Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Help! Any Ideas?

I've put off some landscaping in our front yard for too long. Mainly, because I have no idea what to do. We have a front garden area right in front of the house. Now remember, we have a split level. On the left is the two story side, and on the right is the main floor. My basic dilemma is that I can't decide what to do with the left side. It seems to me that because this side is taller ... it should have taller plants in front of it. But maybe not. I don't have a clue. So I couldn't think of a better place to solicit some help than from my family and friends.

We have lived in our home for a year and a half now. During the first few months, we stripped the yard from weeds, thorns, and 10 pine trees. They all covered the property. Then we had sod put down. Our yard has slowly looked more and more like a yard in NC, and less like a yard in Florida. And that is how we prefer it. We have the thin blade (zoysia) grass that looks and feels like carpet, instead of the common thick bermuda grass that is so popular here. The plants that I have chosen so far (the few that I have bought) also are less common around here.

In the pictures below, you will see on the right side there are some plants and a lot less weeds. On this side I have planted bush mums, azeleas, persian shade, hydrangeas, hostas, etc. Most of this was done this past May. The left side of this garden area however contains a layer of mondo grass (?), obnoxious weeds that grow everywhere with little white flowers, elephant ears (?), and a ton of poison (see photo 3 below). Now, I'm not sure why elephant ears were planted here on top of mondo grass. But generally, I have no clue what to do. Should I take it all out? And if so, what do I put in its place. I'm slighlty worried about putting anything too big there ... because of its proximity to the house and because of the bedroom window.

While, I'm on this topic. I also want to mention a few other things. For some reason, someone thought that planting "showy grass" was a good idea. This stuff grows up every where in our yard, does not bloom, is very tall, and comes from a bulb. The unfortunate thing here is that bulbs multiply ... so the yard is effectively filled with these bulbs. I can dig just about anyhwere and find handfuls of them. See the next two photos for examples. So on a regular basis I try to pull them out. My neighbor said he was able to get rid of his ... after pulling for some time.

And one last thing I want to mention for those of you who might be interested. This past spring I bought some encore azaleas. They are actually suppose to bloom 3 times a year - spring, summer and fall. I planted them in May. They started blooming a little in July and have continued ... but not many blooms. I'm not sure if it will improve with time. Maybe after they get used to it in my yard. But I've included a photo so you could see what they look like now. They are only about a foot tall right now, and should grow to about 3 feet.

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