Redid my flowerbeds! Now what plants?

msroseApril 11, 2011

My front door is on the side and the flowerbed was hiding the entrance, so I took the boring hedges out, reshaped the bed and moved it away from the sidewalk just a little.



My house faces north, so for the bed next to the house, I bought variegated dwarf pittosporum, azaleas, and little pixie loropetalum (not sure how this one will do on the north side). I'm completely stumped on what to put in the bed to the right of the driveway. I was originally thinking of Cherry Razzle Dazzle, but I read that it can get as tall as 5' and I want to keep this bed low (maybe 2'-3'). I thought maybe one of the other Razzle Dazzles would be smaller, but then I read that people have had problems with them blooming. I also thought of a weeping crape myrtle. Do I really need an evergreen in this bed or would you fill it with perennials? If I use some type of evergreen, would you put it in the center or in the very back? The bed is 78"D x 104"W.


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What a difference!

I my own self would put a big something in the raised bed;
maybe a crepe myrtle to "anchor" it & to balance the tree on the other side of the front lawn.

My neighbor has a square bed that looks about the same size as your round one, &, although I'm not a "pink person", I love what she's done with it;
she has a big pink crepe in the center & Knockout roses in exactly the same shade of pink surrounding it, with a little bit of this & that, daylilies, etc, scattered through it.

You could do the same with another color, or maybe pick a smaller ornamental tree, redbud or yaupon holly, since it's close to your front door.

Have fun!

    Bookmark   April 13, 2011 at 10:57AM
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PKponder TX(7b)

I love the blank slate! My hubby walked it while I was looking at it and said 'what did they do with the tree?' :-) Since you want to keep it short, I second Sylvia's suggestion of a small ornamental tree as an anchor. It might get taller, but if you limb it up as a standard, it won't be visually overwhelming. Surround with a nice mix of evergreens and flowering shrubs and leave room for annuals. I know they are not everyone's favorite but I love the color of dwarf nandina 'Fire Power' in the winter. Would look really pretty with a Possumhaw Holly's red berries and I have seen those kept down to 5-7 feet tall. That would require some maintenance to keep the size in check. I love Yaupon Holly too and that would stay green all year. They look great trimmed because of their gorgeous bark.

We want to see pictures after you get it done too!


    Bookmark   April 13, 2011 at 11:43AM
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Pam - I was waiting for someone to say something about the tree :) I don't know if it was bug damage or weather damage, but the two middle limbs had severe damage. If I had removed just those, it would have left a pitiful looking tree. Plus, I couldn't keep up with the suckers that thing put out.

Sylvia - I have thought of planting a KO rose if I can't come up with anything else. I'm a big "pink" person, so your neighbor's yard sounds gorgeous to me.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2011 at 6:01PM
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lou_midlothian_tx(z8 DFW, Tx)

You'd like Belinda's Dream rose better than KO rose.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2011 at 7:06AM
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carrie751(z7/8 TX)

I agree, Lou, it is by far my favorite. I do have to keep pruning throughout the season to keep in under control, but oh, the blooms on that one bush.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2011 at 8:48AM
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I tried Belinda's Dream at my last house and had a terrible time with thrips. Maybe it would do better here.
These pictures aren't very good, but I've just been trying to get some ideas.

This one has burgundy and gold barberry

This one has a KO rose over on the right. I saw a white cascade crape myrtle at a nursery yesterday, but the purple is all I could find a picture of so that's what I put in the middle. I could put some type of evergreen shrub on either side.

What do you like or dislike? Any suggestions on where to go from here?

    Bookmark   April 14, 2011 at 9:36AM
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roselee z8b S.W. Texas

Laurie, those are very interesting arragements. Neat how you can see how the plants look without having to actually plant them!

The idea mentioned above of a pink crape myrtle in the middle and pink Knockout roses surrounding it sounds absolutely elegant. My suggestion would be Rainbow Knockouts. Below is a picture of my plant.

I would have never thought to buy it if Costco had not brought in a bunch of them for $5.00. I wish now I had bought a dozen, but I bought only one and of all the roses I have it is one that gives me the most pleasure when looking out onto my back yard.

I've had it three or four years, it is constantly in bloom throughout the season with hardly any care. It's never been sprayed and is perfectly healthy, never been pruned pruned, never deadheaded, it's everygreen with red hips in winter, gets hardly any water except from the lawn sprinkler, nor does it get any fertilizer, other than a handful of organics in early spring, and just keeps pumping out the blooms. It's 2 ft high and 4 ft wide. Photo taken this morning ...

Here is a link that might be useful: Rainbow Knock Out on HelpMeFind ...

    Bookmark   April 14, 2011 at 10:20AM
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That is pretty, Roselee. It kind of reminds me of little butteflies flying around. I did this arrangement before I read your comment about Rainbow KO or I would have tried it.

I thought about three Knockouts (or Belinda's Dream) in the back, the weeping crape myrtle in front of it and perennials to either side. The tag on the crape myrtle says it grows to 12"-16" tall and 3'-4' wide, so I used three in the picture to show the width.

I had two Knockouts at my last house and they were huge. I see them in other people's yards and businesses where they're kept small. Has anyone else done this and does it require constant pruning to keep it short?

    Bookmark   April 14, 2011 at 11:21AM
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lou_midlothian_tx(z8 DFW, Tx)

Oh yeah the double red KO gets HUGE if left alone for several years. I once reduced 6 ft to 2 ft. By the end of fall, they were back to that size again. I tried Rainbow KO and they seemed to be really prone to mildew. Maybe it's the humidity? It's not a vigorous grower like the red one.

