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Farm/ Garden/Flowers/ Shrubs/ Trees If it grows in the soil, this is the forum.

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Old 01-22-2016, 11:28 PM
ExHic ExHic is offline
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Default Landscaping ideas for close to house - New Build

I bought house (new build) September of last year just south of KCMO on the Kansas side and am looking to do some landscaping.

The front of the house (north facing) and back (south facing) is pretty well set on what I am going to do. However, I am of the mind to not put grass all the way up to the foundation since it is a royal pain to cut and trim.

I am looking for ideas for the east and west sides of the house with a combination of bushes, ornamental grasses, and flowering plants. Got some great ideas at the Johnson County (KS) Home & Garden Show tonight and trying to finalize what to plant and how wide to make the beds. I would like to use plants that will suck up water and are low maintenance.

Would like to start as soon as possible in the spring before some of the sod that was laid just before closing takes root.
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Old 01-23-2016, 08:21 AM
doc doc is offline
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Something like upright yews planted about 4-5 ft (give them room to grow) from the E & W walls will help shade them in the summer and protect them from the winds in winter (spreading yews under windows). Maybe something like purple plum or flowering crab at the corners for color. Then shorter flowers in front of that, including fall-blooming mums for a longer season of color. Perennials will require less continuing work and expense than annuals. Probably best to use some garden border like bricks or that roll-out plastic stuff to prevent the lawn from creeping into the beds. Straight border is easier to mow along; curved borders are less boring. Some decorative, small boulders may also add an accent or serve to hold exchangeable containered plants.

Do a little at a time and add to it as the mood strikes you. Good luck!
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Old 01-23-2016, 01:05 PM
CatherineID CatherineID is offline
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I'm a fan of concrete - seriously. I like a big 4 or 5 foot wide barrier of concrete surrounding the house. It keeps many critters at bay (or at least, noticeable), prevents splashing of dirt and mud on the surface of the house, and makes painting or window washing easy. The pad of concrete also serves as a stable surface should you ever need to use a ladder. It makes for an instant large porch and play area for your children. It also gives you a clear sight-line perimeter around your house for security purposes. If someone tries to hide between your bushes and your house, they can be easily seen.

The downside of all that concrete is if you have to do any maintenance on the buried utilities, you end up using a sledgehammer or jackhammer. For that reason, in some areas - where the water lines come in or underground power lines are located, we prefer to lay down gravel or mortar-less brick. If you are concerned about termites, you can put a gravel perimeter around the house at the foundation - approximately 6 to 8 inches wide, then put the 4-foot concrete pad.

As for plants, I like a border of lower plants close to the concrete pad, facing the house. Consider using that area for seasonal plantings you can enjoy from your windows, including edibles such as lettuces, cabbages and herbs. The plants then rise in height from a few inches to 3 or 4 feet. Farther from the house you can put larger bushes and trees.

Plan for all seasons. You want the landscaping to look decent in winter as well as spring. I'm also a fan of lots of native plants. For instance, I love fir trees but when we move to the Phoenix area, we probably won't plant one.

Consider clean-up and maintenance. You don't want to plant a water seeking tree close to your water lines. You don't want to plant a large tree with big leaves where they'll blow into - and clog - your roof gutters. You also don't want those leaves falling all over your ground cover where they will be a huge pain to pick up. You don't want fragile trees (like silver maple or willow) so close to the house where a heavy branch will suddenly fall in a storm and damage your house.

If you're in the suburbs and will be doing perimeter "good neighbor" fencing, consider putting in double gates - an easy, low cost addition with lots of benefits.

Plan ahead for possible future yard uses such as a fire pit, pet area, produce garden or swimming pool / hot tub. Your local Extension office is generally a good resource for information on plant selection and maintenance. Consider doing a soil test through them before finalizing the purchase of your expensive plants.

Last edited by CatherineID; 01-23-2016 at 01:11 PM.
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Old 01-23-2016, 08:45 PM
ExHic ExHic is offline
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Hit the home show again today. There was a few that I passed up last night that I wanted to check out. One was a supplier of stone for landscaping.

Seriously considering using stone for edging and mulch. Would be easier (and nicer looking) to maintain and I could make "paths" for the utilities where there will be no plantings.

As for termites, I am getting a service for that and other pests like spiders.
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Old 01-23-2016, 11:21 PM
CatherineID CatherineID is offline
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That's why the few inches of gravel. It lets the perimeter spray soak into the ground around the foundation. Once you get the termite service they'll require you to keep the planting near the house trimmed and clear of the wall / foundation. Having the concrete perimeter just makes your life - and the exterminator's - much easier.
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