Welcome to the Beginner Landscaping forum!

This forum is here as a special place where you can ask ANY question about your landscaping. It's our hope that this forum will make a comfortable introduction to gardening for any of our members who need it. Have fun!


Blyth, ON(Zone 5b)

Hi there, and please allow me to add my welcome to Dave's. There are many, many people here in the Dave's Garden community who are more than happy to help out our newcomers, so please don't be shy. There's a wealth of knowledge and experience here for you to draw on.

Enjoy the time you spend here, and feel free to ask us anything you want to about landscaping. Although I'm certainly no expert in this area, I'm looking forward to being able to help you out with your questions whenever I can. Happy gardening!


Dunedin, FL(Zone 10b)

Hi Everyone New to Dave's Garden Well Come much !!
I enjoy all types of gardening House plants, Tropical's, Growing by seed is a joy too my Hubby and I both enjoy ! We just like growing everything ! Were growing more outside now than in as living in Florida Tropical weather makes it even more fun we have fount we can grow everything ! Each day I enjoy reading Dave's News seeing new photo's in Plant Files learning about new plants and finding where I can buy them ! Amazing all the beautiful plants there are we have been trying a lot of new ones and most Thanks to nice caring people on DG's sharing with us ! I'd like to share with you all too !
I like to share information and answer any questions I can . I enjoy trading and sharing what ever I have too !
Have fun ! Allison

Palm Bay, FL(Zone 9b)

Hello everyone.
Just wanted to say I think this is GREAT!

Scott, LA(Zone 8b)


I am no expert by any means and after living in my home for 22 years, we are redoing our landscaping. When we first built our house, there were no trees and the yard was full sun. Now the backyard is almost all filtered shade and the front yard is half sun and half shade. I altered a flagstone path to make it wider and include an area for a hammock. We had a concrete and wrought iron fence installed. The next thing is redoing all the flower beds and adding a sprinkler system. The biggest problem I have is the grass. We have St. Augustine grass and the weeds have taken over. Not sure what the weeds are called but the blades are very thin and spread fast. These weeds will travel through larriope and get into the flower beds. I have tried pulling them out by the roots, but they spread faster than I can pull them. We also have dollar weeds in the lawn and flower beds. Does anyone know of a product that will eliminate these weeds without killing the grass? Also, I need to add dirt to a flower bed that already has bulbs, (iris, amarillas, daffodils, paperwhites and spiderlillies). Is it too late to disturb these bulbs to add dirt? I cannot put dirt on the top of these because they will be burried to deep. Lastly, what is the best type of mulch for flower beds? I now have cypress mulch and not sure if I should add more of the same or switch. We tend to have problems with termites and I thought cypress would be less likely for them to live in. The pine bark that I use to have was always infested and we had to treat yearly. Is there another type or is it a loss cause with the termites? I will add pictures as soon as the weather straightens up.
Thanks for any input.

Dillon, SC(Zone 7b)

Hi! I'm brand new to Dave's Garden and have been enjoying reading the threads, etc. This is the best thing I've ever found on the internet!!! This is my first question, but you can be sure there are many more. Years ago I rounded up all the irises that my mother had planted in front of the shrubs which had long since overgrown them. I put them in a big bed with nothing but irises under a walnut tree. They were beautiful there for several years, but have been declining because I think they need to be separated and replanted. My problem is that I want to put them in a more visible area, but since they all bloom about the same time, I don't want only irises. I have prepared an irregularly shaped bed around an oak stump that I'm thinking of covering with clematis. Then I want to add daylilies, allium, daffodils and maybe some oriental lilies and spider lilies. Does anyone have any ideas, or better yet, pictures of a bed planted with only bulbs?

Yukon, OK(Zone 7b)

Hi sos.....I have no help for your question as I don't garden with bulbs. (The moles/voles eat them faster than I can plant them) But I just wanted to say welcome to DG...you'll soon find that this is your home away from home and I'm sure you will come to love this place like the rest of us. Welcome!

Dublin, CA(Zone 9a)

sos--I don't garden with bulbs either (not much at least), but I don't think people usually plant gardens entirely full of bulbs because while they're beautiful in bloom, the foliage often isn't very exciting by itself, and especially when the foliage starts to die back it can look downright ugly. So most people plant companion plants which will bloom when the bulbs are not blooming and will cover up some of the ugly dying bulb foliage.

