Landscape Design forum: New homeowner help

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Jason7613
Apr 16, 2017 8:01 AM CST
Hi everyone,


Hi all,

spring is here and as you can see the front yard landscaping is something that needs to be redone. I'll preface this with the fact that the bricks along the house and porch will be covered in stone veneer (probably within the next year) but I wanted to get some new plants/flowers and make the landscape better. Plan is to get rid of the mulch (bark) and all plants/little trees that are there now.

My issue is that I don't know if I should get rid of ALL of the mulch, or just enough where I can then spread new mulch on top. Do I need top soil as well?

More importantly, can anyone give me some guidance as to what types of bushes/flowers/plants to put, maybe a little design etc.? I'm also taking this to a nursery by me (I don't have a landscaper at this moment). For the record I am in Long Island, NY for any considerations for weather, and not trying to break the bank on this.

Appreciate any advice, and I'll answer any questions that may help someone with this.

thanks!
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Name: Connie
Edmonton, Alberta area (Canada (Zone 3a)
Cat Lover Butterflies Foliage Fan Enjoys or suffers cold winters Daylilies Plays in the sandbox
Dragonflies Ferns Region: Canadian Peonies Bookworm Clematis
Image
conniepr27
Apr 16, 2017 12:03 PM CST
Okay, Jason, we will need to know what zone you're in, so we don't recommend plants that don't do well in your area; and I would like to see more of the surrounding yard before recommending a design. Do you want a big lushious flowerbed, or just something small and low maintenance?
Name: Connie
Edmonton, Alberta area (Canada (Zone 3a)
Cat Lover Butterflies Foliage Fan Enjoys or suffers cold winters Daylilies Plays in the sandbox
Dragonflies Ferns Region: Canadian Peonies Bookworm Clematis
Image
conniepr27
Apr 16, 2017 12:04 PM CST
Welcome to the site, by the way! Welcome!
Name: Connie
Edmonton, Alberta area (Canada (Zone 3a)
Cat Lover Butterflies Foliage Fan Enjoys or suffers cold winters Daylilies Plays in the sandbox
Dragonflies Ferns Region: Canadian Peonies Bookworm Clematis
Image
conniepr27
Apr 16, 2017 12:49 PM CST
Good Article:. https://www.gardendesign.com/l...

Jason7613
Apr 18, 2017 5:53 PM CST
Thank you very much. I've stated above that I'm in Long Island, NY so we obviously get the cold and hot.

As far as preferences, I would prefer low maintenance but something that will spruce up the outside. Every time I pull up to my house, I shake my head from seeing it lol.

It's dark out now but I will upload better pictures tomorrow.

Thanks for the help!

Jason7613
Apr 19, 2017 2:50 PM CST
Thank you very much. I've stated above that I'm in Long Island, NY so we obviously get the cold and hot.

As far as preferences, I would prefer low maintenance but something that will spruce up the outside. Every time I pull up to my house, I shake my head from seeing it lol.

It's dark out now but I will upload better pictures tomorrow.

Thanks for the help!

Jason7613
Apr 19, 2017 2:54 PM CST
Hoping these are better. If not let me know as I had to take these in a hurry. Reason for the mulch is two fold: Forst is because the previous owners put way too much down and it's almost overflowing and second is because it (in my opinion) just looks old like it hasn't been changed/turned over in quite some time. I could probably get away with just taking some of it out and then top dressing wth new but that's why I wanted to ask.

Also considering creating a border with bricks/stone/etc. but would like any opinions or suggestions. Thanks so much.


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Name: Connie
Edmonton, Alberta area (Canada (Zone 3a)
Cat Lover Butterflies Foliage Fan Enjoys or suffers cold winters Daylilies Plays in the sandbox
Dragonflies Ferns Region: Canadian Peonies Bookworm Clematis
Image
conniepr27
Apr 19, 2017 4:58 PM CST
Okay, so, I checked the zoning chart to see what zone you are in. Looks like you're in a Zone 7? Which makes me not the best person to suggest plants, so I hope someone else can jump in here and make suggestions.
Name: Connie
Edmonton, Alberta area (Canada (Zone 3a)
Cat Lover Butterflies Foliage Fan Enjoys or suffers cold winters Daylilies Plays in the sandbox
Dragonflies Ferns Region: Canadian Peonies Bookworm Clematis
Image
conniepr27
Apr 19, 2017 5:05 PM CST
My tablet froze on me after a long post, so I'll do this in chunks so I don't loose all my typing again!

