Ideas for Landscaping Plants

destin3g99(7b)April 18, 2009

DH and I moved into a 5 year old home last fall. The front, back, sides all need a lot of help and I have no idea what to do. I want to start with the front as it looks horrid.

We don't have much choice in the front because of the HOA and have to work inside the already mulched areas. Between the house and the sidewalk that goes from the driveway to the front door is a mulched area with retaining bricks. Then in front of the front porch is another large area that is mulched with retaining bricks. In these areas at the back are large bushes, not sure of the name they get pink pom-pom like flowers on them in the spring. They're kind of all over the place looking instead of a neat tidy bush. We have cut them back a little to keep them at a decent height.

In front of them is a sparse scattering of these puny little bushes that don't come anywhere near filling in the rest of the space. They almost look like some sort of holly, they get little red berries in the fall/winter. I hate them and plan to move them to the side or back of the house either that or burn them.

Anyway, I'm new to the south and need ideas for some sort of bush/shrub to place in front of the pink pom-pom bushes. I was thinking azaleas, but I'm wondering if they will get to tall and cover up the bushes behind them (they're around 3-4 feet). I don't mind if it's something that needs pruned, I just don't want to kill them by pruning too much. I would like something flowering,& interesting. Or maybe something that grows in a tighter formation in contrast to the pom-pom bushes? In front of the azaleas I was planning to put in a short decorative grass to kind of spill over the border a little. Maybe some bulbs or flowers in between the flowers and grass if there is room.

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It would be great to see some pictures in order to get an idea of what you're talking about. You can open a free photobucket account and post pictures there and then provide links here.

That is one way you can also post pictures and get people to help you identify what you have.

Be sure to indicate the sun/shade situation - about how many hours of sun does the area get and is the sun in the morning (gentle) or afternoon (harsh).

    Bookmark   April 18, 2009 at 4:17PM
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Hopefully this works. Here is a link to the album with pics of our yard. There are descriptions with the pics.

Any and all advice appreciated!!! I've never gardened outside of containers so I need help!!!!

    Bookmark   April 18, 2009 at 6:40PM
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Ok, just to get you started:

The "unknown bush" is a holly. Looks to have been pruned pretty hard - perhaps it is too big for the space?

The "pom pom" bush is Loropetalum (loro-petal-lum).

The small bush is Nandina.

Have you considered having a landscape plan for your yard? You can inquire at places like Pike's as to the cost.

Are you in the Atlanta area?

Here is a link that might be useful: Link to your album

    Bookmark   April 18, 2009 at 7:21PM
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Yes, in the Douglasville/Hiram area.

How big does the Nandina get?? Right now they are tiny and I'm wondering why someone thought they would look good in such a huge space with all of the bare area around them.

Thanks for the info on the unknowns. I'll do some research into them.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2009 at 8:35PM
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FYI, I used Pike Nursery to get a landscape plan done for my yard, and for the most part (they usually recommend more plants than you need, 4 when 3 would be better based on the size when fully grown) I'm very pleased with how my yard looks. The cost was well worth it.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2009 at 5:04PM
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Thanks for the idea of using Pike Nursery. I mentioned it to DH and I think it's something we're going to look into. Our yard is so big (at least after not having one at all). And it's sloped and a weird shape, so I think we really need someone to come look at it and make suggestions of what to put where.

We've had people come look at it as far as yard/grass companies to get the back yard's grass growing, but they all want us to bulldoze the whole thing and start over, which we aren't up to paying for right now.

mid12nt-do you know about how much it cost for them to do that for you?

    Bookmark   April 20, 2009 at 2:20PM
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As esh said, the "unknown bush" is a holly. It looks to me like a Burfordi Holly, which routinely get to be fifteen or twenty feet tall left unpruned. You can tell if it has a single spine at the tips of the leaves. If this is so, it is far too close to your house. Pruning it into a little ball will eventually leave you with a big log with three leaves. They are really quite beautiful left to grow into pruned up trees with a few trunks...either way, I would move it now while you can.

The loropetalum will eventually get fairly tall (six feet)if you let it which would let you put a row of shorter shrubs in front of them. Something like Daisy Gardenia (shiny leaves for contrast) or small azaleas (Pleasant White, Elsie Lee (double lavender), Conversation Piece (frilly pink and white mixtures) would do well in front.

A liriope border would satisfy your grassy border component. It divides quickly and grows anywhere. Maybe some Stella D'Oro day lilies in patches for summer color......

The Nandina, depending on variety, can get anywhere from three to eight feet tall. They are useful for color contrast with shiny leaved bushes/trees. In winter they are often the only colorful thing around, hence their widespread use. You probably have the small ones as they are fairly popular right now and would give one something to look at while the Loropetalum was leafless.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2009 at 3:43PM
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Hmm, I've looked at pics of Lorpetalum on-line. I wonder why ours are so puny looking, especially if they were planted when the house was built 5 years ago. Could it be the drought causing them to not fill in and get taller?? I really like the look of these:

But maybe they aren't supposed to be cut back that harshly into such perfect shapes?

Very interesting about the Holly. I did cut it back a little, but only a few branches that looked like they were scraggly. I think the previous owner must have been hacking it back pretty often if it's the kind you think it might be, right now it's probably around 4 feet. I will look into that further, sounds like it needs moved (to someone else's yard preferably) :0)

    Bookmark   April 20, 2009 at 5:06PM
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Hastings Nursery is charging $95 for a program that gives two home visits for consultation with Master Gardeners + 10% off any plants. I used one of my consultations last week and was very pleased with his suggestions. He was here over an hour and I took lots of notes. Just a thought. I'll probably use the second one later this summer.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2009 at 8:10AM
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