So yes, you have to do big pruning job every winter.

Too bad you can't grow azaleas or gardenias there. Too much sun. What about abelias?

    Bookmark   April 14, 2011 at 12:16PM
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lou - I just bought my 1st abelia (Kaleidoscope) and planted it in the back yard. After I bought it, someone told me they're bad about throwing out long stems and looking out-of-control, so I was kind of nervous about putting one in the front yard. Have they done okay for you?

Does anyone grow barberrys? I just got back from the nursery and the guy there told me they only have leaves for 6 months of the year. I knew they lost their leaves in the winter, but I didn't know they would be without them for 6 months. I just wondered if what he said was accurate.
He recommended I use Purple Diamond Loropetalum in the back and Gold Mound Spirea in the front. I was hoping to plant something that stays short so I don't have to trim it and I'm worried that the Loropetalum would need trimming. It would have leaves all year though.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2011 at 3:12PM
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txmeggie(z7 DFW)

1. First, draw people back to your door by planting something significant back by the fence. The Belinda's Dream rose would be good there because it gets big. Then I would plant something much smaller and evergreen around it but not too close - perhaps small hollies. Or iris because they are gorgeous and much of their foliage stays throughout the winter here. It would help to make a curving bed along the path to the door.

2. I would not use anything too big in the round bed because it will again block the view to your door. I would like a red yucca in the center because it is evergreen and the flower spikes will give the vertical interest without adding density. If any lean over into the walkway, just cut them off.
Add iris and/or daffodils for spring interest, and some of the low "drift" roses for summer color. You might like pink muhly grass too, and mexican feather grass is pretty. Good luck.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2011 at 8:59AM
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txmeggie - The pink muhly grass is really interesting. I don't think I've ever seen that one before. I don't currently have any grasses, but I've seen Hameln in the neighborhood and really like it too. I just added two drift roses to my backyard and hadn't thought about that for the front yard. You can't see it in this picture, but I just put an umbrella pillar in my backyard and planted a pink climbing rose in it. The pillar is taller than the fence, so the rose should fall down over the fence. Like you suggested, I wanted something back there to grab your attention. A bed underneath that would look great.

I'm so tired of trying to figure this out that I'm thinking about just putting the weeping crape myrtle in the middle and surrounding it with perennials.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2011 at 9:30AM
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debndal(8a DFW, TX)

I have the Crimson Pigmy barberries in about 1/2 day sun and they stay mostly purple and reddish except in the hottest part of the summer when they green out a little. Fall color is really pretty. They are bare probably 4 months in winter depending on how early it gets really cold. I have mine planted with perennial candytuft which starts blooming (white) in February, scabiosa (pincushion flower) which blooms (light purple) almost all year unless it's really cold, and a really neat looking moss bolder with great moss on it. I have larkspur in there that reseeds every year, and also calylophus and David summer phlox for some brightness. Those combinations look nice together and it's really low growing and low maintenance.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2011 at 4:07PM
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deb - How tall is your Pigmy? Do you ever have to trim it? I've noticed candytuft in the nurseries, but I didn't know anything about it. Sounds like it's a good plant to have. You don't by chance have a picture of your bed do you? I'd love to see the combination.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2011 at 4:37PM
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msrose, did you take down the tree too? What kind is/was it?

    Bookmark   April 15, 2011 at 7:15PM
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marti8a - LOL. I just commented on your post about my tree. It was a Wax Myrtle and it is gone now. It had damaged limbs and suckered like crazy.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2011 at 8:29PM
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debndal(8a DFW, TX)

My crimson pigmy barberries are 18" tall - this is the start of their 4th year, and were planted from 1 gal pots. The only trimming I've done so far is 1 or 3 errant stems in the winter to shape. They grow slowly. The perennial candytuft has really done well for me. I'd been told they would part in the middle, but so far they've been nice mounds, and they are evergreen! The variety I have is Tahoe. What really makes the bed is the moss bolder, and a correction on the flox that I have is John Fanick, not David. Sorry, no pictures. My bed is very large and long, and this is just a grouping within that bed. I like it cause there is not alot of maintenance, just cutting back in winter, except for deadheading the scabiosa.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2011 at 4:07PM
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Do you think I could go an Encore Azalea in all day sun? I saw Encore Autumn Lilac at a nursery today and it had the prettiest purple flowers.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2011 at 5:53PM
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alameda/zone 8

The bed is really pretty......I love adding statuary to a bed - a birdbath, interesting anchors the bed. A weeping mulberry tree might look nice - gives a bit of height without being overpowering. I adore the Sunny Knockout rose - they start out yellow then fade to white - looks like a gardenia. Daylilies are staples for me - Happy Returns reblooms. In full sun, my staples are lantana, potato vine, mexican heather, purple fountain grass, periwinkle and some Laura Bush petunias [that come back every year] would be beautiful spilling over the edge of the bed. I do my deck in all lavender/purple flowers - it is striking - doing all one color really makes a statement. I also like to include a large pot of something trailing [asparagus fern, potato vine] with purple fountain grass with annuals. I love seasonal decorations - in fall, pumpkins, mums would look beautiful, a flag, red/white/blue pot of color for the 4th, I have a wooden Easter bunny with small white wheelbarrow/colored eggs, pots of blooming plants, in my front yard. If you had a small ornamental tree, could put white lights in it for Christmas. Grasses that are perennial could give some height and look beautiful moving in the wind. Its a lovely bed - you have lots of possibilities!

    Bookmark   April 18, 2011 at 11:00AM
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