If you could see where we started six years ago, you might be a little surprised.
Oh! I do have a before picture, but I’ll show you later. First, let’s get right to those tips.
1. Begin with basic plantings. Plant a row of evergreen shrubs, flanked by taller evergreens at each end. Choose shrubs according to your time zone, sun/shade conditions, and soil conditions while considering size at full growth. After planting the basics, slowly expand from there.
2. Think long-term. Consider growth rate and size at full growth. Plant according to spacing recommendations on the plant tag. (Note: they will get larger than the tag says. Trust me on this, y’all.) Allow space behind bushes for maintenance, such as weed-pulling and trimming. I often buy in the dwarf category because very few plants seem to stay that way.
Notice the spacing of my baby shrubs below. They may look dwarfed the first two years. Get ready, in year three, they shoot up and out!
3. Alternate heights and shapes for interest. Use triangular-shaped shrubs (like Arborvitae at outer corners) to break the round bush monotony. An idea for tall shrubs, like Holly, is to trim lower branches as the bush grows, forming a tree shape. Think of a goblet, and that’s the shape to aim for. Wax Myrtle is beautiful this way, as well. I did this at the Georgia house with older large-leaf shrubs, and I loved the updated look.
Plant a non-evasive vine on a trellis for height, possibly behind “will-be-taller-someday” bushes to give more immediate height in that area. The trellis and vine can be removed when the designated shrub grows to full height.
4. Form a curved line along the front edge of shrub beds. Homes are basically squares, rectangles, and triangles all put together, and the corners and straight lines need softening with curves and rounded shapes.
5. Allow room for expansion of bush beds. Form the front edge of the bed 2-3 feet clear of shrubs’ full-growth measurement. You will be thankful later for extra ground area available for under-plantings and additions.
6. Think of your landscape as fluid. Don’t be afraid to move plants and add more plantings slowly over time. Think of it as outdoor decor. It’s a process – a process you’ll enjoy by gathering plantings you adore as you come across them. You’ll want to move plants, sometimes to make them happy, and sometimes to make you happy (like when you want to use the spot for something you couldn’t resist purchasing).
I thought I was horrible at DIY landscaping in the beginning because I sometimes needed to move a plant or two (or more) to achieve an optimum situation. One day while listening to a garden show on the radio, the expert gardener (Walter Reeves, Atlanta, GA) said this, and I quote: “If you have a plant that hasn’t been moved at least three times, it’s probably not in the right place.” High Five!!! Even the experts move plants. 🙂
Of course, Walter didn’t mean every plant, but he was encouraging his audience to feel OK about moving plants from place to place around the yard. The goal is to find the spot where it’s happy and healthy.
Now that you’ve hung in there with me, I’ll show you what this house looked like 6-1/2 years ago when we first moved in.
Yes, it was a challenge, but it was a fun one. (I’ve grown somewhat addicted to digging.) Do you see those two little spindly trees in the front yard, one on each side of the walkway? They died.
Yep! The first Spring, one tree didn’t leaf out and was already dead. By the end of summer, the other one was dead, as well. They were October Glory Maple trees – a beautiful golden yellow each Fall. (Well, would have been.)
Anyway, so it really WAS a completely clean slate! Here’s the “After”, after 6-1/2 years of researching, planning, drawing sketches, buying, digging, watering, fertilizing, and occasionally doing a rain dance.
My outer corner bushes didn’t grow into the shape I would like. The sunlight provided is different at each side of the house, which made my bush decision difficult for those spots. Do the best you can with the information you have, and you’ll still want to change something from time to time, as your plants grow and develop.
It’s a process, and there is no score sheet (unless you’re up for yard of the month). Have fun with it.
Maybe with these tips, you won’t make the same landscaping mistakes I’ve made. And, hopefully you won’t think twice about moving a bush (or two, or three.) 😉
Thank you for visiting! ~ Just a note to remind you to follow me through email, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Google+ or Hometalk. Also, I’d love it if you shared Curtain Queen with all your sweet friends. Thanks, y’all.
I’m joining several of these parties this week:
Sunday: SEASONAL SUNDAYS at The Tablescaper, LET’S GET SOCIAL SUNDAY at Memories by the Mile
Monday: METAMORPHOSIS MONDAY at Between Naps On The Porch, MAKE IT PRETTY MONDAY at The Dedicated House, MAKE THE SCENE MONDAY at Alderberry Hill, ON THE MENU MONDAY at Stone Gable
Tuesday: PROJECT INSPIRED LINKY PARTY at Cupcakes and Crinoline, CREATIVELY TUESDAY at The Rustic Pig, FROM DREAM TO REALITY at The DIY Dreamer, SHARE IT ONE MORE TIME at One More Time Events, THE GATHERING SPOT at Mamal Diane, UNDER $100 LINKY PARTY at Beyond The Picket Fence, EFFORTS AND ASSETS at Hickory Trail, THE SCOOP LINK PARTY at Crafty Texas Girls, TIME TO SHINE at A Diamond in the Stuff, INSPIRE ME TUESDAY at A Stroll Thru Life, TUESDAY TRIVIA at Memories By The Mile, TIME TO SPARKLE TUESDAY at The Gunny Sack
Wednesday: WOW US WEDNESDAY at Savvy Southern Style, WE DID IT! WEDNESDAY at Sew Much Ado, WEDNESDAY’S ADORNED FROM ABOVE BLOG HOP at Adorned From Above, BEST DIY PROJECTS at The 36th Avenue, WHATEVER GOES WEDNESDAY at Someday Crafts
Thursday: SHARING WITH THE DOMESTIC SUPERHERO at Domestic Superhero, THURSDAY BLOG HOP at The Busy Bee’s, TABLESCAPE THURSDAY at Between Naps On The Porch, OPEN HOUSE PARTY THURSDAYS at No Minimalist Here, TUTORIALS, TIPS & TIDBITS THURSDAY at Stone Gable, CREATE IT THURSDAY at Lamberts Lately.
Friday: TGIF LINK PARTY at A Peak Into My Paradise, ANYTHING BLUE FRIDAY at The Dedicated House, FRUGAL FRIDAY at The Shabby Nest, FABULOUSLY CREATIVE LINKY PARTY at Jennifer Rizzo, FIDLIN’ FRIDAYS at Fidlers Under One Roof, FEATHERED NEST FRIDAY at French Country Cottage, WHAT TO DO WEEKENDS at Crafts ala mode, WEEKEND POTLUCK at 4 Little Fergusons
Saturday: SHARE YOUR CREATIVITY at It’s Overflowing, PARTY JUNK LINK PARTY at Funky Junk, GET SCHOOLED SATURDAY at Too Much Time On My Hands, BLITZED ON PINTEREST LINK PARTY at On Sutton Place