Wednesday, April 14, 2010

WANTED: Ideas for Re-Design

No use whining about the weather, 
I've got some gardening to do!   

This Grandmother's Garden has a small space that needs a new design. It's the long narrow strip of garden just below the patio that's surrounded by lawn and separates two levels of our landscape. The picture shows this area from last summer.  

The current residents of this space include two seedling blue spruce trees that my youngest daughter brought home from school from an Arbor Day Celebration five years ago. They have grown from a single stem or branch to nearly two feet.  Their potential growth is 100 feet, so they can't stay.  The area is also covered with a New Zealand groundcover with sweet little blue flowers in the Spring and beautiful heart shaped leaves throughout the summer.  This also needs to go as it is quite invasive.  The picture also shows annual pink and white vinca's that have died from the winter freeze. 

I've actually been thinking about this spot all winter long.  I'd like to further define the adjacent  patio area by planting this strip with some type of shrub or bushes that would lend an air of privacy to our very large and open landscape.  We love the open feeling but feel that a little more height in this spot would further enhance the area. Today I am going to spend some time with my gardening books to come up with a plan.  I would like a mixture of  evergreen shrubs and flowering deciduous bushes to give year long appeal. The ideal height will be three to four feet.  So, what to do?  I would love your ideas!


  1. I've got to put my oar in for ornamental grasses. Many look great for four seasons of the year (yes, even here in the hinterlands) and the movement provided by their flowering stems lends a dynamic element to any garden. I know some grasses are quite cheeky in your neck of the woods, but Calamagrostis x acutiflora 'Karl Foerster' is sterile, so no problems there. It does get about 6 feet, so taller than you wanted, but their are different cultivars (variegated for even more interest) that are a bit shorter: Avalanche and Overdam. I have never regretted incorporating ornamental grasses into my gardens, their lower maintenance gives me time to enjoy my yard more...from a chair sipping lemonade.

    As for shrubbery, I would pick at least one shrub that had scented flowers since it's next to your patio.

    I would love to be thinking about planting but the weather has other plans for us...snowing again!

    Christine in Alaska

  2. Hello,

    I found your blog on Blotanical and was intrigued once I read your profile about gardens & family because they go so well together. I am a mother of 5 with 4 still living at home. My 3 youngest are busy with our new vegetable garden and loving it. They just wish that the seeds grew more quickly.

    I like your idea of using plants that will provide year round interest in the landscape. Unfortunately, I am afraid that I cannot help you in terms of plant selection because my plant palette is somewhat different - I live in Arizona :-)

    I look forward to coming back to visit and seeing your new garden space come to life.

  3. Stretching the shrubs or bushes too far for privacy would disturb the impact of such a beautiful house and the space around it. A short stretch, that conceal the most critical area would retain much of the elegance..., I think.

    Putrajaya Malaysia

  4. Thank you all for your coments!

    Bangchik your thoughts are exactly what I've decided is right as well. Still zero-ing in on which plants.

  5. I should also mention that I love the idea of using something scented. Thanks!


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