Yard Design Blank Canvas

gpat83(6)January 22, 2013

I am not sure where to start, I am new to all of this gardening thing. I am just asking for any and all ideas. I am pretty open. Last year I planted a Rhododendron and two Hydrangeas and two bleeding hearts. It just still looks a little bare.
I do not have enough money to hire a designer and I want to learn as I do it myself with the advice of others.
I have many pictures but I am not sure how to upload more than one at a time. This picture is of the front of the house. I am also willing to email the pictures I have if you are serious about helping this guy out.
Thanks!

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gpat83(6)

Another front picture

    Bookmark   January 22, 2013 at 11:24PM
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gpat83(6)

Back yard

    Bookmark   January 22, 2013 at 11:27PM
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gpat83(6)

North East side of house

    Bookmark   January 22, 2013 at 11:32PM
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gpat83(6)

West side of house

    Bookmark   January 22, 2013 at 11:33PM
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gpat83(6)

West side, most shade in this area.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2013 at 11:36PM
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yardvaark

The front walk jumps out as being too narrow and out of scale with house. A walk that matches the width of the steps would be much better. It could be replaced entirely with a more attractive material such as brick, or if it's in relatively decent shape, it could be widened. Similarly, the back deck would be improved if it had something better than the small stepping stones as its walk.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2013 at 9:27AM
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gpat83(6)

I agree. I was planning on increasing the size of the walk way once the weather warms up. I bought the molds to make my own stones. I attached a picture. I am thinking in the front I will maybe do a different color. Also since I took this picture I also filled in the spaces with some stones. I am just not sure if this style will go with the house.
Thanks for this. Any thoughts as to what to plant and where?

    Bookmark   January 23, 2013 at 11:16AM
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gpat83(6)

I cannot get the picture to upload. It is the cobbelstone look.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2013 at 11:23AM
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yardvaark

"I bought the molds to make my own stones .... I am just not sure if this style will go with the house." I think I know what you're talking about ... the plastic mold-making forms from big box stores. It would not excite me for a front walkway, but suit yourself. Another source of low-cost materials (brick, etc.) is craigslist if you live in an area where it's used, though it may take some time to find what you want.

Here are some quick ideas. I'm sure they would need refinement. The numbers correspond with the following notes:

1. Figure out the ultimate conclusion of the tree now so you can help it grow into the proper shape. If it's going to have a raised canopy (I suggest at least 8' so that it well clears the heads of adults) then there's no reason to let limbs and branches below 50% of the total tree height remain. Doing so allows the tree to waste energy producing foliage & wood you don't want long term. Besides that, the low branches are generally in the way. If you prune before the spring flush of growth, the tree will grow back much of what you cut off but at a higher, more desirable elevation.

2. Is a bulky shrub placed in line with just behind the front face of the house. It helps block the low elevation view into the neighbor's back yard. Could be 4' to 8' ht ... whatever suits.

3. Low mounding shrubs or perennials at ea. side of steps help them look fitted in.

4. 4' ht. shrub at corner for helping the porch look fitted in.

5. Groundcover. Bringing it forward helps funnel visual focus toward the entrance.

6. Shrubs or perennials at the base of the tree strengthens its connection to ground and insulates the front view a little more from the back yard area.

Not showing you all possibilities, just the basics--bed line & massing--of this view. It's loose. It's rough. You can refine it with details.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2013 at 6:42AM
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shear_stupidity(9B)

Yardvaark, do mine next! I just posted "Inviting Comments and Suggestions" in this forum!

    Bookmark   January 24, 2013 at 12:40PM
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