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QUESTION: I live in the Houston area.  What shrubs/plants would be good for an east facing house?  I like color and it would be nice to have annuals, but I also need things that can withstand the high heat/humidity in the Houston climate.  It would be nice, too, to have suggestions for plants that don't need alot of water, but I do have a sprinkler system in my garden.  Also, it would be nice to have things that bloom/have color through out the 4 seasons, if possible.  Thanks.

ANSWER: Hello,

The plants on the following list will tolerate an eastern exposure and have low water requirements:


japanese yew

crapemyrtle

ferns

tulip

daffodil

crocus

hyacinth

snowdrop (galanthus) winter flower

witch hazel (hamamelis) winter flower

hellebores (winter flower)



Mark Harshman
http://www.mahdrafting.com
Email: mark@mahdrafting.com

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http://www.allexperts.com/ep/724-104627/Landscaping-Design/Mark.htm




---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: I should have said which flowers are good as perrenials (these come back year after year, correct?) for an east facing house in the Houston area.
Also, the answer you sent I think was primarily dealing with flowers.  Do you have any suggestions for flowering evergreen shrubs/bushes and small or dwarf flowering trees for an east facing house in the Houston area?
Thanks.

Answer
Hello,

The yew will produce a red berry in winter but here are 2 more shrubs that produce flowers:

Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) Blue flowers. Grows to 3 feet.

China rose (Rosa chinensis)  Pink and red flowers. Grows to 5 feet.



All the plants I listed except for tulip (a wild or hybridized bulb may become perennial) are perennial.

There are also varieties of flowering ferns. You could then meet your need for more color while choosing a plant type suited to your conditions.


The plants on the list I originally gave you are very well suited to partial shade and low water conditions.


Crape myrtle varies in form from a shrub to a multi-trunk, small flowering tree and is an excellent texas tree.


Witch hazel can take the form of a sparsely branched shrub or of an upright tree and will provide fall and winter flowers. Witch hazel can reach a height of 15 feet but the average height is about 6 feet.


To summarize,here are the plants broken down into the categories of tree/shrub and the decorative bed or border plants,which would fall under the category of herbaceous or non-woody plants. The shrubs and trees are ericaceous,woody:

Tree/Shrub:

Crape Myrtle

Witch Hazel

Yew

Rosemary

China Rose


Bed/Border:

ferns

tulip

daffodil

crocus

hyacinth

snowdrop (galanthus) Flowers from January to April.

hellebores. Blooms from December to April. Grows to about 2 feet.



Mark Harshman


For more comprehensive help check out my website at:

http://www.prestoexperts.com/expert/markland  

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Design of landscape structures and design of planting arrangements in the landscape. I usually do not answer questions of a horticultural nature or about growing plants or gardening unless they are related to design. I will answer these questions at my discretion. I will answer maintenance questions at my discretion,usually when they are related to design. I am a landscape designer. I am not a contractor or a gardener. Although I will describe how something is built I do not provide detailed installation or construction instructions. Here are example categories of problems I can help you with: Design of residential walks,low walls,low retaining walls,fences,drainage systems,arbors,plant selection,xeriscapes (low water use landscapes),rain garden design,rain water harvesting,permeable paving,sustainable drainage. No advise on an architectural or engineering level. I DO NOT PERFORM ACTUAL DESIGN WORK THROUGH THIS SITE. I only provide suggestions and advice. For more comprehensive help check out my website at: http://www.prestoexperts.com/expert/markland

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Landscape concept plan for a 30,000 square feet housing site. Involved site recon by pace measurements and photographs and a site analysis and a site analysis report and recommendations and a preliminary cost estimate. Design elements included canopy trees,shrub cover,accent flowers,trash receptacles,benches and planters. Landscape concept plan for a 7,000 square feet site for a community center. Involved site recon by tape measurements and photographs,a site analysis and the creation of 3 conceptual designs for the site. Work was done through a local professional design center. Design elements included tree garden,playground,sitting area,lawn,cooking area,lighting and concrete and brick paving. Landscape concept plan for a 3,000 square feet housing site. Involved site recon by tape measurements and photographs and a site analysis. Concluded in 3 concept designs for the site,shown at a formal presentation,a site analysis and recommendations. Work was done through a community volunteer program. Design elements included decks,a playground and fencing. Briefly as draftsman for landscape designer/gardener. Conceptual landscape design for residence. Involved site recon by tape and pace measurements and site analysis. Design included covered patio area,ground cover and flower beds. Two years experience as draftsman for transportation department in engineering firm and for engineering consultants to phone company. Duties consisted of plotting topography. Survey crew member. General assistant to surveyor. Work was done for U.S. Army and County Highway Department. No instrument work. Duties included tape measurement,holding graduated survey rod and plumb bob for sighting and clearing brush. Marketed Landscape Design Services. Brochure writing,promotional material and marketing graphics.

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Course in Computer Aided Drafting. 700 hours in AutoCad 2000. 700 hours to date on AutoCad Light 2000. Certificate in Manual Drafting. 1200 hours drafting time. Course in Civil Engineering Technology. (One Semester)

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From Civil Engineer: I am very impressed with your work and with the obvious thought you have put into the marketing of your venture. It was especially good to see a print of that job we discussed on the phone. I wish you much luck with the venture as I do with your plans for school. Im darn proud of you buddy. And by the way,when I get my license,maybe you will consider me for a consulting job down the road. I hope to get together with Rick sometime soon and I would really like to show him your stuff if its ok with you. From all these questions you ask I get the feeling that you are genuinely interested and have put alot of thought into the idea and process of landscape architecture and if you could possibly afford the cost I would urge you to take some classes in the areas you are most interested in. The subject is not so simple as it appears,mixing science and engineering with art and a certain amount of religion to create a comfortable and pleasing balance between man and nature. A thoughtful soul like yours can do this but it can be a lifes work getting it right.

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