Front yard updating - I'm new at this...

Dallas2002(6)April 30, 2011

Hi everyone!

I haven't been in my home long, and my landscaping has really started to bother me. Obviously, dealing with the dandelions is on the list, but I'm mostly interested in updating the look for some more modern curb appeal. I'm prepared to completely wipe out what is existing, and replace with new. I don't have an endless supply of money, but I'm prepared to do a lot of the work myself, with the help of your direction. :-)

I've included a picture for reference or use if you happen to be good with photoshop.

Thank you!


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Let me try that picture again!

    Bookmark   April 30, 2011 at 7:18AM
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Leave the dandilions and let them spread. They echo the yellow of the bushes on the right in a much needed way. More dandilions would make it better.

I would not, however, replace the bushes to the left with more yellow.

What bothers you about the landscape?

    Bookmark   April 30, 2011 at 10:11AM
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You have such a beautiful home! I dug up my entire yard last year to turn the entire yard into a garden. Have you given thought to the style you prefer? Formal? Xeric?

I've done a ton of research and would love to not only help with ideas, but to see the progress!

Have you thought of window boxes in front to soften the look? Geraniums and marigolds with sweet potato vine, etc. would give a flowing effect and color that would be easily seen from the street.

I strongly recommend against keeping dandelions. They are weeds and aside from your neighbors consternation, I'm sure you'd end up regretting.

I've put echinacea (just ordered some more, as they come in so many colors now. I've also started some from seed that are coming along. They take about 28 days to germinate). I have purple, white swan, tomato soup, tiki torch and more, mixed with shasta daisies, various colored rudebekia, liatris, mini roses, various penstemon, red, blue and purple salvia. These are all perennial, so I just divide every few years. Daylillies are an easy addition. They come in many colors and textures, are tough, grow in pretty much any soil, and are low maintenance. They are easy to divide and flower the first year. You can buy them bare root, which is cheaper than buying the plants themselves.

I've ordered from new websites this year, along with those I've trusted over the years. Once they arrive, I'd be happy to share my experiences. The cheapest I've found is, which are shipping from Holland. They should arrive this week.

I'll watch for your post! Good luck!

    Bookmark   April 30, 2011 at 1:29PM
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missingtheobvious(Blue Ridge 7a)

I don't blame you for being "bothered" by that stuff. I'd be screaming....

Just to get the questions out of the way:

Can you identify any of the shrubs in front of the house? Some might be worth keeping, or pruning, or moving.

What is the tree in front of the house on the left, and how far is it from the foundation?

I'd also like to know the distance from the foundation of the reddish shrub immediately to the right of the front door, also the taller shrub between the windows on the right.

I notice a white pipe in front of the tree: what is that, and how often does it need to be accessed? Is there any area in the yard where trees or shrubs can't be planted because of whatever's underground, and if so, where?

Is there an actual walkway to the front door, or just the loose stone? If there is a real walkway, what material is it?

Which direction does the house face? Would you want shade trees in front of the house?

How do you feel about the stone? What sort of stone is it?

What would you want to do in the front yard? For instance, do you have any interest in having a sitting area there?

Is the part of the yard adjacent to the street pure lawn, or is there other landscaping there? If the yard's much deeper than is shown in the photo, it might help to see a picture taken from across the street.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2011 at 1:37PM
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almost forgot! How about large planted urns on either side of the front door? You could put shrubs in them or tall grass with flowers.

Also forgot to mention yarrow earlier. Normally comes in yellow, easy to divide, drought tolerant, comes in many colors. I've had great success with these. You can actually pull off a section, stick it in the ground and it grows quickly to full sized plant.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2011 at 1:47PM
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Sometimes a photograph "notices" things not always immediately apparent to our eye when simply looking.

The house, double scallop planting bed, lawn looks like someone wearing a big white bra. As it stands, it's a big expanse and dots here and there aren't particularly satisfying as the eight(?) purple topped things dead center can attest. A big repitition, like using ground hugging junipers might be an alternative to the back breaking job of moving tons of rocks.

Urns and window boxes are nice in many instances, but I don't think such cosmetics would mitigate what bothers you. And with so many threads seeking help with privacy screening, I question the question of sitting and recreating in a front yard where neighbors would actually be able to see you carrying on such mundane activities. Some might even be loathe to be seen out front with a weed digger prying up dandelions. :-)

    Bookmark   April 30, 2011 at 3:34PM
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Maybe you need different style mock up pics,select a designing y you prefer.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2011 at 5:57PM
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karinl(BC Z8)

Yet another one where the sidewalk just sneaks in to the porch from the driveway, leaving the house, to all intents and purposes, floating randomly in the middle of a green expanse that no one ever knows what to do with and because they can only think of planting at the foundation, they hide the sidewalk further and the plants soon seek to crush the house. What is with that tree right at the house?! And shrubs hiding the lower windows? Removal, quite a lot of it, certainly has my blessing! At least in this case someone listened about making the foundation beds deeper than is usually done, but then to leave them empty... A bra is about right.

What to do instead... you've got a big yard. Use it for shrubbery, if you want it, and if you want a tree fronting the house, plant one or more where they can grow for at least 40 years without colliding with the house - and not where their screening will bother people looking in or out. Or, put them where you want screening.

Among other things, you could make an attractive, wide, possibly curving walkway from a point earlier in the driveway to the front porch. Accentuate it with a row of little boxwoods, if that look appeals to you, or put your flowering perennials along there to give yourself something to look at as you enter or leave the house. Even if you don't use that walkway, I imagine visitors would.

See what you end up keeping of this foundation planting, if anything, and what you add... and then make the bed fit the plants you have. Junipers as duluth suggested would be a good solution.


    Bookmark   May 1, 2011 at 12:18AM
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catkim(San Diego 10/24)

The first thing I notice is all the deciduous stuff is on the left and all the evergreens are on the right. The house design makes an attempt at grandeur with the tall portico, but drops the ball with the walk and the "landscape as afterthought". But at least they form some sort of bones. Spring would be a good time to fill in the blank spaces with groups of colorful perennials or annuals. I would experiment, pack them in, many numbers of a single plant. And stop shearing the shrubs into shapes, see what happens. A more natural look may soften the landscape considerably. What have you got to lose?

Question: what are the little tiny things at the verge of the lawn in front of the door?

    Bookmark   May 1, 2011 at 12:34PM
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I like the dandelions.

I think that tall portico calls for some kind of entrance instead of the little slab of concrete that leads to two tiny shrub balls.

The bra shape seems to be an attempt to draw you to the cleavage represented by the portico but apparently the house is kind of prudish and doesn't want you going there.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2011 at 2:45PM
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