New to forum:need help landscaping my entry

anac1979(7)April 12, 2014

Hi! I am new to this site (also new to GA) & would really love some help with landscaping my walkway/entry/font yard. I have a few Boxwoods on each side of my entry that I think I would like to keep. I didn't like the shape of a couple of them so I bonsai-ed them. I have a few Daffodils along my concrete walkway so far. Up front by the Boxwoods, it is mostly shady to part sunny & along the walkway, it is most sunny. I have attached a pic of my home. I love all kinds of plants/flowers/bushes/trees..etc..PLEASE HELP! Thank you in advance. :)

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zzackey(8b GA)

I love this site, but it is dead. Please try and find a Landscape site on Gardenweb instead. I've been in Ga since 2009 and i will answer any of your questions that I can. I am in 8b about 1 hour NW of JAX.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2014 at 7:11PM
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Looks like it will be a hot location where it gets sun. My first instinct would be to plant a few small trees to cast spots of more shade. I'm fond of things like dogwoods, red buds, peach, crab apple and the like.

Areas that get a lot of sun can easily be landscaped with day lilies, rudbeckia, cone flowers, shasta daisies, daffodils, Georgia veronica blue, creeping phlox to name a few easy to find things that once established give nice color and little or no care, not a lot of watering.

In shadier areas I like to plant hostas, columbine, fox gloves, violets, lilies, ferns, woodland phlox and the like. Mulch will help reduce watering needs in all cases as I am not a fan of watering my garden once the plants are established but you will probably need to water in well the first season when it's hot.

I am also a huge fan of planting native plants but I also have my favorites as mentioned above.

For some mid sized variation you can add bushes like azaleas and blueberry. Georgia red clay though is really hard on plants so I like to dig my holes a lot larger than I need them and add lots of soil amendments, humus etc to make your soil more friable and fertile. It's a lot of work but it makes a huge difference that is well worth the effort.

Also check with your local tree trimmers and electric company as you may be able to get free mulch.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2014 at 8:00PM
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I forgot to add, if you like to cook, /herbs/ are a great choice along your walkway as well. Sage, thyme, oregano, chives, rosemary and many others are both pleasant to look at, easy to keep neatly trimmed, several of them flower, and they thrive in full sun. Lavenders also!

    Bookmark   April 12, 2014 at 8:06PM
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Hi! Thank you so much for the ideas. I will def check out the rest of the site. I would love to zero scape, but I like a lot of non natives as well. The more natives, the better though. We actually have 5 acres, so i'm going crazy trying to think of landscaping ideas. I think I'm in zone 8. I love to plant things but i am not good at the landscaping aspect. My husband says I like weeds too much. lol Sometimes I wish i had the money to hire someone to do it for me, but what would be the fun it that?

    Bookmark   April 14, 2014 at 6:06PM
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I have completely re-landscaped our yard, a lot of the labor I have done myself, we have brought in tons of soil amendments ourselves. My neighbors think I am a landscape designer, but I just hated the boring postage stamp builders landscape. I used a lot of natives, some non natives, got a lot of plants through the GA Garden Web connections, Lowes clearance rack. I agree with the Ornery Pony on the plants, plus I use a lot of plants that love to reproduce and thrive on being divided. Some of my absolute favorites are butterfly weed, guara, true geraniums, penstemons, sedums, nepetas, like catmint, agastache, the ever so lovely sheffield mum, and ajugas. Virginia sweet-spire, calycanthus, native flame azalea, double file viburnum and cameo quince, and abelias are some of the shrubs, but I did not add enough evergreens. I made a lot of blunders, recycled some of what was here, but got rid of of the worst hated ones. I came here from IL a little over four years ago, and I always jump in and start making it my own, even if I don't really know what is going to work here.. Go to the GNPS and read one of Ellen's (esh) articles, the one about creating a habitat, that was my goal, I also hated the tree circles out in the middle of the grass.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 10:39PM
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Thank you. I love plants, gardening, etc...I'm just a little discouraged about landscaping. I like the natural element of since our house is colonial & kind of "upscale"...I wanted to make it look more professional...I def can't afford a landscaper though..:/ Thanks again...the quest continues....:)