One big thing to consider:. Do the trees and shrubs in your area lose all their leaves in the winter? If so, consider carefully what plants you pick. Try to include things that look good even in the winter. This is, after all, your front yard and the first space people see walking up to your front door. In the north, we try to include some small evergreen shrubs in our front yards, especially along the sidewalk leading to the door.
Name: Connie
Edmonton, Alberta area (Canada (Zone 3a)
Cat Lover Butterflies Foliage Fan Enjoys or suffers cold winters Daylilies Plays in the sandbox
Dragonflies Ferns Region: Canadian Peonies Bookworm Clematis
Image
conniepr27
Apr 19, 2017 5:08 PM CST
Be careful not to pick plants that will out grow the space you're putting them in. My mom put two rose bushes in, one on each side of the steps leading up to her back door. I read the tags before she planted them and mentioned that they would grow to 6x6 feet. She planted them in this 2x3 foot space anyways. Now she has to constantly cut them back all summer long!
Name: Connie
Edmonton, Alberta area (Canada (Zone 3a)
Cat Lover Butterflies Foliage Fan Enjoys or suffers cold winters Daylilies Plays in the sandbox
Dragonflies Ferns Region: Canadian Peonies Bookworm Clematis
Image
conniepr27
Apr 19, 2017 5:11 PM CST
Drive around your neighbourhood and look at what other people have done. Take notes on the ones you like the look of. Find out what the plants are and do something similar.
Name: Connie
Edmonton, Alberta area (Canada (Zone 3a)
Cat Lover Butterflies Foliage Fan Enjoys or suffers cold winters Daylilies Plays in the sandbox
Dragonflies Ferns Region: Canadian Peonies Bookworm Clematis
Image
conniepr27
Apr 19, 2017 5:18 PM CST
The bark mulch. I use it in all my beds. It keeps the cats out, and keeps the weeds to a minimum. And what weeds do make it up through the mulch are amazingly easy to pull.

I use the large chunk bark because it's easier to work with. I find the small stuff too hard to keep out of the way when I'm digging holes for adding new plants or digging them up for dividing or moving them.

I add a bit more bark mulch each year, which freshens it up, and I could never have afforded to fill all the beds with all that it needed in one year.

The bark mulch at the bottom is gradually decomposing, which is healthy for the soil and the plants. Your soil will be much better off for it in the end!
Name: Connie
Edmonton, Alberta area (Canada (Zone 3a)
Cat Lover Butterflies Foliage Fan Enjoys or suffers cold winters Daylilies Plays in the sandbox
Dragonflies Ferns Region: Canadian Peonies Bookworm Clematis
Image
conniepr27
Apr 19, 2017 5:26 PM CST
Yes, add some better soil, but you can do it when you're planting the new plants. Dig a hole twice as large as you think you need. Add some fertilizer that will encourage root growth (I add bone meal), then add some of the new good soil (I actually use potting soil), then put your new plant in, then fill the side areas with more of the good soil. Top with the old soil. Your beds there look like they could afford to be built up higher anyways. For two reasons:. 1) It's more aesthetically pleasing, and 2) you want the level of soil higher at the house so water runs off away from the house!
[Last edited by conniepr27 - Apr 19, 2017 5:28 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1419202 (13)
Name: Connie
Edmonton, Alberta area (Canada (Zone 3a)
Cat Lover Butterflies Foliage Fan Enjoys or suffers cold winters Daylilies Plays in the sandbox
Dragonflies Ferns Region: Canadian Peonies Bookworm Clematis
Image
conniepr27
Apr 19, 2017 5:35 PM CST
As far as what plants, it really depends on how much time your willing to spend on them. Those little evergreens may not be exciting, but they sure are easy! All the truly beautiful stuff will take some work maintaining.

If your willing to consider this a bit of a hobby, the sky's the limit. Does your front yard get the hot sun all day long? If so, that will definitely dictate what plants you should choose.
Name: Connie
Edmonton, Alberta area (Canada (Zone 3a)
Cat Lover Butterflies Foliage Fan Enjoys or suffers cold winters Daylilies Plays in the sandbox
Dragonflies Ferns Region: Canadian Peonies Bookworm Clematis
Image
conniepr27
Apr 19, 2017 6:31 PM CST
This web page may be overwhelming at first, but keep scrolling down. There's complicated plans and more simple plans and ideas further down: https://www.pinterest.com/expl...
Name: Connie
Edmonton, Alberta area (Canada (Zone 3a)
Cat Lover Butterflies Foliage Fan Enjoys or suffers cold winters Daylilies Plays in the sandbox
Dragonflies Ferns Region: Canadian Peonies Bookworm Clematis
Image
conniepr27
Apr 19, 2017 6:43 PM CST
And here's a collection of some more ideas. Less "flowery". https://www.pinterest.com/expl...
[Last edited by conniepr27 - Apr 26, 2017 5:30 AM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1419272 (16)

jaylousantiago
Apr 26, 2017 12:08 AM CST
For flowers, my personal preference for color are Peruvian lilies and Catmints are good choices. If you finally get your hands on a landscaper, try making a patio. It's gonna give your yard some character and it can make your flowers stand out. Got some of the ideas from the DIYProjects site (Can't post a link yet.)

Hope it helps bring out the creative juices!
Name: Alice
Camano Island, WA (Zone 8b)
Ali
Apr 30, 2017 7:51 AM CST
It looks like the shrubs you have there already are evergreen, so you could leave them or move them, don't get rid of them. Then you can add some other shrubs (that's low maintenance) or some perennials (higher maintenance) or some annuals (highest maintenance) or a combination. Unless you want to go all out with your planning, you won't get things in bloom all the time. A way to keep things interesting when there's nothing blooming is to use unusual colored leaves, variegated leaves, and different leaf sizes. You can go to a nursery and ask for help, too.

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