Dillon, SC(Zone 7b)

Thanks, Brinda and ecrane3, for your response. My gardening is pretty much trial and error. I think you're right, ecrane, about all the dead foliage being an eyesore. I thought if i used bulbs that bloomed in different seasons, that would take care of the problem of having everything bloom at once, but I forgot about the dead foliage. Those other bulbs wouldn't cover up the dead foliage the way perennials or something else would--they'd just make more dead foliage! I guess that's why I haven't been able to find any "just bulbs" beds in any of the books and magazines I've looked at. Maybe I'll just find a good design suggestion that includes irises and other things and go with that. (I'm trying to type on my husband's laptop because my desktop crashed yesterday. Am about as computer challenged as I am garden-design challenged.) Just mainly wanted to say thanks to both of you for your welcome to Dave's.

Cedar Rapids, IA(Zone 5a)

Hi sos - Just thought I'd send along a few pics of what I've done with a combination of irises, lilys (bulbs), and other perennials to get blooms throughout the season. This bed has iris, daylilys, oriental lilys, asiatic lilys, groundcover perennials, and mums for fall. Hope these give you some ideas. The area is sun to part-sun. If you see anything you'd like additional info on, just let me know - I'm in 5a for everything here should do fine in your area. Dax

First - In May 5/25 - close-up of Iris -

Thumbnail by dax080
Cedar Rapids, IA(Zone 5a)

Another Iris in on May 25 - I have six different kinds of Iris in this bed.

Thumbnail by dax080
Cedar Rapids, IA(Zone 5a)

On July 19 - bed is transformed by oriental, asiatic, trumpet lilies and daylilies -

Thumbnail by dax080
Cedar Rapids, IA(Zone 5a)

Another view - you can see the iris foliage between the lilies -

Thumbnail by dax080
Cedar Rapids, IA(Zone 5a)

In the Fall - October 10 - the hardy mums have taken over the spotlight -

Thumbnail by dax080
Cedar Rapids, IA(Zone 5a)

Here's a front long view of same area, the iris foliage is in the background - hope this helps - Dax

Thumbnail by dax080
Yukon, OK(Zone 7b)

sos, a great filler for your perennials would be coleus & caladiums. Come on over to the Coleus Forum and we'll get you addicted! LOL

Thumbnail by Brinda
Cedar Rapids, IA(Zone 5a)

You bet, Brinda, I also LOVE caladiums and coleus - are they hardy for you in OK? Dax

Yukon, OK(Zone 7b)

Oh no dax! They are not hardy here. That would be a dream come true for me! LOL

Cedar Rapids, IA(Zone 5a)

I know what you mean - they are such a colorful addition to a shady garden, I keep hoping to have a microclimate in which they survive, but no such luck - Dax

Dillon, SC(Zone 7b)

Thanks, dax. I love your combinations--beautiful pictures. The irises with different kinds of lilies is just what I have in mind. And the mums in the fall is a great idea. I'm also thinking of sprinkling the whole bed with something like white alyssum or annual baby's breath to provide a sort of background for the bulbs and a groundcover to keep the weeds at bay. Brinda, I also like your idea about coleus and caladiums--they would add color when none of the bulbs are blooming and would do well behind the stump where they wouldn't get too much afternoon sun. It's amazing that you and I are in the same growing zone. Until very recently I thot I was in zone 8, but it seems it's actually 7b. Most of the rest of my county is in zone 8. We have pretty hot summers, with temps climbing above three digits occasionally. I'd imagine you do, too, but it's probably less humid. Our summer days can be like a sauna at times.

Cedar Rapids, IA(Zone 5a)

Hi again - sounds like your summers are much hotter there than up here in 5a, although we are also very humid. Another annual that thrives here in the heat in full sun are marigolds, I forgot to mention them, but they are also in the pictures, and do well in controlling those pesky weeds - be sure to send some pics when you have them - happy gardening! Dax

Yukon, OK(Zone 7b)

Hi again sos, there are many coleus and many caladiums that can take full sun, but will also do well in the shade. If you'd like to know which caladiums are for the sun, you can go to www.caladiumworld.com and it will tell you which do well in sun. I have many coleus and caladiums in full sun (all day 100% blazing hot sun) and they do fine.

And I agree with dax....marigolds are a great full sun annual.

