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Picking Up the Pieces After a Flood

Dealing with serious flood damage at home is not the end of the world. And most importantly, it does not have to cost you an arm and a leg to get your home back into living condition again. In fact, you may find (like I did) that recovering from a flood gives you an opportunity to improve the look and feel of your home overall, and even to implement design options that increase the value of your property. I spent about a year fixing up my place after a pipe exploded while I was on vacation, and literally ruined everything inside from the flooring and walls, to my photos and important paperwork. So, I figured I could help others "pick up the pieces" and create a bigger ad better lifestyle at home by turning a flood situation into an opportunity, instead of dealing with it like a crisis.

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Picking Up the Pieces After a Flood

Garden Plans: Ideas For Trouble Areas

by Scott Gordon

Many yards contain trouble spots. Perhaps it's a shady area where nothing seems to grow. Or maybe it's a corner or small strip that could use some developing. Transform your trouble area into a place of beauty with the appropriate plants and a pleasing layout.

Shady Garden

Do you have an area overshadowed by a tree or maybe by the house itself? Luckily there are several plants that actually prefer the shade:

  • Astilbe
  • Foamflower
  • Hosta
  • Wax begonia
  • Autumn crocus
  • Vinca minor

For this garden, the plan is to lay out the plants in bunches, requiring at least two or three of each. Astilbe and wax begonia both come in shades of pink and purple, though astilbe is the taller plant. Place a cluster of astilbe in one corner and the wax begonias slightly apart. Hosta offers attractive, variegated leaves. Use this for texture in the center of your garden.

Vinca minor and autumn crocus make attractive clusters for the front portion of your garden. According to Better Homes and Gardens, foamflower, with its big leaves and delicate flowers, makes good ground cover, so use foamflowers to fill in any gaps. If you have pretty rocks or a birdbath, consider adding such ornamentation to this garden.

Strip Garden

Many yards have a strip of land at the side of the house or streetside. The trick for this garden plan is to select an array of delicate perennials that transform the area into a colorful oasis. Talk to your local landscapers or visit websites like http://www.lawnscapeshydroseed.com to learn about the plants that do best in your native soil.

When selecting your plants, try to include a couple decorative grasses such as little blue stem and switchgrass. Plan to place these as corner anchors of the garden.

Next, look for some tall but hardy perennials, such as coneflower and smooth aster, both of which come in different colors. Place these in the center of the strip. These tall plants serve as the anchor of your garden. Add an array of shorter plants around the perimeter, looking for pretty varieties such as bee balm, goldenrod and daisy.

Corner Garden

The design for the corner garden is similar to the other two in that you'll be using taller plants as the foundation. However, for this corner garden, consider some showy plants. For instance, place a flowering shrub such as white boltonia, plume poppy or Japanese anemone in the corner.

Next, build the garden out from the shrub with majestic flowers such as Jupier's beard, prairie fire beard tongue, irises or tulips. While planting, widen out from the shrub so that it remains the centerpiece. Finish with some low plants such as catmint and bellflower, which complement the more stately flowers in the garden.

Whether a shady spot, unused strip or forgotten corner, use a mini-garden to make the area lovely.

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