Friday, May 27, 2011

#25 Landscaping Ideas

As you all know from a previous post meltdown, that I don't know the first thing about landscaping and lawn care. This is still worrying me, I would love to have a nice garden with really pretty flowers out front and not just bushes.  I joined the Home Depot garden club for some tips and have been getting advice from friends and coworkers over the past few weeks. I am trying to get some ideas of how to design our front yard and what type of materials I'll need. Also, I failed to mention that in the south we don't have dirt we have red clay and from what I'm told it's a ___ to get things to grow. So I'm reaching out to my e-neighbors for help and ideas on what to do with my front yard.

I really need your help guys, my coworkers feel I should just hire someone since I'm clueless, but I really want to learn how to do it myself.


  1. Perhaps some extra dirt from your neighborhood might be ok. If not, you will have to buy some. They have dirt with food and miracle gro mixed in. It's realy easy becasue the plant container will tell you all you need to know (how much light, how far apart to plant it, how much water, etc.)

    It's BIG fun! You can hire a landscaper but tell him to leave a flower bed for you to play in!

  2. Once the landscaping is done by the company, post a pic (or a few) I may get some ideas (no promises though). lol

    My old house was a big white house with burgundy shutters and door and a nice rocking chair front porch.

    Our front yard was very small and had one tree, a crepe myrtle. For our house I planted little red flowers (geraniums maybe?) in the flower bed, along the walk way and around the mailbox. I filled in the wholes with miracle grow!!! =)

    I also took to beautiful cement porch pots (tall, decorative) and planted them in there an put one on each side of the front door and on each side of the garage door. It looked nice.

    I'd have to see a picture of your house landscaping first.

    In the mean time, don't be afraid to visit Lowes, Home Depot, and a few local nurseries to see what you like and don't like. =) You can always as the landscapers for ideas as well.

    GL! And remember, you have YEARS to get it the way you want it.

  3. The biggest thing is to make sure you pick an appropriate spot for the plant - sun, shade, etc. If you have an idea of which flowers and plants you like, most plant nurseries have people on staff that will help you with the layout for free. The idea is that they earn your business and then you buy your plants from them. Even Home Depot and Lowes will do this but they don't always have experts working.

    Noey, I love crepe myrtle trees and I'm just a little too far north to have one. My Aunt has one by her patio (in Louisiana) and I've wanted one for years!!

  4. Local garden centers will usually design your yard for you. Sometimes there's no cost as long as you buy the plants from them. Other times there's a small cost and you can buy your plants anywhere. Check there and also ask around your neighborhood and PM for referrals. You'll get lots of flyers in your mailbox with offers too.

  5. I like them too. They are EVERYWHERE down here though. lol My kids want a weeping willow in the back. =) I want one of those or a Magnolia tree. =)

  6. Ah-ha! A question I can really help with! First, get your soil tested. I don't know where exactly you are located, but most state universities have a cooperative extension service that offers this, and classes and lots of advice. Its not just for farmers - they have increasingly been offering information for homeowners. Here is North Carolina's:

    Other advice: Lawn care - water only once or twice a week, and water deeply. This will create deep roots. Mow high - 3-4 inches. This shades out weeds.

    Fertilize your lawn only in the fall - its better for the environment.

    Pick plants that are native to your area, and/or are heat/drought tolerant. Definitely know whether your plants are good in full sun, shade etc.

    And, most of all, start small. It can be overwhelming to be a new gardener and there is lots to learn. Start with a small garden then expand as you learn about new plants.

    My favorite easy to care for flowers that I think will work in your area too are: May Night Salvia, Russian sage, black-eyed susans, coreopsis, and zinnias. Zinnas grow like weeds and make awesome cuttings.

    ok, I'll stop now. Enjoy your new gardens!

  7. If you like roses go for the Double Knock Out Roses...they are maintenance free and bloom from the time it gets warm till it gets chilly. All they require is to be trimmed up in the fall to keep their shape and maintain their size.

    Most nurseries will help you with the design and selecting the appropriate plants for your lot based on sun versus shade. The start small and expand is an awesome suggestion. Don't do more then you have time to weeding and such.

  8. Thanks neighbors for all the great ideas!