Corner framing

Brad EdwardsApril 13, 2012

The two trees next to the house are going to be a huge focal point on the home. The house will also sit on a 2-4 foot pad. I have been learning towards a pair of little gem magnolias, but also dogwood, and jane/ann tulip magnolia. I wouldn't mind something bigger and about 10 foot away, but do think it might then not soften the corner. Will be doing it all myself, already have some segos, JM, two 6foot red buds for the back.

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Brad Edwards

Forgot to add the house is on an acre and a half 200x300ish lot.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2012 at 1:18AM
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Finally!... someone posting a picture of a house where the front sidewalk is not too narrow! Oceandweller, it's a very charming house! ...I mean, chateau.

I presume you're talking about the trees located at front corners of house...? My vote goes to the tulip type Magnolia instead of the 'Little Gems'. The little gems give a more rigid appearance and I think they'd be harder to deal with as they achieved larger size. The tulip type Mags., in combination with some shrubs, would take care of "knitting" the house to the ground without looking so "tight".

    Bookmark   April 13, 2012 at 11:32AM
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Brad Edwards

I am planning on getting 4 medium size trees as there are 0 in the front yard, two corner sides, one Live oak for the front left, and a purple redbud to go with 2 JM for the right "I have about 10 to replant".


Thank you so much for the insight, I was thinking that exactly as well originally, but my mom said little gem. I can get a full grown ann magnolia for the price of an 8 foot LG, so that would be about another 400 to the other landscaping. The only downside is the petal drop from the ann and it not being evergreen. But I think with the large underneath beds most of it will fall into the bed. I could also pair with some early purple tulip and that would look amazing "already going purple pixie dwarf loropetulum underneath. I loved what you said about the dimensions of it, I think a rounded figure would go much better around the sides than a conical shape as well. Is there a way to prune the LG into a round shape? Maybe slightly topping one? That said, the 10 foot range run 250-400 here, to me insanely high.

We will not be having the circular driveway, nor the wall, but will keep a pretty large front walkway like you suggested. Here are some ideas.

I am only 30 and honestly could not have imagined I would be building a house like this at this age, so we are on a budget. It will have stained concrete throughout, I will be doing a lot of the trim work, and I have connections for AC/water heater.

A picture is worth a thousand words, so I scanned some in.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2012 at 1:16PM
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Brad Edwards

Ignore the top right and left, will be using grapes and the vegetable garden design below.

Will be doing cincerblock and hypertufa raised vegetable beds, and a small vineyard on the right "100 grape vines for 300$ many varieties isn't too shabby" its a slight slope so its perfect for wine".

    Bookmark   April 13, 2012 at 1:47PM
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Brad Edwards

For the center island am thinking either two apples back and two cherries "non ornamental" for the back and or two JM. I am also planning on adding a couple of peaches and pecans throughout on the outside and running the beds along the fence line so I don't have to mow, I have a large zero turn but don't want a ton of grass even though well have a well.

For those of you that haven't seen stained concrete

This gave me the idea for a center island, though having seating on the sides and a firepit in the middle makes it practical and focal.
We had one like this in our apartment in socal, I think you could add a pizza stone and small oven in the top where the current square is, yet a little lower"
I love these copper lights

    Bookmark   April 13, 2012 at 1:55PM
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Brad Edwards

I have a little bit of full design to still go over, the 4 car is a go, the pool, the fireplace, vegetable garen and vineyard. I plan on adding blueberries, Peaches, cherries, and pecans "already have quite a few blueberries and pecans" incorporated into the back yard landscape. The backyard will be nearly an acre of edible art :).

    Bookmark   April 13, 2012 at 2:00PM
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Tulip magnolia. Is that the same as saucer magnolia? If so, I don't think you're going to see those lovely blooms on it very often. Aren't you right in the middle of "Conifer Country"? I think I'd lean towards something evergreen. I've got an evergreen magnolia, and it never fails to shed large, leathery leaves fall and spring.

Hope you have better luck with your Purple Pixes than I had with mine. They were introduced with great fanfare a couple of years ago. They have a rather fragile root system, and I suspect that long term survival in Texas heat may be problematic.

