Help!! In desperate need of idea to make home more inviting

onestepcloserApril 9, 2014

We recently purchased our first home last fall and its now coming to the time where I am ready to make changes. As you can see I have a 1950s red brick home who is in desperate need of attention. To the left of the house there are four huge pine trees and I plan to remove the window awnings. Looking at the front of the house it reminds me of a pair of eyes on the front of the house! :) I am a beginner obviously and have no idea where to start with colors, foliage, etc. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated!

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Here is a back view besides the terribly ugly awning you can kind of see the pine trees to the right.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2014 at 6:08AM
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Get some graph paper and transfer your house and lot on to the paper (make several copies). Indicate north, south, east, and west. Much more important than front and back. Find out what planting zone you live in. Go to a local garden center and ask for advice. The internet is great, but nothing beats an informed, local source.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2014 at 6:23AM
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I live in zone 5 and basically just not sure what to use with the red brick. so many people say stay away from red flowers.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2014 at 10:39AM
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Exact flower colors are now probably the least of your concerns. If you want to landscape the property, Create the scale plan (using graph paper) and show all the things that are permanent features of the property ... house, drive, walk, trees, shrubs. etc. As suggested, make several copies (or alternatively use tracing paper over the top and then begin to work out planting bed areas vs. what will be lawn. For the time being, you could even forget that plants have colors as the only thing you'll be doing at this phase is working out FORM. Instead of thinking of things as plants, think of them as shapes and sizes. Place "plant-like" objects where you want them, and think of them in their mature, finished size. Consider things such as do you want a large object blocking windows? Or, would it be better to have a display of trunks and branches in front of a plain portion of wall? Do you like 100% of the roof or siding to show?

When ever you wish, you could submit a copy of your progress to this thread and get feedback on your direction.

There are exceptions to every rule, but I disagree that you can run off to the local garden center and expect to get DESIGN help. (Since there are exceptions, you might!) But more than likely the people waiting on you will have no training in design whatsoever. They may be gardeners and you may get suggestions for plants that people have some liking for. Collecting nice plants as such is more akin to gardening, not landscaping. Where they can be helpful is if you know the size, shape and overall character of the plant you want, they can tell you what plants can achieve those goals. It would be better to study the issues and do the design yourself, or hire a professional.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2014 at 11:51AM
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What is the black surface I see in front of the entrance door?

    Bookmark   April 9, 2014 at 6:43PM
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this is a thread you might find useful. I would first focus on a nice inviting entry/landing. the blank brick walls could be nice with an espaliered plant, something that looks good all year, evergreen if you can find that or something that looks architectural even in winter. Spend some time on internet. i just googled red brick rancher with gray roof and found several sites helping with color schemes etc.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2014 at 11:34AM
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