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    Landscaping - choosing plants

    We're doing some landscaping around our new house. We had the builder put in edging around the house so we can do the planting ourselves. Unfortunately, we got busy and the exposed dirt sat for two months before now, which means we've got plenty of weeds on our hands.

    My question is this...our house sits at a slight angle and we're having some trouble determining what plants to buy for the appropriate sun/shade areas. The spots with the most weed density seem to be the shadiest spots. Is that typically the case that weeds grow best in shadier areas? I've always taken good care of my lawn so I've never paid attention to growth patterns of weeds.

    If that's correct then that will help us decide what plants to buy for what areas.



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    Re: Landscaping - choosing plants

    Not sure what weeds you've got, but weeds are usually full-sun lovers. Not sure if your house will backfilled with junky soil to good top soil. Do the shadier areas have more moisture?


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    Re: Landscaping - choosing plants

    Blue Muffin Viburnum.



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    Re: Landscaping - choosing plants

    North side all Hostas - some big blues in the middle and some small greens on the ends. Space them out for the future - 4 feet apart. They'll kill the weeds for you if properly mulched.

    Use a 10-10-10 sparingly in the beds for fert.


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    Re: Landscaping - choosing plants

    Some of out neighbors in Ankeny have had TNT come out and do a landscape design for them. I think it's either free or fairly cheap (less than $50).

    So far the people I know have been very happy with them.



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    Re: Landscaping - choosing plants

    Here's an ISU Horticulture website that might be of use: http://www.yardandgarden.extension.iastate.edu/Flowers/


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    Re: Landscaping - choosing plants

    I'm all about the hardy perennial plants. Low maintainence plants and if you pick wisely will look great. Dwarf Azalea's are a nice plant, they look great when they bloom then provide a nice bush-like plant for the rest of the summer. Hostas are very low maintainence and come in a lot of varieties plus the clusters multiply so you can split them up every other year and add to your bed of hosta. Columbine comes in many varieties and even partial sun/shade as well.

    I'd highly recommend putting down some form of weed block carpet before you plant too, you'll be glad you did because even if you put down a bunch of mulch or rock weeds will still find a way to come through that.

    One other thing I have is a wild flower bed along a chain link fence I share with a neighbor. This stuff is great and different plants flower throughout the year so the look of the flower bed is constantly changing: Butterfly Hummingbird Blend-Wildseed Farms


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    Re: Landscaping - choosing plants

    I like Japanese Maples - some of them are "shrub-like" and they have awesome looking leaves:









    By the way, I was wondering if someone could identify a particular maple tree that I like - it resembles a silver maple, but the leaves are burgundy to black during the spring and summer. I've seen them around ISU, I think there's one around the MU, I just can't remember what it's called (and I checked the ISU Extension site but they've got nothing on maple trees).

    EDIT - nevermind, I figured it out - Crimson King Maple


    Last edited by jdoggivjc; 06-28-2011 at 10:12 AM.
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