lifeisjust22
Newly Registered
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Aug 06, 2008 4:59 am
Location: NC

Brand new garden, need help!

I am fairly new to gardening and brand new to this forum, so hello :D
and....surprise surprise..... i need help. Haha


My husband and i own a townhouse with little space to create a nice garden. We pay a home owners association fee every month for landscaping, but they are very lazy about it, and it never looks as good as it's potential.
There is a small space in front of our front door up against the house that used to have awful prickly bushes that i hated. I dug up the bushes, and now it's barren. Haha

My husband is in the Air force, and i thought it might be cute to do a red white a blue themed little garden in that space that we have. I was thinking some sort of taller white shrub maybe, with red and blue flowers in front. Problem with this is i have no idea what to plant...or when to plant it. It would be ideal to have everything in bloom at the same time, but I'm sure that might be a little difficult. I just recently purchased stone edging blocks, and lots of organic top soil to get started. I'm anxious to get something growing in there!!

If anyone has any advice or suggestions it would be much appreciated :D

Thanks
~Steph~

bullthistle
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1152
Joined: Sun Feb 24, 2008 3:26 pm
Location: North Carolina

Since it's late in the year how about geraniums, blue lobelia and white peteunias. Of course only annual but you'll have some color until frost.

lifeisjust22
Newly Registered
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Aug 06, 2008 4:59 am
Location: NC

That is a great idea! Thanks so much i really appreciate it. I'll post pictures as soon as i get it all planted and looking nice :)

cklandscapingorlando
Full Member
Posts: 17
Joined: Sun Aug 10, 2008 8:20 pm
Location: orlando fl.

What I would do is find a good shrub for the back drop that will stay green in the winter.Hydranga,viburnum,lake view jasmine,ligustrum or any # of white flowering shrubs.This gives you some structure.Then use your annuals to fill in the color.You can change the plants out as needed to keep it looking fresh and new.Remember that in landscaping a straight line is really bland.
I would also activly seek new bids on your property.There are alot of us out there that seek out education and proper cultural practices.There are even more of us that are in this industry because its a cheap one to get in.This industry has alot of science behind it and if your contractor fails to live up to the job,fire them and let a quality company grow.
We may not be the best, but you wont find anyone better

MaineDesigner
Green Thumb
Posts: 439
Joined: Thu Nov 09, 2006 4:17 pm
Location: Midcoast Maine, Zone 5b

"Remember that in landscaping a straight line is really bland."

This is a gross over simplification. Straight lines can be quite dramatic or bland, it all comes down to the situation and the skill of the designer. There is too much tendency these days to arbitrarily use sinuous lines.

cklandscapingorlando
Full Member
Posts: 17
Joined: Sun Aug 10, 2008 8:20 pm
Location: orlando fl.

When you look at it from a maintanance perspective as well as a cultural perspective,straight lines create much more work and alot more stress on a land scape.The only time a straight line looks good in my opinion out side of a formal landscape is from the front.If you veiw it from the side it loses all deminsion
We may not be the best, but you wont find anyone better

MaineDesigner
Green Thumb
Posts: 439
Joined: Thu Nov 09, 2006 4:17 pm
Location: Midcoast Maine, Zone 5b

"When you look at it from a maintanance perspective as well as a cultural perspective,straight lines create much more work and alot more stress on a land scape."

I would appreciate if you would elaborate on these points. I see no obvious reasons why this would be the case.

cklandscapingorlando
Full Member
Posts: 17
Joined: Sun Aug 10, 2008 8:20 pm
Location: orlando fl.

If a line ends in a square then a mower must stop,back up,then turn.Or the mower will turn at a sharp angle.Both create stress points in the turf.Then you have to line trim any spot that the mower missed.Since the weedeater cuts with a rounded edge unlike a blade it leaves a ragged edge.Just like human flesh,a clean wound will always heal faster which means less time suseptical to fungal issues.stressed turf is turf with problems.It also takes alot of experiance to line trim at the proper hight.Since turf needs leaf blade to produce food its counter perductive to cut it to low.Plus you have a sun to soil issue once the turf thins either from low line triming or mower stress.This means you begin weed production.This is according to IFAS and the 2008 bmp's
We may not be the best, but you wont find anyone better

MaineDesigner
Green Thumb
Posts: 439
Joined: Thu Nov 09, 2006 4:17 pm
Location: Midcoast Maine, Zone 5b

Thanks for your response. I'm not really a turf guy so the use of the term "landscape" doesn't immediately reference lawns for me. I was thinking in terms of trees, shrubs, perennial beds and other ornamental plants. While I don't want to dispute your point the perfect lawn usually ranks fairly low in my design considerations. If you look at the works of Gertrude Jekyll, Jens Jensen, Fletcher Steele, Dan Kiley, Roberto Burle Marx, Shodo Suzuki, Joe Eck & Wayne Winterrowd, Piet Oudolf, Steve Stimson, Christopher Bradley-Hole, Oehme & van Sweden, and many other fine landscape designers you'll see straight lines used almost as frequently as curves. If straight lines are inherently bland they certainly keep good company.

lifeisjust22
Newly Registered
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Aug 06, 2008 4:59 am
Location: NC

Thank you everyone for your input. It is greatly appreciated.

In my neighborhood, you have to be "on the board" as they say, of directors for the home owners association to get anything done around here. So i am joining in the decision making process at the end of this month.

If i have my way.. :wink: ...
were getting rid of the people that do our landscaping now, and hiring new people. Everyone here pays a small fortune every month for it to look nice, and it just doesn't. There is barely even grass on the common ground in the middle of the neighborhood. Like i said previously, they are very lazy about it, and i feel like the only thing i am paying for every month is for someone to cut the little bit of grass i have.

In the rule book (which nobody follows by the way) it says that if we make any landscape changes, it's our responsibility from there. Which is fair i suppose, but at least make what we have to share look nice as well.


Sorry to vent so much...but this has been eating at me for about a year. Haha.


Thanks again to everyone who replied! I have the blocks down, and the soil in place. Just that has been a vast improvement, if you can believe that. Haha.

Return to “Flower Gardening & Garden Design”