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Avatar for laurarobin
Jun 28, 2019 1:59 PM CST
Thread OP
South West Ohio (near Dayton) (Zone 6a)
Hi all :)
I live in Zone 6a. (Southwest Ohio.)
I have a couple areas I need help brainstorming what to plant, etc. & I need low maintenance as I can't really do the physical work too much (due to an autoimmune disorder I have) & also need to keep the budget down.
The first pic is my front bed.
The other pics are the back area next to our deck. I think I'd really like taller things so we can see it when sitting outside on the deck. Also, this may go without saying, but I need to be able to make it easy to mow. Smiling (The less weedwacking, the better)
Both areas can tend to get a lot of sun depending on the time of day.

P.S. Don't mind the massive weeds & overgrowth of the front bushes. I'm in the process of finding someone to help out with that stuff. :)
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Jun 29, 2019 2:07 PM CST
Name: Dennis
SW Michigan (Zone 5b)
Along the front it looks like you've already got some yews in place, which is nice because evergreens are a big plus in the winter—providing something green to look at! So I'd consider saving several of those. If they are encroaching over the sidewalk I'd definitely prune them back. Prune them back at least 6" inches farther than what you'll want them to eventually be, to allow for new growth to fill back out. Pruned areas in the shrubs might look bad for a year until the new growth comes in.

Definitely want to think about adding vertical elements and colors. Differing heights, differing leaf colors, and some color from flowers might be nice too…

Some Sky Pencil Holly might look nice to add a vertical element, but a dwarf, yellow-leaved arborvitae might work too if one can be found that would be small enough. I'm guessing the space between the house and the sidewalk is about 3' so you obviously need to add shrubs and perennials that will stay with the space, otherwise you have to prune regularly, but that will be limiting. By the entryway definitely want some color. Some ideas of shrubs and perennials to work in: A dwarf hydrangea like Little Quick Fire, David Garden phlox, knock out roses like rosa x Radsunny or rosa x Radyod.

That deck is gorgeous. Definitely would make sense to landscape nicely around it. The classic dilemma is whether to plant flowering shrubs or perennials: the flowers are gorgeous to look at and some have nice fragrance too, but they also attract a lot of potentially troublesome insects. So you need to decide how many flowers you want around the deck…

To the left of the deck you could line along the house some boxwood, with some flowering perennials in front of them, like daylilies or sage. Then next to the deck add a big flowering shrub like Mock Orange (gorgeous pure white flowers with heavenly fragrance) or viburnum like Blue Muffin (white flowers and then very interesting blue berries) or Korean Spice (nice fragrance). Add some knock out roses or flowering perennials around them. You could possibly continue the pattern all the way around the deck ( a big shrub flanked by shorter shrubs/perrennials). Or could add some of the vertical elements from the front of the house (Sky pencil holly, Helmond pillar barberry,or arbo). Possibilities are endless…
Avatar for LucyP
Jul 4, 2019 8:39 PM CST
Kitchener, Ontario Canada
I love budget gardening! My #1 bit of advice is to find other gardeners to give you stuff cheap or free. Kijiji or Craigslist works well. I also got some free stuff by asking a neighbour if I could have some in what looked like an unwanted patch. He said to take it all!

Since I'm in a similar zone, 5b, I have a few suggestions if you see these up for grabs.


-Hardy geraniums, clumping flower that blocks out weeds
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-Euonymus, huge family of trees and shrubs with interesting foliage. I dug up a big one and found a free little one in the dirt beside it! Big Grin
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-Lilac, dwarf varieties are reasonable sized but if you want something big and showy, you can get that too. Only flowers a little while but so worth it.
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-Rose of Sharon, flowers late in the season when there isn't much to look at. Spreads a bit so people should have extras.
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-Zebra grass, very tall grass that doesn't wander around, leaves an interesting winter skeleton with poofy things on top.
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-Lungwort, an underappreciated short plant with beautiful leaves and epic pink and purple flower clusters.
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-Spotted deadnettle, ground hugging plant that spreads VERY quickly.
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-Hostas. Everyone loves hostas.
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-Purple bugbane or snakeroot
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-Ferns, forget me nots, solomon's seal, daylilies, and of course whatever else you can get your hands on. Basic ostrich ferns should be free because they spread like mad and everyone has them. I have daylilies in the sun and shade and they're all happy, some on the sunny side have a few brown leaves though.
Avatar for laurarobin
Jul 18, 2019 4:06 PM CST
Thread OP
South West Ohio (near Dayton) (Zone 6a)
Thank you both so much for all your ideas!! Not settled on anything quite yet. Hopefully we'll be able to get started on some definite planning & work the week after next when my hubby has some free time. Smiling
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