How and When to Landscape??

Updated on March 19, 2011
M.. asks from Anchorage, AK
8 answers

Hi Moms, we moved into our home in September of last year. The landscaping out front was nonexistent. Since it was so late in the year we decided to hold off on doing anything about it. Well, spring is right around the corner and I have no idea when to plant or what to plant lol. We live on a very nice street, and all the houses are nicely landscaped and have lots of curb appeal. And then there is our drab front yard. I was thinking about some nice bushes and some pretty flowers. Can someone guide me because I am clueless? What type of bushes or flowers should I buy? And when should I plant them? Our front yard doesn't get a ton of sunlight because we have some big trees out there. Any advice from some "green thumbed" ladies would be greatly appreciated!

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answers from St. Louis on

I would take pictures of the plants that are next door that you like and copy them. Obviously they are growing well in your climate. Take the pictures to a nursery and they will probably be able to tell you when to plant and what they are. You could also just go tell them what you want and listen to their recommendations. When I went I asked for: Low maintenance, something that comes back every year, blooms all summer, and need little water. They explained how to plant, how far apart, when to water, where to plant and what other types of plants go along with what we chose.

I think trying to do landscaping is like trying to cut my own hair. LOL It never looks good.

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answers from New York on

If your neighbors have beautiful yards... ask them what they have planted!

I love to garden and my all-time favorite catalogue is White Flower Farm. I like them b/c their products are wonderful (pricey), but they also include a guide as to which plants would work in various climates, sun exposure and water levels. This info is all in the catalogue! Call and ask to be put on their mailing list for the info if nothing else. Very often I will see a 'scape that I like in their mailers and find the plants at my local nursery for much less.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

Go to a local nursery and ask if someone can come out and give you recommendations if you are going to buy from them. I did that and in a half hour the guy sketched out a great plan for what to use. I approved it and he delivered it all. Totally easy and he didn't charge us for coming out. He would have even installed if I needed him too.

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answers from Cincinnati on

You can get some very good advice from a local nursery. They can tell you what grows in shade and sun. They can sketch up a design for you to purchase as you can afford. It is really helpful and no obligation here in town. I suppose your town would be the same. Good luck.........

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answers from Springfield on

Dwarf Boxwood (bush)
Barberry -- nature's barbwire or they have thornes so be careful if you have kids or pets (bush)
Daylillies --tons of color choices
Hosta -- again alot of choices in leaf color and shape
Spirea (Bush)
Make sure to go to your local nursery as most of them will give you a warranty within the next year with your receipt. They will also only sell product that is healthy.
All of these are low maintance, imo, so should do really well. Just remember to put a lot of mulch down. All of these plants will increase in size so after awhile you wont have to do a lot of mulching.
Best Wishes!

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answers from Cleveland on

It depends on what kind of situation you have. Each side of your house is its own microclimate, with different sunlight, winds, soil drainage, etc. So your first step is to make a quick assessment.

Then, I like to take photos of the place I'm going to landscape. For some reason, it is easier to plan when looking at a photo. I print out several copies on my computer, then I start drawing on them. Put an ornamental shrub there, put a retaining wall over there... Just start playing and see what you like.

Then, get online and start doing a little research about what plants will grow well in your microclimate. It sounds like a lot of work, but if you try to put in plants that are not suited for your microclimate, you will have less healthy plants, or plants that won't survive at all and will need to be replaced. If you are careful about your choices, you'll have plants that grow well with very little work on your part.

Really, if you do a little more work now, you'll have less work to do later. This website has step-by-step instructions on how to do plan and start a flower garden:

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answers from Louisville on

Since you have lots of shade, impatiens would be a good choice of annual flowers for you to use to fill in until your other plants/shrubs, etc get more established. They love water when it gets hot, but they deadhead themselves and come in lots of colors! (my trees have died - too hot/sunny for me to have those flowers where I used to plant them :( }

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answers from Salt Lake City on

if spring has sprung first get some fertilizer and seed on you lawn, then go the nearest nursery and walk around for a little while get a person to help you they are usually really great at actual nurseries NOT home depot.

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