Softening Corner of House Part 2

crcash2March 3, 2012

Since the other thread has gotten quite long...

Attached is a close up picture of the area. Again, I'm looking to soften the edge by adding a decidious tree and an evergreen in some capacity. Just to review...I've also got a japanese maple, three encore azaleas and a gardenia beside the steps. Any ideas on what tree/shrub combinations would work well? I've got a sugar maple on the other end of the front lawn that will provide nice color. I'm taking the bed out to within a couple feet of the lot line.

Here is a link that might be useful:

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attached is a wider view of the front of the house. Again, looking for some curb appeal and trying to frame the front entrance!

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   March 3, 2012 at 3:35PM
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Does anyone else get the feeling that this is a wind up?

    Bookmark   March 3, 2012 at 4:34PM
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Hi, Ink..and others!

If I may be so bold as to interject here, and I may live to regret this, but...I've been reading the "first" thread with some amusement and and not a little disappointment.
If you read that OP again, they were merely asking for a suggestion of a tree/shrub that would work on the corner of the house to soften it. Even specifying the soil condition.

I am looking for some type of vertical accent to soften the front corner of my house. I live in upstate SC, in Zone 7 and the soil is acidic, with good drainage. The bed already has a crimson queen japanese maple and autumn embers encore azaleas. The only thing that comes to mind is some type of emerald arborvitae, but I'm sure there are other options.

I see this new thread as an attempt to repeat that plea without the convolutions.

Just my take on it...

Regards to all,

    Bookmark   March 3, 2012 at 5:13PM
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Like an INK filter you mean shax?

    Bookmark   March 3, 2012 at 5:31PM
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Nah...more like an all-purpose, family-sized filter! One size fits all...

    Bookmark   March 3, 2012 at 7:25PM
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(the "evergreen" part confuses me some as I'm not sure what you envision as this.)

Not sure where I left off on plant recs. but as the small tree I'd use something that will top out at 12-15' and not have to worry about trimming the top to keep it in bounds. My recs. tend to be old fashioned oriented as I like the heaping flower look. Still, I think Beautybush is a contender. I like that it gets leggy. The peeling bark adds interest. The foliage is rapid growing, willowy and half-weeping. It has some fall color (variable depending.) The bloom is sumptuous. the main maintenance is trimming low hanging canopy, but this pales compared to trimming the top of something to keep it shorter. My other rec. was pollarded crape myrtle.
Requires only once per year pruning to keep in bounds and I'm sure you know all about what it is. This is the kind of use where 15 different plants could fill the bill, depending on your specific likes.

Shrub below?... 'Annabelle' or big leaf hydrangea. Or dwarf azaleas or a tall groundcover... solomon's seal, big hosta, ferns. But it might take some time before shade conditions were right to plant those. check with local garden center to find what grows 30-36" and tolerates some shade.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2012 at 9:38PM
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karinl(BC Z8)

Here's the thing. If your question really is ONLY "I want a shrub to soften the front corner of the house," then your best bet is to go to your local nursery and ask that question, because they can show you what they have and you can pick from what is actually available. If you get answers from a bunch of internationally scattered plant fanatics on the internet, you might be plant-hunting forever. Personally, I love that, but you might not.

Now, I understand that your other thread went awry, but I think you did get the point of the landscaping comments that were made. So I'm a bit confused that you have asked the same question again without reflecting the larger landscaping goals discussed over there.

I guess the overall question I would ask you is - and I'm not attacking here, so bear with me - why post here, where the topic is "landscape design" and not "plant selection," if plant selection is really all you want? Because I genuinely think you will be better served with a plant selection question at your local nursery, and putting a plant selection question in front of a bunch of people who really prefer to discuss landscape design is just going to set us all off again :-)

Honestly, as far as landscaping goes, I think PLS gave you an absolutely excellent answer on the other thread and I think the plan you outlined after that was much better than the idea of putting a shrub at the corner of the house. If your design problem is a house sitting in the middle of a huge field, cramming plants up against the foundation will just make the whole thing look more incongruous. Breaking down the huge field and giving the house a more suitably sized frame makes much more sense, whether that is done with plants, fencing, or a combination.

Hang around the forum a bit and look at other peoples' threads; go back a page or two. Sometimes, seeing the same mistakes on other peoples' houses can bring the point home much better. And you will see a shrub planted to soften the corner of the house, trust me.

Karin L

    Bookmark   March 3, 2012 at 10:00PM
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For the evergreen, I was thinking about maybe a magnolia, such as a little gem, or maybe one of the cedars that were suggested in the other thread.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2012 at 3:16PM
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But where?

    Bookmark   March 4, 2012 at 3:27PM
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As a backdrop to the shrub/tree that I select for the front corner. Was thinking maybe a little gem/teddy bear, and on the backside of that, some shrubbery going down the lot line with a stone path between the plants/tree and the house.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2012 at 8:25AM
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As a backdrop to the small corner tree, in order to prevent the view beyond, you only need a small hedge a few feet high that extends the house face toward the lot line by a few feet. That's just one way of handling it and a number of evergreens would work... like tea olive, 'Sky pencil' Holly or 'Greenspire' Euonymus are some examples. I'm sure there are many more choices. However, as I said earlier, I don't think this is necessary in order to address your initial complaint about this area. I don't see that completely obstructing the view beyond is any great advantage. Nor do I think it's the optimum solution. Nevertheless, it can be done if you like. But I wouldn't recommend planting anything along that side corridor (at lot line) that would grow large in the shrub form (with foliage to the ground) as you risk obstructing access or overwhelming the area with foliage...without first examining this side area in greater detail. 'Little Gem,' though smaller than Southern Magnolia, is going to get sizable. Looks like you already have foundation shrubs going down the side of the house. With some plants that get large along the lot line, I could envision a narrow, pinched access through this area. If you want to coordinate plantings along the side, more information (pictures that clearly show this area) would be needed here.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2012 at 9:27AM
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I was thinking little gem as well, it would really go well with your house height, frame, and dimensions, just plant about 8 foot off the house, ironically it would probably go well where the JM is though I guess you could always move that toward the front as a focal.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2012 at 12:39AM
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