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What to do around Flag Pole?

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by BrandonH, Dec 26, 2003.

  1. BrandonH

    BrandonH LawnSite Member
    Messages: 138

    I am absolutely clueless when it comes to landscaping of any kind, so I'm hoping someone can help me out. I'm going to put a 15' flag pole somewhere in my front yard and want to make some sort of bed around it. I'm not sure what shape to do, what to use for the perimeter edging, or what to plant. I am located near Houston so our winters are mild and our summers are hot. I was thinking of some sort of flower bed or maybe even a rock bed of sorts. I'm thinking about placing it on the hill in front of the bird bath in the pic where you can see there is some hideous looking plant with landscape timbers around it.

    I'm open to any suggestions. Remember I need detailed descriptions, in other words no landscape lingo that someone like myself can't understand. Thanks in advance for any help.


  2. SodKing

    SodKing LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,641

    Perhaps one of the veterans can point you in the correct direction. However, the flagpole is the thing you want to accentuate so something simple. An elaborate design will have people looking at the garden bed instead of up at the flag.

    Keep it simple, perhaps just a stone standing area for when you take in and fly the flag 2 x's per day.
  3. BrandonH

    BrandonH LawnSite Member
    Messages: 138

    One more pic.

  4. olderthandirt

    olderthandirt LawnSite Platinum Member
    from here
    Messages: 4,899

    The flag will become the focal point so I agree with SodKing that the rest should be fairly simple as to not to distract the eye from the flag. But I would lite it at nite! so you don't have to take it down.

  5. AGLA

    AGLA LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,776

    I work with someone who has a Master's from Harvard. One of his famous professors told him to avoid the "pubic look" which is the temptation to put shrubbery around the base of a tall form. It is something to think about.

    A flag pole is not usually a bulky object, so it does not need powerful visual support to anchor it. Your pictures suggest to me that a low ground cover of annual/perennial bed would work well. If you put in higher plants in the space you have, the pole and planting become a heavy island to themselves. If you keep it light, the pole and bed are a point of interest as part of the lawn. I would not be too concerned how large the bed is, but more concerned that I could over it to the lawn on the other side from any direction of normal viewing. If it is higher, the shrubs visually blend with the background changing the entire look.

    That is just one way to look at it, not necessarily the right one.
  6. GarPA

    GarPA LawnSite Silver Member
    from PA
    Messages: 2,585

    its taken me many years ....and many mistakes ...to come to the conclusion, as others noted above, that often SIMPLE is better.

    I would just:
    1. install the pole (make sure you anchor it well in the soil)
    2. tie a string to the pole and then keep your finger where you want a bed edge to be and walk around the pole in a circle and mark some spots with spray paint
    3. cut in a nice 4 inch natural bed edge
    4. use the same mulch as you have on the rest of the property to cover the round bed.

    Personally, I would dig in a line to the bed for lighting the flag at nite. Night lighting in the landscape does wonders for even simple things like a flag pole.

    ps..forgot to mention ...along the lines of what AGLA said, you want the flag itself to make the landscape statement...not the bed or anything in it.
  7. dan deutekom

    dan deutekom LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 424

    No bed, just lawn.
    Light it
  8. brentsawyer

    brentsawyer LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 663

    I believe that in order to fly the flag at night, you're supposed to have it lit up. Definitely second the night lighting.
  9. BrandonH

    BrandonH LawnSite Member
    Messages: 138

    Thanks for all the replies. I am definitely going to light it, I believe that in itself adds a great deal of class. I also like the idea of keeping it simple. Hopefully in the next few days I'll get something doena nd I will post a finished pic. Thanks again.

  10. Hamons

    Hamons LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 706

    I did a bed around a flag pole similar to your project for a customer last year.

    The bed was circular with a crushed rock walkway leading out to it and circling around the entire pole. There was about about a 3' inner circle immediately around the pole with just rock. This is important so that you have access to the fladg without stepping on plants.

    The planting circle went out about 8 feet from the pole. I planted a variety of red, white and blue flowers laid out around the pole in symettrical blocks around the center. Plant selection was difficult because most red blooming plants have a tad of orange in them and therfore don't coordinate well with blue flowerswhich often are close to purple. Also, I had to use a combination of bulbs, long blooming annuals and perennials to achieve a nic elooking bed year round.

    The plants I use would not be very relevant for your zone, since I doubt you can count on imaptiens, tulips and foxflove as much as I can in zone 5.

    Hope this helps.

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