honky lips
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help me resurrect the landscaping in my new house!

I purchased this house last summer and the yard is bland looking. I want to plant hedges trees Exedra throughout the property to make it look good but it is a simple house so I don't want to make it awkward with a fancy yard.what items can I put in what spots to make the property look better. There is a flower bed along the front of the house and 3 flower beds along the south side of the house. Other than that there is really nothing aside from a three year old tree planted in the front yard.

there is a small Mulch bed with edgers around the tree. I don't like the look of it and want to remove it and just have grass planted there am I wrong in thinking this?

I'm not really wanting to do any roadside landscaping. I live next to an elementary school and the kids would not leave it alone I would think.

Would a tree line in the east yard be a good idea? I have no clue.

honky lips
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Re: help me resurrect the landscaping in my new house!

Hers a couple more pictures of the house. the tree trunk has been removed and the stumps ground out.
picture-uh=5615ce53f705a81b41c5d471481967d-ps=149dd5f14becbab9d8fb8a244f676bc-11-Ehrig-Ave-Treynor-IA-51575.jpg (14.95 KiB) Viewed 2185 times

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Super Green Thumb
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Re: help me resurrect the landscaping in my new house!

Yes indeed, blank slate! To start with you mentioned "a flower bed along the front of the house," but it is a teeny little strip of teeny little flowers. A very common mistake of landscapers. Yours is barely visible and all out of scale with the house. What you want in a foundation planting bed like that is a wide bed, that has a curving edge. Your house is a rectangular box, you really want to break that up with some curves. So a curving edge, wide enough to have some groupings of plants, not just a straight line, and some bigger plants, like shrubbery and even small trees.

Here's one sample of what I am talking about:


https://img2-3.timeinc.net/toh/i/g/12/ya ... plants.jpg

Note how the height slopes down from tall shrubbery closer to the house to smallest things in front.

The back yard looks like no one ever sets foot out there. Think about what you would like to DO out there. Do you have kids? Then you would want a kids play area. Water features always make a space more pleasant and attractive, at the minimum a bird bath, better would be a bird bath AND a little ready made pond (you can buy them cheap these days at Home Depot type places). Fire pit is nice. Table for eating, at least a picnic table. Grill. Some kind of covered out door space for sitting, like a gazebo. A couple little veggie gardens. A shed for your lawn mower and garden tools? I couldn't tell if you have a patio in the back? Some hedge along the back for a little sense of privacy, enclosure.

Start by mapping it out on paper, what things you want where in the back. Then put in curving walk ways to those different things.

https://www.elraziq.com/wp-content/uploa ... -ideas.jpg

Yes, your backyard could look something like that. If you weren't going to invest a fortune in making it happen overnight like they do on TV, it would be a DIY project for the next few years.

Do look around for inspiration pictures of your own. I think they are very helpful to give you ideas and a sense of what you are aiming for.

For any more details, it would help to know where you are located and what direction the front door faces.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

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Re: help me resurrect the landscaping in my new house!

I agree with Rainbow, a curved border will give your small front yard an illusion of depth. and also it is easier to mow around if you have curves not corners. I would not plant right up against the house foundation. Leave a couple of feet from house for a maintenance path. It will be easier to inspect the house and do maintenance things like paint and put in a pest barrier. You also don't want and plant roots or water too near the foundation for pests to enter.

Start with a master plan and add elements as you go to keep the cost down. Do your research and map out the place so you know where every plant will go. That way you won't put in more than you need and have to thin them out later or put in plants that may cause you problems because they got bigger or were more maintenance than you bargained for. You can always fill the gaps with annuals instead.

Choose a garden style. The yard is small and the house is not formal but you could paint the door red (very feng shui) red is inviting. In the future I would consider making the porch bigger and adding a portico. The plants around the entrance should be soft and not have spiky leaves (also a feng shui technique thorny plants and plants with spikey leaves say "go away" and are not inviting. Sharp corners make people walk on the outside of a path. Use soft plants with round leaves. If you paint the door red, use plants with red flowers or leaves that lead up to the door. Red will frame the entrance and path and invite people in.) I don't know where you live, but I have used red geraniums, and euphorbia cotonifolia (Carribean copper plant) pruned into a ball. and a ground cover of dwarf acalypha (firetail or dwarf chenille) on one side of my yard. I have roses on the other side. Now, that I went to the feng shui lecture, I know why people keep missing my entrance and knocking on my garage door instead.

