landscaping a square backyard

by Kim
(Des Moines, IA)

How to approach landscaping for a square backyard?


We live on a golf course with a large square backyard. We will be moving in a couple of years, so don't want to invest a lot in landscaping, but right now it's boring! In one corner I thought about putting a peanut shape planting with a river birch and some shrubs (wet area due to run-off from golf course). Any ideas on what I should do? Thanks!

ANSWER

If you do corner plantings, make them substantial by not only adding a tree but also some shrubs and perennials. Perennials can be purchased in the 1 gallon or even quart size to save money on the landscaping of your yard. I like the idea of a River Birch. It's actually one of my favorite trees and as you seem to know, it does well in wet areas.

Assuming your yard gets at least a half a day sun, some shrubs you might consider are Weigela, Forsythia, and Red Twig Dogwood. (Evergreen shrubs will be more costly.) This last shrub likes wet conditions and has beautiful red stems in the winter. I can just see it! The Rive Birch with its peeling bark in front of beautiful red stems and branches. Set the shrubs behind the Birch. You could use a lot of the Red Twig Dogwoods ( 7 - 10), curving around the corner behind the Birch.

Then if front of the Birch you could add perennials for color.

Consider doing something similar in the other corner. Use a different tree or even a large shrub or three large shrubs, like Lilacs. Change the shrubs and perennials for interest, but repeat some of the perennials or even some of the Red Twigs for continuity.

Here are some pages that you might find helpful:
Plants For Landscaping

How To Landscape

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"Susan,  what a pleasure it was to work with you.  You made me feel like I was your only client - responding late at night and always so quickly!  Your design is amazing and we only hope we can do justice to it when we plant.  You have such fantastic ideas and you are so open to suggestions and changes.  Loved working with you - now if you could only come to Canada and plant it!!!"
Helen, Ontario-Canada 

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