New Garden-English/Mediteranian? Southern Style?

organic_gardenhag(7)March 5, 2011

We have some major work going on with a retaining wall, two level terraced garden, w/long deep steps, columns,etc. It seems pretty grandios for me and the style of the house, I'd say it sort of got out of hand. We had to grade, plant grass, install sprinklers, drip,etc. just to make our back yard a hospitable place, for any living, breathing thing. To do all that and get the water away from the house, making a terraced garden seemed to make sense. I didn' want it to feel like the back parking lot at Wal-Mart, or look like a business or industrial park, because that same kind of retaining wall brick is all we could afford, and they don't make 90 degree corners we ended up with Very expensive paver stacked columns. Of course I can visualize, feel it, even smell what I have in mind, but we are totally exposed, so it will have be the right plants. I plan to mix evergreen and flowering shrubs, woody herbs and a large sturdy metal rose arbor on the top level. A few shrubs roses, perennials, herbs, and vegetables on the lower level. Having had 4 spinal surgeries in Nov, and more planned as soon as this craziness has stopped, it will all be easier to access, from a wheel chair( just kidding about the chair, not yet, anyway). I have to keep any bending and lifting at 0-minimal for another 6 mos or so. Can someone walk me through posting the photos again. ANY help and ideas would very appreciated. Oh yeah, it was all decided a little over a week ago, so I had three days to come up with a plan for the wall, and I am under a lot of pressure to pick plants. They are in a hurry to get it done, but they don't realize it's not about landscaping, but creating a garden. We all know that, they don't.

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Where are you located? I am in Cobb county and have had success with several plants on a significant incline in full sun....

Daylily, crape myrtle, pear and peach tree, paw paw tree (likes to be an understory type tree much better), creeping phlox and creeping jenny for groundcover, purple coneflower loves the drainage of a hill and lots of sun...There is a thornless, fragrant pink rose called Zephrine druin (found it at Pikes) that I am starting, but may not like where I have it (not on a hill). Also, native honeysuckle (native only purchased from Nearly natives nursery) loves lots of sun and provides vegetation for swallowtail larva and is a vigorous climber...I also have blueberry in full sun and it is happy and provides cover for basil, parsley and strawberry plants....that's all I can think of for now

    Bookmark   March 6, 2011 at 9:56AM
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I'm in Adairsville, Bartow/Gordon Co. line. No Crape Myrtle, the are just across my neighbors fence, I am lily crazy and have daylilies everywhere else, but will use some of my non-fragrant asiatic lilies. I am so new here, from Illinois, I am unfamiliar with what will actually work, in such a harsh location. The plantings pretty much need to be timeless, some maintainence, but not much digging or dividing later. I will never again be able to do any serious digging, and I am the gardener. My vision is tall and mounding evergreens and flowering shrubs, some fruiting trees and shrubs, mixed with the same type of perennials like guara, tickseed, herbs like lavender, with a mix of any other woody or herbaceous, perennial and annual, pleasantly aromatic herbs like rosemary, oregano, thyme, maybe even feverfew. Certainly creeping (love Jenny) groundcovers, red thyme, phlox, sedums, ajuga, those smaller things I can plant myself, it's the bigger bones that I am under pressure to pick. My ideas are emerald green Arborvitae, cryptomeria, Yaupon holly, persimmon, peach, pear, blueberries, the nurseryman's ideas are Kousa dogwood, tea olive, can't think what else, he suggested some plants he didn't have, because he works with contractors. I am on overload. What does tea olive smell like, most discussions are about the fragrance, which I am afraid of, what about witch hazel, or vitex, thes all add screening, which I really, desparately need, we are totally "exposed," no privacy from any direction, the neighbors are right there with a better view of my yard than I have. HHEELPPPP! I feel like I just need to hire a gardener/designer.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2011 at 12:55PM
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girlgroupgirl(8 ATL)

Creeping Jenny will work if there is regular moisture (so will ajuga). If not, my substitute is a low growing golden oregano that isn't tasty but boy, it sure works great as a ground cover. I also think Feverfew needs more moisture here and declines over the summer. (this means in hot weather at least once a week weekly suppliment of ground level water such as that from a drip system or soaker hoses). I rely on it re-seeding and do not really think of it as a perennial. Instead, for similar effect, Kalimeris a little Japanese aster works super and blooms all summer. Rosemary, oregano (this will ZOOM for you here, it is very prolific), in very nicely draining soil you can grow x-intermedia varieties of lavender and spanish lavender well. Vitex gets very large here and more tree-like, it's spreading. However I love that it has that beautiful blue bloom. I find that to keep it in a good shape it takes annual pruning and a careful eye.
Witch Hazel can also get fairly large but I think it needs less pruning.
Tea Olive is excellent for screening.It smells LIKE HEAVEN if you get a scented one. If you want fast screening, forsythia is very good, so is Deutzia, the larger lorapetalums. I would personally caution you away from growing privets here, they tend to grow very fast but can get amazingly weedy and be difficult to manage when they re-seed (EVERYWHERE). Blueberries grow quite tall here and make a wonderful screening shrub.
Personally, I love my evergreen viburnum "Praugese" for screening. It takes the heat, drought (I've watered it only a few times, ever) and keeps on going. It has fairly insignificant blooms, but I like the greyish color on the leaves.
They grow very wide and can be very very large but the native wax myrtle is a nice screening shrub. I think the dwarf could be enough for you at the top of an inclined area. I also like Japanese quince shrubs for screening and early bloom. Plus you can stew the fruits!

You may need to get someone in to help you with plant choices. Is there a consultant near you that you could hire? They are much less expensive than a designer.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2011 at 3:56PM
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all your ideas are great, thanks, I have looked up most of the ones I don't have experience with, and they are good possibilities. thank you, I am still open to any suggestions for anything that wil take the total exposure situation.

ggg-Excited about the rose. I have loved my other viburnums-trilobum and dentatum especially the dentatum, the pragense looks and sounds similar, but will it realyy take the heat and can it really be evergreen or is it semi?
Thanks Lorinda

    Bookmark   March 8, 2011 at 5:53PM
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Pressure is really on now,just waiting for me with the major plants. I am almost there. I'll post my lists of ideas for feedback later tonight.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2011 at 9:26AM
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You can post pictures using Put your full size pictures there. Under the picture, there is something called "HTML code" - click that and it should say "copied". Come and do a paste (Control V). It will copy the link and when you preview your message, you should see the picture right there.

Evergreens for sun include Wax Myrtle (birds love it), American holly hybrids like Foster holly, Southern magnolias and Eastern redcedar (also good for birds).

Tall, fast growing deciduous trees include tuliptree (Liriodendron), Scarlet oak, Shumard oak, and red maple (look for 'October Glory' to get the best red fall color).

Besides Pragense viburnum (which is non-native), another evergreen non-native viburnum is 'Chindo'. We have 3 and my husband just loves it because it made a thick screen. Thick, glossy leaves - you need to look for these two at a "better" nursery, not home depot/lowes.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2011 at 8:05AM
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girlgroupgirl(8 ATL)

Aha! That's what is in my way back, esh! Chindo Viburnum. Very susceptible to looking crappy in drought but reviving on it's own. It can take some pretty heavy shade and look SUPER duper and grows at a nice pace.
The Praugese is semi evergreen some years but not bad. The leaves are smaller so the new growth looks more sparse but it fills in fantstically well. Takes heat, drought, anything you throw at it and does not mind full, hot sun. The Chindo in my yard prefers a bit more shade OR more moisture.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2011 at 1:16PM
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