Blank slate and new style...need HELP please!

snackie(5)February 16, 2013

I recently lost my 2 story colonial to a tornado and now have a brand new ranch home. It took 17 years to finally get the front yard gardens perfect before and now I am faced with a big, empty, very rocky area to beautify again. I am at a loss where to even begin. I lean towards "cottage garden", but don't know how to incorporate it with this style house. I would love to add 1 or 2 small flowering trees since they were all wiped out. I live on a Main St in a very rural area where most are older 2 story homes that have plain lanscapes. There aren't any landscapers/nurseries nearby to get ideas from either. The front will soon have a small porch, so the doorway will be dressed up more than it is now. The house faces west, and gets 5-6 hours of sun each day. I am open to any and all suggestions. THANKS!!

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Could we agree that, in the picture, the house lacks a nestled in look? Though the background certainly helps, there are no plants "framing" it at its sides and no plants of size interrupting the expanse of roof and house face. Likewise, there are no street trees providing shelter, framing and a sense of protection from the street view. it would be good to resolve these landscape considerations before moving on into cottage gardening as a panacea for the landscape. Here's some suggestions in pictorial form. I'd leave the view to the entrance somewhat open. You could start minimal with garden beds and expand them as you have will and resources (to the point where you run out of space!)

    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 12:31PM
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Yardvaark...I love it! This is the general look I have been trying to achieve. I love trees and I had many throughout my property before they were ripped up and thrown, ultimately destroying my previous home.I would like to use smaller ones with some color. Dogwood or something similar is probably a good start.
I would like to edge the property line to the right with something soft instead of fence. I am not sure whether to go with privet hedges or possibly Rose of Sharon.
Thank you for the drawing (I couldn't seem to figure out the 3d design tools to save my life), and I am still open to suggestions if you have them.
Thanks again!!

    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 3:16PM
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"I couldn't seem to figure out the 3d design tools...""3D?" I know not of what "tools" you speak.

"I would like to edge the property line to the right with something soft instead of fence. I am not sure whether to go with privet hedges or possibly Rose of Sharon. " Common or variegated privet both grow very large. With them, you'd either be building in a hefty, ongoing maintenance chore, or allowing them to "eat up" a large portion of the yard. I don't now live where rose of sharon grows so am not up on any improvements that might have been made. Unless there are notable improvements, I can't imagine rose of sharon as a "best choice" for your hedge. It might make a better small tree. At what height are you expecting the hedge to be maintained?

Dogwoods might work well for the larger trees in the picture, but the smaller trees near the house would be better made from plants that grow no taller than mid-teens feet height, such as common lilac or burning bush, for example.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 9:26PM
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robyn_tx(8 Dallas)

I am so sorry you lost your beloved home and gardens. I can not imagine such a loss after years of building your home and your dreamscape.

What yardvaark has drawn is lovely ... albeit a pretty ambitious plan. Do you plan to stay in this house for an extended time? Do you plan to sit out front and enjoy passersby ... or will you spend more time out back with friends and family? What is your budget?

If I were in your shoes, I would step back this year and think about how you want to use your new space and how long your family will make this their home. If this is a long-term home for you, spend this year planning hardscape (like Yardvaark's vision for front walkway, front beds) and consider trees. Since the house is west-facing, I would consider appropriate use of shade trees to give you some relief from summer sun.

If this home is more short-term until you possibly build again, then I would focus on the lawn and front door/porch beauty and some small flowering trees to frame each end of the house.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 9:48PM
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