Planting recommendations for a yard in Northern California?
We’re having our tired front and back yards completely redone. We’re having a landscape contractor do the work, but we are choosing the plantings. Old shrubs and flowers are going, all but a very few things we have agreed to keep in place. I am eager to see your recommendations for three locations.
— Built-up (2-brick height) flower-box strip in front of the house, left and right (plenty of afternoon sun)
— Area along the fence between our yard and the neighbor’s driveway (some afternoon sun)
— Border strip along the back of the house (sun in the morning, but shady most of the time)
— I’m interested in using native flora where possible.
— Low plantings in front of the living room window. Others can be taller.
— Low maintenance. Things that thrive on benign neglect (lilacs, for instance) do well with us.
— No pink. No red. No fuchsia. Yellow is great, orange is great, blue and purple are great.
We’re not really gardeners, and I don’t expect to become one suddenly. We want something that will look nice without a lot of fuss. We can’t do one of those lovely rock gardens because we have two large sycamores out front that will shed a lot of leaves and we’ll be constantly having to pick them out. Year-round color would be wonderful, but not if it takes a lot of care.
This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.