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Old 06-11-2019, 03:39 AM
42,198 posts, read 16,853,018 times
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One other thing, most of the time the ground around homes has been scraped off. If you have an inch or two of decent soil you're lucky.

Before you plant anything, dig up the soil and amend it with compost, rotted manure, aged leaf mulch, ... Whatever soil amendments your local garden centers recommend.

Sandy loam full of humus is what you are aiming for.

Then whatever you plant will have a better chance of flourishing.

Please post photos of how it turns out.

Good luck!
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Old 06-11-2019, 08:52 AM
1,937 posts, read 634,804 times
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Originally Posted by GotHereQuickAsICould View Post
Monty Don, of Small Spaces Big Dreams, recommends no more than 7 different plants in a garden. It gets too busy after that.

I've heard that before. I rarely follow the advice, of course, but when I do it is always a more cohesive, pleasing look.
I love Monty Don! He gives the best advice ever! His Italian Gardens and his French Gardens series are on Netflex.

Limelight hydrangea are gorgeous and easy care, but they don't like intense sun.

Rose like intense sun. As someone else said, they are not easy maintenance. Especially, if you have Japanese beetles. It seems like cherry trees and roses are their favorite food so you'll be handpicking them off. Then there is powdery mildew and black spot diseases.

I like flowering bushes. Peonies and false indigo. I love lilacs! Miss Kim lilacs are neater and better contained than a regular lilac. I recently planted a beautyberry. It has purple berries in winter after the leaves die off.

What I learned is go for a variety of heights. A shorter peony (2 to 2 1/2 feet) next to a taller false indigo (4 feet hight) next to a little lime hydrangea (mine is 3 feet high). If everything is too close in height and same bush structure, it gets boring. Perennials like Stella D'Oro Daylily are nice and as easy to maintain as bushes.

My garden is geared towards hummingbirds. I have salvia and agastache in sun, bleeding hearts and hosta in shade.

Last edited by YorktownGal; 06-11-2019 at 09:05 AM..
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Old 06-11-2019, 09:09 AM
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I like the design, using the gold plants will brighten up the area as it looks rather shady. The Japanese grass is beautiful. The Limelight Hydrangea is an excellent plant. Knock out roses will greet you when you pull into the garage. The green velvet boxwood is a lovely manageable plant, easy to trim to keep the shape and stay in the space. My only concerns are the Alberta Spruce. I had some in a tiny space like that and they ended up being starved of nutrients and had to be removed after 15 years or so. Very slow growing, so may be the problem of the your buyer down the road. I think your property is too shady for lilacs. They really need full sun.

If you wanted to make a more sophisticated design, you could remove the sod under the tree near the driveway and create a bed flowing onto that side of the house. You could then plant shade loving annuals each summer for a pop of color. Very inexpensive. Possibly add a small bench under the tree or one of those small garden flags (no shrubs or perennials due to competition for water). Repeat the color of the annuals in your pot on the porch. You could also consider a colorful, patterned door mat. I like the choice of yellow tones in your plantings to contrast with the shutter color. You will need an accent color, using a triad approach, this would be a royal blue.

Good luck!
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Old 06-11-2019, 09:17 AM
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I appreciate ALL your comments...very helpful!

Mary_228 - Do you have a suggestion for something in place of the Alberta Spruce? I was concerned about that, as well, as I read they can grow to be 10 ft tall! I don't think I would want anything taller than 4-6'. In general, I don't want ANY plants that will get as tall as the windows as we don't get a lot of sun in the windows as it is.
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Old 06-11-2019, 10:32 AM
Location: U.S.
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It would take a while for an alberta spruce to get to that height - they are a slow growth evergreen. To give you an example, we removed them from the front of our home about 2 years ago. The house was 16 years old at the time and they were about 4 feet tall at the time we removed them.
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Old 06-11-2019, 07:16 PM
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I love blue spruces. Some are dwarf size. They only reach 15 feet over many years.

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Old 06-15-2019, 09:19 AM
Location: A Yankee in northeast TN
11,638 posts, read 15,271,278 times
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I'm guessing the alberta spruce is so that you have an evergreen/winter interest type of plant next to the entrance. Maybe you could go for a different type of winter interest shrub such as Inkberyy or Winterberry holly, maybe a yellow twig dogwood shrub? And definitely pull it out from the foundation. I am contemplating having to completely cut down a gorgeous viburnum because the original owners planted it a few feet from my deck and it has massively outgrown the space.
I love lilacs, but unless you get a small dwarf I don't think they'd make good foundation plants.
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Old 06-16-2019, 05:24 AM
Location: Sand Key, Clearwater ICW
143 posts, read 218,570 times
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Lilacs are not low maintenance and would need attention more than twice a year.

For lower maintenance, plant native (to your state) perennials and shrubs, and then apply thick natural wood mulch. That will minimize watering and weeding and improve the soil. Good soil makes healthy plants that require less help.

Actually, it's not the landscaping that constitutes the lion's share of maintenance, it's the lawn. Reduce your lawn surface square footage by landscaping, as mentioned above, and your yard maintenance cost and time will be lots less. Much more bang for your buck. Less money, less time.
Here's some food for thought on that. Lose The Lawn
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