second house we'll be landscaping this year is located in
North Carolina. It is in the historic district and built
This home is in zone 6. This means temperatures will reach
winter but, in summer temperatures will reach or exceed
86 degrees only between 15 and 30 days per year. This means
plants will be a little
different that those used further south.
The homeowner, Tom, provides background on the house and
discusses with Dr. Rick ideas for improving their yard.
Tom, his wife and family love the area and feel Asheville
is a garden spot of the eastern part of the United States.
It has four seasons, has a small town feel, yet all the
amenities of a large city. The neighborhood is quiet, yet
close to town. The neighborhood was laid out at the turn
of the century like a
neighborhood would be today. The architect of this house
was R.S. Smith, one of the co-architects of the Biltmore
House and was built for the first mayor of Asheville, Mayor
Barnett. Tom and his wife and two sons would like to be
able to enjoy the front lawn. They spend time on the front
porch and want to make the area enjoyable. They want to
add color and use plants popular in the early 1900's. As
well it would be nice to separate their yard from the street
so it feels a little more cozy. Dr. Rick takes all the information
in, then will develop a landscaping plan for Tom's approval.
Next Dr. Rick talks with Alfie Boothe, gardener extraordinaire.
will implement the plan and has worked on many of the yards
historic district. Alfie likes Perennials, Native plants
in plants. Clay is a problem in this area. It doesn't hold
doesn't drain well, but has a mineral soil. Ammendments
need to be added to make the soil workable. This area has
had drought conditions the past four years and the water
table is low. This causes problems for the old, mature trees.
For the trees and ornamental garden beds it is important
to have an irrigation system. We'll need to stop the water
run off so water can sink in to the roots of plants and
trees. The lawn needs to be core aerated, then lime added.
Under trees it is difficult to get anything to grow. We
need to insure water and mulch is added in this area. Dr.
Rick and Alfie examine several old, big trees. We see new
growth, but Lichen is growing. The Lichen tells us the tree
They examine the removal of a limb and show how the collar
left. This is good, it encourages regrowth and doesn't allow
bacteria to enter the wound. They notice water sprouts on
branches. This indicates either incorrect pruning or pruning
wrong time of year. These sprouts should be removed allowing
branches to grow laterally.
Dr. Rick discusses what should be included in a landscaping
with a scaled version of your yard. He uses one inch per
eight feet, a
comfortable scale. He drafts in pencil so changes can easily
Look at magazines, books, gardens, other landscape designs
to get ideas for plants, designs. The plan will evolve over
time so take your time. Create simple spaces, spaces easy
to understand. approach the dominate areas, in this plan.
Dr. Rick starts with the lawn or turf area. Then create
a constant visual theme. This is where the lines and elements
work together regardless of where we are on the property.
He has sweeping curving bed lines in the front, we'll do
the same in the back. Make sure all the different spaces,
the different garden rooms work together. He wants large,
bold masses of plants, maybe seven or eight different types
of plants but also large numbers of the same plant. Put
15 or 20 of the same plants together. This makes for a very
bold, yet very simple composition of plants. In this case
we want to be able to use a lot of the space in the front
yard, maybe screen the street from the front of the house
to create a warm, inviting area.
Dr. Rick now presents his plan to Tom. He's outlined the
because it frames the house. He's placed a Ligustrum on
either side by
the house to draw the eye to the area and the architecture
of the house. Under that Mondo grass is placed to provide
a contrast. We'll use containers on either side of the door
to draw attention to the front
door. This will be an area for seasonal color and will look
the street and from the porch. To the side of the porch
he's created an
outdoor garden room. This is a place for chairs, some rock
It's a place where you can feel a part of nature. This is
a good place
for plants thus creating a sense of intimacy. Evergreens
are used for screening. We're creating bold displays of
plants. We have
planned Azaleas, Daffodils, Hydrangeas, Dogwoods, Hostas.
All of these
plants should provide color all season long. Under the big
planned Vinca Major, it's tough and durable, will tolerate
recommends a water irrigation system for the trees and new
plants. Those mature trees can take out as much as 3,4 or
5 hundred gallons of water each day, we need to add some
back. There are a variety of textures in this plan, for
example there are Ferns in front of Rhodedendrons. Up lighting
would be very effective, creating dramatic effects in the
large old trees.
Everyone seems pleased . We plan to start work right away
and will keep everyone updated throughout the landscaping
Citizen :: Southern Gardener
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