Ideas for new area...

kathrinehjApril 23, 2013

I would be very grateful if someone has a few minutes to make suggestions.
We just finished building a retention area around our (soon to be improved) deck and I would love some ideas for what to plant. We are adding new lattice under the deck that will be placed in front of the railroad ties.
This area faces N/E and gets full morning sun and is not shaded until late afternoon/evening. It needs something to anchor the area just to the right of the grill (which is 4 1/2 ft deep) and the large curved area that wraps around the corner of the deck (which is 5 1/2 ft deep). To start with I'm looking for those anchor trees/shrubs and shrubs/flower bushes to hide the lattice. Eventually I'll add annuals along the front edge. We have beautiful trees around the perimeter of our yard and a great view of the common area behind and to the north of us so I don't want to plant anything that would greatly obstruct our views.
Again, any ideas will be much appreciated! Happy Spring!

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Here's another angle.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2013 at 11:58AM
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Bridget Helm

foundations shrubs that would work:
boxwoods if you want a formal look

you can never go wrong with indian hawthorne because they are soooooo easy and the new dwarf versions stay nice and neat and low.

Loropetalum (southern living just released one that is green leaved with white blooms)

knockout roses

encore azaleas if you feel like watering all the time

shi shi cammellias stay tiny and neat

sweet olive smell so lovely but aren';t much to look at, so i would put just one for the fragrance. mine needs water A LOT in order to do anything. leves brown at edges and it will not bloom unless it's getting TONS of water

decorative flowers that would look nice:
BANDANA lantana- super easy and attracts butterflies (this new bandana series is AMAZING because they are compact and constant bloomers) check it out here

Serena angelonia if you want the cottage look (these are fuss free and THRIVE THRIVE THRIVE once the heat hits) plant now and wait for summer heat and they will amaze you with their vigor and constant blooms - they are the lavender of the south

amazon dianthus are super easy and smell nice

senorita rosalita cleomes are hardy beauties that attract humming birds and butterflies

Personally I would put a few Indian Hawthornes as foundation hedges then put color in front of the hawthornes with some of the flowers mentioned above

    Bookmark   April 29, 2013 at 10:05AM
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Thank you SO MUCH!!! Wow!
Funny, I just got home from the nursery and buying the last few items for my containers and veggie garden. We moved to TN mid-summer last year so I'm totally enjoying playing with my containers and hanging baskets since I missed doing that last year with the move. Now you have me anxious to return with this list!
This retaining wall idea came to us last month and we quickly got it done before we became too busy with other summer projects so I have yet to even begin researching and figuring out what to plant. I very much appreciate you giving me a place to start!

    Bookmark   April 29, 2013 at 1:37PM
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Bridget Helm

senorita rosalita cleome and serena angelonias wil not disappoint - at least not in South Louisiana. i was thrilled with their performance last year. so easy and a lot of bang for your buck!

    Bookmark   April 29, 2013 at 7:02PM
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dottie_in_charlotte(z7-8 NC)

Are your neighbors actually trying to grow a screen of Leyland cypress ON their high deck??

    Bookmark   May 1, 2013 at 2:03PM
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dottie_in_charlotte(z7-8 NC)

The one thing you have to consider before any permanent plantings is you have extremely well draining soil due to its raised level.
You're going to need, if you don't have it already, a weep system of irrigation looped all through the area on a timer to your hosetap or connected to your irrigation system.

You're going to love the look of things like millionbells (calibrachoa) billowing over and down the sides of the stones in all the colors of the rainbow.
Northeast sun favors the sun version of coleus to bring constant color fronting anchor shrubs when annuals or perennials have quit blooming.
Look through the local bookstores to see if you can find
"The Southern Gardener's Book of Lists" by Lois Trigg
That combined with "Landscape Plants of the Southeast" by R.Gordon Halfacre and Anne R. Shawcroft are two of the best resource books for homeowners with new yards or
renovating yards.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2013 at 2:17PM
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dottie_in_charlotte(z7-8 NC)

Another thing to consider is in order to weed this garden, pull dead plants, trim shrubs (esp. loropetalum) you're going to need some stepstones in strategic spots.
That people on your deck will be looking down into the garden and notice where non-blooming occurs.

Did you do the installation of the 'stone wall'?
Did you (or installer) put a semi porous liner backing the stone before filling with planting medium?
I don't see much backpitch (there's a term for it I can't recall) to the wall angle at its tallest area? Frequent stepping into that area to plant and maintain will add pressure push against the containment wall so but for edges, I'd recommend you plant that in perennials and shrubs that require the least maintainance.
Just something you might wish you'd considered earlier rather than later.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2013 at 2:32PM
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Bridget Helm

the new emerald snow loropetalum is supposed to stay compact unlike the purple one

good point about liking flowers that hang over the wall. that would be pretty

    Bookmark   May 1, 2013 at 9:34PM
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Trying again....having trouble getting this to post.

I appreciate the suggestions and apologize for taking so long to respond.

The appropriate liner was used, there is a drip system and the wall was glued and reinforced with rebar. Thanks for the idea about the stepping stones.

It appears the weather may finally stay warm enough so we can restore the deck this week! Then we will get to do the planting! IâÂÂll look up those books.

Thanks again for all the suggestions!

    Bookmark   May 6, 2013 at 11:56AM
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