year on "The Southern Gardener"
we'll be landscaping two very different homes. The first
is a new house, on a steep hill, on a lake, in Georgia.
The second, we'll visit in several weeks, is an older home
in the historic district of Asheville N.C. Both present
very interesting, yet
challenging concerns. We'll come back to these homes throughout
season and see how the work is progressing. Although both
houses may be different than our viewers, some of the landscaping
ideas should apply to your yard or garden. Today we're visiting
the Georgia lake house, we'll look at some of the problems
this homeowner faces, then develop a plan that addresses
Rain and the management of rainfall is a problem with the
Georgia house, built on a side of a steep hill. One of the
most powerful forces on earth is the raindrop, not individually
but collectively they can be a
problem. Rain from the down spouts, from the road, the hill,
driveway, all channel to one area. We need a simple, inexpensive
solution to catch the water and move it down the property.
The homeowner has tried a French drain and placed mulch
in the path. Both are not as effective as they could be.
The French Drain is a four inch corrugated pipe. The corrugation
is good, it slows the movement of water but it should have
holes in the bottom of the pipe to allow water to percolate
through the soil as it moves down the property. At the end
of the pipe the force of the water is eroding the soil and
will eventually damage things like tree roots.
south we'll often see severe cuts made in the soil. This
severe drainage problems, water will cascade over this cut
and erode the soil. This will cause problems like erosion,
silt, ruts, etc. We must
come up with a better way to solve this drainage problem.
Some people handle drainage problems with large rocks called
RIP RAP. This does slow down water and solves drainage problems
but it is unsightly. Possibly vines, mulch, even a deck
could be used to cover this unsightly mess.
property is located next to "green space," or
This corridor is approximately 30 feet wide. It's lower
than the house,
thus water moves in this space, we've got to be careful
about restricting water flow. In this case people have used
it a a dump for
grass clippings, branches, underbrush, even pine straw bales,
etc. It can become unsightly. We want to clean this area
up, make it a low maintenance area, yet make it attractive
and allow circulation so people
can get to the lake.
with Miller Landscape Design Group in Chatsworth Georgia
has created a landscaping plan that addresses the problems
and concerns with this property. First he wanted to make
the home more visually attractive as it is approached from
the road. A Deodore Cedar is recommended at the corner of
the house to screen one side of the house. He's placed two
River Birch Trees on either side of the driveway to frame
the front door. He's used a lot of native plants in the
front planting area and along the foundation of the house
to soften look in the front. He's developed a plan to move
people from the front yard back to the lake area. Ken has
recommended an extension of the existing deck allowing people
to move easier to the lake, yet not blocking the view of
the lake in any way. He has planned for a space for a gazebo
to be placed, allowing a direct view of the lake. As in
the front yard, Ken has placed under story trees under the
native upper story trees. Recommended here again is River
Birch and an Eastern Redbud. The plants recommended for
the "green space" are native plants. The area
won't look like it's been landscaped, yet will enhance the
area. Ken has suggested evergreenplants that will hide the
foundation from the view of the house from the lake.
We review some of the plants suggested in the landscaping
plan developed by Ken Miller: The first is the Deodar Cedar,
or Cedrus Deodara a native of the Himalayas. It is fast
growing, can reach 80 feet tall, loves full sun and well
drained soil and can tolerate any zone in the south. It
is fine textured, great for screening and very stately.
You can find these trees bluish green or yellowish green,
choose depending on your surroundings and taste.
We're also using a shrub called Eleagnus. The particular
is Ebbingil which is a little denser. It's sprawling, has
an irregular habit, fast growing and is an excellent screen
to hide unattractive parts of a house. It loves about any
condition, tolerates full sun, can take a little shade,
likes dry conditions but can tolerate a little bit of wet
feet. It has berries, thus attracts birds and has two different
colors on its' leaves. The front is glossy, the back a speckled
silver. It will grow 10-12 feet tall.
River Birch has been selected for this home. It is fast
growing, can grow 50-90 feet tall, is native to our area,
thus thrives in the south. It tolerates very poor soil and
poorly drained soil. A couple favorites of Dr. Rick are
Heritage or Duraheat.
A plant that contrasts well with River Birch is Otto Luken
Laurel, Prunus Laurocerasus Otto Lucus. It will reach 4
feet tall, has long glossy leaves and has a coarse texture.
It is evergreen and has little white flowers in spring.
We're also using Carolina Yellow Jessamine, Gelsemium Semper
Virens. It is great for a trellis, put it over a fence,
it's also a good ground cover, let it sprawl. It does a
good job of holding the soil and has little yellow fragrant
flowers early in the spring. It loves full sun, tolerates
a little shade and poor soil.
Hollies serve as an anchor at the corner of a house. One,
Savannah Holly has a medium sized leaf with bright red berries.
It is Diaecious which means there are male and female plants.
Pick females is you want red berries. Hollies are a good
choice for the south, they tolerate a wide range of conditions,
full sun, shade and about every soil condition with the
exception of particularly wet feet. Hollies are a great
plant for foundations around your house.
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