New Homeowner Looking for Landscaping Ideas

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Answered
I am a beginner and had posted a few weeks ago about landscaping ideas but didn't have any pictures to provide until now (April Raymond The Garden Frog with C Renee and Douglas Hunt . I am a beginner and I have 2 small children so please keep that in mind! I love color but would like something low maintenance.
I put mulch around the azalea bushes in tthe front and I will add some black siding fence thing. In the back, I thought about doing rubber mulch under the deck so if the kids fall off the swings, they'll be okay. I would like color around the mailbox. Thank you!
q new homeowner looking for landscaping ideas, gardening, landscape, I was thinking something colorful here but nothing that would attract bees
I was thinking something colorful here but nothing that would attract bees.
q new homeowner looking for landscaping ideas, gardening, landscape, There s the monkey grass looking stuff on the side but I may get my husband to mow over that and just do mulch with shrubs
There's the monkey grass looking stuff on the side but I may get my husband to mow over that and just do mulch with shrubs?
q new homeowner looking for landscaping ideas, gardening, landscape, I ve put mulch around the bushes since this pic was taken
I've put mulch around the bushes since this pic was taken
q new homeowner looking for landscaping ideas, gardening, landscape, The back is really boring
The back is really boring.
q new homeowner looking for landscaping ideas, gardening, landscape
q new homeowner looking for landscaping ideas, gardening, landscape
q new homeowner looking for landscaping ideas, gardening, landscape
q new homeowner looking for landscaping ideas, gardening, landscape, I was thinking rubber mulch under the deck so if the kids fall off they re okay
I was thinking rubber mulch under the deck so if the kids fall off, they're okay.
  11 answers
  • Was looking at your deck ad can see why your having issues with carpenter bees. You need to carefully go over the entire deck and railing system for bore holes that the bees are creating for their nests. Be sure to apply a good sealant, does not need to be paint which is really ideal, but keep the entire deck both top and bottom including under the handrails and bottom railing boards and steps. Also remember color in flowers will bring bees with them. So choose your colors so they do not attract bees to the house, yet away from it. In other words keep the flowering plants away from active areas where the children sit and play.

  • I do not like rubber mulch. I have used it for a path by my garbage cans and going out barefoot I have actually had to pull metal splinters out of my foot. I also find it blows away if you try to blow leaves off of it. For kids, a really good mulch will be okay or even look for playground mats.

  • Douglas Hunt Douglas Hunt on Apr 26, 2014
    Becky, it can be overwhelming to take on an entire yard, even if you're not a beginning gardener with two small children taking first priority. So I would focus on the areas closest to your house, that you use the most, first. I would encourage you to focus on planting North Carolina natives, because ultimately they will make fewer demands on your time and resources, and they will attract birds and butterflies to your yard that will make it a learning laboratory—and fun place!—for your children. NC State has an excellent web site to help you do this, and it includes everything from reviewing your site, to developing a plan and selecting the plants. Check it out: http://www.ncsu.edu/goingnative/create/index.html

  • 163130 163130 on Apr 26, 2014
    Douglas always has great advice . If you want to start small you could add some curb appeal to your mailbox the photo is a perfect example. Then slowly add plants to it down the drive and toward your house. But that gives you a place to start. Ornamental grasses always look good and easy to grow.

  • 163130 163130 on Apr 26, 2014
    I think next on my agenda would be to hide the air conditioner and there are alot of good examples on the net. I would just use fencing materials and stain it the same color as your deck to blend it in.

    • Karen Sheilds Karen Sheilds on May 08, 2014
      @KAT Make sure to leave enough air space around the air conditioner unit or you run the risk of it over heating and burning out the motor. Maybe some tall grasses to hide it but still allow the air to circulate?

  • Matt Matt on Apr 26, 2014
    What kind of sun requirements? Looks like the plants that you have already it might be partial shade. If thats the case hydrangeas would give you the color mixed in with yew or boxwood for year round green.

