Ask a Question forum: new landscaping questions

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Feb 28, 2015 9:58 PM CST
What kind of plants will work in a west facing garden area that is between my house and a walkway? I live in Windsor, CO. It is a new house. I would like to have flowers and plantings that would be attractive most of the year. I Plan on putting a bench in the area too. Also, how far from my house foundation should I plant a spring Snow Cranapple tree?
Name: Michele Roth
N.E. Indiana - Zone 5b
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Mar 1, 2015 7:31 AM CST
Welcome! to ATP.

Without seeing a picture of your west-facing area it's a bit difficult to offer advice on how to plant it, but one that might do well in an area that gets only harsh western sun is sedum.

A pretty good rule of thumb is to plant your tree as many feet from the house as its height is expected to be at maturity, and also allow plenty of space between it and any paved walkways.
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Name: Jennifer
48036 MI (Zone 6b)
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Mar 1, 2015 9:46 AM CST
Welcome! Yes a picture would be good. Also, what zone are you?
Name: greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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Mar 1, 2015 11:59 AM CST
Welcome! lroche1948
I cheated and looked at a street view map of Windsor, Colorado.
Since yours is a new home I'm gonna start with the assumption that your new home is in a new subdivision. My suggestion would be to take a drive to the older subdivisions with homes similar in style to your own and see how the trees have matured. Don't forget to take into consideration the type of roots a tree has. Some types of trees are a danger to house foundations and to concrete sidewalks.

The bench idea sounds nice. I would put the flowers that attract bees not too near the seating area. That way you can enjoy the flowers without interrupting the bees as they work.

Is your yard flat or sloped? Did you have a color scheme in mind for the flowering plants?
Thank You!

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Name: Elaine
Sarasota, Fl
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Mar 1, 2015 12:49 PM CST
Welcome to ATP, hope we can help out. I lived in Utah for 21 years, so probably a similar climate to what you're dealing with. I do recall the west facing bed beside our house was always a tough one because the house shades the bed completely until mid-day then the sun hits it like a hammer at the hottest part of the day.

I'd suggest a little pergola made from posts and a lattice top to attach to the house and go over top of the walkway as well. It will not only give that bed a little bit of filtered shade through the early afternoon hot sun, it will help keep that side of your house cool until you can grow some trees up to do the job. Deciduous trees on the south and west sides = shade and cool in summer, and sun in the winter.

It would give you a lot wider range of plants to choose from, as they still would get sun later in the afternoon, but not have to withstand the sudden onslaught. You could also grow some really gorgeous vines on the pergola like Clematis and (hate to admit it but I'm a fan of annual Morning Glories. They both grow pretty fast and the Clematis will repeat bloom while the MG's will bloom non-stop through the summer.

We eventually covered that whole west wall on our Salt Lake house with a Concord grape vine that gave us beautiful foliage and tons of delicious grapes for juice as well as shade for the house through the hot months. But the one good perennial we had going for years in that bed was Red Valerian (Centranthus ruber)

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