Design ideas for my pathetic front yard...

Discussion in 'Garden Design and Plant Suggestions' started by KatieM, Aug 25, 2007.

  1. KatieM

    KatieM Member

    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Ohio, USA
    Here's my current south-facing front yard. I'm going to prune the flowering plums this fall/winter. The one on the right is optional - it's leaning over way too much into the lawn, making lawn mowing a bit PITA.

    The rhododendrons are definitely going. I really don't like my thin, weak-looking weeping cherry either, but I'd like to keep what I have for budget reasons.

    What can I plant to liven up this area? I don't have any summer flowers at all in my front yard, so colors would be nice.

    I'm on zone 5, and something lower-maintenance is a plus.

    TIA!

    ETA: Added 2nd pic. Another area of the front yard. This one needs help too!
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Liz

    Liz Well-Known Member 10 Years

    Messages:
    1,526
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Victoria Australia [cool temperate]
    The weeping cherry looks fine? They take years to grow large. Maybe it would look and do better planted away from the house as a specimen tree. Where are the rhododendrons? Again these take a long time to get large and are a bonus background to what ever else you put in. The plant infront of the window in pic 2 looks more like a nice magnolia. From my perspective it looks like you have some good back ground plants to which you could add some annuals or perannuals. Maybe you could box the ist pic garden and make it so you could let things like nasturtiums drape over the edge to soften edges. They are low maintence and colourful. There are also many daisy [Asteraceae] plants that are great for colour and just need pruning in winter to get nice new fresh flowering growth thefollowing year. Others are fabulous ground covers. It is a big family and we are blessed with many varieties down here.

    http://www.daisyparadise.com/

    I assume south for you means lot's of sun. What would you like to see more garden, less lawn, or just these two areas planted?

    Liz
     
  3. joclyn

    joclyn Rising Contributor

    Messages:
    2,707
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    philly, pa, usa 6b
    i would leave what you've already got there (even the rhody!!). nothing is completely established yet, so, let them grow and fill in a bit - if you still don't like something, you can remove it.

    i know it's hard to picture what they'll look like in a few years. maybe use google images for them to try to get an idea of what they'll look like after they've had time to get established.

    i'd fill in the open spots with perenials - some plants and some bulbs.

    crocus, daffodil, iris (bearded), hardy geranium, coneflower, shasta daisy, black-eyed susan, daylily, sedum (autumn joy or the like), mums. i listed them in order of bloomtime...early spring to late summer/early fall. well, the hardy geranium will continue blooming and the daisy and coneflower can be deadheaded and they should bloom again. some iris are double blooming also (in spring and then in fall).

    the bulbs will come back every year, so will the coneflower, daisy, sedum and mums. the bes are bi-ennial and easily reseed.

    bi-ennial means they bloom the second year and then die. so, with the first bunch, you'll want to grab some of the seeds when they're ready - let the rest fall to the ground and they'll start growing the following year. plant the seeds you held on to at the end of that season and the next year the bunch that grew previously will bloom and the seed you planted in the fall will be growing. no need to collect any more seeds at this point as you can let them self-sow...you'll always have some blooms and some that are just leafing out since you planted seeds two years in a row.

    you can always get some annuals to punch things up too...one that i particularly like is portulaca/moss rose. it does really, really well in full sun, blooms all summer up to the first hard frost and it will reseed too.
     
  4. KatieM

    KatieM Member

    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Ohio, USA
    Thank you for the suggestions. They're all pretty well-established plants as the house is 8 years old. We moved in last fall, and the previous owners did not take care of anything. The rhodys are dying. Maybe I'll get new ones and replant them.
     
  5. Debby

    Debby Active Member 10 Years

    Messages:
    285
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Vancouver, Canada
    With the weeping cherry, be sure to prevent the trunk on which the top has been grafted from sending up shoots. Our neighbourhood boasts a pathetic confused tree whose owner has never pruned out the upright shoots that sprouted from the trunk.

    With the rhodos, maybe you could just prune them way back next spring after they flower, presuming they do flower. They'll send out lots of fresh new growth.
     
  6. joclyn

    joclyn Rising Contributor

    Messages:
    2,707
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    philly, pa, usa 6b
    rhody's need some decent shade until they get established - then a lot of sun is okay. they generally do much better if they are shaded from the hot afternoon sun. maybe you could move them to a spot that fits better? if you do decide to move them, i'd do it in the spring - that will give them more time to get the roots established before the cold weather.

    also, when transplanting anything it's helpful to use root stimulant. it comes in a concentrated liquid form and you just mix a batch as per the package directions and pour some in the hole, put the plant in and backfill with soil, give another bit of the stimulant and then water thoroughly to set the soil in. continue watering daily - especially at the 'drip-line' (that's the area below the outermost leaves) so that the roots stretch out to get to the moisture - helps the roots to grow better.
     
  7. Luv2Grdn

    Luv2Grdn Active Member

    Messages:
    45
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    MI, USA
    I would transplant the tree that is tucked in the corner. Maybe on the other side of the house or to obstruct a view that isn't so nice. If that is your dinning room window. A good size water feature would be nice. A trellis on the brick wall would look nice. Climbing Rose? Rhododendron's need to go. Like you said in the beginning. Use them somewhere else. Freshening up the edges of the bed. Since, it is fall I would plant some nice hardy mum's, bulbs and in the spring plant some perennials and annuals to bring that splash of color. If you have the money to do the front. Do it. Curb appeal is always nice. Nice for you, family and friend. Look for some different colors, texture of scrubs and plants. Like a golden color Arborvitaes in the background with a purple color leaf shrub in front.
    The scrub behind the weeping cherry tree is taking away from the WC tree. The WC is disappearing. I would remove that bush or prune it down.
    If those are burning bushs by the garage. I would put them somewhere in the backyard. They grow big and make a nice backdrop.

