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Front Garden Advice

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Front Garden Advice

Postby STJOHNSEAST » Jun 14, 2013 9:00 pm

Hi, I'm a newbie here but just got started on my front garden that I've been neglecting since we moved in 2 years ago.
I'll attach some iphone pics but I've since removed the burning bush that's in the middle of the main bed and trimmed down the holly bushes and also filled up the beds with soil.
I have a list of plants that I already own that can be planted and would love some advice on what to put where.
The list includes; peegee hydrangea, 2 hydrangea, 1 peony, 1 Japanese Willow, 8 Geranium, 2 Phlox, 1 Butterfly Bush, and 1 Cedar. Of course I can purchase more plants!
I think that's it (without going outside in the dark to check!)

Would love to hear some words of advice!

We live in St. John's, Zone 5
Attachments
foh3.JPG
front of house 2.JPG
front of house 1.JPG
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Re: Front Garden Advice

Postby conniepr » Jun 15, 2013 5:58 am

Zone 5... I wish! You could probably plant just about anything and have it survive the winter.

Sounds like you have a lot of very nice plants to use. Are they just bought and still in pots? If so, take them to the area you want to plant and just start arranging them in front there. Keep moving them until you find something you like. A few things to remember:

1) How big will the plants grow. For instance, that butterfly bush might be of the type that grows very big, so it might not be suitable for any of those small circle flower beds. The hydrangeas might grow 3-4' tall and/or wide, the peony might grow 2-3' tall or wide eventually. So you have the space in those three small flower beds?

2) Make sure you know how big (tall and round!) each will grow and plant with that in mind, largest plants to the back. And if a plant will grow to 3-5 feet wide, don't put another plant a foot away.

3) For a great looking garden, use contrasting colors and textures. This following picture can illustrate what I mean. The light colored (lime green) coral bells looks great in front of the dark green plant behind it. Also, the delicate leaves of the coral bell contrasts nicely with the large flat leaves of the gerbenia.
In the rain 008c.jpg


4) You also mention one cedar. One cedar in those three beds might look out of place, but... you never know, you might be able to make it work.

I think you might have too many large plants there, unless you have other flower beds you plan on using them in. Love your choices, though!
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Re: Front Garden Advice

Postby Knitwitch » Jun 15, 2013 8:44 am

I'm a zone 5,too, here in northern Nova Scotia. Good luck with your beautiful choices. I'm slowly revamping my front yard. It was a pretty barren patch when we moved in 1 1/2 years ago but I have irises lining the front walk and a bed in front of the front porch and beside it plus some shrubs planted. I attracted a lot of attention in the neighborhood last spring with my doings. :lol: Its funny when you are digging and working and covered in filth that people will want to stop and ask "Whats that? What are you doing? You're the new people?" or from the lady across the street "Come over and do mine next!!" or " NOW what are you planting??!" LOL :lol:
Alison, in zone 5b Nova Scotia
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Re: Front Garden Advice

Postby Knitwitch » Jun 15, 2013 8:55 am

I forgot to give"advice". You may need more beds to fit all those beauties in. The geraniums could be potted into window boxes or planters that you can move around for accent? Is your front southern exposure or no? wet or dry? The Japanese willow ould appreciate mositure and space...it can get a spread of 4-8 feet. Most people I know recommend that it get cut back hard every 3rd year to keep it full and not straggly. Mine are still in their seond year. I started them from cuttings last winter and planted them out last spring. 3 of 5 survived and will be a barrier between my yard and part of my neighbours drivveway. I LOVE those dappled leaves and the bit of pink. Butterfly bush can reach up to 6 feet if given the right conditions and makes a great focal plant in a bed, maybe in the center of a butterfly/bee garden. Do you ever check out the botanical gardens in St Johns? Lots of ideas there I bet. http://www.mun.ca/botgarden/
Alison, in zone 5b Nova Scotia
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Re: Front Garden Advice

Postby STJOHNSEAST » Jun 15, 2013 11:32 am

I think what's bothering me are those holly bushes! I've cut them back but it seems annoying to plant around them. Don't really want to move them though. I'm in the garden now on my iPhone so I won't type much but will have to discuss it all more later! I wonder how long it will take the butterfly bush to grow? It would look a bit odd as a centre piece at just 1.5 feet!
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Re: Front Garden Advice

Postby Knitwitch » Jun 15, 2013 3:15 pm

When I had a Buddeleia it would pretty much die back to the ground each winter and be 4-6 feet by summer's end. That was in Quebec and the summers tend to be much hotter than here so maybe in St.Js it won't get so big? Its a herbaceous perennial more than a deciduous shrub in our climate. It needs full sun and doesn't like to be soggy. You didn't mention which variety it is so I assumed you had B. davidii. I think I saw somewhere that there is a dwarf version now for planters? Butterfly bush not much for a specimen plant all by itself but maybe with other taller things at the center or back of a bed as with a cottage style garden.
Alison, in zone 5b Nova Scotia
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