MD rookie here! I need so much help

Hampstead, MD

Hello all,
I am in deperate need of some advice on landscape planning. I have a friend that is doing all the "muscle" work and has made some suggestions, but I'm not loving his ideas. I know nothing about landscaping.

Anyone have any ideas where I can get some help with landscape design in northern Maryland? I've called a few numbers in the yellow pages, but they will only plan if they do all the planting, too! I'm willing to pay, but can't find any takers. I have pictures of my house and some ideas of plants I like if that helps. Here is a link to my post on the gardenweb if it helps. I hope we're allowed to post links here?

Chesapeake Beach, MD

There are definately designers who will do just that -- design -- and leave the installation up to you or another contractor (they can usually recommend a good installation contractor. While she works primarily in southern Maryland and DC, you might want to try this person. If she won't head north, perhaps she knows of someone else she can refer you to.

Harrisonburg, VA

I'm starting from scratch to. I used visio to create my design. I went with native plants mainly because they obviously like the climate. I set up some automatic searches on ebay. They have allot of plants on there so I've been getting an email list for about 2 months and when something strikes my fancy, I'll make a note of it. I like the looks of the evergreens on the end but I'm not big on the boxwoods in front of the bay window. They aren't my favorite shrub and when they flower their scent is my opinion.

What about a tree there instead? If you put say a dogwood there, once it get's tall enough you can create some more interest by putting a part-shade garden under it. I also like the idea of the flowering plum or the japenese maple there. The only issue with the japanese maple is that they're real short so you wouldn't have much of a view out that window.

On the paver walkway, you could line it with creeping thyme or you could try irish moss but I've never had much luck with that myself.

On either side of the porch, I would go with lavender or a raosemary as they have some winter interest as well....I guess your seeing the trend here....I love smelly stuff

One other thing that would be cool is a water feature as you approch the porch on the wall of the garage...maybe something like this

You could also put some water lillies in it

I hope this helps

Winchester, VA(Zone 6b)

kath you are not alone - I have an established yard but there are ways about it that are not
quite right......for instance sometime in the past someone planted holly trees on a path to the house. 80 years later they are not shrubs any longer - they are trees and interfere with everything moving in and out of the house. I have to replace the deck soon.....I want to scrap the whole area and start over. I have no idea how to landscape design.......maybe we should take classes.

Hampstead, MD

Whew.... just planning this project is exhausting!! DH and I spent the day looking at trees and shrubs and are getting closer to a "plan". Getting some professional help in my area seems to be impossible. Unfortunately, I'm under the gun. My landscaper "friend" will be here to plant things on Wednesday!! The yard is a mess right now and we've gotta move forward. My biggest problem is deciding what to put on the ends.

This message was edited May 13, 2006 1:31 AM

Winchester, VA(Zone 6b)

just make sure you plant trees or shrubs that get quite large farther away from the house than you think is necessary - it seems to me the most common mistake from my know nothing stance. You plant a cute tree within 5 feet of the house and that cute tree some day becomes 60-100 feet tall you have some of the problem I have inherited here. Still it seems a waste to take mature stuff out. I have a 40' fontana shrub I have to go literally cut down because it is threatening the foundation. It is pretty but sure grows fast.

Chesapeake Beach, MD

The biggest mistake you're likely to make is to rush this project, because it leads to all sorts of other mistakes. Your Wednesday deadline seems artificial and ill-advised unless there is some truly pressing reason to DO IT NOW (ie the house must go on the market next week). If not, take a deep breath, cancel your friend's visit (or go have lunch instead) and find a designer.

Ijamsville, MD(Zone 6b)

I second Mary's advice. I put in lots all at once and now regret it - but that is what a shovel is for. LOL Enjoy the planning and learning about all the different options along the way.

Fairmont, WV(Zone 6a)

Kath, how did everything work out? Were you able to postpone your deadline?


Richmond, VA(Zone 7a)


I wish I lived up there still, I'd help you out. Landscape "consulting" is what I would like to do - recommend what to plant and where then let them do it all. I used to live in Upperco, MD. I worked at Owings Mills mall and a farmer's market on Rt 30 (in Upperco). Loved to know if it is still there. It was a big red barn and I think it was called "Spring" - something.

I hope you got stuff planted where you like it. You can always add stuff to what has been done. Best of luck!!

Hampstead, MD

I was able to postpone the project until I made some decisions. I'll post some pics of what's done so far.
Gardengirl, I SO wish you still lived here, too!!!!! There is no one in this area to do Landscape consulting! I grew up in Owings Mills, moved to Hampstead in 1994. I love it here. The farmer's market is still there, Spring Meadow Farms. I was actually there today. They've gotten so much bigger in the past 5 years. How long has it been since you moved? Do you EVER get up this way? My neighbor here in Hampstead is actually moving to (or near) Richmond in the next month or so. He works for the FBI and got transferred. I think they are house hunting in the area now.

