Friday, April 9, 2010

Make Sure Your Pretty Spring Plants Are Also Pretty Winter Plants!

Today is a perfect Spring day and I just couldn't help but take some pictures of the pretty flowers that are starting to appear in our yard! This gave me a great idea to post a little about landscaping and plants. We always talk about the inside of your house, but the outside is important too! No one wants to venture inside a house that looks scary from the street!

So, I thought I would use our home as an example of this. When we were looking for a house, we stalked the internet until we had a list of homes that we wanted to see. After looking at our house online, the ONLY reason we decided to see it in person was because of how beautiful the yard was! I have shown you the inside pictures of our house before we moved in, so you know the yard must have been pretty spectacular. This is the front of our house. Now these pictures don't show the entire front because the flower bed on the left side of the house is a work in progress.
I thought the shadow of the tree looked really cool. It doesn't have all of its leaves yet so it makes a great shadow! Our grass is still in the process of turning green...
This is another view (yes that is a dog wandering around my flower bed). This brings me to the purpose of my post. When you are looking for plants for your yard, make sure to do several things:
1. Pick out several heights in order to layer your plants, highest in the back, shortest in the front. This creates a lot of interest and depth in your flower beds.

2. You are more than likely shopping in the peak blooming season, but make sure your background (largest) plants stay green year-long. A good example of this is the azaleas in the front of our house. They make beautiful blooms in Spring/Summer but keep green leaves in the winter so the front of the house doesn't look barren and boring. A plant like hydrangeas will give great color in the Summer, but come winter it is a little scary looking and should be an accent plant, not the backdrop for all of your other plants.

3. READ THE LABELS on all of the plants that you purchase (I have learned this from experience). If you have a shady flower bed to fill, don't fill it with plants that need full sun!!
These are some of my lovely azaleas and my dog, Riley. I didn't want the neighbors to think I was crazy just taking pictures of bushes, so he makes a great subject. That is his frisbee that has seen better days, and that he takes everywhere!
This is just a shameless way to get more pics of my sweet puppy on the blog!
This is a flower bed on the back of my house and a great example of using plants that stay green year long/can live in shade! I can't take credit for much of anything in my current yard, as that was all the work of the previous owners. They did a great job!!
My backyard is fully shaded, as I'm sure many of you can attest to, so learn to embrace your "wild" side and appreciate your ground cover. I love these little purple flowers that grow in my grass-less back yard.
This is me being a stalker and taking a pic of my neighbors' backyard. They don't ever use it, but it has such great wild flowers it almost looks like snow! This was the best pic I could get without climbing the fence/being arrested :) I love the way it almost makes me feel like I don't live in the city! Almost...
I am by no means a plant expert, in fact, I've learned alot by trial and error, but these are just a few things that I have learned and would like to pass on. Good luck with your planting this season!

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