The first two years we didn't plant anything, really we just ripped things out. and pondered, and started raising kids, I digress. We finally poured the landscape walls last year, planted a bunch of bulbs at the sunny end, and looked at the very lonely Magnolia, wondering what should keep it company. Along the road of decision making, we were able to narrow down our agreed approach. We wanted a lot of color from spring until frost, we planned to plant geometrically, two square beds in front of the porch and linear lines of plants in front of the studio. Prepping the existing soil was also a task we tackled last fall, tilling and adding plenty of compost and manure.
In the first few photos some of the flowers of both plants are still hanging around. It's interesting how much the gray of the house becomes a background color to the bright flowers. We're totally going for plush color continuity. One thing to note about our linear approach is it makes it easy to lay the plants out and space them, then time to dig. I always overdig the holes for our plants and mix in some compost and adjacent soil as I plant.
The width of the front of our house is our reference width to space the plants by, eventually the Azalea will become a hedge along the front of the house. I'm debating shaping them into a giant rectalinear block, I still have time to think about it as it will take several years for them to rise up and mature.
Two weeks later and many trips to the local gardening centers we started round 2 of planting today. After looking at books, researching online, checking stock of desired plants found online we were ready to pull the credit card out. We decided on a couple of flowering annuals, Torenia and Browallia, a dozen of each. Both plants have purpleish flowers that will flower through fall = maximum value + they will mound and fill in.
About 45 minutes after unloading the car, the new plants were in ground and watered. Wendy and I cranked out some work quickly while the kids rested. From the street we now have a complete 'green' line in the planting bed. We also planted some Impatients around the Magnolia that will mound and overflow the bed in a couple of months, they start off small.