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Flowerbed-No design talent

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Flowerbed-No design talent

Post  scmelik on 4/27/2011, 6:44 pm

I am hoping all of your more experienced, design savvy, ultra intelligent persons out there. This picture below is a flowerbed in the front of my house that desperately needs something done with it, it has set like this for two years now and I can't take it anymore it looks horrible. The only problem I am not a designer and I couldn't make this look nice if I tried.

Now the particulars of this because its not exactly ideal. The bed faces the north, to the east the rising sun is blocked by my neighbors house and a couple of great big trees, to the west the setting sun is blocked by my house. I want to put some color in there with flowers and ornamental grasses but I don't knwo what to plant or how to position plants. I do not want it clogged with plants to where its to busy looking but I don't want it barren either.

What kind of idea do you all have?

Thanks


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Re: Flowerbed-No design talent

Post  NaturesApprentice on 4/27/2011, 7:05 pm

@scmelik wrote:I am hoping all of your more experienced, design savvy, ultra intelligent persons out there. This picture below is a flowerbed in the front of my house that desperately needs something done with it, it has set like this for two years now and I can't take it anymore it looks horrible. The only problem I am not a designer and I couldn't make this look nice if I tried.

Now the particulars of this because its not exactly ideal. The bed faces the north, to the east the rising sun is blocked by my neighbors house and a couple of great big trees, to the west the setting sun is blocked by my house. I want to put some color in there with flowers and ornamental grasses but I don't knwo what to plant or how to position plants. I do not want it clogged with plants to where its to busy looking but I don't want it barren either.

What kind of idea do you all have?

Thanks


I vote for something indigenous. And, with the downspout right there, you might think about using part of that area for a cistern to collect rainwater. It would be pretty easy to set something up to collect rainwater by the steps, and then tap that to water whatever you plant right next to it.

What sort of pretty things grow wild around your house? Look closely, there is beauty everywhere.

-NA
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Re: Flowerbed-No design talent

Post  Old Hippie on 4/27/2011, 7:47 pm

Take a look in the forests near where you live and look at some of the plants there. I am a huge fan of ferns, bunch berry, Oregon grape and Solomon seal which all grow in abundance where I live. You might want to be careful about digging stuff up out in the forest. In many places that is prohibited. But there are reputable suppliers of wild flowers who grow them for sale rather than digging things up out in the wild. Hostas, astilbe, coleus are others that would be lovely there as well.

And ditto on the rainbarrel.

Best of luck.

Gwynn
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Re: Flowerbed-No design talent

Post  nancy on 4/27/2011, 7:57 pm

I also agree with the rain barrel - you could paint it to match the house or paint any flowers you want on it. I have a front garden under the same circumstances. On one side of the front walk is a bleeding heart, jacks-in-the-pulpit, columbine, trillium, and a yellow ladys slipper, all growing under a huge yew. The other half contains another bleeding heart, a lenten rose (I hope to add 2 more), and some hostas. I intend to add some foxglove, too. And some coleus, too. I love that you have a blank slate with which to work. Keep us posted as to what you add. Good luck!
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Re: Flowerbed-No design talent

Post  walshevak on 4/27/2011, 7:58 pm

You might also check out this shade garden

http://michiganbulb.com/product.asp_Q_pn_E_66566_A_Colorful+Shade+Garden_E_

I have astilbe, bleeding heart and helebores in my deep shade garden and plan to add ferns and hostas. One thing to avoid is lily of the valley. It can become invasive. Azelea bushes can take a considerable amount of shade.

Impatiens and pansies are good annuals for shade.


Kay


Last edited by walshevak on 4/27/2011, 8:01 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : to add annuals)

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Re: Flowerbed-No design talent

Post  Old Hippie on 4/27/2011, 8:24 pm

I totally love lily of the valley, but only plant it in containers because it is so invasive. Fuchsias and begonias in a hanging basket by the railing would look good too.

Gwynn
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Re: Flowerbed-No design talent

Post  scmelik on 4/28/2011, 6:09 am

Thanks all keep them coming.

I have thought about the rain barrel but with it being so close to the house I don't know if I really want the mosquito breeding ground right there.

Nancy I will definitely take a look at some of those plants you listed as I have no idea what they are.

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Re: Flowerbed-No design talent

Post  NaturesApprentice on 4/28/2011, 11:18 am

@scmelik wrote:I have thought about the rain barrel but with it being so close to the house I don't know if I really want the mosquito breeding ground right there.

If it's properly sealed and covered, that shouldn't be an issue.

You could also create a small greenhouse in that space. That would take the little bit of sun that it does get and turn that light energy into heat energy.

Depending on how ambitious you were (and your end goal), too, you could do a combination: Have the bottom half be a rainwater cistern with some fish in it, then directly on top of that you could have your flower beds inside a grow house (I live on the west coast, so I don't know what they're called, but it's like a mini green house with a hinged top that you can prop open in the warmer months). Then...use the water from the cistern to water the plants, and you've got built in fertilizer with the fish poo. Fun!!

That would also raise the flowers to be closer to those windows and the porch.

Just thinking out loud.
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Re: Flowerbed-No design talent

Post  pelujilla on 4/28/2011, 9:14 pm

Rain barrel, surrounded by African Irises, or Society Garlic. Adding some vincas or coleous for color...don't forget ferns love shade as well.
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Re: Flowerbed-No design talent

Post  quiltbea on 4/28/2011, 10:38 pm

How about Hostas? They come in a variety of leaf colors and variations and the flower spikes are lovely in white and lavender shades. They are easy and can take shade and some sunshine.

Here's some of mine on Hosta Hill, a hilly section beside our deck, that gets some sun in the afternoon but is mostly in shade.

As you can see, some of the spikes are large and beautiful.

Another good plant for this type of shading is astilbe, which comes in many lovely colors.

Also Bleeding heart which comes in whites and pinks and I understand there is a new one in reds.
This plant also comes in a dwarf variety which blooms all season long, not just in the spring.

The dwarf has a very ferny leaf.
So your little corner has amazing possibilities. I hope you find something you like soon.
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