Front yard re-do! (Advice, please.)

tomatofreak(Z9 Phx USA)November 5, 2013

I've been bitten hard by the let's-change-this-up bug! This past weekend, I dug up a cantankerous 'climbing' rose, dug up all the cannas along the front of the house and extended the planting bed by another 2+ feet. The house faces east so it gets a lot of morning sun but is in shade in the afternoon.

To the left in the photo is a bed I left untouched (for now) that is planted with green and purple ornamental sweet potatoes and a few edibles. I don't want to extend that bed because it would restrict access to the gate. More on this later.

To the right, you can see the south end of the porch. The porch is narrow - about 5' wide - and I don't want to plant anything there that shades it.

Right now, stuff is piled everywhere and I need to make some decisions.

1) I'd like shrubs with a vertical habit that will snug close to the house and stay under 6' tall because....
2) I'd like to stagger some shorter ornamentals and edibles in front. Like what?

I will post photos of the areas to the left and right so you can see the whole picture.

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tomatofreak(Z9 Phx USA)

This shows a bit more of that bed as it extends to the porch area. (And, yes, that's more of the project!) Whatever is planted there needs to stay on the short side since I don't want to shade the plants there or keep light from my living room.

The barrel you see part of contains a tree rose that is not doing well. I'm thinking of planting the rose in ground and moving the barrel to another site. It's possible one tall plant could go there.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2013 at 12:54PM
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tomatofreak(Z9 Phx USA)

No suggestions? I need to find some plants pretty soon and I thought you guys - since you're all informative *and* opinionated! - would have some ideas. Still hoping...

    Bookmark   November 6, 2013 at 7:29PM
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GeeS 9b

OK, you asked for it. Yucca rostrata's along the wall, with a few mid-sized Agaves directly in front, then some beautiful clumping Mamms in front of and in between the Agaves, with a sprinkling of Verbena for a color. A couple small accent rocks will also add a nice touch.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2013 at 9:28PM
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tomatofreak(Z9 Phx USA)

GS, that sounds very pretty, but isn't irrigation like a kiss of death for those plants? Drainage is not the best in this yard as it's been irrigated somewhere between 50 and 70 years. I have some dry areas that are up for a do-over, too. Would that scenario work better there. What do you think?

    Bookmark   November 6, 2013 at 9:45PM
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GeeS 9b

Aw, I was just kinda teasing, I know that isn't really your thing, although I do believe you'd enjoy a small area dedicated to some rough and tumble succulents. The contrast alone might be especially delectable.

As long as they completely dry between waterings, they'll do OK. Else not. The main issue with my scheme might be the patience required. It would be some long years (5-8) before the Yuccas reach a nice height along that wall.

Take a look at the pics from GreekDesert at the link I've added. A massive succulent garden in Greece, absolutely dominated by Yuccas. Jaw-dropping.

Here is a link that might be useful: Landscape shots

    Bookmark   November 6, 2013 at 10:52PM
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tomatofreak(Z9 Phx USA)

No surprise to those who know me: My favorite thing in all those gardens was the Afghan (Borzoi?) hound!

I do love succulents, but this is not the place for them. And all the pointy stuff is less than friendly to the little GGC's. Back to the drawing board....

Btw, I didn't see a garden in those photos that I thought was prettier than the ones you posted of your yard way back when.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2013 at 11:35AM
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GeeS 9b

Definitely an Afghan. We also have a Saluki. The Saluki is my shadow, which is why he isn't in the pics. They both like to chew the verbena now and then, otherwise they get along with the greenery just fine.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2013 at 12:22PM
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