  • Jeanette S Jeanette S on Apr 26, 2014
    I agree with Douglas that you cannot do it all at once! I would start by putting a pretty planting at the mailbox. I used top soil and some sand to make a raised bed using 4 landscape timbers cut in half. (4' square bed...looks great, keeps soil soft and requires no digging...not expensive to fix, lasts for years!) They are stacked, holes drilled in the corners and rebar pounded through the holes for stability. I planted non blooming plants and a couple of red Gerber daisies for color. I used Dusty Miller (cut back with scissors about every couple weeks...easy to do), variegated lariope which is a border grass, and Cordyline which is a maroon spike like plant. All these are perennials and will require little care. One great tip no matter what you do...USE WATERING CRYSTALS YOU CAN BUY AT BIG BOX STORES OR WALMART! The only upkeep is to trim occasionally to keep neat. Trim back plants in winter.

  • Rhonda Rhonda on Apr 26, 2014
    I've found that daylillies are perfect. They don't require a lot of maintenance and they come back every year. I have 5 planted around our mailbox and a clematis that wraps around our mailbox (that will require a little bit of trimming so as not to take over the mailbox). Our clematis gets huge (at least saucer sized) purple blooms from April throughout the summer and the daylillies are a warm golden yellow. Since the daylillies were so easy to take care of we have them lining our walk way also. Like everyone says with two small kids, take your time. Also get them involved, they can help pull the dead leaves off of the daylillies (they can't really hurt them!). Have fun!

  • Gretchen Gretchen on Apr 27, 2014
    Douglas is right on target. NC State is terrific for advice. And I also agree with Renee about the rubber mulch - use hard wood mulch at least 3 inches deep, but put some sort of barrier around that area so the mulch stays contained. But if I can make a couple of suggestions: Get a half-moon edger (a tool that looks like a semi-circle on a pole) and put a sharp edge between the grass and all the places you want to plant. Then you can put hard wood mulch in those areas and plant them when you get to it. The edge and the mulch will look neat and clean, (it helps keep the weeds down too), it will define the "beds" to come, and give you time to think about what you want to plant.

    • See 1 previous
    • Gretchen Gretchen on Apr 29, 2014
      @Jennifer G A sharp, deep edge will help with that and so will the mulch! I find if I do it right in the spring, I only have to do a fast touch up once a season and then again well the next spring. Also, about that "monkey grass looking stuff" -I think that is an ornamental grass. Why don't you cut it back to a couple of inches then wait and see what it is. (Edge and mulch there too). After this summer you may decide to keep it - or not. Then you can plant to the front of the walk. There are lots of annuals you can put in there - and you can change that are with the seasons (pansies in winter/spring, flowering vinca in summer (if you usually get sun there), and maybe mums in the fall. (Or other more interesting flowers)! Bees come and go - you probably won't choose something that attracts them all the time. You can use the same thing around the mailbox - or do ground cover there (again, edge it!), or maybe daylillies (if you don't have deer),or stella d'oro lillies. Have fun with your gardening!

  • Rae E Rae E on May 19, 2014
    I have recently done some landscaping projects myself. First off looking at the front of your home if you want a very low maintainence shrub try Boxwoods you could line them in L shape from edge of garage to almost up to front door on yard side of your walk way. I water them once in awhile and cut them back once in a while to keep them squared and even all sides more of a trim. An easy fix for the mailbox area is a small succulent bed on each side of a bricked mailbox. They are pretty self sustaining just water as needed NOT everyday and they can pretty much grow in anything but require some sandy mixed or sandy soil. They look good in small containers as well in landscaping depending which you choose. They come in so really interesting colors and shapes from small to large. All I did was dig an area that was 3-4 inches deep down and less than a foot wide wide for each side mixed miracle grow plant mix and a little sand together 50/50 covered the top of the soil with river rocks instead of mulch but you can do mulch my friend just preferred the rocks to go with house. Sorry can't post picture we don't live in that area any longer. I will post photos if I still have of the succulents on computer. Start small is my best advice and I agree with person who said the same. I'd start with front of house walkway areas, mailbox area and along front of house. They have some very reasonable NO dig edging at Home Depot, Lowe's & even Garden Ridge. I'd use the Miracle Grow planting mix that feeds and weeds it's a little more but has worked well for us. Keep us posted

  • Tricia Tricia on Sep 27, 2017
    Rubber mulch . . . . I have used it and never will again. Sounds like where you want to put it would be good but I put it in flower beds. Big mistake. I had weed mat under it but I still was losing it through the holes around the plants. The only place I would recommend it for is where you can have a solid surface under it (weed mat or something stronger that will still weep) that you are not going to cut holes in. That way you don't lose it when it gets ground into the dirt. It's too expensive to continually replace.