How do you start a full-yard garden?


I just bought this bungalow. I want to transform my puny front yard and tree lawn (between the sidewalk and the street) with perennials. Currently I have some ugly bushes that need to be moved. Their roots may also be causing me sewer issues so I am looking to put in non-invasive rooters that could ruin sewer pipes. So, where do I start?

q how do you start a full yard garden
  9 answers
  • Cor32419347 Cor32419347 on Aug 13, 2018

    Why perennials? Do not plant anything by your sewer line. Focus on framing your home in color. If you choose seasonal, they should be in the ground already. You will need to compromise this year. Stake your beds out and get them pre-ready for next spring. Now you are not rushed and can concentrate on selecting plants indigenous to your area. There are so many. Go to your local big box store with your iPhone with pic’s of your planting area. You need to work with your yard now like it’s a baby. Once you have selected a few fall/ winter candidates, take them home and move them around in your area/yard until you get the color and design right for you. This is a big project so you must persevere and work a little everyday until you feel super confident and start preparing indoors for spring!!! Happy planting!

    • Jamie Newell Jamie Newell on Aug 15, 2018

      I should have mentioned the reason for perennials is I am hoping to have a maintenance free front yard. I currently have a BnB on the second floor and will eventually turn the first floor into another one so I am hoping to not have to cut grass... ever.

      I chuckled at the "work at this every day" idea... sadly to find the time to garden daily is not in my immediate future. Thanks for your input.

  • Congratulations! Darling craftsman style bungalow. I can't really tell exactly what that hedge is, but I would remove it for something a little more colorful. If you want an easy to grow tree with a non invasive root system, look at crepe myrtle. Do you have any idea of what you might want?

    • Jamie Newell Jamie Newell on Aug 15, 2018

      I am trying to create a maintenance free yard.... no annuals, no grass to cut... I have seen yards that are filled with all sorts of plants that eventually overgrow the whole land mass.

  • DORLIS DORLIS on Aug 13, 2018

    Do you want to plant the whole yard in perennials or just the strip between the sidewalk and and the street? You are smart to get rid of bushes in that area. try planting plants for butterflies there and you will have extra beauty added to your home. butterfly plant, echinecia, black eyed susan , herbs are all good fragrant plants. salvia is also good.

    • Jamie Newell Jamie Newell on Aug 15, 2018

      I love your idea... and butterflies. I had herbs in my backyard of my old home...never thought of them for a front why not? However, I found that oregano really travels...

  • 2dogal 2dogal on Aug 14, 2018

    Start with a paper plan. Map out where you want your beds. Then go to your local plant nursery - ask what kind of soil you have, what the growing zone in your area is. Watch the sun - see how much sun/shade your yard gets - That's very important as many plants won't grow well without at least 6 hours of sun. They can tell you what grows best, how big the plants will get. You can see what the plants look like, the color of the leaves, etc. Figure out how much time you'll have for gardening - a lot - then you can go for annuals - a little time - go for shrubs with color in the leaves, you get the idea. Plan first - then it's easy peasy.

    • Jamie Newell Jamie Newell on Aug 15, 2018

      How do I map out my beds when I want the whole yard to be the bed? And I am facing east so I get a great deal of sunshine with not a tree in sight. Shrubs with colors... OK, I will look at those. We have a burning bush that grows around these parts that is just stunning. I have to check their root system.

  • Scafool Scafool on Aug 14, 2018

    Call before you dig. You should know where all your utilities are before you shove a shovel into the ground. Supposedly you can go 12 inches deep without a problem but telephone and cable installers are famous for being shallow people and I have seen them just let their wiring lay on the ground to be covered by the sod layers. Paying extra to fix phone lines you roto-tillered up is not fun.

    Sometimes gas lines are put in too shallow too and are often plastic.

    • Jamie Newell Jamie Newell on Aug 15, 2018

      yep... I surely will. thanks for the reminder. costs me nothing but a few minutes for a call.

  • 1401470 1401470 on Aug 23, 2018

    What a neat house, If you put in raised beds you won't have to dig and they'll be easier to maintain. Perennial raised beds are nice because they offer a clean and beautiful presentation and lift your eye so everything isn't at the same point. Something to think about for the front yard.

    Also think about adding herbs in the mix so you can cook with them. P/Herbs are so easy and would compliment perennial bloomers.

    You can find some ideas here.

    • Jamie Newell Jamie Newell on Sep 06, 2018

      Great idea about raising the beds. Boy, much to think about and research to be done. Thanks for this info

  • Caseyem11 Caseyem11 on Aug 23, 2018

    Dwarf lilacs are easy care bushes that require very little effort. I would make a few beds and heavily mulch everything else, using landscape fabric under the mulch.

  • Jamie Newell Jamie Newell on Sep 06, 2018

    I LOVE I am def going to pursue your suggestion

  • Michelle Michelle on Sep 12, 2018

    Rose brushes create a small English cottage garden, I would make the front entry door pop wth color cute house but everything is Brown.

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