Moncks Corner, SC(Zone 8b)

I am a newbie to landscaping . I thought I'd start by enriching the soil in the front of the house, place a flagstone walkway, then worry about planting. This land has been fallow for 10 yrs. and is sandy with crotilaria and thunder vine ugh! along with some other enchating weeds. Lots to do!

Dillon, SC(Zone 7b)

Sewnfool, it sounds like you do have a lot of work ahead of you. I'm a novice at landscaping, too, and have just the opposite problem as yours--too much clay. I think the solution is the same for both of us though--lots and lots of compost. Sounds like you're starting at the right place with putting your walkway in first. Several years ago I asked a landscaper to work up a longterm plan for landscaping the 3 acre yard that surrounds our old rambling farm house but he advised me to put in some walkways, patios, fences, etc. and then do the landscaping. Trouble is--I couldn't afford his services and I don't know where to put the pathways. Plus my husband wouldn't want his mowing interrupted by walkways. (By the way, someone, what does DH mean?--dear husband? I'm new to blogging and don't know the lingo.) How big is your yard, Sewnfool? Hope it's small enough to be manageable.

Thumbnail by sos210_14
Dillon, SC(Zone 7b)

Trial balloon. Have attempted two posts with no results. If this doesn't make it, what am I doing wrong?

After several communications with Terry, who was VERY patient and helpful I learned how to refresh my brower's cache. Thanks, Terry, I can see it all now. I have as much to learn about computers as I do about gardening!

This message was edited Feb 7, 2007 11:02 AM

Sautee Nacoochee, GA(Zone 7a)

Ive been peeking in!
A fairly newcomer to Daves and a struggling veggie/wildflower/ lanscaper in the shady Ga mtns! Just thought I'd say hi and thank ya'll for your inputs for us begginers. It can be alil daunting to speak up in a forum where I might look like a total moron!
I look fwd to scavenging posts on raised beds,shaded spaces, pathways,forest lanscaping,.. oh heck- why make a list when I'll be hoping to use most anything come my way? LOL Bewtixt my trees and my soil it's been a never ending battle- but I wont give up!

Hats off to you here at DG's!(new and experienced alike- I appreciate you all!)

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

sos- you already have gorgoeus house with nice landscaping around it,looks to me!
one way to lay a path might be to observe if there already is a path worn, by your daily travels. that tells you you could put a permanent walk there and would use it. I woudn't put walkways across lawn for no reason.
I would consider enlarging planted areas around existing trees.

I would suggest that you re post your question in a new thread, because I for one, haven't been looking at this thread for any questions.

Morgan Hill, CA

Hi All,
Am new to gardening and have discovered that I bought plants because I liked how they looked. I did not consider their growing needs...so now I have a bit of a mess to sort through and many plants to relocate. I also "pruned" (or rather hacked) several of my plants and now they are not only in the wrong spot, they are ugly as well. I'm pretty sure I could use lots of advice.

Blyth, ON(Zone 5b)

Hi there kingl57, and welcome to our garden! Do you have any pictures that you could post? That would be a big help if you're looking for some "remedial assistance" :-)


Morgan Hill, CA

Hi Ginny, I will send some pictures a bit later in the season. Many of my plants are in containers as I live in a 5th wheel and have a small, mostly shady area to use for landscaping, approx 60 sq ft of lawn and my "garden" areas that vary in the amount of sun they get. In the late spring and summer I have almost too much sun in one area while the others remain shady. Anyway, we had several nights of freezing temperatures here in California and many of the plants froze. I'm not sure which ones will revive so will post some pix when I can tell what I have left to work with this season. And thank you for the warm welcome and the willingness to take a look-see. Leesa

Petersburg, VA

I planted a tree many years ago because the tag said fast growing. Now the tree is big and provides great shade but the roots grow on top of the grown. Any way to disguise this or cover it up. The roots are dangerous to the lawn mower too.

Blyth, ON(Zone 5b)

Is this tree in a section of your yard where it would look acceptable to allow ivy and periwinkle to grow as groundcovers instead of grass? That way, you would hide the tree roots without harming them and also remove the need to mow in that spot.


Falls Church, VA

Hi, I'm putting in raised planters in front of my house on either side of the little porch, and was wondering if anyone could tell me if pressure-treated lumber is ok to use. Someone told me that, nowadays, this type of wood is not as toxic to the soild and plants as it used to be. Is that true? Thanks for any info you have.

