I have been in my house almost a year now. This past year I took care of "essentials" that I hadn't planned on. However, I also did some plantings for the front yard landscape. The front foundation planting was there when I bought my house. It's definitely not my style, but I can live with it for awhile. Planting the front slope near the street was definitely a priority due to weeds and erosion and so I created a drought resistant garden. You can read the story about it and see photos here.
So...my backyard landscape design has been neglected and I decided that I would make a plan. This was both difficult and easy for a NJ landscape designer, if you can understand that. The easy part was that I know plants and I also know which I love and would want to have in my own garden. The hard part was choosing!
I created the following backyard landscape design:
- A planting design for an existing bed with a stone border on the left side of the back yard. There were five old trees mixed in which created about a half day of shade in this area. I am sure the soil will be dry and poor. It will need some work. I would like to dig down about a foot and add a soil mixture of 1/3 topsoil, 1/3 peat moss, and 1/3 cow manure.
- Designed a bluestone walk leading from the driveway to the back patio. this is a combination of regular and irregular shapes.
- Created a planting bed on the right side for balance.
- Added three ornamental trees throughout.
Here are the plants I chose (subject to change).
- Endless Summer Hydrangea (or other)- flowers on old and new wood and takes the shade
- Annabelle Hydrangea - white flowering Hydrangea that takes sun or shade.
- Butterfly Bush 'Adonis Blue' - deep blue flowers.
- Liriope - grass-like perennial that takes the shade. Blue flower spikes.
- Sedum - some of the low varieties. I love all the textures and colors that are available...so I'll look around.
- Lilac - Would like to try the new variety that blooms on and off all summer, Boomerang Lilac. However, I feel I need something taller where I placed it so may just opt for a more traditional one which would give the height.
- Viburnum 'Cardinal Candy'- tall with beautiful and abundant berries.
- Hosta - great for the shade and numerous varieties.
- Roses - one of the Carefree varieties - see my page on Easy To Grow Roses
- Thyme - very hardy, low ground cover which loves the sun.
- Coneflower - so many color of this perennial...how to choose?!
- Japanese Maple 'Bloodgood'- I've always loved the shape and the red foliage of this tree.
- Saucer Magnolia - an old fashion landscape tree with large, showy flowers.
- River Birch (might substitute for White Birch) - one of my favorites ornamental trees. It can stay narrow towards the bottom.
- Foster Holly - a narrower hybrid of American Holly.
Notice how this plant list contains hardly any evergreens. I want it to be more of a garden with flower color, fall color, berries and textures. The trees are needed for scale and interest. I will most likely phase it, depending on the cost. And of course, this backyard landscape design of mine will probably change!