Shenandoah Valley, VA

Did you see this link that was posted in one of the other threads? Looks like the offer all kinds of landscaping design services.

Hampstead, MD

WOW! Thanks so much for that link. The plants I had put in this week are from Sun Nurseries. I love the design info and pics they have on their website ... going to check it out more now.

Richmond, VA(Zone 7a)

That's it! Spring Meadow Farms! I remembered after I hit submit. I loved working there! They had a animal petting area and I used to feed all of them. I loved it in the fall ! The owner (his name is on the tip of my tongue!) let us eat whatever we wanted while working so I ate tons of Stayman apples! I have a funny story - one winter day when the mall closed due to snow, I went over to the market to work. Well these dumb chickens from the petting area had stayed out in the snow (and freezing rain) and they were frozen to the fence tops. They were making this low clucking sound but couldn't move cause the stupid things let the freezing rain settle on their feathers! Anyway, I pryed them off the fence (lost a few feathers!) and took them into the market and put them in card board boxes to thaw. I though the owner was going to kill me (in a nice way!) He said if the chicken is stupid enough to stay out there and freeze then they should be on the dinner table! All this time the chickens are slowly thawing and their low clucking was getting a little more animated. It was hilarious! I wish I could remember the owners name - I loved working with him! I know he drove an old mint green pick-up truck. Dang! It's right there!!!!

I lived up there in 1987-90 (eons ago!). Our house was right on Rt 30 about a half a mile north of the market - on the left side. There were two old houses together and ours was the first one (if you're heading north). I'm sure they are gone now and some big development is there. The house didn't have indoor plumbing before we moved in. The owner converted a bedroom into a bathroom (thank God!). The old lady that lived there b4 us used to go to the outhouse down by the barn! I loved the yeard! Old peony bushes; a huge grapevine over the back porch and the cutest little chipmunks around! I loved how the train across the street would go by at night and shake the house! My room mate worked in Westminster - she still lives up there - in Catonsville.

We ocassionally come up to see the O's play but haven't had the time to head up your way. I'd love to go back up there and ride through the Greenspring Valley - Beautiful! We usually hit Sab's in Little Italy or this market area - "something street market" - a few blocks from the harbor. I can't remember the name but they had a place inside w/ the BEST Buffalo wings around!

So on your landscaping have you decided what kind of landscaping you want? no maintenance, low maintenance or a gardener's dream garden? The first thing I did when I was setting up our yard was to draw a "map" of the yard. Put all of the things that won't be moving (trees, bushes, shed, etc.) Then make a note as to where the sun is as the beginning, middle and end of the day. Note areas of shade and full sun. Then decide if you want blooming stuff (lots of color) or more foliage. I wanted an "English garden" style so I leaned more towards your non-basic types of perennials. Certainly put your money into perennials, not annuals. You can add some annuals as accents later. If you have access to a fax machine and you can fax me your drawing, I can take a look and make some recommendations. Just d-mail me if you do and I will get you my work fax #.

Well thanks for filling me in on my "old home". One of these days I'll get back up there!!!

You take care!

Shenandoah Valley, VA

LOL Gardengirl! Bringing a whole new meaning to the term "frozen chicken!"

Hampstead, MD

I LOVE the chicken story. That's hysterical. I can't think of the owner's name either, but he is such a nice guy. You'd be shocked to see that place now. They've made so many changes and added things for kids. I just went to a 4 yrs old birthday party there last weekend ... pony rides, little peddle trackers for the kids, etc. The house you used to live in is still there, no development yet. I know exactly where it is. Did you grow up in this area? Go to school here?
The skating rink is closed, the land has been sold and I've heard the new owner is tearing it down to build something else. :( That honestly breaks my heart. I grew up skating there every weekend ... lots of memories there.

I love the Greenspring Valley area!!! GORGEOUS for sure. I think it's "Cross Street Market" in Baltimore that you're thinking about ? I've been there a few times with DH, but it's been a a few years. He used to live in Catonsville, so it was easier to get to Baltimore then it is now. :) Cross Street is interesting.

I'll definitely send some pics with lanscaping that I have so far, along with the drawing as you suggested. I have some shrubs in but need some ideas for perennials. I'll note all the info I think you'll need. I'll d-mail you when I have it ready. Thank you SO much for any advice you can give.

Richmond, VA(Zone 7a)

Kath -

I only lived in MD for about 2 years: down by the harbor for a couple of months; a Randlestown apt for 6 mths, then Upperco for the rest. I grew up in Norfolk, VA and moved to MD to co-manager the Laura Ashley in Owings Mills when it was still there. I'm glad to know the house is still there - I loved it, even w/ the 18-wheelers flying up Rt 30! I don't remember the skating rink. I remember something being on the left side as you went north on Rt 30 - kind of near a cross roads b4 Spring Meadows. I'm not sure if that is where it was. One of these days I'll get back up there!!


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