Asked on May 10, 2017

What should I do with the landscaping at our lake house?

D fuhrmanLesaCathy


I think I need to remove some of the hosta's. Which ones? Is there anything you think would look better? I have painted a flower pot blue to match the star on the porch. I would like to put a fern in it, petunias and sweet potato plants. I just don't know where to put it.
I am not really sure what the bush looking things are. The smaller ones have little purple blooms on them. Should I take the bush looking things out? What about the big bush? I wonder if a hydrangea would grow there?
The large green hosta is overpowering the spot. Should I separate these hostas and make them smaller, move them? I just don't know what to do!
This is a very shaded area. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
9 answers
  • Janet Pizaro
    on May 10, 2017

    The purple flowers are iris ,Leave them be.I would take that shrub out as it looks out of place.Thin out the hostas and add Japanese painted fern for some color along with heaters which come in a lot of colors.For annuals new guinea impatients,coleus,and calcium would brighten up the area.The area was definitely not proportioned.Your first step is the division although generally that should be done in early spring or fall
  • Elizabeth Dion
    on May 10, 2017

    I would divide the hostas in the fall. Caladium is a lovely multi colored leafy plant that would add some much needed color to the area. Astilbe's are also a very pretty feathery shade loving plant that would add some color to the area. You may want to consider planting some azaleas for color also. The greenery will continue to look lovely once the flowers fade.
  • Ellis
    on May 11, 2017

    I would definitely find a new home for the large, tall hosta. If you dig it up carefully and leave a large rootball, you can transplant it all summer, but not during a very hot week, as long as you make sure it's got enough water until it settles in to its new home--which could even be a large planting pot. Look up plants for shade/woodland gardens and see what you like for your growing zone. The map says your town is in zone 7. I like ferns, astilbe, phlox, dicentra (bleeding heart), hardy begonias, tiarella (foamflower), columbine. I agree with Elizabeth, maybe some bright-colored azaleas, or even white-flowered ones, would be pretty. Especially since hostas die down to the ground in the winter--a few small shrubs would give you some winter interest.

    If you want to find out what the bush with the little purple blooms is, take a really good close-up picture, and take a sprig with the flower on it, and go to a local nursery--or a gardening neighbor. It might be worth keeping, if you like it.
    As for hydrangeas, I'm partial to the lace-cap type. That might look lovely there.

  • Bonnie
    on May 11, 2017

    I think it looks pretty just as it is but if you want more color, Ellis has some great advice.
  • Nancy Turner
    on May 11, 2017

    I would move the large hosta to the back corner of the stairway to fill in that spot, and move the smaller row of hostas along the stairway to use as an accent to other plants to fill in. You have a start to building a great landscaped area and Ellis gave you some great starting points. Just decide what you would love in that area and start moving things around that are already there to fit with how you want the area to look. I redid some areas and had to move around some hostas and I put them in pots until I knew where I wanted them and that area was ready. It took four months and the hostas were still in great shape when I finally planted them. They look great right now and are growing well this year despite being in pots for four months last year. Just make sure they stay watered as they dry out much quicker in pots. Good luck!
  • CecileH
    on May 11, 2017

    Great ideas from everyone so far and I agree with them all! I would put the tall lemon lime hosta (second photo) left hand side by the window in the corner, they fill in nicely to take up the space back there. I would get some bee balm, it is a tall bush with crimson to magenta coloured flowers on it in the summer which attracts butterflies and bees. It grows very tall and would look awesome in the corners of the deck recessed areas (second photo) in front of the window and beside the stairs. It does spread but it takes a while, the clump just gets thicker around so it will look awesome there against the white and the blue. To help bring colour into the space I would add a yellow corydalis (if it works for your area) its a long blooming flowering bush that works great in shaded areas and with it being yellow it is a split complementary colour to the blue of the cottage. I would think about adding annuals to bring in orange, maybe marigolds or Impatiens, now on the other side....I think a beautiful peony would look awesome in the corner of the deck and the cottage, maybe a white one with pink veins to draw the eye in. A great plant to put at the corner by the tree would be a bleeding heart, they grow well in shade and come in pinks, reds and white. To add a shot of colour around the curb area of photo one I would add primrose which are perennials and they come in various colours. When I was in school for floral design my instructor stated that even though there are colours that are more pleasing to the eye when put together all colours go well with each other or God would not have created wild flowers! Happy digging and planting! Oh and make sure you check out perennial sales before you head to the cottage, you can get some awesome deals!!!
  • Cathy
    on May 11, 2017

    Not a good combo for the pot---the fern needs shade and the others need sun---be careful of that---but you could put a short grass in the pot----make sure it gets sun though----if doing shade, choose other plants---Atilbe---albeit colorful, needs damp feet---your area looks too dry. Hydrangeas need some sun---but not afternoon sun, but also some shade---and they do need more water. Just move the larger Hosta back further and maybe split it when you do it---you could probably get 4 or more plants from it---and they will grow big---that is the nature of the variety that you have there.
  • Lesa
    on May 11, 2017

    You have all gave me some great ideas! I am going to go see what our nursery has to offer.
    We are only at the house on the weekends, but I think my neighbor will water them for me, if the weather begins to get dry.
    I had never heard of some of your suggestions. I googled them and they are beautiful flowers to work with.

    Thank you!
  • D fuhrman
    on May 30, 2017

    i think what you have planted looks great. to me you can't have too many hostas.i think you need a little color. how about those planters that straddle the railing of the porch? and maybe some lattice for under the porch.
Your comment...