All Things Gardening forum: trick my landscape, please!

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Name: Linda
SE Houston, Tx. (Hobby) (Zone 9a)
"Godspeed, & Good Harvest!"
Region: Texas Vegetable Grower Seed Starter Garden Ideas: Master Level Canning and food preservation Gardens in Buckets
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Gymgirl
Aug 5, 2011 10:54 AM CST
Here's a pic of my overall front yard, awhile ago, before this heat and draught. It's not in great shape now, and needs work... Thumb of 2011-08-05/Gymgirl/e4a047

This bed full of ratty hedges (which I would LOVE to see gone...) is along the front between the door and the garage. It gets some filtered light from morning till around 2pm, then the sun is less intense. That patch of grass stays dead for lack of sun. The Oak tree blocks the sun.

Thumb of 2011-08-05/Gymgirl/e1fcad
This area (to the right of the front door) is the darkest, because of the two oak trees.I could relocate that row of hedges, as they are in good shape...there's nothing behind these hedges...
Thumb of 2011-08-05/Gymgirl/eedbba

Can I plant coleus along the front and around the oak trees?

Thanks for your assistance. I tip my hat to you.


Name: Sandy Coffman
Jacksonville, Florida
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wren
Aug 6, 2011 2:25 PM CST
It depends on what kind of oak trees you have, most oaks have a LOT of roots and they can out compete any other plant you put there.
You might build a raised bed around the tree, this must be double walled. as you do not want to cover the roots near the tree. Can not remember how far out you need to come.But if you cover the roots to much the tree will die.
In our kind of heat the coleus will need a lot of water.
Name: Sally
Wesley Chapel. FL (Zone 9a)
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Sossman
Aug 6, 2011 3:55 PM CST
Whoa, If I knew that, I would have built a raised bed around my oak tree out by the road a long time ago!! That darn thing throws up so many suckers and is buckling the sidewalk. I'd rather have something different out there. Is a raised bed around my oak tree in the future??? Hmmmmmmm. Rolling on the floor laughing
Name: Sandy Coffman
Jacksonville, Florida
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wren
Aug 6, 2011 4:09 PM CST
If you have a Live Oak or a Water Oak you will have those problems, Be warned that the Water Oak only lives 50-60 years.
Also if you do build a raised bed try to put a bottom on it to keep the roots out of it- not saying that this will work totally but maybe slow the roots down.

My late father would dig up and chop off some of the roots but they would grow back. Our tree died 2 years ago and I am still digging up roots. I am using the large trunk to grow fines on. Big Grin
Name: Karen
Cincinnati, Oh (Zone 6a)
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kqcrna
Aug 7, 2011 5:57 AM CST
Beautiful home, Gymgirl. But yeah, your landscaping really needs a facelift.

I think those hedges, all uniform height and color, look boring. More varied heights and colors would be nicer. You could use a few shrubs, a few perennials, and maybe tuck in a few annuals for continuous color. Try a few good vegetatively propagated coleus, I find they do so much better than seed grown ones. I bought most of mine from Rosy Dawn and they are wonderful plants.
http://www.rosydawngardens.com/coleus_images.htm

If you visit the coleus forum here, you'll find a lot of coleus experts from the deep south who grow coleus extensively- south Fl, Louisiana, the Carolinas. And they're very easy to grow from cuttings, so you can keep them for years.

Does the area get enough sun for a dwarf (shrub size) crepe myrtle?

Instead of a straight line, would you consider extending the bed in places, making the edges more rounded?

In areas where you have problems growing plants because of tree roots, you could consider adding a few giant pots. Or, add hanging baskets from the tree?

Karen
Name: Karen
Cincinnati, Oh (Zone 6a)
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kqcrna
Aug 7, 2011 7:07 AM CST
Here are some updated pictures, taken yesterday. We were out of town for 8 days, got back about a week ago, so you can see that things are badly in need of deadheading and weeding. Temps were in the 90s the entire time we were gone.

My front bed gets some direct sun, but protection from the hottest sun of the day.
Thumb of 2011-08-07/kqcrna/89f73c
Thumb of 2011-08-07/kqcrna/65010b

Some in my back yard, in full hot sun all day. You can see than some things have fried in the 90+° days and droughty weather, but my sun-tolerant coleus are thriving
Thumb of 2011-08-07/kqcrna/251e55
Thumb of 2011-08-07/kqcrna/2261fb
Thumb of 2011-08-07/kqcrna/7a6ed3

Karen








Name: Sandy Coffman
Jacksonville, Florida
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wren
Aug 7, 2011 7:10 AM CST
Karen beautiful
Name: Horseshoe Griffin
Efland, NC (Zone 7a)
And in the end...a happy beginning!
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Horseshoe
Aug 7, 2011 7:43 AM CST
Beautiful landscaping, Karen...

Wouldn't it be great if your landscaping could be shipped to Linda's front yard for "instant success"!?

Shoe
Name: Linda
SE Houston, Tx. (Hobby) (Zone 9a)
"Godspeed, & Good Harvest!"
Region: Texas Vegetable Grower Seed Starter Garden Ideas: Master Level Canning and food preservation Gardens in Buckets
Tip Photographer Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Ferns
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Gymgirl
Aug 7, 2011 12:46 PM CST
Shoe,
I was thinking the SAME thing!!!
Name: Karen
Cincinnati, Oh (Zone 6a)
Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cut Flowers Winter Sowing Charter ATP Member Seed Starter
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kqcrna
Aug 7, 2011 5:53 PM CST
Thanks for the compliments. I tip my hat to you. But I'm not that generous- I'm not shipping my landscape to Linda, even if I could!

