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Help critique front native wildlife garden plans

12 years ago

I moved into my home two years ago. I have tried my hand at vegetable gardening, which has brought a lot of success and is incredibly rewarding (Built 4 8x8' raised terraced beds in backyard, two great productive seasons so far.)

I would like to venture into landscaping the yard. There is a bit of existing planting up front against the house, but I would very much like to:

- block the view into the front windows from the road

- attract birds, bugs, and critters to watch from the bay window (I can't/won't do this out back, since my dogs obsess over terrorizing/flushing the yard of wildlife)

- minimize the lawn

My husband wants to make sure I don't do anything crazy so the house won't resell someday (although we have no plans to move, ever, things do change). He's concerned about pulling almost all the grass.

I have poured over a few library books, native plant listings, and found a landscape design that provided the basis of my plans:

Here is the site now:


Here is what I mocked up:


And with images of the plants:


The plants areas aren't drawn to scale...I really don't know if everything will fit or if there's way too little to fill up the space. I do know that the area (that's not under the green circle of the live oak) gets full sun, about 6 hours a day. The area closest to the street loses sun first. The area planned for shadbushes and dogwoods is about 2' lower than the rest of the area, as there's a sharp slope. That area gets very wet with a rain.

If these plans are good enough to start, what do I do next? Start pulling up sod and bringing in compost? I am hoping to do as much as possible from seed, as I just quit my job and am starting a PhD fulltime.

I'm in the Washington DC area. All these plants should be able to grow in this area, according to the US Fish and Wildlife booklet I have. But I don't know the basics, like when I can plant the shrubs/trees, what things I should start with, etc. Any help will be very much appreciated! Thanks so much for taking the time to read and consider. I hope to learn a lot!

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