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Old 05-31-2010, 10:29 PM   #1
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Default Hey idig!! Need gardening tips!!

(and anyone else who knows a thing or two about plants and pretty-ing up the yard )

My grandparents have a "flower" garden in their front yard - but it's lacking flowers. My grandma has always been obsessed with lawn ornaments, so the garden has been filled with rocks and just packed with horrendous lawn ornaments.

Now that my grandma is starting to get into the later stages of Alzheimers, and my grandpa suffers from heart problems and diabetes, it won't be long before the house will need to be sold. So since grandma won't even notice anymore if the lawn ornaments are removed, I want to try and pretty up the yard so that when it does go on the market, it's a little more appealing. But I need plants that are low-maintence because I can't get over there every day to water, and I can't expect my grandparents to take care of them.

I live in the midwest, and they will be in full sun, in a fairly hot summer climate (until October, anyway, when the blizzards start up again...) and I don't want to spend a fortune. I know nothing about gardening... but I would like a little bit of variety in the colors.

So far, all I can think of are Hostas (for greenery) and day lillies or tiger lillies...

Suggestions would be much appreciated
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Old 05-31-2010, 10:48 PM   #2
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Default Re: Hey idig!! Need gardening tips!!

Well, if it is to sell the house go for clean, tidy, and punch by the entrance. Clean out the ____, put fresh mulch or straw, and either a bed or a pot of really colorful flowers at the door (annuals full of blooms).

Plant things in groupings (ie not a daylily in between each shrub along the front, but a cluster of them in an area), give beds clean curves for an updated look.

Send me a picture and I can be more helpful, maybe. All of the things you mentioned are super low maintenance, but will be invisible in the winter. Then again your roads are invisible in the winter

If it will be on the market in winter, anything with interesting bark or structure will draw attention. A landscape to sell should be like the interior of the house to sell - free of clutter, clean, with color, texture, or change in shape (like a pyramidal shrub accenting the front door or framing a nice view for instance) drawing the eye.
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Old 05-31-2010, 11:09 PM   #3
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Default Re: Hey idig!! Need gardening tips!!

Ok, I'm not going to completely re-landscape the front yard. The house is a raised ranch... I'll try to describe it as best I can...

Looking at the house from the street, the driveway/garage is on the right side. Along the left side of the driveway/right side of the yard is a retaining wall - the yard is higher than the driveway. You walk up a set of stairs from the driveway to yard-level, and directly in front of you at the top of the stairs is a rectangular shaped garden, separated from the yard by lovely railroad ties. At this point, you then basically turn a 180 and go up another set of steps to the front door of the house. The "porch" outside the front door isn't really much of a porch - it's a landing large enough for maybe 2 people to stand on.

Anyway, I'm just looking for ideas to actually fill this rectangular shaped garden with. I was probably going to do day lillies along the outside edge and maybe hostas along the back edge. As far as the design of the garden, I'm good at design - it's the plants themselves I suck at. I just know nothing about any of them.

If I had the money and the time, I'd probably take out the railroad ties and completely rearrange the shape and design of the garden, but I just can't. So I just want to fill it with something prettier than lawn ornaments.

---------- Post added at 09:09 PM ---------- Previous post was at 08:59 PM ----------

Ok, I found a picture of the house. You can't really see anything aside from a general idea of what the outside looks like. It's a teeny tiny little house... and the flower garden is located about where the snow is hitting the yard from the snowblower.

Sorry, it's the best I've got.

(And if it doesn't show up, it's in my photo album - it's the only picture I have in there right now.)

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Old 05-31-2010, 11:21 PM   #4
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Default Re: Hey idig!! Need gardening tips!!

The plants you mentioned are low maintenance. The hosta and the daylilies will be tidy clumps which is sort of like picking a neutral color wall, to appeal to the widest range of people. Sounds like you have the right idea with what you have in mind!!

The main thing is to get rid of the ornaments !! And put fresh mulch out, edge around the sidewalk and steps and the perimeter of the lawn. Those little details make a lot of difference!

---------- Post added at 09:21 PM ---------- Previous post was at 09:13 PM ----------

Sorry, I get a little carried away
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Old 05-31-2010, 11:25 PM   #5
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Default Re: Hey idig!! Need gardening tips!!

Ok, so I googled 'low maintenance perennials' and got the following suggestions...

Peony
Siberian Iris
Day Lily
Bulb Lily
Black Eyed Susan
Purple Coneflower
Cranesbill
Sedum

They all apparently do well in sunny locations, and thrive in zones 3-8. According to google, I'm in zone 5A... not really sure what that means, but it's between 3 and 8, so I'm guessing I'm good for these flowers.

Now I have to google each one individually to figure out what the heck they are...
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Old 05-31-2010, 11:47 PM   #6
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Default Re: Hey idig!! Need gardening tips!!

Peony have all kinds of problems here, fungal blights and drainage issues. They also only bloom in spring. So do iris. The rest are good. I am zone 8a, a different world from you. What the ____ is a bulb lily? Lots of lilies are from bulns.... Coneflowers are easy almost everywhere. Coneflowers, black eyed Susan, Daylily will bloom most of the summer. Ideally you would want a combo of spring and summer bloomers.

---------- Post added at 09:44 PM ---------- Previous post was at 09:41 PM ----------

Gallardia, coreopsis....

---------- Post added at 09:44 PM ---------- Previous post was at 09:44 PM ----------

shasta daisy

---------- Post added at 09:47 PM ---------- Previous post was at 09:44 PM ----------

ooo, oooo, ooo you can do lilacs where you are I bet!
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Old 06-01-2010, 12:00 AM   #7
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Default Re: Hey idig!! Need gardening tips!!

How soon do you think you are planning on listing it? Stuff like peonies can be years to form thick showy clumps. You can always do the low maintenance green pernenials and highlight colours with annuals.....they are always appealing.
Up here the clumps of perennials we are told to triangulate, always odd numbers, never even.
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Old 06-01-2010, 01:41 PM   #8
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Default Re: Hey idig!! Need gardening tips!!

lilacs are a good choice....
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