Need suggestions on plant choices
I have a thread going on the landscape design board, but keep changing my mind, so thought I would start over here since I live in Springfield. We just moved to our house in August and I want to redo the front bed of our house. This is really my first time with any major landscaping project and I want it to look nice. I will put some pics on in a minute, but want to tell you a little about what I'm going to do. I want to take out the current beds and redo with flat rocks that I'm going to get out of an old rock fence in Kansas. My parents have a cattle farm and so good rich soil is not a problem. I will bring the bed away from the house at least 5 feet (right now it is only about 3 to 3.5'. You can see in my picture that there is a current narrow bed around our sidewalk that is full of white rock. I'm taking that out and planting grass up the the edge of the front and about halfway down the side. I thought of doing a slight curve in the front of the new bed and then a circle at the left side. Even contemplate a lower level that goes around the edge of the house a little bit. The front of the house is on the west side and though there are three trees in the front yard they are still fairly small and don't create a lot of shade.
As I said I don't really have any experience with choosing plants. I want to have lots of color, yet I don't want it to look all dead in the winter. Does anyone have any suggestions that will look nice together in this area? I've been looking at books and such and I like the way a japanese maple looks and wondered if I could put that in the lower bed that I want to do on the end. Anyone with ideas about that? Last year the owners had a really pretty moonvine that caught everyone's attention. I thought of building some sort of trellis and having it go up the small corner that is between the windows. Also, there are currently six mums planted kind of randomly in this space too, that maybe I could incorporate in? I would love to hear what you all have to say. I'm just at a loss - I don't want to spend a bunch of money guessing on stuff, yet I can't afford to hire a professional landscape person :) Thanks so much. Sarah