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Old 06-10-2019, 05:11 PM
 
214 posts, read 133,672 times
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Would love to get some advice from people experienced in landscaping. We received an initial design from a local nursery. Criteria was: simple design, low maintenance, some evergreen, some color - maybe a lilac of some sort because I love them. Can I please get your impression? Are these low maintenance? Could it be simpler? Can I replace one of the hydrangeas with lilac (sun exposure, etc?) we are in mid-Michigan, southern exposure but lots of trees on property. We are so bad with gardening, landscaping, etc and know nothing about this stuff. Will have to hire out any maintenance work so will want to limit that to a couple times a year, if possible. Thanks!


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Old 06-10-2019, 05:37 PM
 
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Lovely house.

I'm not familiar with Michigan gardening, but I wanted to suggest that you bring the plantings out away from the house, rather than line them up like soldiers standing at attention along the foundation like everybody else does. I know you want simple, but a nice swooping, curvy planting bed would still be simple. You could lay out a hose on the ground to see how you like the curve.

If you have at least 6 hours of sunshine, and you love lilacs, add more lilacs.
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Old 06-10-2019, 05:43 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldgardener View Post
Lovely house.

I'm not familiar with Michigan gardening, but I wanted to suggest that you bring the plantings out away from the house, rather than line them up like soldiers standing at attention along the foundation like everybody else does. I know you want simple, but a nice swooping, curvy planting bed would still be simple. You could lay out a hose on the ground to see how you like the curve.

If you have at least 6 hours of sunshine, and you love lilacs, add more lilacs.
Thank you for your suggestions. The designer did add a little curve on the right side of the porch and extended the landscaping out a bit relative to what it currently is (you can see it in the drawing). I think it will add a bit of interest.
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Old 06-10-2019, 05:46 PM
Status: "Loving Florida" (set 17 days ago)
 
Location: PVB
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Pretty boring and typically what Landscape designers use. My thing is to go to the nursery and see what I like.
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Old 06-10-2019, 05:48 PM
 
214 posts, read 133,672 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thundarr457 View Post
Pretty boring and typically what Landscape designers use. My thing is to go to the nursery and see what I like.
Thanks for your comment. We're looking for simple and basic. Just something that will look decent when/if we decide to sell the house in the next couple of years. We don't want to put a lot of money into it at this time.
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Old 06-10-2019, 05:54 PM
Status: "Loving Florida" (set 17 days ago)
 
Location: PVB
3,632 posts, read 1,956,955 times
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If they sell it at your local nursery, its most likely popular and grows in your area. Stick to dwarf varieties that won't outgrow the space and hide the house.
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Old 06-10-2019, 06:07 PM
 
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Here are some things I discovered recently after doing my yard:
1. Leave more room between plants than you might think, since they will grow and spread and run together.
2. Group the plants by water usage (I must irrigate all summer here in SoCal). Hydrangeas, for example like lots of water.
3. Group the plants by sun exposure. My japanese maple does not like hot, late-afternoon sun, and neither does my hydrangea.
4. I had some purple fountain grass which was quite messy late in the season. We get high winds in autumn and they would bend the plants every which way and blow the seeds everywhere. I had to cut them back to the ground every autumn and the leaves would irritate my skin (raspy edges). I can imagine having to do that in your area before the snow flies.
5. Consider that the tree roots may attack your sewer main in several years, which could be very expensive.
6. Ensure there's good air circulation around the plants to reduce mildew and fungus.
7. Don't plant large trees near the house to avoid foundation damage from roots and lingering water against the house.
8. Make sure the shrubs in front of the house do not provide concealment for ne'er do wells or varmints.

Oh, one more thing- I would not call roses low maintenance. You will have to prune them periodically, maybe up to 4 times a year.

Last edited by Bruceski44; 06-10-2019 at 06:11 PM.. Reason: added a late thought
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Old 06-10-2019, 07:14 PM
 
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Looks good the way it is. I have been gardening for almost 50 years. Leave it the way it is. Watering bushes near a house with a basement can be problematic. Small bushes have to replaced after they mature - currently on the third cycle on this house.

Less is more, enjoy life. Take a Saturday car ride instead of weeding and watering. With the money you save eat at some nice restaurants or better yet buy a super nice piece of furniture, something you would never think of buying.. 30 years from now you will be happy you made that choice.

Steve
Past NJ Master Gardener
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Old 06-11-2019, 03:22 AM
 
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Alberta Spruce right next to the foundation? I don't know about that. Though slow growing, even the dwarf ones will eventually get 10+ft.

Like others, I'd like to see you to pull the bed out several more feet. But as you have a sidewalk, and a driveway, you can really only do that on the left side of the house

I would encourage you to drive around and see what seems to be thriving in front of other houses and what looks beautiful to your eye.

I happen to like gold cypress. It's colorful, evergreen, easy to grow, and would likely look great against the house, backing up other, smaller shrubs and plants such as astilbes, hostas, ...

I also love dwarf Limelight hydrangeas. Pretty and easy to grow.

How many hours of sunlight? That will help determine your choices.

As to lilacs, I would encourage planting them farther out in your yard where they have room to grow and get more sun.

Last edited by GotHereQuickAsICould; 06-11-2019 at 03:32 AM..
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Old 06-11-2019, 03:31 AM
 
42,202 posts, read 16,859,952 times
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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.
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