Front Yard Help

cursivesailorFebruary 9, 2009

Please help me with the design of my front yard flower-beds. I am kinda clueless with landscape design and I need to give the contractor the layout soon.

We are building a house and the contractor wants me to set up the outline of my flower beds. So that he can sod up to it and add garden soil to the beds. I don't have it in the budget to have it professionally landscaped, so I will be doing it myself shortly after we move in.

Heres a pic of the front of the house. I dont have a more recent one uploaded, but the front columns have been bricked and the top has had the banister installed. There will be a 5 foot wide concrete walkway from the front side walk to the house in the middle. And the front yard will have a little white picket fence.

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donnabaskets(Zone 8a, Central MS)

First, avoid the single most common mistake made in laying out beds: don't make them too small. Typically, one evergreen shrub is four feet wide after a few years. A bed that has room for two deep, at least, is the most attractive. Since you will be on a limited budget, I would suggest Indian Hawthornes, and possibly dwarf yaupon shrubs for your rounded mounded shrubs (assuming you want a traditional landscape plan). Depending on your sun exposure, you could work in some azaleas too. They are usually very inexpensive in the spring. (Choose ONE color, not a mix.)

You may want to use some shrubs with some height, since you have that lower floor with no windows. Again, depending on your sun exposure, camellias would be nice, though they are NOT inexpensive shrubs.

I would recommend a curving bed that wraps all the way around the porch, sides and all. As you arrange your plants, think in terms of blocks: a block of hawthornes next to a block of yaupons, etc. Don't do a row of one thing with a row of something else in front, and by all means don't do an every other one kind of deal.

You need to think about whether you want to go to the time and expense of planting seasonal annuals. They are very nice to add color. If you want them, include an area (or two) in your plan for them. Typically, that would be near the entryway.

I know this isn't alot, but maybe it will get your creative juices going. By the way, as you drive the streets, look for plants you really like that are thriving. Then ask questions to identify them. Make sure the light and moisture conditions you are offering will suit whatever plants you choose. And, finally, if something does really well for you this year, plant more of it next year! :)

    Bookmark   February 10, 2009 at 7:11PM
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