Need ideas

northspruce(z3a MB CDA)July 1, 2011

This is my front walk. We just had new paving stone done. The left side is the path it used to take, but people were too lazy if they were coming from the right and cut across the grass, so we had a second path put in too. I want to make a garden in the centre area but I think two bushes look awkward. I'm not emotionally attached to them. The left one is a forsythia and the right is a villosa lilac. Would you a) remove the bushes and make a perennial bed, or b) add a third shrub to form a triangle and plant around them?

Incidentally the far left side "mess" is a rock garden with spireas and junipers which was planted by the previous owners and I have been unable to keep weeded, so I'm going to remove it completely.

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Ginny McLean_Petite_Garden

Love the idea of a perennial bed filled with daylilies, peonys, heuchera and you guessed it, iris! But, on the other hand, the shrubs do provide a bit of privacy and interest (shape) to the front there. Personally, I would dig up the whole lawn or at least line the pathway!:)

    Bookmark   July 1, 2011 at 3:27PM
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north53 Z1b MB(zone 1b Canada)

Are the shrubs at their mature size? You don't want them there if you're going to have to keep pruning them to keep them from crowding the pathway. Could you move them somewhere else on the property? I like the idea of perennials in that center area. It could then have something different going on all season.
Forsythia and lilac don't look that interesting once they've finished blooming.
Great walkway, btw.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2011 at 4:44PM
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mytime(3/4 Alaska)

If they aren't too much trouble to prune, I'd keep them and put a low growing evergreen between them (slightly in front, possibly). I like them there for 2 reasons...kind of screen part of your yard from the street and vice versa, and the second to add mystery to the view of the bed (from the street) because then I'd fill in the rest with perennials and annuals.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2011 at 5:02PM
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nutsaboutflowers(2b/3a)

Here's another option. Leave the shrubs, plant perennials in the rest. If, after the perennials are established, you decide the shrubs don't belong there, then you can remove them later.

Since you're in Manitoba, those shrubs may be best left there. Do they provide you with a tiny bit of wind break and stop a bit of the snow in a blizzard ? They might be something good to have for protection for the perennials (?) Just throwing out what comes to mind here ........

Nice path. I wonder if that might work in reverse for our yard. Hmmmm.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2011 at 6:52PM
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northspruce(z3a MB CDA)

Well to answer the questions, the shrubs have been there a long time and I have to constantly renovate them (remove the largest branches and prune hard) to keep them small. They are very boring when not blooming. The front yard faces southeast so they're not important for windbreaks. There are several other shrubs lining the front sidewalk (front yard is 150 feet long) and I have two huge perennial gardens on either side so I really don't mind people seeing in.

Thanks for the thoughts. I think I'm going to get rid of them now that I've had some time to think about it. The little guy on the far right is a philadelphus and it's staying.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2011 at 9:58AM
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savona(z2bBCCanada)

I think you are right Gillian to get rid of them. It would be difficult to balance the height in that bed with 2 taller shrubs on one end. Sometimes it is better to start fresh...Jean

    Bookmark   July 2, 2011 at 10:38AM
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nutsaboutflowers(2b/3a)

Be sure to post pictures when you're done. It's always nice to see what a difference it makes =:)

    Bookmark   July 2, 2011 at 12:31PM
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shazam_z3

Whatever you do, don't put a columnar tree between the shrubs :P

    Bookmark   July 2, 2011 at 1:30PM
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mytime(3/4 Alaska)

Shazam...took me a second to get that...tooooo funny!

    Bookmark   July 2, 2011 at 3:00PM
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Ginny McLean_Petite_Garden

OK people....let's keep it clean! In the FLOWER bed! LOL

    Bookmark   July 2, 2011 at 4:02PM
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northspruce(z3a MB CDA)

Good idea Shazam, and I will get a really huge fig leaf for it.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2011 at 6:23PM
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northspruce(z3a MB CDA)

So to revisit this topic, I applied Roundup to the grass and left it several weeks to make sure it was all dead, then cut out the shrubs. I had to do a lot of digging to remove all the suckers from the forsythia. I know I'll have to keep killing them both off for a couple of years.

In the meantime, I've planted 5 hostas and some alliums and narcissi. I still have a lot of space to fill. I'll probably move out the little lilies and irises that were between the shrubs, and I'd like to put in some big peonies in the centre and have some different hostas and maybe some other stuff around the outsides. I saw some giant leafed hostas I liked the look of. I'm thinking I'll have to mail order.

No photo yet, it looks like a freaking mess... :/

    Bookmark   September 18, 2011 at 10:55PM
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Ginny McLean_Petite_Garden

Gil, I think the hosta geek (Fundy's Beauties) still has his mature plant sale going on. I have ordered from him before and was very impressed. :)

    Bookmark   September 18, 2011 at 11:07PM
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freezengirl(3aMN and 5AK)

Ahh, but genius is always messy! :-)

    Bookmark   October 8, 2011 at 4:11AM
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marricgardens

O.K. here's my two cents worth. Get rid of the two trees there, get rid of the grass (who needs it), put in a bird bath and surround it with roses, daylilies, etc. If you are into birdwatching, keep the spirea bush that is outside the circle, birds usually like somewhere to sit between drinks and eating from the birdfeeder that can also be put there. Marg

    Bookmark   October 8, 2011 at 8:16AM
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nutsaboutflowers(2b/3a)

Do you have any photos of your progress?

Would love to see them =:)

    Bookmark   October 8, 2011 at 12:07PM
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northspruce(z3a MB CDA)

Well it doesn't look like much at this time of year, but I have killed the grass, removed the bushes, and planted 25 hostas and 50-ish bulbs. Alliums and tulips. I'll need to do a bit more spot treatments to get rid of surviving grass. I hope it looks nice in the spring...

    Bookmark   October 8, 2011 at 5:45PM
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valleyrimgirl(2b)

Looking great Gil!!!!!

Definitely post pictures for us to see what it looks like in the spring.

Which hosta did you choose to put in there? Where did you get the hosta? From the Hostageek?

Brenda

    Bookmark   October 8, 2011 at 9:40PM
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northspruce(z3a MB CDA)

It was Hostageek's 'Road to Ruin' collection, plus some divisions of Sum & Substance I already had, and two babies that are seedlings of Frances Williams that Laurie sent me a few years ago.

As you can see I've been having to water them... it's still so dry!

    Bookmark   October 8, 2011 at 10:22PM
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