Newly Registered
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Jul 29, 2006 9:39 am

blank slate - little help?

I have a brand new home with lots of space for future gardens. For now we are starting with the front of the home. We'd like to do some walkways and have some foundations beds and possibly a tree or two out front. We have some ideas, but would love to have some others' input. We are zone 5/6 and although I'm an aspiring gardener, I'm trying to keep it relatively low maintenance and perennial. (With a big yard, there will be lots of low maintenance gardens, and a low ;) maintenance vegetable garden someday. Here is a link to the site plan and some photos:

If you've got a minute, let me know what you think!


Senior Member
Posts: 105
Joined: Mon Mar 13, 2006 7:12 pm
Location: Detroit, MI

I think your house looks great! How 'bout some outside photos? :lol:

Greener Thumb
Posts: 1868
Joined: Tue May 25, 2004 10:44 pm
Location: Maryland zone 7

I agree that pictures of the outside would be helpful. Knowing the sun conditions would be necessary for specific plant recommendations. In the meantime here's some info on foundation plantings.

One way to have low maintenance plantings is to choose foundation plants according to their mature size and place them so you won't have to be pruning them to make them fit. If your windows are 4' from the ground it would be best to plant shrubs that mature at 3' or 4' tall. Trees should NEVER be planted closer then 15' from a structure. Place trees to frame a house and not block it.


Milan Maker
Newly Registered
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Aug 08, 2007 8:19 am
Location: Kentucky

Just from what I saw from the pics it looks like you don't have a single thing in the yard, no plants, no [url=]garden furniture[/url], and no privacy. I think that if you don't have any plans for a fence then you should think about a row of leafy trees in the front and possibly some ever greens in the back. It might take awhile to get the trees to full spread, depending on the amount of money you want to spend, because you could always transplant larger trees to provide instant coverage, but that all has to do with your budget. This would be my first step for your situation. I am not suggesting that you seclude yourself in, but just add a little shade and a bit of privacy for a future pool, or back patio, or whatever. I think that it would add a lot of character as well.


Green Thumb
Posts: 439
Joined: Thu Nov 09, 2006 11:17 am
Location: Midcoast Maine, Zone 5b

What do you want beyond low maintenance? You are showing us a blank canvas. Without knowing something about the soils, climate (beyond the Zone rating), budget and your aesthetic sensibilities and functional desires it is impossible to give you meaningful advice.
All I can offer at this point is that designs that rely more on woody plants and hardscaping tend to be lower maintenance than perennial beds. I'm personally not a huge fan of traditional foundation plantings although your situation is probably more suited to them than houses that need more exterior maintenance. If you do opt for foundation plantings make the beds deep - at least seven or eight feet from the drip line (as opposed to the side of the house).

Newly Registered
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Jul 05, 2007 7:47 am

I think that you have a very nice and probably pretty expensive house. A well though out design will add value to this home. A haphazard design - or no real " design" will have a bad impact on the overall appearance. Forums are great places to test the water and get ideas. But it may be best to find a landscape designer to give you some help.

( the Builder had a plan and look how great your home turned out!)
To save money you buy the plan and then you purchase and install the plants.
Make a list of plants that you like or ones that look good in other local landscapes. and then take the ideas to a few designers and ask them to discuss what they could do.


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