Purchase and plant all of your deciduous and evergreen shrubs next. It's important to have a mix of the two types to extend your seasons of interest -- especially important for a front facade. You can buy small plants -- they will grow quickly. A small, $20 red-twig dogwood will probably be full-size before you finish the rest of the landscape phases.
Position the shrubs as though they are full-size, leaving ample room for them to expand, plus extra space around and between them for your future perennials. Mulch around the shrubs for now. The shrubs have more bang for less cost than perennials. This will create a setting, and you will begin to get a real taste of how the final landscape will appear. Again, you can tuck a few annuals in the planters or add some containers for your flower fix.
Continued on page 4: Phase 4: Perennials