Karen

Name: Sandy Coffman
Jacksonville, Florida
Charter ATP Member Forum moderator I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: Florida Dog Lover
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wren
Aug 7, 2011 6:00 PM CST
Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing
Name: Linda
SE Houston, Tx. (Hobby) (Zone 9a)
"Godspeed, & Good Harvest!"
Region: Texas Vegetable Grower Seed Starter Garden Ideas: Master Level Canning and food preservation Gardens in Buckets
Tip Photographer Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Ferns
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Gymgirl
Aug 8, 2011 9:29 AM CST
Angry
v
v
v
v
v
v
v

uh, you KNOW I'm kidding, right?


Name: Karen
Cincinnati, Oh (Zone 6a)
Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cut Flowers Winter Sowing Charter ATP Member Seed Starter
Echinacea Plant and/or Seed Trader Region: Ohio Region: United States of America Butterflies Hummingbirder
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kqcrna
Aug 8, 2011 9:48 AM CST
Smiling

Karen
Name: Linda
SE Houston, Tx. (Hobby) (Zone 9a)
"Godspeed, & Good Harvest!"
Region: Texas Vegetable Grower Seed Starter Garden Ideas: Master Level Canning and food preservation Gardens in Buckets
Tip Photographer Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Ferns
Image
Gymgirl
Aug 8, 2011 9:51 AM CST
Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing
Name: Linda
SE Houston, Tx. (Hobby) (Zone 9a)
"Godspeed, & Good Harvest!"
Region: Texas Vegetable Grower Seed Starter Garden Ideas: Master Level Canning and food preservation Gardens in Buckets
Tip Photographer Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Ferns
Image
Gymgirl
Aug 24, 2011 11:14 AM CST
Karen,
Back to the landscaping project!

Is that an azalea on the left of your backyard steps? I have some unwanted volunteers growing in a flowerbed in the back yard. Rather than cut them up, I could dig them out and put them somewhere along the front. Problem is with the light on the front, because of the oak trees. The bed next to the driveway (with the dull, boring hedges...) gets bright sunshine from the early morning up until around noon.

The other bed along the front wall is shaded all day...

Name: Karen
Cincinnati, Oh (Zone 6a)
Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cut Flowers Winter Sowing Charter ATP Member Seed Starter
Echinacea Plant and/or Seed Trader Region: Ohio Region: United States of America Butterflies Hummingbirder
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kqcrna
Aug 24, 2011 7:03 PM CST
Linda, are you talking about the shrub with hot pink flowers? If so, it's a dwarf crepe myrtle. The tag said it's only hardy to zone 7, but it has survived one winter in my zone 6 yard.

Karen
Name: Linda
SE Houston, Tx. (Hobby) (Zone 9a)
"Godspeed, & Good Harvest!"
Region: Texas Vegetable Grower Seed Starter Garden Ideas: Master Level Canning and food preservation Gardens in Buckets
Tip Photographer Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Ferns
Image
Gymgirl
Aug 24, 2011 11:35 PM CST
We have crepe myrtles all over Houston. The dwarf should be ok with protection.
Name: Karen
Cincinnati, Oh (Zone 6a)
Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cut Flowers Winter Sowing Charter ATP Member Seed Starter
Echinacea Plant and/or Seed Trader Region: Ohio Region: United States of America Butterflies Hummingbirder
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kqcrna
Aug 25, 2011 6:34 AM CST
I think mine is supposed to max out at about 6 or 7'. It's beautiful now. I need to get a new shot of it.

Linda, a few pretty crepe myrtles would really make that front garden of yours "pop". (if you get enough sun for them, anyway).

Karen
Name: Linda
SE Houston, Tx. (Hobby) (Zone 9a)
"Godspeed, & Good Harvest!"
Region: Texas Vegetable Grower Seed Starter Garden Ideas: Master Level Canning and food preservation Gardens in Buckets
Tip Photographer Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Ferns
Image
Gymgirl
Aug 25, 2011 8:37 AM CST
Thanks, K!
I'm leaning towards your suggestion of some colorful shrubs, too! I think planting the "bones" first, then filling in with the perennials, right?

Just gotta decide on the colorful shrubbery. There's a purple shrub I've seen that, when planted en masse, looks like it cascades. I have no idea what they're called...

So, here's what I like. Tell me if it would work along that front window in the area that gets good, bright sun for about 2/3 of the day. But, not the burning heat, as my front faces east.

Marigolds, geraniums, coleus, lantana, coneflowers. I believe these will all handle my sunlight.

LMK! Lovey dubby
Name: Karen
Cincinnati, Oh (Zone 6a)
Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cut Flowers Winter Sowing Charter ATP Member Seed Starter
Echinacea Plant and/or Seed Trader Region: Ohio Region: United States of America Butterflies Hummingbirder
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kqcrna
Aug 25, 2011 10:12 AM CST
Sounds good to me. But remember, coleus in that much sun will have to be sun tolerant ones.

I'm probably not the best person to comment on these things, though. As I've been telling you for several years, I have no idea what it's like to garden in Tx!

Karen

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