also think painting the shutters black would look nice and classy and give you nice contrast. I'd also paint the door.

here are a couple pics I found online, one with black shutters and a red door, the other with a blue door:

https://i.pinimg.com/originals/16/90...daa2d5b1bd.jpg

http://matchpad.co/wp-content/upload...k-shutters.jpg


We are in the same planting zone - I'm in 8b in Silicon Valley. I'm thinking for an easy fix, without having to expand the planting bed, is to plant jasmine in-between the rododendrons. Around here, people plant a lot of the white blooming star jasmine. It is evergreen and flowers most of the year here. It will spread and fill in an area and only get to be around 12" tall, maybe a little taller sometimes. You wouldn't have to worry about it growing too tall and blocking the windows. They have a strong, sweet fragrance. If the fragrance would bother you, you could always just go with a variegated ivy ground cover. Ivy will grow up around a foot tall, too, so it would fill the area nicely, too, without getting too tall (get one that doesn't climb walls).

Some pics of star jasmine plantings:

https://i.pinimg.com/originals/84/c2...70d7cb391f.jpg

https://www.plantmaster.com/PlantMas...lSize/612e.jpg

A shrub that tolerates shade that I see often here, and I swiped a cutting from a nearby business that i have growing in partial sun on my balcony - is Japonica. It's a yellow spotted glossy evergreen. I was thinking it would look nice in the wider planting area you have to the left of the house:

https://www.letsgoplanting.co.uk/pro...ica-variegata/

https://d6p0gevo8s9lm.cloudfront.net...ia-750x750.jpg

Article on types of ivy to plant & pic of ivy in foundation planting:

https://homeguides.sfgate.com/fast-g...ees-68308.html

https://www.sunvalleyvacationhomeren...42d7ac1d3a.jpg


So, my vision for your house is to keep the planting simple under the windows - white blooming jasmine to fill in the area in-between the rododendrons (and just leave the rhodies where they are), and paint the shutters black and painted door (red or blue), and some more interesting taller plants in the wider area to the left of the house, maybe including a variegated Japonica (Japanese Laurel).

I love the palms to the right of the house. I don't see any need to do anything there, unless you want to also plant some jasmine under them, too. Actually, that might look really nice - and make it a nice, uniform planting across the entire front of the house, with the palms growing up out of the jasmine on the right, and the rhododendrons growing up out of the jasmine under the windows. Heck, you could have it also into the larger area to the left, and then just add a few more larger shrubs for interest.

The jasmine isn't messy or ugly as the flowers die, which is another reason why it's so popular. Other flowering shrubs or plants can be messy or ugly when the flowers die, needing work dead-heading them. It doesn't sound like you want to deal with stuff like that. So, I'd look for a few other shrubs that aren't high maintenance.

Maybe a crepe myrtle? They flower all summer and into the fall and aren't too messy or high-maintenance. There are a lot of those around here, too, and many people don't bother with dead-heading them and they look fine. I do dead-head mine, because then I can extend the blooming, but you don't have to. You can grow them as a bushy shrub, or you can buy them trained to be a tree. Shrubs are easier to deal with because you can just let them do their thing. The ones trained to be a tree will keep trying to go back to being a shrub, by sending up suckers, so you might want to just go with a shrub version.

https://www.crapemyrtle.com/

I have a dwarf version "Zuni" on my balcony in a huge planter. It's blooming right now. So pretty.

Last edited by NoMoreSnowForMe; 06-08-2019 at 02:05 AM..
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Old 06-08-2019, 02:26 AM
 
2,082 posts, read 808,434 times
Reputation: 3422
What about the grills along the bottom of your brickwork on the house. Are they to provide ventilation for a crawl space area? Some of them look blocked.

One picture shows what looks like a wire going to the grill/window closest to the steps.

Your roof looks good. We're getting a new one soon ourselves. How old is yours now?
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