    A picture from the street would be nice to see the over all view.
    You have a very nice home! Good luck in your planting. :>)
     
  8. ohio_gardener

    ohio_gardener Member

    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Copley
    You could put some daylilies. They come in some many colors besides the normal yellow you will find in most landscapes. The foliage is pretty nice and they flower over and over. I just purchased 4 daylilies from the below merchant. The ones I bought are a very nice coral color. It should spice up any yard IMO. I also lover lavenders, maybe you could put some in the borders. The flowers are a deep blue / purple (depending on the type) and the fragance is just amazing.

    http://springhillnursery.com/product.asp_Q_pn_E_71384
     
  9. Newt

    Newt Well-Known Member 10 Years

    Messages:
    1,275
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Maryland USA zone 7
    Katie, you've already gotten some great suggestions. Daylilies have already been mentioned, but they generally bloom either early, mid season or late season. There are also reblooming and everblooming daylilies. The Apster series has some nice colors, and once they establish themselves in about 3 years, you should have blooms from late May/early June to late summer. Plan on planting to follow the curve of the bed with either 3, 5 or 7 to give some punch.
    http://www.perennials.com/hea.html

    Hardy geraniums were also mentioned. The longest blooming one I know of is Geranium 'Rozanne'. Once established in 2 or 3 years each one will be at least 2' to 3' around and bloom from the June to first hard frost. They would look lovely in front of the daylilies. Here's a lovely clump of them.
    http://www.sandfrauchen.de/images/geranium/Rozanne_gz_13sep06.jpg
    http://www.sandfrauchen.de/images/geranium/Rozanne_blu_04aug06.jpg
    http://www.sandfrauchen.de/images/geranium/Rozanne4_23jun05.jpg

    In looking at your picture of your weeping cherry it appears to be planted too deep or have too much mulch around the base of the tree. That may be why it isn't filling in as you would like. Take a look to see that the rootflare of your trees is showing and it doesn't look like a telephone pole in the ground.
    http://www.mortonarb.org/deeptreeroots/land_established.html
    http://www.mortonarb.org/deeptreeroots/index.html
    http://www.treesaregood.com/treecare/mulching.aspx

    I do like the idea of bulbs planted as well. The emerging foilage of the perennials will cover the yellowing leaves of your bulbs and early spring color will be most welcome in your zone. This site has wonderful references and good bloom time info. Think about crocus, daffodils that bloom early, mid and late season. Species tulips will multiply each year. Grape hyacinths are lovely and fragrant if you plant enough of them. Click on Spring/Fall 2007 for some wonderful goodies.
    http://brentandbeckysbulbs.com/

    If you decide to mailorder you can check references here and even search for local mailorder nurseries.
    http://davesgarden.com/products/gwd/

    Newt
     
  10. Karalyn

    Karalyn Active Member

    Messages:
    311
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Boise, Idaho USA
    Are the flowering plum trees actually Sand Cherries? I like the idea of moving them elsewhere as well. They can grow tall and trimmed to look like or similar to a Japanese Maple tree. Autumn Sedum wood be nice to plant where the sand cherries are right now, also daylilies and/or variegated iris that looks nice whether it is blooming or not.

    Planting bulbs under the Weeping cherry tree and then pansies would look very nice and you wouldn't have to replant every year. The magnolia tree is nice and wouild be nice elsewhere and put in a water feature and clematis vines. Trumpet vine or one of the different varieties of honey suckles they have out in the market these days.

    Miniature roses are nice as well as mums where the magnolia tree is.

    You have a lot of potential to work with and that is a good thing! Very nice looking house and brick. I agree with the others on their suggestions as well. Hardy geraniums and coral bells are nice to have around.
     
  11. Newt

    Newt Well-Known Member 10 Years

    Messages:
    1,275
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Maryland USA zone 7
    With no disrespect to Karalyn, I wouldn't use trumpet vine aka Campsis radicans in such a garden. In 10 or 15 years you will have sprouts popping up all over the garden and lawn as far as 30' away. It has a VERY vigorous root system. Been there, lived that nightmare.

    Newt
     
  12. Karalyn

    Karalyn Active Member

    Messages:
    311
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Boise, Idaho USA
    I guess where I'm from in Idaho, where we are have dry heat and our winter snows are powder. We don't have a problem with Trumpet vine nor Virginia Creeper. They are easy to get rid of.

    I've waited forever to get a yellow trumpet vine to bloom just to find out that the store had it labeled wrong. It was the red orange color.

    It did have to compete with three clematis and a cherry tree until I realized that maybe this plant needs some fertilizer and more water. This is the first year I've seen it top my fence and bloom. After planting it 3 or 4 years ago.
     
  13. Karalyn

    Karalyn Active Member

    Messages:
    311
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Boise, Idaho USA
    Newt,
    I like the websites you provided links for. Thank you very much. Very helpful!
     

Share This Page