WANTED: Newbie!! Help!!!!

bamabelle33June 29, 2006

Hiii all new to Gardenweb and Alabama Exchange. This is really a great idea, not only am I new to the site I am new to gardening also. 20 years old and in my first home of my own,well my boyfriend and my own. Anyways I have a fairly large back yard with one tree(plz dont ask what kind)lol y cute lil 2nd level screened in porch with lots of shady space under it with LOTS of potential, anyways our front is all grass except for bordering the house and there is 5 or 6 crepe myrtles(never pruned btw and out of control) and lots of shrubs and bushes and Stones(rocks) and I also have a small side oval space with nothing in it. NOTHING I am dying to do something with all this and I tend to love love love BIG colorful blooms. I am as lost as a polar bear in the amazon though. Keep in mind I am in a stuffy affluent ritzy neighboorhood that has no color just Uniform shrubs, grass and a few crepe myrtles here and there. I have 4 hosta's in the back by the steps and a peace lily inside HELPPPPP BTW I have checked out a few of your personal sites and your gardens are ALL breathtaking


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Hi, Kalyn. First we need to know what zone you are in that we can determine what would be hardy. Then, are the areas you want to plant full sun, part sun, filtered light or shade during the day.
Are you interested in flowers, shrubs or trees? Take a good look at the yard and lay out what you'd like and where. What kind of soil do you have?
When we recommend plants, we want to help not make a mess for you! :O)
We have a plant swap in the spring and in the fall. You do not have to just trade plants. I for one am looking for rocks. Some need pots, even the black ones plants come in. People trade a bag of compost, manure, potting soil, etc People homeschool so can use school supplies or items for the children.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2006 at 8:49AM
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Alrightly lets see wow Lynn you responded so fast!! Thanks sooo much alright I am in Gardendale,Al so I am zone 7b.

I am really most interested in Flowers, although on the side of the house We would really like to add something tall to block the view of the house when people are driving in the neighboorhood(it just looks so bland) We were thinking a flowering tree of some sort OR maybe a weeping willow??? My kitchen window overlooks this area and I think something like a weeping willow with a small circular bed around it would be gorgeous here. It is 8am now and the sun is shining on the area quite well so I guess that space would be full sun except for 2 maybe 4 hours a day, of course with a weeper it would be dappled shade underneath.

Ok in my lil uniform back yard with my big one hulking tree, there is a yard to the left with a couple of tall trees and to the right there is a yard with NO trees or flowers and behind is woods so I get dappled shade most of the morning and then 2 or 3 hours of sun in afternoon.
I really am new to this and dont really know how to officially label weather I have full sun, shade etc. any advice on that would help. My soil hummmm Dry as of this month with our nice lil drought lol I really have no clue?? yes I know I need to go into the Green Thumb Hall Of Shame!!!! As far as flowers I love lilies, tulips, irises, Glads,amaryllis,calla's,clematis,Wisteria,hydrangea,hollyhocks,and foxglove oh i love foxglove and delphinium. Do we all see where this is heading hah hah I love big tall blooms
We also want to start a pond/watergarden type thing in our back yard also. Waterfall, koi, and all!!
See yall hate me already, i feel like sucha nuisance already :o( As far as trading plants I can get some things, my grandmother has prob one of the top 3 gardens in North Jefferson County with lots of awards and recognitions and she is always offering cuttings and to give me things I could always list some of what she has and bring some of it and mom also, and the homeschool thing hit the nail on the head, my brother and I both homeschooled and we have most everything up to 11th grade which he will soon need after this summer, so someone might need something I have. Ive got lots to trade Anyways let me know what you think and I can always take a few digi pics of the space now so you can see what I am working with! Thank You SO SO SO much. Kalyn

    Bookmark   June 30, 2006 at 9:27AM
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Hi, just came in to change clothes - my tower sprinkler attacked me and I got soaked !! :O)
Full sun is sun all day, Part sun or shade is where sun only part of the day and shade can be no sun or dappled like through tree branches where not direct sun. I will tell you that some plants say full sun but in Alabama usually full sun will burn the leaves. There are some good nurseries around Birmingham from what some have said. Those around your area would have to help there. I love Petals of the Past in Jemison. They just had their big sale so not sure what they have now.
Several of the gardeners have a pond. Terry and Nelson I know for sure do up that way and have fishies. You can also check with some of the businesses up there that that do ponds for info.
You pretty much have a blank canvas. If your one tree is large and puts off shade most of the day, especially the heat of the day sun, you might want to have hostas with a few impatients sprinkled between for color. The lilies and irises would do fine in the full sun. I'm in zone 8 and my hydrangeas get mostly shade. You might want to do a search for zone 7 flowering perennials or shrubs. To give you privacy, you may want to consider something close to the property line that's green year round like a leyland cypress row. Then make raised beds for some flower beds.
You have an excellent source for information. Your mother and grandmother can teach you way more than a book.
Debbido does home schooling and has supplies on her want list. you may want to have a look and see if she'd like to trade. Her daddy, Tonypman does a lot of trading and has plants, trees and 2 ponds. Birdlady 10 is getting rid of a lot of plants, not sure if any left as I got bunches but you could ask. The only trees I have are green Japanese Maple seedlings. I think all the gardeners pretty much have way more than they list as it would take a page or 2 to do so. Look at their trade page for their haves and wants and you may find some nice goodies you want. I for one have not labeled my plants until recently as I didn't see a need. I bought what I liked and just didn't label anything. :O(
I wish I could help you more.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2006 at 9:16PM
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Hi Kalyn!

If, as you say, you live in a "stuffy, affluent, ritzy neighborhood", you're subdivision is almost certainly "governed" by a "neighborhood association". If so you should check with them before you start digging. There are probably restrictions on what you can plant and where. That's usually part of living in a "stuffy, affluent, ritzy neighborhood".

Hope this helps...

Nelson - who's just a po' dog diggin' :-)

    Bookmark   June 30, 2006 at 10:24PM
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tony_pman(7b/8a Al.)

Hi, Kalyn, Glad to have another gardener near by. I live just off 78W near Forestdale, about 15 min. away from Garendale. I think I have some of all you would want for your yard. If I don't Debra my daughter would. There is very few plants I am looking for, but I do need all kinds of gardening supplies, I would also trade for any of the home school suppleis Debra wanted. If you want to come see my Yards, just let me know.


    Bookmark   July 3, 2006 at 12:54AM
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debbido(z 7b/8a)

Hi there,

I am in Graysville, which is about 15 minutes from Gardendale. Did you buy a garden home? I know they are springing up all over gardendale.

You would certainly be welcome to dome and dig in the fall. You would not want to transplant anything now. It would most likely die. I would be interested in any of your homeschooling supplies. I am mostly eclectic and do not follow curriculums, but I am always interested in games, flashcards, CD's, or anything interesting.


    Bookmark   July 3, 2006 at 5:57AM
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