Garden tips & plants for humid areas

Hello people, it is Project Time!.

I’m always excited about projects and I hope you are too, here you’ll find tips and ideas to apply to your own garden or terrace. Remember you can find me on Fresh Lemonade Gardens. Send me your gardening plans or questions!.

Ok, now, I bit info about the clients:

A family of three (mom, dad and baby girl) recently moved into a new and bigger house in northern France, with a lot of green space to work on, they want to start by renewing their entrance area, where they have a garage and a secondary access to their house, but, it’s the access they see every single day, because it’s the garage access.

The problem

They just rented a house that was inhabited for a long time, they have a bunch of old and dead plants that cover all the space. The garage area has also dead plants and they would like to cover it all with beautiful plants.

Northern France has a wet weather, so they have grey days most of the time.

They need a space where they can feel safe and bring to life their new home.

First impression of the area
What they want/need

They need an organized space (that gives them a “welcome home” effect) with low-maintenance shrubs. As the area is not attached to their house and they have to walk a few meters to actually enter the house, it is convenient to have small shrubs that leaves them a clear view, to see everything around.

The garage has already a define flowerbed space and they want some evergreen (plants that maintain their leaves in cold weather) to cover it, like a Lavender mix (Lavandula angustifolia, L. stoechas, L. officinalis, L. dentanta) and a climbing rose at the back.

Lavender & pink roses

They would like to have an ornamental tree that provides color and fun to grey winters.

The project

We are starting by cleaning the area to understand what we have over there and, let us have a clear vision of what we want. It’s a bit heavy work, but it’s important and worth doing it, trust me, you’ll feel much better after you see that clean and open space, sometimes you’ll feel it look bigger than you thought, and that’s so good, more space for plants! right?.

Notice they have stairs that divide the “planting” area, we are going to use that “highness” to simulate different shrub dimensions.

How it will look 🙂
Plant selection

They need low-maintenance plants for a wet zone (northern France) so this is the list of plants for this specific area

Plant selection and distribution
  • Edgeworthia chrysantha or paperbush: an ornamental tree is very resistant and can easily grow on container too, the Paperbush is a good option for this kind of climates. It likes partial-shades and with the right draining soil, it will grow and give you all the satisfaction you need in cold winters. It will thrive during winter with early blooms, in summer, it has a leafy and globe shape with big oval leaves.
Chinese paperbush
  • Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’: is a perennial bush, with succulent stems and leaves and pink blooms from August to November. It attracts butterflies. They like full sun or partial shades, it’s a low-maintenance plant and it thrives between ornamental grasses.
Sedum spectabile & Stachys
  • Alchemilla mollis or lady’s mantle: is an herbaceous perennial, it loves partial-shades and blooms from July to August with small, bright yellow flowers in large sprays just above the foliage.
Alchemilla mollis in Vancouver
  • Euonymus ‘Silver Queen’: evergreen shrub with dark green leaves and white edges. It grows well in full-sun or partial-shades. It will make your garden stand out in winter.
Euonymus fortunei ‘Silver Queen’
  • Juniperus communis ‘Depressa Aurea’: it’s a dwarf conifer, evergreen with nice bronze foliage colors during autumn. It grows well in any type of soil and loves temperate climates.

  • Carex brunnea: ornamental grass with clear cream/yellow leaves. It likes partial-shades and it’ll bloom in summer and it’s perfect to plant with other flowering plants to create a green “separation” in between.

  • Brunnera macrophylla ‘Jack Frost’: another perennial shrub, with heart-shaped silver leaves and blue little blooms in spring. It loves partial shades and it goes well around ornamental grasses like carex.
Brunnera foliage & blooms
Alchemilla mollis & Brunnera
  • Tiarella cordifolia: this is a small perennial evergreen, it can become a groundcover if you leave it the space to grow. Interesting autumn foliage and blooms from April to June.
Tiarella cordifolia & Carex pensylvanica
  • Bulbs: I recommended a mix of irises, tulips and garlic bulbs, to plant next to the stairs and between small shrubs. 
    Yellow tulips between blue and pink blooms, they will stand up around all the green colors in the garden

    This garden was designed to have blooms through all seasons. You can always plant them in containers and give them try. You’ll see that the “right” perennial plants are the solution to all your problems and will bring you joy with really low maintenance.
    The idea of having a garden is to have fun too, try it and let me know all about it!

 

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