Dublin, CA(Zone 9a)

It's not treated with arsenic anymore like it used to be, but it's still treated with chemicals so I probably wouldn't use it if you're going to be growing herbs or veggies. But other stuff you should be able to grow just fine.

Ashland, OR(Zone 8a)

Great Dave!

Thanks! I'll have tons of questions and problems this spring (once this darn cold weather is over) and I begin planning and landscaping for the first time :)

Fredericksburg, VA(Zone 7b)

Wow, welcome to all the new comers. I to am a beginning landscaper. My area of expertise is mainly organic veggie gardening and roses. We also have fruit and nut trees. However, I retired in last January and things have gotten more interesting. LOL I just completed the Master Gardener classes in November, a goal I've been trying to reach for a long time. I found online courses on beginning landscaping on About. com. I've slowly been working my way through those and find it very enlightening. The program is written in such away as to be easily understandable with pictures. I love those visuals. And best of all it's free! They also have courses for more advanced students. Same deal. It's worth checking out. http://landscaping.about.com/
I've not been on DG very long, but I'm am so thrilled that I decided to subscribe. Best money I ever spent. There's so much information available and so many friendly, and highly experienced gardeners here that are more than willing to share. It's just great! WTG Dave!

Asheboro, NC

Hi everyone!

I'm new to the forum, my first post. My DH and I just moved into a new home after 26 years of marriage, and I have a landscaping issue already. The humongous oak tree in the yard (that really sold the house, you know) used to have an equally humongous wisteria vine growing in it. Someone had the sense to cut the vine before it killed the tree, but now there are hundreds of baby wisteria vines popping up all over the yard. We have already realized that mowing isn't going to help; they grow back faster than the grass does! Short of the shovel and a pair of really tough gloves, does anyone know of an environmentally-friendly way of removing them, orshould I go ahead and get out the pick-axe? My husband wants to fry them with chemicals, but I fear that will leave big brown spots all over the place! HELP!


Chillicothe, OH

This is such a long and rambling thread I just cut to bottom, so don't know if this has been addressed, but somewhere in there someone asked about paths. Paths are easy, really.

Just go about your daily business for a few months and let your grass get a bit long and you'll see right away where your paths should go. The grass gets flattened, and grows more slowly from walking on it and your paths will be plain. Follow them for your first, basic, utilitarian paths, then let your creativity lead you from there.

Something that's fun to contemplate is the creation of 'rooms' or discrete areas of garden within your yard. Instead of trying to design a conprehensive design for the whole place, use structures (like arches and arbors and vines, benches, birdbaths, focal points like vases, statues, sundials, shepherd crooks with various things on them, wind chimes, hummer feeders, bird feeders and houses, flowers,etc.,) use these things to create 'rooms' with walls, paths into and through these, make walls with shrubs, create smaller sections with themes, perhaps one could be a bird or hummer or butterfly garden, another, a shade garden, based on the fact you might have a shady corner created by some buildings or trees, or some other anomaly in the yard. Get out paper and pen and play with the idea.

In the UK, Biddulph Grange is a great giant version, really the granddaddy of this kind of gardening. *Totally* worth studying:


It's actually easier to garden in little sections like this, I've always thought. This isn't 'plop the fountain, flamingoes and garden gnomes right in front of the house so the neighbors can all see them' gardening. This is 'Secret Garden' gardening. Wonderful private spaces you create for *you* that others can't easily see unless you invite them to explore your creation.

Here's a pic of my 'secret garden' in the midst of some upgrades. Normally the porch swing is under the arbor in the background. You enter through the arch which has yellow trumpet vine, honeysuckle, and Don Juan rose growing on it. Like most gardens it's a work in progress.


This message was edited Aug 4, 2008 2:57 AM

Thumbnail by Melissande
Big Lake, MN(Zone 4a)

This thread was intended to just be a welcome when the forum first started, you will notice that apart from yours and the one above have really old dates.
To ask your question so it has a better chance of being seen go back to the 'communities list' and re-enter, once in the forum ,scroll to bottom of page where it will say something like "start new subject" and retype, or copy and paste the one you have here, and it will come up at the top of the list where it will be seen. Hope this makes sense to you.

Chillicothe, OH

If you'll look at my post, there's no question in it. In fact, someone else in the thread asked a question which, after reading the thread from beginning to end, I saw (or at least thought I saw) that no one had answered it. I was trying to be helpful and answer that person's question regarding paths.


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