Total newbie and can't decide on plants for my garden!

Discussion in 'Garden Design' started by Beeker, Mar 3, 2009.

  1. Beeker

    Beeker In Flower

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    I am looking at the different plants that will work in my zone, and don't know what to do. There are over 500, and I don't think that includes the winter bloomers. :eek: How do I begin planning? What can I do to decorate a BIG tree stump?
    I will take pictures as soon as the snow melts and post them. Can you all help me brainstorm and come up with some ideas? I have very few. :(
     
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  3. stratsmom

    stratsmom Flower Fanatic

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    Hi Beeker!!
    I love the name and the avatar!!!!

    Deanna
    :-D
     
  4. Netty

    Netty Chaotic Gardener Plants Contributor

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    I think I need to see those pictures first Beeker, before I can start brainstorming :)
    What kind of exposure will your new garden have?
     
  5. gardengater

    gardengater Young Pine

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    Welcome from coastal NC, Beeker. Yes, post some photos of your area and we can send some suggestions. Your local nurseries should sell plants that grow in your area and often give valuable advice. Enjoy the "stew"
     



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  6. toni

    toni Mistress of Garden Junque Staff Member Moderator Plants Contributor

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    Is your soil on the acidic side or alkaline? That will determine what you can/can not plant or how much amending of the soil you will have to do before planting. You won't be able to plant all the plants rated for your zone because of the different soil types in that zone. Your best bet is to haunt the local garden centers to see what plants grow best in your area.

    First pick a spot. Determine how much sun/shade it gets every day. Is it easy to drag the hose to or will it need plants that prefer dry soil?

    Second, don't worry about how many plants there are for your zone. Other than ones that won't grow in your soil type, there are always going to be some that you just don't like the looks of. Which ones do you really, really like? Start with those.

    The tree stump can be used as a plant stand, it could hold a shallow container for a birdbath or bird feeder or if it is a really wide one you could attach birdhouses on top. If it is really tall, you could attach birdhouses of different styles and colors all around the sides. If you use it as a plant stand, plant some tall perennials all around that will grow up and sort of hide the stump. You could also attach wire to the sides to create a trellis a pretty flowering vine can grow on.

    Pictures will be great to get even more ideas percolating thru our heads ;)
     
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  7. Creative_1

    Creative_1 New Seed

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    Hi!

    I would search out 3 good nurseries in your area. In our area, some nurseries have plant catalogues of what is commonly available. These are AWESOME -- and just what you need.

    You can also check on sites like http://www.mobot.org for further reviews of plants.

    When you're at the nurseries, note plants that look especially great to you. Later you can research them to see if they can be worked into your garden.

    Most importantly, make a plan.

    Best of luck!

    Heidi

    P.S. With a tree stump, you can either direct attention away from it by putting a really attractive plant in a different area OR direct attention to it and make it a part of the garden. If you have a country or rustic garden, that might not be too tough.

    You could also be playful -- smooth off the top and make it a high up stepping stone in a path. ;)
     
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  8. toni

    toni Mistress of Garden Junque Staff Member Moderator Plants Contributor

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    And be ready to abandon that plan when the mood strikes. ;)
    The thing that kept me from starting my garden for years was I couldn't decide what to plant and where to plant it. I finally just bought a Fig Tree and planted it a little off center in the backyard and my garden grew around that.

    If you do make and follow a plan, don't hesitate to move a plant or two or three if that plan just doesn't work out for you and the space available.
     
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  9. GrandaddyDayCare

    GrandaddyDayCare Seedling

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    Hi Beeker, there are several landscape programs available that will allow you to import pictures of your house or area onto your computer screen and then you can drag and drop different plants to see what they would look like. Hope this helps. GDC
     
  10. Beeker

    Beeker In Flower

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    Thank you all for your replies. I promise to get pictures as soon as the snow melts. I believe that should be in the next few days. I would draw a plan, but I am terrible at drawing.
    GranddaddyDayCare, what are the names of these programs? That would be very helpful.

    The area is mostly sunny. I don't know the alkalinity of the soil. How do I find out?

    There is a plan to plant a Blue Spruce tree in order to block the view of the house across the street, also near the walkway, a Weeping Cherry tree.
    Last year, we planted some left over Easter Lilies which are doing very well. I don't mind dragging the hose to water them.
    One problem I am running into is an old sign. It is a large brick structure that we placed a statue on, bordered by two tall cedar bushes. I am desperately trying to find a climbing, flowering vine that will grow well in both full sun and shade. My friend gave me Morning Glory seeds, but I am afraid to use them because I have seen the way they have taken over his garden. Any ideas?
     
  11. Jewell

    Jewell Incorrigible Gardener Plants Contributor

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    I am partial to clematis for stumps and trellis' and any place I can find a place for them. They come in a wide variety of colors. They like their feet cool and their heads in the sun. I believe in buying them in the spring/summer when they are in bloom, since I have had an experience of getting one that was not as described. If you have a friend who would ground layer a start for you that is always great. Don't know if it would work for you, but you might check them out.

    Have fun!
     
  12. GrandaddyDayCare

    GrandaddyDayCare Seedling

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    Beeker, Do a Google search for free landscape software and then download the one that works best for you. They even allow you to walk around your property to see it from different views. They have very deep plant encyclopedias and you can show the plants growth over a selected period of time, and some show you the shadows changing with the time of day. Caution It is very addicting once you start using it LOL.
     
  13. veebur

    veebur New Seed

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    Hey Beeker!

    Victoria from Virginia here. Don't worry about the morning glory seeds until summer. They do like to crawl and spread but they're annuals so they'll die back in winter.

    As for the stump, I love putting beautiful pots filled with trailing flowers and vines on them. Morning glory would work well and so would a trailing petunia like the Wave varieties.

    Once you upload pictures, we'll be able to help out. No sweat with this crew!
     
  14. GrandaddyDayCare

    GrandaddyDayCare Seedling

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    I just wanted to give you an idea of what can be done with these programs. This is one I did for my brother to show him a visual of what I was planning to do with this area.

    [​IMG]
    area we had to work with ( photo / image / picture from GrandaddyDayCare's Garden )





    [​IMG]
    computer generated ( photo / image / picture from GrandaddyDayCare's Garden )
     
  15. gardenmama

    gardenmama In Flower

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    I also live in New England way up north. Your local nursery will be full of flowers and plants that grown in your area.

    When looking at books some plants will say that they are perennial but in our location they are annuals.

    Certain flowers will need more care up here like dahlias and gladiolas. You can plant these bulbs and tubers in the spring but you need to dig them out of the ground, dry and store them in fall. The winters are too cold and the bulbs rot.

    Bloomers for winter...hmmmmm well you can plant holly bushes and they will have red berries on them. but remember you have to plant male and female to get berries.

    You local nursery should start getting plants in soon so start visiting and looking around and asking questions.

    Have fun!
     
  16. Penny

    Penny Young Pine

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    Hi there and Welcome.,

    Keep us posted as to what you do ok. :-D :stew1: :stew1:
     

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