Garden Makeover

dishikiOctober 19, 2008

My wife is ready to redo the front of the garden. I am not sure that now is the good time to replace anchor plants or if we should wait till the spring. I am attaching a link that shows the front of our house. The house is 21 years old and we live in Marietta. The anchor plants in the front our the typical builder boxwood type things. She wants all of them gone. The left side of the garden is about 55-60. The right side is maybe 15-20.

She wants azaleas in that spot. Now here are my questions. The peninsula that you see on the right part of the house is all azaleas. The past two summers because of the drought they have taken a beating. The front get full sun from about 11 till sundown. Should we go with azaleas or with another plant. She wants something that flowers and that looks great. When we lived in New Orleans, we planted George Tabor azaleas and loved them, they got full sun, but it rains there almost every afternoon in the summer. If we do azaleas, any recommendations on where to get them. We want more mature looking ones, not your 1 gallon variety. I figure we will need quite a few to fill the space.

The space is pretty deep so we will have plenty of space in the front do do flowers. I am thinking for the fall of doing pansies in the front and snapdragons or johnny jump ups behind (do snaps and johnny's do well in NW GA). So we would have a three tiered garden.

The other thing my wife wants to do is get rid of the peninsula. She want the azaleas there moved to the back,

sod put down, then a tree placed somewhere out there, with the eventual idea of doing an annual garden under the tree or potted plants. Any ideas on a tree for that area, for shade?

Any help with suggestions on timing of this stuff, where to get the plants, and suggestions on what type of plants would be greatly appreciated.

link to house

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Timing: fall is the best time to plant shrubs and trees, including now through November.

Azaleas in hot sun from 11 to sundown don't do well. They tend to get stressed and sometimes stress leads to problems like lacebugs (flip over the leaf to see lacebugs).

There are so many good full sun shrub choices, you really don't need to press your azaleas to handle it. George Tabor azaleas are lovely but they would appreciate shade after 2 pm.

A nice evergreen plant that flowers and looks great is Abelia. Two new cultivars: Rose Creek and Canyon Creek. See this link and scroll down a bit to find descriptions of them. Rose Creek is the more compact of the two.

sod put down, then a tree placed somewhere out there, with the eventual idea of doing an annual garden under the tree or potted plants. Any ideas on a tree for that area, for shade?

Try not to put the tree in the middle of grass, I would certainly put a generous island around it so that there is no competition and no lawnmower/weedwhacker accidents. I think the last time you posted, several people recommended Liriodendron tulipfera (Tulip popular) or a fast growing oak like Shumard.

As for a place to buy plants, I recommend Buck Jones Nursery in Woodstock (it is on Hwy 140, north of Crabapple).

And yes, pansies do well here and I think snapdragons do too; I've seen a lot of people use them recently.

Here is a link that might be useful: Buck Jones

    Bookmark   October 19, 2008 at 9:18PM
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Thanks for the suggestions. I like the rose creek, as I think it would look better in the front height wise. On various sites it says it's a sun/part sun plant. It'll hold up in all the sun in my front?

Any other full-sun flowering shrubs that I could consider? My wife likes options :-)

    Bookmark   October 20, 2008 at 9:51AM
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Tell me if it matters to her whether the plant is evergreen or deciduous.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2008 at 10:01AM
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I think she definitely wants a leaf throughout the winter. In NOLA we didn't have this problem. Azaleas never lost their leaves or anything. So I am guessing evergreen since it will be in the front of our house. She hates the unattractive brown look.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2008 at 10:05AM
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I've struggled with finding "showy" flowering shrubs for full sun too. I wanted mostly evergreen initially, but I've ended up with a mix of evergreen and deciduous as so many of the deciduous shrubs have really beautiful flowers. You have a big enough area that you could have a good amount of evergreen and mix in a few deciduous.

This is what I currently have (all planted this year, so I can't comment on how well they will do over time), with a couple of things that are on their way mail-order from Lazy S'S that i will plant soon:


Abelia Rose Creek, Canyon Creek, Mardi Gras, Little Richard (mine have done fine so far in full sun from 9am-6pm. The flowers are not as showy as azaleas or rhodies, but they do flower for ages)

Loropetalum Purple Diamond, Purple Pixie, Ever Red and others (i love these, such hot pink flowers against the purple leaves)

Viburnum tinus "Spring Bouquet" (slow growing but pretty early spring flowers)

Azalea Formosa, Sunglow and George L Taber (i planted these last winter before i realized I had full sun. They did fine this year, but I am concerned that they might not continue to do well)

Hypericum Albury Purple (St Johns Wort, yellow spring flowers)

Ceanothus thyrsiflorus (blue spring flowers, this is mail-order so I have not planted yet)

Callistemon Woodlander's Red (bright red bottlebrush-like flowers, mail-order too so not planted yet but I am very excited about it!)


Itea Virginica Henry's Garnet and Little Henry (these are fantastic, great reddish fall color now)

Spirea Neon Flash (very pink!) and Little Princess

Weigela Ruby Queen (purple leaves and pink flowers)

Caryopteris Dark Knight and Longwood Blue

Callicarpa americana (fantastic purple berries now)

Vitex Agnus-Castus (will grow tree-sized, buddleia-like blue flowers)

Fothergilla Mt Airy (white bottle-brush flowers)

Cotinus Grace

Japanese Maple

Sambucus nigra Black Lace (almost black leaves and pink flowers, this is coming mail-order so not planted yet)

    Bookmark   October 21, 2008 at 11:09AM
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Evergreen shrub choices for full sun (6 or more hours of sun):

Abelia, as mentioned
Japanese holly, Ilex crenata (flowers insignificant)
Yaupon holly (dwarf), Ilex vomitoria (love the name!, get a dwarf, flowers are insignificant)
Ilex glabra, same as the previous too (obviously they are all related to some degree)
Loropetalum, not fully evergreen but mostly
Florida anisetree, Illicum parviflorum (can get big)
'Otto Luyken' laurel, bees like it
Camellias (not sure if they come in dwarf sizes)
Tea Olive, Osmanthus fragrans (flowers not showy but very fragrant, needs a space at least 8 feet tall)
Indian hawthorn - not sure of it's sun tolerance.

You have more choices if you mix in a few deciduous shrubs or if you had more shade.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2008 at 11:20AM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

Encore azaleas do great in full sun and are a nice looking plant.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2008 at 1:26PM
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mairenn(7-8 GA)

indian hawthorn loves full sun. ours are facing southwest with full sun after 9-11 am - against a stone facade. we have the pink flowering, which i think are much nicer than the white.

we also have creeping gardenia on that side, which blooms pretty much constantly from spring to frost every year. They only get 3 feet high or so, but so far i haven't found a limit to how wide they will get. Luckily they handle all the pruning we dish out.

snapdragons are great, but johnny-jump ups are spring only for me.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2008 at 2:13PM
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