The Q&A Archives: seasonal planting

Question: Hi. I'm not very keen on gardening,etc. I am, for the first time, landscaping the front of my house after living here for about 6 years! We are going to be selling it soon and need some good advice and reasonable prices. So far we bought 4 solarlights, some border stones, which are all in place, a shovel, to cut out grass and 4 big bags of brown mulch. I would like to put some kind of taller items against the front of the house(not too tall), like shrubs or something attractive to pull through the fall&winter,followed by mums in the front. I have no idea on what kind of plants, etc. in an affordable price range , to put in. Can You help us?

Answer: Unfortunately a landscape design is somewhat outside the scope of this free Q&A service. I would suggest you measure the area you want to plant and take a photo of the front of your house that includes the planting area. Use a compass so you can locate north. Take this information to your local professionally trained nurseryman and see if they can help you based on that more detailed information as well as knowing your design goals and budget. Your local county extension may also be able to help. Or, you could consider hiring a landscape designer to help you.

Your plant selection should be determined by the growing conditions where you want to plant -- how much sun and at what time of day, if the site is windy, what kind of soil is there, and so on. Too, evergreens are usually better planted in spring rather than fall.

In general, younger specimens are less expenzive than older (and larger) specimens of the same kind of plant. Deciduous plants (lose their foliage in fall) will usually be less expensive than evergreens. But, one or two larger evergreen plants can make a new planting look more impressive than a quantity of small, young, deciduous shrubs.

Mums bloom only in the fall, and may or may not overwinter successfully in your area. Depending on what season you need to the house to be ready for showing, mums may not be your best choice.

I hope this helps you get started. Best of luck with your project.

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