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5 Easy Tips to Plant New Shrubs and Trees

Are you ready to boost your home’s curb appeal? Then read on to get our 5 tips to plant new shrubs and trees in your front yard. And make your dream landscape design plan a reality.

If you’ve been following along with the landscape design plan that I’m doing in the front of my house I’m finally at the point where we’re ready to plant our new shrubs and trees.

It took some time to get here with drainage and seasonal delays but we did it.

We started with planning out a landscape design in our existing planting beds along the foundation in the front of our house.

You can save yourself some money by creating your own landscape plan if you’re willing to do a bit of research to figure how what will grow best in your yard.

Once we came up with a plan, Chris and I hit our local nursery to choose the right shrubs for our area.

You can read how I picked the correct plantings for our home and tips for you to do the same in your yard too here.

Then we ran into some issues that had to be addressed before installing our new landscape.

Our old overgrown shrubs and trees that were way too big for the front of our house had to be removed.

And finally, the day had come to install the landscape design that we had been planning for over a year!

Before Planting New Shrubs and Trees

pulled back view of house from street before new landscape installation

We had the exterior of our home painted a lighter color so we wanted the shrubs to reflect the new look of our home.

No more thick overgrown holly plants that grew to form one giant hedge along the front of our house and even covered the windows.

We planned to plant smaller bushes and when we were at our local nursery to purchase the shrubs we learned about an installation plan they offered.

If we opted for their plan and bought all our plants from this nursery they’d deliver and install all the trees and shrubs.

They would also provide anything needed to amend the soil to plant each bush.

Plus everything could be installed in just a few hours and it would have probably taken us a lot longer.

Since it was a little over a month before my daughter’s high school graduation and we had a bunch of other projects going on the time savings for us was worth it.

And the best part…all the plants came with a lifetime guarantee!

That guarantee was what sold us!

How to Map Out Your Landscape Design Plan

I created a design plan on graph paper to figure out where I wanted to plant shrubs and trees.

This tip really helps when you actually purchase the plants so you only buy what is needed.

The nursery gave us a bunch of these flags for me to mark the location I wanted them to install each shrub.

I wrote the name of the shrubs we bought on the flags with a Sharpie marker.

How to Decide Exactly Where Plant Each Shrub

I already knew where each shrub and tree was going to be placed but I can’t tell you how many times I moved around these flags.

What if I should plant the azaleas closer to the house?

No, maybe they need to be pulled out further.

Should I plant them in a straight line?

Or perhaps they should be set staggered?

Seriously you guys I may have moved these landscape marker flags multiple times.

Did a few inches to the left or right really matter anyway? haha

Finally, I was happy with the layout of where each plant was going.

And I couldn’t wait to get everything in the ground.

Landscape Installation Day

shrubs and plants in back truck trailer being delivered for landscape install

The morning our shrubs were going to be installed by the garden center I had an appointment that couldn’t be moved.

Again I’d miss out on the fun!

Remember I wasn’t home when all the old landscaping was ripped out?

Thank goodness Anne lives right across the street because she was able to come over and take pictures for me.

What Shrubs and Trees Did I Choose for Our New Landscape

new shrubs in containers to be planted

I don’t think I’ve ever shared a list of exactly which shrubs we planted in our front yard.

If your front yard is in full sun like ours in the afternoon be sure to choose sun-tolerant plants.

  • Autumn Angel Azalea
  • Hydrangea Little Lime
  • Dwarf Weeping Loropetalum
  • Cryptomeria Globosa Nana – Japenese Cedar
  • Abelia – Twist of Mango
  • Little Gem Dwarf Southern Magnolia
  • Dwarf Dogwood

Where Should You Plant Deciduous Shrubs

new little lime light plants in plastic pots in front of house

Previously, I planted limelight hydrangeas that were beautiful.

Unfortunately, they grew too large and their gorgeous flowers were so top-heavy they hung over across our sidewalk.

This time I choose a dwarf variety and planted little lime hydrangea.

When planning the design for our foundation landscape I decided to keep the flower beds on either side of the front porch a bit symmetrical and repeat some of the shrubs.

So we installed two of the little lime hydrangea plants on the left and three on the right side of the porch.

little lime hydrangea plants in pots in front of stone home front

I also decided to have them installed in the back of the planting beds closer to the foundation for two reasons.

First, when the hydrangea grows and the blooms become heavy they have the support of the house to lean against.

Secondly, hydrangea is deciduous which means they lose their leaves in the winter.

I never loved how they looked all winter in front of our flower beds.

Now in the back, the hydrangeas will have other evergreen shrubs in front of them when they’re dormant.

On the left side of our home, the ground is graded down away from the house so it was the perfect spot to plant a tree.

The Little Gem Dwarf Southern Magnolia fills in this spot on the corner of the house and will only grow to about 20 to 25 feet high and 10 to 15 feet around.

I can’t wait to see this guy get bigger!

In front of the little lime hydrangeas, we installed two cryptomerias with a dwarf weeping loropetalum in between.

What Should You Plant on Either Side of the Front Steps

new plants on either side of front steps to be planted

I’ve planted a few different shrubs on either side of our front steps.

When we first moved in there was some sort of evergreen that didn’t make it so I replaced them with roses.

I thought bringing in some color by the front porch would be pretty but they didn’t do well in this sunny spot either.

And honestly looked awful during the winter months.

So when buying new plants we decided to go back to an evergreen bush.

We installed Abelia Radiance – Twist of Mango because we loved the yellow hue of this plant.

Low Growing Shrubs to Plant around a Tree

shrubs and tree in containers ready to be planted in front of house

We previously had a crepe myrtle tree in this larger curved planting bed on the right side of the house.

It was gorgeous but eventually became too large for the space.

Over the last few years, it wasn’t the healthiest and we had to treat it for disease and pests.

But we really loved the idea of a small flowering tree in this space and wanted to install another.

We have a dogwood tree in the backyard and Chris was set on planting one in this spot too.

After researching we found a dwarf variety dogwood tree that would work in the front of the house.

shrubs in containers before being planted in landscape

The small flowering tree was positioned in the middle of the flower bed and surrounded by a mix of Japanese cedar and weeping loropetalum.

We placed three cryptomerias and two loropetalums in this planting bed around the tree.

The three dwarf-sized hydrangeas were in the back along the window.

What to Plant in a Narrow Foundation Planting Bed

new plants laid out on mulch ready to be installed

The flower bed in front of the side entry garage along the sidewalk from the driveway to our front door is only about 6 feet deep.

Even though this planting area is only 6 feet deep it’s 21 feet long so we had to figure out what would fill the flower beds without growing so large it would hang over the sidewalk when mature.

Chris absolutely loves azaleas and wanted to include them in our landscape design.

We found Encore Autumn Angel Azaleas that had beautiful white flowers and bloomed in the spring and often again in the fall.

We installed five azalea plants in a staggered pattern with three in the back and two in the front.

I need to choose a shrub or tree for the other corner of the house near the driveway but haven’t decided on that yet.

New Landscape Design Plan Almost Complete

new shrubs and trees installed in front foundation planting beds

We have a little bit of work to do before the landscape design is complete.

Landscape lighting to highlight the exterior stone on our house and the new shrubs and trees.

A large bush for the end of the house by the driveway also needs to be planted.

And we need more mulch to cover all the bare spots in the flowerbeds and give the front of our house a fresh new vibe.

If you have any questions or suggestions, contact me or leave a comment!

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