Garden and yard design.

Discussion in 'Garden Design' started by CJay, Apr 17, 2017.

  1. CJay

    CJay In Flower

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    This isnt for me. Rather my parents. They recently purchased a new home in town and asked me for advise on what to do with the yard. Its rather small compaired to what I'm working with but I suggested an apple tree in the front yard and maybe replacing the bushes with some strawberries and raspberries and a small garden behind their screened in porch. These are the best pics I've come up with thus far.

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    Once I make it over there once theyre all moved in I'll take more pics.
     
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  3. toni

    toni Mistress of Garden Junque Staff Member Moderator Plants Contributor

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    First I would get a soil testing kit and see what, if anything, the soil is lacking or has too much of. If it's a new home you don't know what sorry excuse for soil the builder used to create that yard. If it's a new-to-them home then the soil is probably old and might need amendments.

    We can not grow Apple trees down here so I am not familiar with what it takes to maintain them but depending on what type they are you might want to see if they feel up to handling the work that could be involved.
    Raspberries tend to take off and come up everywhere, they might be more work than a few berries every spring is worth.

    Which direction is the house facing? What kind of tree is that in the front yard now? If they do decide to replace that tree I would suggest they put if off center in the yard, leaving their front door easy to view from the street. Many burglaries and break-ins occur at houses where the front door is obscured from view. And since they are asking what they should plant I take it they are not gardeners, yet.
    I would stick with plants native to your area, that gives you a lot of choices, when they are established in the yard the second year they will be pretty much maintenance free and ready really to enjoy. You can find Spring bulbs, Summer and Autumn perennials, that will keep the color coming from early in the year until the first frost.
     
  4. CJay

    CJay In Flower

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    They arent as into gardening as my grandmother is. But theyve grown small gardens in the past with some mild success.

    And I never really thought about the break in thing. I'll mention it to them. I guess I never really worried about that sort of thing.

    I did tell them to get the soil tested. And Im not sure what kind of tree it is. But you are probably right about the raspberries. With the business really starting to take off they might not have the time to keep up with them.

    Oh the house faces west. Well kind of north west.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2017
  5. marlingardener

    marlingardener Strong Ash

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    Cjay this is less about designing a garden, and more about assessing your parents' desire to have "greenery". Ask what their favorite color is (for flowers). Ask if they want to putter around in the garden, and if so, vegetables or flowers? If their time/physical ability doesn't allow a lot of gardening time, place a low maintenance tree in the front yard--one that has small leaves that don't have to be raked. Small rose bushes that don't have to be dead-headed or pruned (Knockouts come to mind, but there are others, too) would add color.
    And remind them that a garden grows--it isn't just a one-time planting. Gardens get added to and subtracted from. Who knows? They may grow into gardening!
     
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  6. Cayuga Morning

    Cayuga Morning Hardy Maple Plants Contributor

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    I like MJ's comments. I also agree with toni that that tree should go. A house never looks inviting if you can't see the front door. It's like a hoodie covering up its face.
     
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  7. CJay

    CJay In Flower

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    Thank you both of you.

    I spent a lot of time over there the other day looking over how the sun fell on the back yard. And only portions get good afternoon sun. I think I impressed on them what all will be involved.

    But they are set on another tree in the front yard. And I get it. Whatever the heck they have there now is tall and ugly. And a danger to the house in a heavy storm. Aesthetically its not nice to not see the front door. But financially it makes sense. Shade on the side of the house that gets the most afternoon sun will definitly help with cooling.
     
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  8. Cayuga Morning

    Cayuga Morning Hardy Maple Plants Contributor

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    What you say makes sense. Are they pleased with their new house? Excited about making it their own?
     
  9. carolyn

    carolyn Strong Ash

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    Cjay there is a book (probably several of them) for edible landscaping ( I have an old one). you can probably find one or two at the library with up to date varieties available and information as to how much room you need for the mature size of plant. Blueberries are much less work than raspberries. right now there is a new pest called the spotted wing drosophilla fly. about the size and look of a fruit fly but ruins fruit on the vine/bush/ tree just as it is ripening. raspberries are the worst to maintain for us right now. we have to spray once a week to get a crop of berries. you might want to also look into how the type of fruit you want to plant needs to be maintained. apples need a lot of pruning. are you planting for eating or shade? for eating you need to fertilize, spray, prune , thin the fruit, maybe spray every 10-14 days depending on the weather and the variety ... them pick it or pick it up off the ground. or look into the dwarf spray-less varieties. how much work do they want to do? native fruit? elderberries, pawpaws, persimmons, may apples, etc? just a few thoughts from a growers perspective. hope it all goes well.
     
  10. CJay

    CJay In Flower

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    Well mom wants me to teach her how to make wine. And ofcourse she wants to grow her own fruit to do it. But I think Ive convinced them to leave the shrubs along the front and side of the house and maybe pulling the rock up on the slope and going with some low mainteance flowers.

    As for how much time they will put into things? Dad is working crazy hours in the shop. So he will be lucky to be able to cut the grass. But mom will have much more time on her hands. So we will see.

    They both are set on the apple tree in the front yard. About the only solution I can see for polination for them is to plant a crab apple tree closeish to it and just prune it heavily after it flowers.

    As for their back yard. It looks like they're gonna go with a rather small garden this year. Their soil tests came back and look fantastic for maters and they will eat some maters let me tell you. So I think they're planning on putting in a few mater plants some corn and a few hot peppers. Im suggesting putting a long narrow garden in front of the shed to the west and a smaller garden on the south side of the shed for the maters and peppers.

    Dad wants to lay out landscaping felt so they dont have to weed as much. And then throw down straw atop it so the sun doesnt make the ground too hot.

    Anyway. This is the sloped part of the front yard that I was talking about. It gets shaded afternoon sun because of a maple on their neighbors property.

    [​IMG]
     
  11. Cayuga Morning

    Cayuga Morning Hardy Maple Plants Contributor

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    Sounds like some good plans CJ. Tell me, how deep is the roof overhang on that slope with the rocks? I agree with you, some vegetation would look better than the rocks there. Does that walkway lead to the front door? If so even more reason to have something to look at. Would they be adverse to a vine growing on the wrought iron? Like a clematis? Although I suppose that would look messy when it is dormant
     
  12. CJay

    CJay In Flower

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    I like the vine thing. Ill mention it to them.

    As to the overhang. I think its about as wode as the rock patch is. But they could easily add a down spout from the gutter if more water is needed.

    If it were me I would talk the neighbors into knocking down that maple. Heck I'd even pay to have it done if it were my place. The way its growing, one good storm could take out their bedroom.
     
  13. Cayuga Morning

    Cayuga Morning Hardy Maple Plants Contributor

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    Oh! Is that maple on the neighbor's property? I thought it was on theirs. Maples are very shallow rooted, hard to grow much beneath them.
     
  14. CJay

    CJay In Flower

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    It has apperantly been a dispute in the past with the previous owner. Something I dodnt know about earlier. It falls directly on the property line. Previous owner offered to pay to have it removed. Theydeclined. Other owners sold it to dad before dispute was resolved.

    With as shallow rooted as they are and give its growing right next to a difinitive slope it needs to go away.
     

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