Judy in Ma
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Curbside choices and information welcomed.

I am looking for everyone to inform me and help me to decide what to do with my curbside view.
The attached pictures tell the story.
Both planting areas of the porch measure 5' deep x 9' wide.
I am looking for low to no maintenance.

Your help is deeply appreciated.
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Judy in Ma
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Joined: Wed May 22, 2013 8:39 pm

Re: Curbside choices and information welcomed.

FYI...there were two large bushes that filled the emptiness on both sides that were roughly 3 foot boxes...trimmed that way for years...
They were just pulled out to accomplish a new natural look.
It should also be stated that I am in Massachusetts.

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tomf
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Re: Curbside choices and information welcomed.

Judy I was going to suggest shrubbery as you want low maintenance. What ever you do put tall plants in the back and shorter plants to the front. I was from Saugus Mass, I went to school there.
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watermelonpunch
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Re: Curbside choices and information welcomed.

I will be so bold as to suggest that you do NOT plant anything that will obscure the brick wall.
Pick something that will compliment it with the colour of the foliage... sort of have plants that would look good with the brick as a back drop.

That brick is a very nice feature of that porch. Just saying. I wouldn't want to obscure it too much.

So what I mean is either something that doesn't get very tall OR, something that doesn't get very wide.

Shrubbery of course is a fairly low maintenance option.

But I have to say, though I don't know much about gardening yet... I moved 1-1/2yr ago to our house, and we have 11 distinct flowerbeds of varying sizes & shapes. And the flowerbed I spend the LEAST amount of time on (almost zero), and yet ironically always looks the most neat & orderly... nothing but hostas, a rose bush, and some columbine in the corner.

I don't know much about hostas... they were here when I moved. But they seem to me to be super duper low maintenance.
And apparently there's MANY MANY different kinds for a variety of foliage appearance and sun & soil conditions.

(note: they are not evergreen, and if you want something there year-round you would need some kind of evergreen bushes mixed in... but evergreen bushes also need to be pruned a couple of times a year... unless you find a self-limiting type)
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USDA zone 6a bordering 5b, Sunset Zone 37 bordering 42
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rainbowgardener
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Re: Curbside choices and information welcomed.

I take watermelon's point, that the brick is very nice. But you can see from what you have there already, that a bunch of small plants looks all out of proportion to the size of the wall and kind of scraggly. I think you do want some shrubbery, but you can pick something kind of airy that will still let the brick show through.

Japanese maple would be one like that or something like a dwarf weeping cherry tree or dwarf weeping willow. Ornamental grasses can give that kind of effect also and come in a variety of sizes, forms, foliage colors.

How much sun do the areas get?
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watermelonpunch
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Location: Pennsylvania USA

Re: Curbside choices and information welcomed.

rainbow has a point.
Tall & more narrow would probably be better.

That and replacing or moving, or better situating (with mulch or something) whatever it is that's hunching over the lawn in the front of the beds.
Whatever those plants are look like they're higher maintenance or more protection than they've been getting.

From the way the colour is from one side to the other, plant to plant and from the angle of the sun in the pics... they look like some are either getting too much sun, or too little water for the amount of sun.

But rainbow's other point is important... what time of day were these pics taken and how much sun does each side get?

From the angle of the sun in the picture... it could be that it's just not going to work out to have the same plants mirrored on each side... because one side may get a lot more sun than the other side.

Being that the steps go right up the middle in the front, I could see the temptation to mirror plantings.
That's probably not real low maintenance though, when plants have different needs on either side.

You can still get a nice look even if you have different plants planted on either side... A good trick with that would be to use either one set of 2 of a plant that does well in both situations (probably rare), or some non-plant decorative item pair, where you put the same thing on either the outside corners, or somewhere at the same point on either side, to anchor the look for composition.

I've seen some of my neighbors do this... with like some kind of statuary that matches their porch/house. But then they have different bushes & plants on either side.

I've also seen some neighbors try to mirror their plantings, and the one side always looks shabby compared to the other with the exact same plants. :/

Sometimes you have to accept that plants have their needs and they're not going to just change to your needs. 8)

I'm so glad I don't have any symmetrical structures or viewpoints like that in my yard! LOL ;)
I have a hard enough time making things look neat in the front with my fast & loose gardening. ha ha ha
Northeastern Pennsylvania
USDA zone 6a bordering 5b, Sunset Zone 37 bordering 42
I'm brainwashing you with this signature block.
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