May 16, 2011

Front Yard Landscaping Progress

This weekend I got to work adding plants to our front yard retaining wall.  It’s not done yet, but I wanted to share some of our progress.  Here’s a reminder of how our front yard looked after installing the retaining wall:


And here’s how it looks after this weekend:


It’s not done yet, but it’s certainly a nice improvement!  I still want to add some shrubs, but here’s a look at what we planted so far.

In the top tier, I planted all perennials:


The Mandevilla is a Sun Parasol Crimson Mandevilla which can grow over 10 feet tall, so I may need to add lattice or another support for it.  I’d like something tall in that spot to hide the ugly utility meters in the background.  But after I planted it, I did some more research on Mandevillas and read that they need to be taken indoors in the winter up North.  Uh-oh, I didn’t know that when I bought.  Anyone have experience with these and know if I have to take it indoors or if I can just cut it back and leave it in the ground over winter?

In the bottom tier of the retaining wall, I used a mix of perennials and annuals.


These flowers are all still small, so I’m looking forward to them growing and filling out the the bed. 

I think I’m done planting flowers for now, but I’d like to add some evergreen shrubs to both tiers so that there’s something to look at during the winter.  I think I’ll go with a Golden Thread Cypress.  We have 4 of these bushes in our backyard and I’ve been very happy with them. 

I’ve also been researching other types of evergreen shrubs and came across the Japanese Skimmia.  This seems like a great shrub because it’s an evergreen, but has white flowers in the spring and red berries in the fall/winter.  It sounds like it will look pretty cool in all seasons.

Do you have any experience with the Japanese Skimmia?  I’d also love to hear recommendations for any other plants or shrubs!

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