Can you help with ID of these plants please?

natureperson(7)March 21, 2013

The shrubs in the back need replaced, and they get white star-like flowers on them. Also, do you know what the other plants are in front of the shrubs? I only have the shrubs in my garden now and need to re-do the area. Any ideas would be very helpful. Maybe some other plants would be nice?

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This pic might give you a better idea of what my front garden looks like. The pics was taken at another time during the year.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2013 at 3:45PM
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The shrubs with the white flowers appear to be gardenias. The plants w/ the dark leaves and red flowers in front of them appear to be a type of begonia (annual) that has to be replaced yearly because it won't survive our winters. Not sure what the plant with the light green leaves is.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2013 at 7:05PM
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Thank you, triangle. Do you know of any good alternatives to the gardenia that might work for this space? I need to start over with this garden.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2013 at 9:07PM
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How about Knock Out Roses, if you dont like the gardenia? Knock-out roses have a very long blooming season and are easy to care for.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2013 at 2:02PM
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dottie_in_charlotte(z7-8 NC)

But, knockout roses grow too tall and wide and given the neighbor's driveway is so close bordering the bed it probably would interfere.
The gardenias there now are going to get bigger unless they're trimmed at the correct time 'timed' to bud development.
A hot spot it appears and with the mound of extreme drainage and hillside, you might want to consider a zeriscape type of plant like 'ice plant' (arctotis,I think).
Used as a base underplanting for something taller with
not so many leaves.
The skypencil holly on the right side railing is going to want
regular watering.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2013 at 12:38PM
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niren, thanks for the suggestion of knock-out roses. I believe that some of my neighbors actually have those instead of the gardenias. They are red/rose colored flowers and the plants seem to get larger/taller than my gardenias have. Their flowers also stand out much more than my gardenias do.

dottie, since I believe that my neighbors have the knockout roses, I can see that they don't cause a problem for their neighbors. You would maybe need to see a picture of them to know that though. Do they come in any other colors for this zone besides the red/rose color? Because they all have the same color.

The iceplant you describe would probably work well there in front of some taller shrubs. Is that what you are talking about? Or do you mean instead of the shrubs?

Thanks for the advise on watering the holly.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2013 at 2:46PM
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dottie_in_charlotte(z7-8 NC)

I suppose it depends whether you are both obsessive with over-feeding and deadheading as well as in competition with your neighbors as to who has the biggest,heaviest blooming 'knockout'.
I have neighbors who are that obsessive type and their roses with only morning sun are nearly 4' tall and over '3 around.
Hey, this variety was developed for easy care and repeat blooming. Still, it eats up a lot of space and isn't easy to underplant.
If several neighbors have them, why don't you avoid the 'commercial' look and plant something else?
The gardenias are a pretty foliage plant but from the street
they're not very impressive especially as the blooms fade to that dead,tan color.
If you can tell us how much sun this bed gets and if it is in full sun of the hot afternoon you'll get more specific suggestions.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2013 at 7:41PM
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My house faces west and gets a lot of sun. It doesn't appear that any of my neighbors who have the knockout roses do much different with their shrubs, because they all look similar. I don't have a need to compete with my neighbors, but it would be nice that my colors stood out along with theirs and also complemented theirs to some degree i suppose. I'm not sure that they need to complement each other, but maybe if mine didn't stand out in a negative way, that would be good.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2013 at 8:51PM
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dottie_in_charlotte(z7-8 NC)

OK, good information.
More far from the street/sidewalk is this planting bed?
What limitations do you have to follow from HOA pertaining to how you can 'adorn' your front yard?
Water the bed receiving irrigation by sprayer or by driplines in the bed?
or..water manually by hose?

Or, you can go with zeriscaping plants like the iceplant.
Iceplant has a brilliant fuschia flower and if that color doesn't appeal(makes a great contrast to the lawn green) then you might try purslane..the bigger one color blossoms rather than the bi-color smaller blossoms. You'll often find them in April/May in hanging baskets if you can't find them in singular pots. Purslane comes in pinks,yellows,reds and whites and you'll want to pinch the tips occasionally to keep it branching rather than sprawling. Broken segments (like iceplant) are easy to root in a cup of water to plant elsewhere.
Still, for your ease and convenience in changing out the display of annuals I do suggest you bury a few pots and refill them with good bagged garden soil (not the loose potting type that dries out too fast) when you plant new.
The purslane is an annual while the iceplant is a perennial.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2013 at 9:42AM
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Thanks so much for all the help, dottie!

I have attached another pic, so you can see how close to the street the garden is. Let me know if this is not acceptable. The HOA pretty much lets us adorn our yards as we choose. They provide very minimal landscaping, and we are allowed to do what we want. We have to hand wanter since there is no irrigation system.

When you say "bagged garden soil," do you mean the regular potting soil used in planters or something else?

    Bookmark   March 25, 2013 at 11:06AM
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dottie_in_charlotte(z7-8 NC)

Your recent photo gives a much better view of the space.
What I mentioned, iceplant and purslane will outgrow the space in no time so you might want to go with full sun plants that have a smaller or narrower growing habit.
You might consider also lowering the bed some (less mounded) so your plants have better access to cooler, more moist soil during the summer.
Dig your planting holes deeper than you need to and mix the topsoil in with some bagged perlite to help hold some more moisture. Put that mix in the bottom of the hole to bring your planting hole to the right depth.
Some people use water beads but they swell up and sometimes heave the plant up and you don't want that
in a small space.
Mexican zinnias are short, everblooming and tolerate the heat well. You can get them in a rosy color and they don't sprawl much beyond a foot wide.
I'm trying to think of something taller interplanted for full sun
and dryness up the middle length but it's not coming to me.
You could also put in bright reddish pink annual vinca.
They bloom non-stop until you pull them in late fall.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2013 at 3:35PM
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Thanks much, dottie. I will start watching soon for the plants and get ready to start planting.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2013 at 5:03PM
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