Are wine grape hybrids being successfully cultivated around Longview nowadays? Historically, the area was thought to be too conducive to root rot and fungus diseases. Been a while since I've been through there, though.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2012 at 2:04PM
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Brad Edwards

I talked with my wife and came up with a great idea, a tulip magnlia saucer magnolia and behind it either arborviate or italian cypress to hide/soften the corner. The evergreen dropping its leaves "like the larger magnolia gradniflorifa" are reasons why I don't want a large magnolia. LG don't drop a ton from what I have seen.

I am really good with getting things to thrive let alone survive in east texas "even during the summer". I have been watching what has been thriving here in the summer, sweetpotato vine, redbuds, barberry, sagos, purple heart, and am going to be planting quite a bit of those. I have a layer mulch and raised bed system that I got from Alabama and Georgia growing up as a kid, it calls for 2 foot of top soil, compost, manure, and pinestraw. "will be rolling up the topsoil and saving it for this reason when building". It holds water insanely well yet still drains. I would plant the purple pixie underneath the tree and probably have drip irrigation in the front as the house faces south.

They actually have about 5 vineyards in all directions within an hour drive of longview now. Wine does well in the dry heat we have been having. Throw in I have morning shade from a large pin oak 20foot and the perfect spot at 15% downsloap and a dry location and I am going to pull the trigger :)

    Bookmark   April 13, 2012 at 2:23PM
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Brad Edwards

Also with the tulip I agree the bloom time on them is abysmal about a week or two, and am thinking of pairing them with early groupings of early bloom purple tulips. The beds will extend about 12-14 feet out from the corners of the house so a small evergreen behind a tulip saucer magnolia "ann" would work well I imagine as you can also see through them when fully leafed.

I know around here in east texas people have been getting killed by the drought "landscaping wise" in their beds and 90% of it is due to zero mulch and little to no topsoil.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2012 at 2:27PM
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"Is there a way to prune the LG into a round shape? It would be like trying to turn a gay little gem into a straight little gem. It would never work in spite of all the prayers and urging.

"I... came up with a great idea, a tulip magnlia saucer magnolia and behind it either arborviate or italian cypress to hide/soften the corner." To me, this sounds like that will only result in a busier, cluttered look... less strong than simplicity. Each shape will denigrate the other. Regardless of what plant you actually use, I think the round canopy does more for the house than a needle or cone shape. Also, the idea of "softening the corners" is lost on me if it means HIDING them. I view corners--especially when they are nice corners on a nice house, as an architectural detail that should be featured, not hidden. Corners are interesting whereas a blank wall (which you have none of) is not. Why don't you get out the MS Paint and play with some ideas?

I thought the circular drive was the walk. So much for ultra spaciousness.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2012 at 4:33PM
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bahia(SF Bay Area)

If spring blooming deciduous Magnolias don't have much of a bloom season in your location, why force them into your landscape. Almost all of the Magnolia soulangeana/stellata/hybrids will easily bloom for 6 to 8 weeks in our area, and if you combine early and late varieties, they can be in bloom here from December into May. I don't know if they'd be so popular here if they only bloomed a week or two. Why not use another dome shaped flowering accent tree with aa much more extended bloom season such as Crape Myrtles or something like a xChitalpa tashkentensis 'Pink Dawn' , or a Chionanthus retusus; the first two can bloom from spring to fall. From what I know of any of the Loralpetalum chinense cultivars, they don't like hot and dry, and will most likely do best in Texas with dappled shade or morning sun only. Even the alleged dwarf cultivars eventually get huge here in northern California; dwarfs still get 3 to 4 foot tall by across with age.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2012 at 9:08PM
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Brad Edwards

Thanks Yardvaark and bahia. The loropetalum do really well here in East texas for whatever reason, even through last years extremely severe drought, so did the redbuds. I like the foliage and size height of the deciduous magnolias not just the bloom. Though purple ann tulip saucer magnolias in bloom look beautiful.

I would love to do that with the drive, but with the concrete pool on the back and a slightly extended pad/4 car garage, I am already pushing the limits lol.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2012 at 2:30PM
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Brad Edwards

I agree with you yardvark, ironically its one of the smaller homes in the neigborhood and I was just trying to make it look bigger, its the in country and the average home size is around 3600 SF. "the one across from us is 4500+" Thats why we chose a wide homeplan and why I was thinking hiding the corners might make the house look bigger, but I also like you prefer the look of softer corners and trees that accent the house vs the house framing the trees. I will end up putting evergreen shrubs at the minimum if we roll deciduous.

I may just end up getting what ever is the best $ at the time between the three.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2012 at 2:35PM
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