View Full Version : Help me plan my landscaping...

05-19-2010, 11:40 PM
Hey all, first post here. Im at a loss and thought Id look for a forum to help me out!

Alright, so with being laid off Ive had a lot of time to work on the yard. My front yard used to slope down to the sidewalk. It was a pain to mow, and the grass wasn't the best. To remedy this, I found 750 free bricks on Craigslist, and picked them up to make a 2-tier retaining wall/garden. The wall I made using a 'Flemish Bond', which means every-other brick, you lay long-ways, and then back-fill every layer with dirt. It's VERY sturdy, and a good solution for a low wall without needing mortar.


(the stone circle planting was already at the house, I dont care for it much, but it's staying for now. Also, the bad looking grass is sod I replanted after leveling and lowering the ground underneath of it.)

Excuse the grass, I was away all last week, and it rained A LOT and I haven't had a chance to mow.
The bottom layer of the tier is planted with Snapdragon's, Marigold's, Wave Petunia's, and Daisy's. Now, the top layer is where I need help as Im not quite sure what would look best. At the top left, you'll see I already have a Rhododendron, which will look nice once it blooms/grows a bit.

At the back of my house, I have a 'temporary' planting bed that I made from bushes I had around the house when I bought it, and some others I picked up for cheap and/or free. I have NO clue what kind these are, so Ill do my best to describe:

I have 5 of these. Looks like ornamental grass, but was given to me free by a neighbor and was told it will have a single flower bloom from each planting in mid-late summer. Currently about 6-8" tall:


I have 3 of these, 2 big, 1 small: Lots of leaves, spreads out a bit, small pink flower blooms. About 12-18" tall


I have 4 of these bushes. NO clue what this is, but it actually looks like a marijuana leaf to me, but doesn't smell like it. These bushes are already 18-24" tall.


Now, I would like to fill in that top layer of my tier, but not sure if I should go with bushes, more flowers, ground cover, etc. I do NOT want to block the view from the sidewalk of the house. Against the house I have Persia (flower), Marigold's, burning bushes (need to be trimmed), Cotton Easter, and a pink flowering Azalea. What do you guys think would look good? Im semi at a loss here, but not sure...Id obviously like to use what I already have since it'd be free, but do you have any other suggestions? If so, how should I arrange them in the bed?


05-21-2010, 01:44 PM
The last picture looks like a weed to me. It looks a little like a lily, but isn't. IT does however look very much like a weed that grows around here.

As for your garden, I question planting daisies in front as they can get quite tall. You did a good job on the brick so you should want to show it off. The other plants, petunias, will need to be replaced every year, which costs money.

What I would do is a border of daylilies, you'd have to buy them, but they're fairly inexpensive, they're very hardy, perennial, and they'll grow and multiply for years, eventually allowing you to dig/divide and sell or expand with the extras. They're also short enough not to block anything from your house (some of the option options you mentioned would be taller).


Above is a picture of my back garden from years ago, notice the row of short yellow flowers in front. Those are daylilies, I planted 1 per foot. 2005


Here is 2006, 1 year later, look at how well they have filled in already.


Here is 2007. Very very full.

You should see them now, lush and green (though, not blooming yet this year).

This daylily is happy returns, fairly inexpensive, not as cheap as stella de oro though, which is the cheapest. Stella gets a little taller and has more orangish-yellow blooms.

On ebay right now you an get 25 happy returns for $35, or 50 for $65. You'll want 1 per foot, or to make it lusher sooner, 1 for 8 inches, 10 inches, pick it. You can plant them as close as 6 inches.

You can buy 100 Stella De Oro's on ebay for $40, very cheap. 40 cents per plant.

If you've never grown daylilies before they'll often come to you in a bareroot clump, you will need to tease apart the clump to remove each individual fan (what plants are called) you will be able to tell a fan because it is the spot where a fan of foliage comes up. Sometimes fans are doubled (two stuck together) that is fine, you can plant them like that.

They're carefree, they bloom most of the summer, eventually you can see extras to make back your cost, all told an excellent plant for a border.

The only downside, especially with Stella, is that it is the most commonly planted perennial flower in the United States, so you win no points for originality. But it is popular for a reason.

With the yellow flowers consider planting red flowers or especially plants with red foliage in the lower tier, the contrast will look nice. You could do coral bells (heuchera) or if you wanted more annual flowers like your petunias, go with a red leaved begonia.

05-28-2010, 05:26 PM
Thanks for the post, Chris!


07-23-2010, 04:24 AM
Try flowers with red and orange, it will bring life to your garden.

11-15-2010, 06:02 AM
where are you located? what kind of weather is the norm where you are?