Almost there with landscape plan... care to comment? (Pics)
Hi there. I've been struggling with the landscape plan for the house we bought in 2008 and hoping I might get some input before I take the plunge next month!
I know you guys like a lot of information, so here goes. I hope it's not TOO much information!!
The house is in zone 5, coastal Southern Maine. This is the SE corner of the house. Tall trees to the S and E do block more sunlight in winter when sun is low. The native soil is clay, with 50's builder sand fill. When its wet, this lawn gets pretty soggy since it doesn't drain well. We had drainage put in last year at the perimeter of the lawn which helps somewhat. I do intend to purchase 4 yards of composted cow manure to amend and regrade these beds. This is a low, sheltered area.
This is the part of the house that's seen from the roads, which are to the E and S (we're on a corner lot.) The house address is technically on the street to the South, which is where the front door faces. There's currently no front path at all up to that street, which is up a fairly steep hill to the South. We come down the side street to our driveway and use the side door.
This summer we will be renovating the exterior. The house will be painted and shingled in tan/gray shingles and paint (think Maine coast cottage). The front entry will be trimmed out to emphasize that it's the Front Door. The patio doors to the north will get a smaller, rebuilt deck with a pergola roof and privacy screen of lattice with foliage. There will be a casual flagstone path simply set into the lawn, leading to some informal steps up the woody/shrubby hillside to the street and mailbox.
There will be a new, larger porch at the side entry, by the garage, that we use most.
The objective is a somewhat casual, friendly, inviting landscape that helps define the front entry and compliments the new modern-cottage style of the house. Aside from the flowering trees and peonies (which are existing on site and I want to transplant) I don't want flowery, cottage-garden look. I'm more interested in foliage, interesting shapes and textures. Not ubiquitous foundation planting. Somewhat modern but not too out there.
Plantings should be as low maintenance as possible. I;m thinking to fill in under/between the shrubs with evergreen groundcovers (juniper, cypress, pachysandra?) and perennial grasses. perhaps some tall grass tufts, too.
I want interest in all seasons, so am thinking:
spring: bulbs, magnolia
summer: peony, allium, variegated dogwood (existing) and purple-foliage sand cherry (existing)
fall: sand cherry, something with fall foliage (???), winterberry
winter: winterberry, (holly?), red-stemmed dogwood, skinny twisty evergreens
of the existing plants, I hope to leave in place-
(I don't think the tall evergreens are worth saving as they're totally bare in the backs! And What about that yew? I don't really like it at all. Maybe someone will want it if offer it free on Craigslist?)
Ok, is that enough info????
Here are photos from when we bought the house. That maple clump in the lawn is gone now, as is the little picket fence on the right and some of the shrubs around the deck (had to be removed to fill septic tank). REmember the house will be all one color, with the cinder-block brick painted tan and tan/gray shingles elsewhere.
And here's my proposed plan: