Need landscaping advice

Discussion in 'Outdoor Gardening in the Pacific Northwest' started by WesternWilson, Sep 13, 2022.

  1. WesternWilson

    WesternWilson Active Member 10 Years

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    I have a street side bed I need to edit! It is about 30' x 4', pretty sunny.

    I have gone back to work full time in the summers, and our neighbours, who are very O/C about gardens, have been objecting to the bed as it is looking tired and the plantings are not working well. The bylaw officer has been called in twice this month, on the pretext there are too many weeds.

    I just don't have time to make this bed magazine-worthy and in any case they come out to watch me whenever I do garden...that's really taken the joy of gardening away for me. I dread going into our front yard!

    So...I need this situation to go away...I need ideas on low-maintenance, attractive plantings for this space. Presently it is anchored by three 4' purplish-red barberries (left end, right end, middle, planted at the rear of the bed) and two mature Styrax trees (between the barberries). On one end is a gorgeous Lem's Monarch rhododendron, on the other a group of spirea, adding pinky-orange notes to work with the barberry. Everything else can go.

    What would you add to make this border nice all year long, tidy, and low maintenance?
     
  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Photos?
     
  3. WesternWilson

    WesternWilson Active Member 10 Years

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  4. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Generous Contributor

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    Perhaps I missed -

    1. what did bylaw tell you — were you written up? With instructions?

    2. what does the city bylaw stipulate (including watering restrictions)

    3. I think it looks nice in photo — maybe you’ve got good basic plantings and people who « report » notice « weeds which might be very simply addressed with a student helper who needs $

    then mulch it over ?

    just some thoughts
     
  5. WesternWilson

    WesternWilson Active Member 10 Years

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    Bylaw said they were ashamed to have to visit us, but when a complaint is registered they have to check it out. No written instructions but they suggested as the complaint was about weeds (and unbelievably there is a local bylaw about weeds in gardens), to just clean up the weeds and any plantings that are dying back (and in this drought, the garden is ending early).

    The big problem is: the folks calling in seem to be very anxious, o/c, angry folks who cannot tolerate the least bit of disorder or unpredictability. So I have no expectation the situation will change. It is easier to just put in something attractive but low maintenance, and I have hired a garden service to come keep it tidy. Once I renovate the plantings this fall I agree a thick layer of mulch is in order!

    But I would appreciate advice on amending the plantings.
     
  6. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Generous Contributor

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    My evil thought :) is take pix and post their street side garden … so we can chime in and match plantings

    in all seriousness — which way does this garden border face ? South / north … etc

    i do understand weed bylaws assuming it’s to help inhibit invasive species … but we can legally buy some potential invasives at garden Center

    so to topic — if you let the forum know which direction your border garden faces, that is a huge help
     
  7. WesternWilson

    WesternWilson Active Member 10 Years

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    I actually did try to mirror the plantings they had on the front bed to the right, which is small but abuts theirs. It was a 4' x 2' grassed area when we moved in and it seemed silly to keep it in grass, so I mirrored what they had (at the time, Agapanthus). Looked great but as soon as they realized what I had done they totally replanted their side and...put up a board between the beds! A bit territorial.

    Ok so the front bed is facing south to the street...but. There is a grove of tall cedars across the street so the bed in winter gets almost no sun although it gets fairly full sun by midsummer. However, as soon as the sun sinks lower on its ecliptic, no main day sun, just a bit in the morning then again late in the day.
     
  8. wcutler

    wcutler Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    These are the same people who reported you? But then didn't like that you tried to copy what they had thinking that must be what would be acceptable?
     

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