NE Louisiana azalea project

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by LAbb, Apr 19, 2009.

  1. LAbb

    LAbb LawnSite Member
    Posts: 20

    I'm looking for some help for designing an azalea project in NELA. Not sure if the best route is a landscape architect, landscape professional, or do it myself. Below are some pics I have of the 11 acre site on which I plan to build my home. I would like to have large azaleas ranging from 6'-10' in height in varying colors(white, red, purple, mixed, etc.).I already know the soil the acidic enough. Will azaleas grow well in this shade under these oaks? What are the best species for this much shade? I'm looking at planting thousands of azaleas over 3-5 years so I want the hardiest species which will sprawl and not require pruning. Thanks in advance for any help.



  2. LAbb

    LAbb LawnSite Member
    Posts: 20

    BTW I would like the final product to look something similar to this...

  3. CALandscapes

    CALandscapes LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 946

    My .02:

    I strongly suggest that you use an architect for a multitude of reasons...

    1. To give you an overall plan of what you're trying to create over the next several years
    2. To give you ideas and options on different varieties as well as their placement in the landscape....

    I could go on and on, but I'll spare both my fingers from typing it and your eyes from reading it.

    The picture that you offered shows a beautiful layout; the person who designed it was most definitely a very capable designer. If you're not, then go the route that you know will work -- hire a landscape architect.
  4. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,776

    Good Advice CA.

    Though the picture is amazing, the only thing I don't like about just doing strait Azaleas, is that you've spent the time and money to design a garden with only one season of color.

    The rest of the year, it's just going to be a blob of green.

    As for varieties, just go search out local nurseries. There are going to be some common varieties, but you might be able to find a few unique ones to mix in.

    Also, some companies on-line have a good selection of bare-root stock, and that could save money in the end.
  5. LAbb

    LAbb LawnSite Member
    Posts: 20

    "The rest of the year, it's just going to be a blob of green."

    This may sound strange but that's kind of what I want. The green will give it a natural appearing privacy hedge for 11 months out of the year but for one month you get an enchanted forest :)

    Thank you both for your advice.
  6. CALandscapes

    CALandscapes LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 946

    Keep in mind that there are several varieties of azalea that do bloom more than once per year... We use a lot of 'Fashion' azaleas, that bloom both in the spring and the fall, as well as intermittently throughout the summer. Also noteworthy would be the 'Encore' azaleas, which come in an assortment of different colors & varieties (although they are costlier).
  7. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,776

    Man, it would be awesome to live down south and have shrubs bloom more than once.
  8. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,776

    That sounds like a great idea, and I'm an advocate using different layers of shades of green, but I feel it would be nice to put a few other things in to give a small point or two of color during different times of the year, but keep your mass of azaleas for the dramatic affect in the spring.

    It appears you have a large area to play with, you could do more than one theme through there.

    Just my 2 cents.
  9. LAbb

    LAbb LawnSite Member
    Posts: 20

    I do have some other plans. My fall display will be 40-50 red maple, yellow poplar, green ash, and ginkos spread out over the 11 acres.

    I want to keep as many native species as possible so I may leave out the ginkos. I'm also debating whether or not to plant some flowering vines such as wisteria(sp?) but I'm a little worried about that since vines can sometimes take over an area and make it look sloppy.

    I also plan to have a 3 acre lawn area with either centipede, st. augustine, or zoysia. Right now I'm leaning centipede. I think it will be able to grow even though there is a lot of shade. My parents have a 4 acre lawn with cenitpede and it's low maintenence but attractive.

    There is a small "gully" that splits the property which is filled with wild ferns. I want to clean out all the trash around the ferns and find a way to help them flourish. The 11 acres already has a lot of wild azaleas so I'll leave them where they are and help them stay as healthy as possible.

    The first 2 pics below are of the ferns in the bottom. The third is of a wild azalea and the 4th is where I plan to put my home and lawn.




  10. jkingrph

    jkingrph LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 807

    Nice looking site, I am originally from W. Monroe myself, and still have a house there.

    One question, is the soil more red or black. If red you should use some soil amendments such as mixing in some fine pine bark mulch & peat moss so the roots can have a better chance to grow. will probalby have better successs planting in lower areas. Knowing how the rains have been there over the years consider irrigation. You will most likely have to do a lot of watering the first couple of years after each planting.

    I just planted some of the Encore azelaes here in E Texas . This variety was developed in Louisiana and said to need 6-8 hours of sun daily for best blooming.

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