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would love your advice

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would love your advice

Postby beginner » Jun 22, 2011 8:55 pm

So up until about a week ago if you mentioned gardening to me I would have said "BLEH". (I credit my mother for this and the hours she had my sisters and me slaving away in the hot sun picking weeds when we were little). However, i have found a new interest! (Most likely spurred by my neighbours AWESOME garden, and my shameful one :P )

Anywho, I have a small spot designated for my front garden, which i recently weeded (read: gutted) except for the most healthy looking plants (see picture, tail end of neighbour's AWESOME garden is at far right) and back lawn (not yet gutted).



I would very much appreciate some advice on what i could do with these spaces. I'm looking for a low maintenance (that doesn't mean no work. i don't mind watering, weeding and trimming sometimes) garden. I like shrubs but I'd also like some flowers with colour. The front yard gets mostly morning sun (except for the circle part up front which seems to get afternoon sun as well). And the back garden gets sun all the time (maybe the burn marks in the grass tipped you off? :)

I've bought some books and have done some internet research about what plants might work where but it's all a bit overwhelming given the seemingly limitless choice. I'd appreciate any and all ideas/advice!

-The Beginner :)
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Re: would love your advice

Postby kelly_m » Jun 22, 2011 10:06 pm

First your research, was there anything that popped out at you that made you say WOW! ?? Or a colour/combination??? That's always a good start!

I would say you could do with maybe a Flowering Crabapple or a Sandcherry, dogwood, Wegeila....any of those in the "bulb" of your front garden.

As for the back...the left side seems to get a little more shade, but since yuou are mostly sun, you've got lots of choices. Which, of Course would be overwhelming!! There are plenty of hardy roses (Explorer or Austins) that would do well for you with little maintenance, hostas, ferns, astilbe for the left side, Daylilies are a great choice for the back, very low maintenance. Daisies, Echinacea, Rudbeckia all easy to grow and again...little maintenance. Shrubs, again...Wegeila, lilac, Sandcherry, Daphne, Burning bush...flowering and non-flowering but with different visual interests.

Hopefully I just didn't overwhelm you again!!LOL

Welcome to the forum by the way!!!
Zone 5a/b

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Re: would love your advice

Postby Eeyore » Jun 23, 2011 10:53 am

I would design a small seating area to the left as you come off the deck. Right where you have the chair. I see you have a young Maple in the left corner. Do you plan to keep it? It's going to provide quite a bit of shade once it grows up. I would make some sort of path (stepping stones?) from the seating area to the back and then along the side of the house to the front and tie it into the front walk.

In the back I would move the plants you have along the back fence to the right fence and then use shade tolerant plants to the left.

In the front I would look at your neighbours plantings and see what you like and duplicate them in your little garden. This will give the garden a more expansive look, like it all belongs together.

I would add variegated dogwood to Kelly's list. It can really brighten a space. Your space needs colour and texture. I'm going to attempt to use Paint and give you an idea of what I'm talking about and given the small size it's important to keep the plantings in scale. Put some lower plantings between your seating area and the path and the larger plantings beyond that.


AB, Zone 3A
“Those who say it can't be done are usually interrupted by others doing it.” ` James Arthur Baldwin"
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Re: would love your advice

Postby northernrose » Jun 27, 2011 8:52 am

You have some great advice above. I'd add irises and lilies to the list of flowers for colour. Easy to grow, little maintenance, great splash of colour with the large flowers, and the foliage is still nice once the flowers are done. They'll work well with the others mentioned. Shrubs, look for a low growing sage for the middle, front of the bed. Great texture and the silver provides nice contrast.
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