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Old 10-06-2009, 03:09 PM   #1
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Need some ideas for front beds...


We just had some awesome concrete edging installed and now need to update the landscaping. All of this was here when we moved in a year ago. Most of it I have no idea what it is or how to properly care for!

I live in Western Michigan, zone 5 and the house faces west. I would like to keep it pretty low maintenance, pruning or clipping once a month or so. It seems to be pretty compact soil with some sandy clay underneath (does that make sense?!)



Here's the view from the street:


And the other side from the front:




We have some corn lilies running along the edge and the rest I have no idea what it is!

.












Any and all thoughts are appreciated!
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Old 10-06-2009, 07:19 PM   #2
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Actually, I like your yard like it is. You have a good framework of shrubs with room to personalize as you wish. I like the curved beds so much better than just a squared-off three foot wide whatever. The edging is nice; it will make mowing a great deal easier.

I would suggest riding around and looking at beds in your area and note what you like. Most folks consider it a compliment if you get out and ask what the plants are, what they like about them, etc. I can't make any good suggestions from Georgia for what will do good for you there. Check with some good local nurseries- not the plant department of the big box stores. Some may offer a discount on design services if you buy the plants from them.

Good luck!

PS- Nice lawn also.
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Old 10-07-2009, 04:44 AM   #3
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I would agree with downunder, you don't need much of anything. I would wait till spring and maybe pick out some perennials to fill in where needed.I would kill for that grass!
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Old 10-07-2009, 06:35 AM   #4
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who was the builder?
That sure looks to me like a Larry Rogers designed/built home.

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Old 10-07-2009, 12:31 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DangerMouse View Post
who was the builder?
That sure looks to me like a Larry Rogers designed/built home.

DM
I have no idea! I'm in Kentwood, near 32nd and Schaffer.

Thanks for the comments on the lawn guys....but I can't take credit. We have a lawn company that does the fertilizer for us! We just mow, water and repeat!

Last edited by kristan; 10-08-2009 at 01:02 AM.
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Old 11-05-2009, 08:53 AM   #6
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Looks great, but do agree it could use some adjustment. I'd suggest transplanting the low lying green bush (there are two identical) that is closest to the front & switching places with it & the little red one below the front window. This would balance the colors a bit. A nice huge stone, ornamental wheelbarrow, wishing well or garden statue would look cute in the front where there's an empty space. You could also transplant the two kinds of perenials (one blade type, the other in clumps) and alternate them and/or use some of them to fill in spaces along the sides. It's kind of hard to tell exactly what they are by the pics. Looks like irises & lillies. In the spring, some annuals of your choice would be nice, too. As another option, you could cover the entire garden with bark mulch or white gravel. Good luck & God Bless!
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Old 11-06-2009, 10:05 AM   #7
 
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landscaping


Kristan in Michigan. I live in Florida and do a lot of landscaping in my yard. However, you can probably go to Michigan dept. of agriculture to find out what is native to your state.(also Home Depot is a good start) The corn lilies look like a good front border-add more to continue around the left. I make a second row of the same or different variety in a ziz zag pattern for fill. I am able to cut mine back and they start all over again with consistent size. You could also consider african iris; or similar and assorted mums as they will come back annually( if you cut them back before they freeze the won't be leggy).I think one tall plant or small tree in front of the window on the left would look better than the 2 you have now, Your house is beautiful. Leta in FLA
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Old 11-06-2009, 12:56 PM   #8
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Hi Kristan. I don't see anything wrong with your landscaping either, except for the bush to left of the porch that leans. But even that's not so bad.

If you are going to change things, I would take out the bush at the left corner of the house and the leaning bush. In their place I would put Arborvitae. A variety that grows tall, but not wide. Probably no wider than 3'. You don't want them to take over the space or hide the house.

On the left corner of the house where the edging is rounded, I would put a Japanese Maple inside the rounded area, but toward the out edge to allow it space to grow without touching the house.

In front of the window, I would put 2 or 3 Burning Bush. Again, plant them keeping their full-grown size in mind.

It looks like the plants in front of the steps and leading out toward the driveway are Irises(?). I would remove those and replace them with Hosta's. I would divide the Sedum you have on the side of the house (the red plant in the last picture.) into enough plants to alternate with the Hosta's. The Sedum will divide VERY easily and they grow fairly fast, so they would look pretty full the year after you plant them.

With the Irises you dig up from in front of the house, I would plant some of them where the Sedum was removed and in other spots in the yard.

The red Sedum and the Burning Bush would look stunning in front of your house in the fall.

I live a little bit north of Plainfield Avenue, in the Rockford school district. If you need some Hostas next spring, PM me and I can divide some of mine to give you.

Last edited by gma2rjc; 11-06-2009 at 12:58 PM.
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Old 11-07-2009, 06:21 AM   #9
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Hi! The other day, after I got off computer, I thought a Japanese maple would look nice in the empty space, too. Funny how someone picks up a thought cosmically. Another idea might be to put a rose bush there. The clumps directly in front of the door & along the sidewalk are lillies, the other blade types are irises; both of which can be split and transplanted in the fall or the spring. In my experience, hostas perform best in partial shade, definitely not facing West. The feathery white clumps on either side of the driveway are called pampas grass (Cortaderia). Have fun!
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Old 11-07-2009, 09:35 AM   #10
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Your right Lali, Hostas do much better in the shade. Good catch!
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Old 11-08-2009, 05:22 AM   #11
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Thanx gma2rjc! You made my day!
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Old 11-08-2009, 11:24 AM   #12
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Thanks for all the great ideas!
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Old 11-09-2009, 04:11 AM   #13
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Your welcome, Kristan. When you're finished (which will probably be sometime next spring), upload a pic so we can see what you did. God Bless!
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