Create a path that leads from the street to your door, but make it a winding path not straight. Again as people go through the yard it will make it appear bigger than it is. If it is an entrance that you use daily a second utility path can lead to the door as well. The utility path will be the one that would be worn by the
foot traffic anyway. Don't fight it.

Choose your foundation plants first. They should be shrubs or small trees. Research native plants and the mature height and care they will need. They will provide the bones of the garden throughout the seasons

Next pick a middle layer, which are usually perennials. Perennials don't bloom all year so pick plants that complement each other. Plant in small groups of three or more and choose plants that add texture or color in leaves for the time they won't be blooming. Select perennials that bloom at different times of the year and in complementary colors.

You don't need a lot of plants or many different ones a few can work. Select plants based on your climate and the amount of sun they will get and also on the type of soil you have.

The last layer in front will usually be the annuals which will give you seasonal color.

Try to limit your color palette to four colors or less.

Add interest with a focal point. It could be a fountain, birdbath, statue, art piece, or decorative stones. Sometimes just a stump with a pot of seasonal color works fine.

Limit grass. It is water hungry and unless you need the space for activities, shrub borders require less maintenance, once every six weeks or so compared to every week mowing depending on the type of grass you have. The grass looks like it has been there awhile. It should be aerated, top dressed, de-thatched, and fertilized as recommended for the type of grass you have. Where you are going to keep the grass, try to avoid sharp corners and use curves instead. It is easier to mow around wide curves. I use bricks placed flat on the ground like pavers in front of my border edging. It helps to keep the grass out of the borders and a place for the mower wheels to go around the edging.

While you are doing the plans. have your soil tested. Your local cooperative extension office will be the cheapest place to get that done.

Amend the soil and install a sprinkler system. It adds value to the house and makes watering a whole lot easier. You would design the sprinkler system and zones once you have decided on a master plan. It also helps to make a scale drawing and take pictures of the sprinkler installation so you know where they are when it needs repair.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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Re: help me resurrect the landscaping in my new house!


As I observed that you have enough and good space around your home just you need to utilize this area in efficient manner.
You are going with good thought process, in your post you mentioned " flower bed along the front of the house and 3 flower beds along the south side of the house" absolutely this is very good idea. there is enough grass in front of your home so you just maintain it properly. But back yard of your house is very poor. You can utilize this for relaxation area where you can built cabana or small water tank/swimming pool for kids.
I am providing you some sites where you can see some good ideas of landscaping

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Super Green Thumb
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Re: help me resurrect the landscaping in my new house!

Honky Lips - BIG SIGH! I had a landscaping business for 10 years and I can not tell you how much $$$ I made re-doing DIY projects. I no longer actively do landscaping work but I do what I call "Sweat Equity" plans. I provide a detailed plan (drawing) and a detailed material list with recommended resources- best bang for the buck. The client provides the sweat. Unless you have the time and energy to do a lot of horticultural research I highly recommend that you find a landscaper willing to do a "sweat equity" plan for you. Since not all landscapers are as reputable as I am (yes there is some vanity there) I would research the recommended plants for mature size. The single biggest problem with landscaping is mature size. Next is region suitability and growing conditions.

Consider irrigation.

I could make lots of recommendations but I do not know you. I do not know your life style, your maintenance requirements or how you want to utilize your yard. I do not know your region or growing conditions. Even though I am a talented landscaper to attempt to make specific recommendations would be presumptuous.

Before you embark on a DIY landscaping project get some professional advice.

Good luck

Too the rest of the forum - not specific advice but the best advice that I can in good conscience give.
Elizabeth - or Your Majesty

Living and growing in Lafayette, La.

When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant. ~Author Unknown

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