smithfamily
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Joined: Mon Jun 15, 2015 3:46 pm
Location: Arkansas

Need help with landscaping.

Hi all. :)

I am hoping to get some insight for landscaping in my front yard. My husband and I just got a new roof and after painting the siding we want to do something in this area. It is shaded most of the day gets MAYBE 2 hours of sun in the evening.

We are both completely new when it comes to designing and planning yard things. So we will take all thoughts into consideration. Along with forums I post in and as much research as I can possibly do we are hoping to make this area look great.

In this area there are a few things that we HAVE to incorporate and some things that we want to add. So ideas with these in mind would be great.

Image Picture of area.
Image Bedline
Image "Paver" Line and water barrel placement

If you look at the picture you will see that in the top right is where all the water runoff is for that side of the house. After years of the previous owners just letting it run off it floods there now and sits against the house and porch. Under that runoff we need to put a water container barrel. I will be able to water the plants and use that water for some of the animals.

All of the stumps you see we will be cutting them down and removing them. The tree will be staying. In the 2nd picture the red line is where we are hoping the edge of the bed will be.

My husband would like to line the outside with thick "pavers" (I call them stepping stones), he said we would put the paper or plastic down in that area and build it up with soil and mulch and he want the whole thing lined with the "pavers". (Yellow line)

I would love to fit in a birdbath if possible.

Any suggestions or links or even photos would be great help. We have a long ways to go in landscaping for this house. Just trying to do one spot at a time.

(Any suggestions on house siding color? :-() )

Thanks all. Can give more photos or info if needed just ask.

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Need help with landscaping.

To start with, we can't make any plant suggestions without knowing your location/ growing zone/ climate.

Welcome to the Forum! We will be glad to help with a little more info - also need to know approximately how big the area is.
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

smithfamily
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Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Jun 15, 2015 3:46 pm
Location: Arkansas

Re: Need help with landscaping.

I am in South West Arkansas. Sorry about that!

According to https://planthardiness.ars.usda.gov/PHZMWeb/# I am in Zone 8a : 10 to 15 (F).

The area is about 240 inches (house) x 139 inches (porch)

I measured out the area going around the tree in the corner but not sure I did that right, I'll have to wait until my husband gets home if you need that.

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Need help with landscaping.

OK... So that is the front door and front porch? How do people get to your front door? The pavers you are talking about will be a path to the door/porch? What direction will they be coming from?

To start with some things to keep in mind. You want your front door to be very visible and welcoming. You might start by painting the front door to match the roof. But it will limit the plantings somewhat. You do not want to block the view of the front door or the view from the front porch. So everything along the front of the porch needs to be pretty low.

But you don't want a bunch of tiny stuff, looks all out of scale to the house. So I think you will want to plant some large-ish shrubs or even a small tree along the house end of the bed. Some shrubs that would tolerate shade include:

highbush blueberry - This is the wild (unhybridized) version of blueberry, birds (and people!) like the blueberries, has nice fall foliage color, the flowers are good for honeybees and native bees. It needs acid soil.

viburnum - comes in several varieties and sizes from dwarf to pretty large. Has very fragrant flowers, that are attractive to butterflies and honeybees, berries that birds like, and fall color. Likes acid soil, but tolerates a bigger range than blueberry.

coral berry - A low-growing forest shrub with attractive purple winter berries and persistent, bright green foliage. Songbirds, ground birds, small mammals, and browsers use this plant for food, cover, and nesting sites. Four feet tall and spreading.

purple nine bark - 6-10 feet tall (but can be pruned), with very attractive purple foliage, white flowers that are attractive to birds, bees and butterflies. Colored foliage like this is nice for breaking up that all green look.

and of course azaleas are the classic shrub for shade, evergreen and covered with beautiful flowers in the spring.

Japanese maples have beautiful foliage, often dark red all season. It is a small tree, comes in dwarf versions. It is open and airy and can be pruned to be even more so, so it veils the view of the house a bit but doesn't block it.

So you would want to pick 2 -4 shrubs, can be a mixture, does NOT need to be the standard uniform boring hedge that people tend to put in front of their houses. Then you will step down your plants from there, highest in back and lowest in front, but bearing in mind nothing very high in front of the porch.

Look for inspiration pictures.

Put your pavers in first so you can see the space you have left. Think about NOT making the path to your door a straight line:

Image
https://cdn1.gardenhomeandparty.com/wp-c ... 50x343.jpg

You can do a planting like that around your tree.

Here's a sample of stepping down the height from high to low. And keeping the front edge of the bed curved. Our houses tend to be boxes, you want curves to soften that:

Image

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

There are lots of good shade plants: ferns and hostas, bleeding hearts, coral bells, columbine, wild ginger, solomon's seal, astilbe, chelone, cardinal flower, great blue lobelia,

But middle of summer is the WRONG time to be planting. Your transplants would likely die of heat shock before they had time to get established. Do your planning now, lay your pavers, find a good local nursery, especially native plant nursery (NOT big box store) and be talking to them and getting suggestions. Get your soil tested, so you will know whether you can grow those acid lovers or not. Prepare your soil, so it is loose and enriched. All that you can be doing now. Plan to be planting at the end of summer or early fall, eg sept to mid-Oct.

Here's a listing of sources for native plants: https://findnativeplants.com/south/arkan ... ve-plants/

Native plants being adapted to your conditions are generally much hardier and lower maintenance, as well as having more habitat value.

Hope this was some help!
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

imafan26
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Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: Need help with landscaping.

If the water is coming off the roof, you don't want to put in rain gutters right.

I suggest since you are surrounded by large trees and it will be in semi shade most of the time that you look at shade tolerant plants

There are some decorative rainbarrels but they do not contain a lot of water and you will have water when you don't need it and the barrel will still be overflowing and when it is dry the barrel won't go very far. One large barrel typically collects only about 50 gallons. So unless you have a bunch of barrels, you won't collect enough water to do a lot of good and it will still be too much when it does rain to keep the place from flooding.

I suggest since the area is prone to flooding anyway, you put in a rain garden or a dry river bed that leads to a rain garden area. I am not fond of having water collecting near the house foundation. It causes always causes issues.

It looks like it is a low spot in the yard, the trees on the sides looks like they are on higher ground. Consider installing a pond for aesthetics. Make the pond walls higher than normal so it can accommodate your average rain runoff. Place a drain line at the over flow point and tunnel it away to exit at a safer distance. Plant the perimeter of the pond with low growing grasses. You can outfit the pond pump so that it can double as a sump pump to drain the pond if it gets too full.
You could still use the water from the pond at the high level mark to water other plants especially if you use a sump pump to pump it out.

Some of the plants Rainbow suggested would be good for the background you would want something taller to hide the air con unit and wall. When you have the time and money you might consider switching out the window unit for a slim jim that is more efficient and the compressor can be located in a more inconspicuous place.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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rainbowgardener
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Location: TN/GA 7b

Re: Need help with landscaping.

In case I wasn't clear, all the plants I mentioned are shade tolerant and should work for your climate.
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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