Spruce up landscaping/driveway for upcoming wedding

yankcaMarch 14, 2014

Hi, daughters getting married we need a new driveway and get the yard whipped into shape. Wedding will not be at our home but will have a lot of company. Need a new driveway thinking of pavers concerned about color and style of them because the house is a bit busy. Used brick, tile staircase, railing horizontal and vertical, bats on the siding. Live in Central California on the ocean Ie Cliff ,thus Mediterranean temperatures. House was built in 1991, color is Sandstone, railing � Runs around the side and back of the house � was replaced � As it was built � last year because of a fluke major storm. Any help would be greatly appreciated, thank you in advance.

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    Bookmark   March 14, 2014 at 9:38PM
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Wow!!! Super impressed ! How did you do this? I love the idea of those large plants in the front yard. What kind? The enlarged deck is interesting too. Thank you so much.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2014 at 9:50PM
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There are names on the pics,I use Maya,3dsmax,cad software.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2014 at 10:06PM
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Consider that we can see only what's shown. In the picture, the left side of the yard is, more or less, a black shadow. Don't expect much analysis and suggestions for that area.

Compared to the yard, the house is calm. The yard has very few components that read as clean and strong. Most of the plantings read as a jumble, especially around the central area ... where it seems like an entrance should be. I'm not sure where the main entrance is. Everything NOT circled in red reads as very weak (messy and jumbled) to me.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2014 at 10:23PM
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Suzi AKA DesertDance Zone 9b

Congratulations to your daughter on her upcoming wedding!

Have you considered stamped concrete for your driveway? They do it in many designs and colors and it would look beautiful! Google "Stamped Concrete Driveways," and you will be amazed at all the options. I provided a quick link for you below.

I think if you pruned and thinned out the shrubbery and overgrown trees, it might look a lot better. Sometimes just removing lower branches and showing off trunks can give a fat shrub a clean and airy look.

Around your mailbox, you could consider society garlic. It's always green with pretty lavender flowers and doesn't look weedy, or you could consider a planter box made from brick to go with the house.

You could spiff up your lawn by aerating and reseeding. Lawns are nice for group photo shoots.

Have fun and good luck with your transformation!


Here is a link that might be useful: The Concrete Network

    Bookmark   March 15, 2014 at 10:38AM
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I see what looks like an awning to the left of the garage. Is there a door there?

    Bookmark   March 15, 2014 at 4:25PM
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Congrats on your daughter's wedding. My daughter is getting married on the beach in Florida in October! My son got married at my house (nothing as grand as your house but it was lovely still!) almost 4 yrs ago. I had to do some sprucing up as well!
I think your home looks awesome! Personally, I would not make the driveway too busy with pavers etc. Just the repair work where it is cracked, or maybe the stamped concrete as suggested, if not a busy pattern. The only things I see that could be tweaked would be the plantings on either side of the stairway, which look a bit overgrown. Especially to the left of the main lower story window. Maybe a medium height planting at the mailbox, instead of the few stones that are there. How about 3 large containers with a pop of color like a beautiful canna, the same canna in each container, and I am thinking place them on each side of the top deck and then on the landing on the stairs, it looks like you might have a landing area halfway up and veering to the right, if there is room for that. Have fun! I wouldn't try to do too much, you really don't need to.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2014 at 10:21AM
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Thank you all, I like the ideas. I'm attaching more photos. New idea - all one color gray pavers??? Hubby tonight tells me to get estimates to change brick siding to stone. I think I'll have a breakdown doing that plus a wedding with a daughter that is living out of the country. Also thinking of moving mailbox(new) to other side of driveway

    Bookmark   March 17, 2014 at 3:23AM
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How do you attach more than one photo ?

    Bookmark   March 17, 2014 at 3:26AM
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One more picture

    Bookmark   March 17, 2014 at 3:31AM
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Where is the main entrance? I wish we could see the approach path to it in a picture that is from neither too close nor too far away. It would help in order to determine what should be emphasized. I wish the approach path had a small tree that provided a sense of shelter and protection (like an awning gives.) The path seems completely exposed, whereas a small tree would offer a little shade in case a person wished to pause on their way to or from, and stay out of the hot sun. As well, the house could use a break from all the hard lines.

Those junipers at the street ... are you trying to hid the house from that position? As they are, I don't think they look good.

The drive seems a touch narrow, but I see from a later shot that plants are covering one edge. Better to keep them trimmed back.

One thing that would help is to get rid of all the rock sitting around. Most of it is too small be any kind of real feature so ends up looking as nice as gravel or boxes of kleenex strewn about the yard. Either just get rid of it or get some mortar and make something big and nice out of it. Likewise, there are too many little plant containers. For a good size house, fewer, but larger containers (with bigger plants) would be better.

I'm only illustrating a couple of ideas, but I can't take the time to clean up the photo first, so you must look through what exists.

I don't mind the low planting that borders the drive and lawn, but the row of other plants running down the center of it seem like a negative. They're beginning to form a barrier-like division from the lawn ... but for what purpose? There's no reason to not want to see the lawn while using the drive. And there's no reason to divide the bed in half.

I can't see any reason why a simple, neutral, non-busy paver would be any problem. The plain brick shape is versatile ... always a favorite. Herringbone pattern could be nice. I would consider dressing it up with a single or double edge contrast color. For example, you might use grey pavers and the red brick color as a contrast edge (like piping) ... or plain concrete color as a contrast against a darker grey field. Get some samples, lay them out and observe from a distance. It will look fine if there becomes much less busy plantings.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2014 at 4:02PM
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Thank you for the comments. House is really upside down the front door is upstairs. I recently planted plants in the center of the bed because I thought it needed some height, I'm not sure it works either. The junipers in the front came with the house when we purchased in '92 never knew what to do with them. At one time I thought the yard was all too flat and needed some dimension. Also looking for another color and plant put in my planter boxes that are red geraniums any small purple plants? The temperature here approximately 65ð all year with fog in the summer, beach weather.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2014 at 5:50PM
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The new picture helps explain how things are.

Simplification would help. What is the best looking (all the time) low growing plant you have? .... Maybe the blue fescue? A single, solid bed of it at the left of the walk, extending to the other side of the walk into the bed at right, would look better than all the variety. You probably have enough plants that you could make some sizable groups. It would be better if you consolidate them instead of having them all mixed and jumbled. Likewise, it would be better to group the rocks rather than have them all be individual. Create an array that has a natural appearance.

Weeping Yaupon Holly is a tree that I think could be useful to you ... if it grows there.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2014 at 7:18AM
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