    Bookmark   April 17, 2014 at 2:18PM
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You did not say how long you have been in GA or where you came here from. Are you actually thinking formal? It didn't seem like it if you bonsaied the boxwoods, they had probably been sheared all their lives which would suggest formal. You may be better off ripping them out, and putting in new ones, even if you are just wanting to renew an old, boring landscape, you could probably do some judicious pruning to rejuvenate new growth. Formal isn't necessary, just because the house is colonial, keeping up sheared and "formal", is a lot of work, not good for the plants, and takes the fun out of it . Creating a habitat does not have to mean wild, overgrown or unkempt. Even so you can still create a beautifully welcoming entry that would compliment the house, really WOW you and the neighbors and give you the gardening pleasure. Learning a bit more about what grows well or too well here, how not to commit crape murder, what is on the invasive species list, and so overused in most yards of those who are not really gardeners, can all help you do it in a "professional way". I have had the best and very rewarding experience with mine, and I have the joy of being the gardener and designer. I have a very formal looking 80' long double level wall in the back, and the habitat in front. It's just the way it turned out, because we needed a retaining wall.
I guess it just depends on how you want to use the front, if you want to use the front area and sit out there when ever there is shade, you want to feel connected to the plantings. I have all the books for gardening here, and love to share gardening with anyone. I am mostly free to meet with or go to nurseries or tours if you need a garden buddy. My husband is always bringing people to see my yard, and always tells them, it was all me. Many people have ask for my help or ideas, he wants to hire me out, but I can't do that. I used to be the gardener at our home church, having a group of kids helping me sometimes. That started when someone suggested we,( meaning me) plant some flowers in preparation for my son's wedding, that lasted several years.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2014 at 5:44PM
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Hi again! Sorry i didn't mention...I'm from FL & have only been here since Sept 28 of 2013. So I'm def new to the clime here & the plants. I would love to go all native as i have said, but there are plants, trees, flowers i like of the non native variety as well. i am in Colbert. Where are you located? I bonsaied because the box hedges looked awful anyway, but I don't have the heart to tear them out. I am a plant rescuer & hate tearing up plants just because I don't like them much. lol I guess I need to get over that. I'm not so sure I "want" to go formal, just thought it would go w/ the house. I just want it to look nice. Anyhow, if you're not too far away, maybe we could get together sometime....:)

    Bookmark   April 17, 2014 at 7:23PM
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A good source for natives plants for GA is to look up and perhaps join the Georgia Native Plant Society. I know a lot of their activity is centered loosely around the Atlanta area but they do plant rescues all over the state. It's very cheap to join and if you go on rescues and have suitable conditions for the native species you dig, you can collect all manner of free natives to relocate.

If their usual rescue areas are further than you want to drive, you can still use their website for useful information on native plants good for your area. Their website is located at:

In the past I did several rescues with them and the members are often a joy to speak with to pick their brains on the various native plants. They also do an annual plant sale but I think they just had it a week or two ago.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 6:09PM
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I missed that you are in Colbert! I'm a /very/ reasonable drive from you and also in the Athens area. I'd be happy to have you come over and see my gardens and send you home with some divisions. I could also stop by sometime to chat and have a look if you wanted. But if that's just too weird, well that's all right too! I understand.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 6:12PM
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You are a good drive from me. I am North of Atlanta, but up 75. The sad thing for me is I am facing a move in the next few months. I have a truckload of plants, for the taking, some of my favorite babies, some are too gardener specific. I would want them to got to a good loving home, I have been trying to finish up, and de-personalize the plantings. Too many to move with me, too many to list here. Now is the best time to move them, I am a plant collector, and am all about rescuing the plants before the season gets away from me. Please consider getting together and coming up here to see what you both want. Send an email and I will send you photos and address, phone #.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2014 at 1:42PM
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OrneryPony...we could possibly meet up or you come to my place sometime but now I have another truck needs a new tranny...:/ ggrrr...I don't think it's weird at have always had "strangers" come to my home because I sell things on Craigslist... :) Organicgarden...I would never say the last part to'm so sorry you have to move & part with your plants..I completely understand...I had 1/2 an enclosed trailer filled with plants the time I moved before this time...This time, I brought almost nothing..:(...all my plants went to friends & family in FL because I wasn't sure what would grow here...I would love to come get some of your plants if I could get my hubby to agree to the email is you all again for the pep talks...:) oh btw...I have purchased 2 apple trees, 2 cherries, a plum, a peach, a nectarine, & a pear tree...I am also hoping to get some nut trees..I think I have 2 black wal-nut trees in my backyard but I'm horrible @ identifying trees...I thought the crabapples i had growing here were I have never seen either before living here...I guess I'm not much of a gardener, I just love plants...

    Bookmark   April 19, 2014 at 2:44PM
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Wow, that is a very generous offer, but alas one I understand all too well. My husband used to move us all over the states with military jobs and I had to load up what divisions I could. Thankfully we stayed along the east coast so most of what I had could still be happy, but I still left most things behind! What suffered most was my orchid collection that really didn't do well with regular changes in location.

Anac, we should get together. Then if you want to go on up to help gardenhag, we could car pool and not leave you on the hook with a faulty vehicle. Might also make it easier on getting the husband to agree if someone else drives!

The important thing is if we can /help/ you get things ready to go, gardenhag, we should lend a hand. Goodness knows it's a huge job to prep plants to relocate. We can default to email to set up details.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2014 at 10:09AM
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opal52(z7b GA)

Our home is full shade at the front foundation plantings for all except the high summer months, where strangely it gets full sun for much of the day. When we bought our house, it had nice formal boxwoods which worked great. Until they "matured" and started having large dead spots appear when they were around 15 years old. I learned this is common with boxwoods. We had to remove them, which was not an easy job. We found that Japanese Holly is tough enough to handle what our site and weather patterns have thrown at them. We chose Ilex crenata âÂÂCompacta', and let them grow in their natural form. They also work very nicely if trimmed into a formal border. I looked up examples of landscaping for Colonial style homes front entrances, and almost all were "formal". If you choose to go more formal and replace the boxwoods, the Compacta hollies are available at Lowes and not too expensive. Slow growers, but they make nice looking shrubs.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2014 at 4:15PM
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