HELP! Need ideas front of house (long island, ny)

hypermomApril 22, 2011

Our house desperately needs some color and foliage in the front. (Faces west).

Shady early in day, late afternoon some sun. We have the weeping cherry tree which we love, but do not know what else to do on that side. On right side we have euyonymus (one is doing great, other is half dead.) We are not against removing both of these, or just the one. Also, there is a slow growing birch tree....which stays. Ideas for all else would be great!

Here is a link that might be useful: Photos of front of house

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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Your link takes me to a log in screen....

    Bookmark   April 22, 2011 at 4:31PM
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    Bookmark   April 23, 2011 at 1:51PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Still doesn't work for me - and I assume others are also having problems because there are no replies to your post. Perhaps someone who uses Flickr can tell you what to do...

    Bookmark   April 23, 2011 at 5:56PM
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I will try once more time!

Here is a link that might be useful: Photos of front of house

    Bookmark   April 24, 2011 at 12:42PM
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karinl(BC Z8)

Are you willing to go beyond foundation planting?


    Bookmark   April 25, 2011 at 4:50PM
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Yes, We are open to ALL ideas! THanks!

    Bookmark   April 27, 2011 at 6:50PM
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karinl(BC Z8)

Well to start with, I would rather garden along that retaining wall than mow along it. So I'd replace that strip of lawn with flower bed, if you're a gardener, using low plants mostly.

I don't understand why you want to torment your lovely house with those hideous overgrown green balls, especially not why anyone would emphasize that bizarre corner on the right with yet another one. "nuff said? The wall doesn't need hiding, but is plain enough to be a good backdrop for some plants. Just needs new plants, could be a nice continuous bed that flows down the driveway wall. I'd edge the thing quite cleanly in some way and not overdo a riotous flowery look, more formal and foliage. But that's a choice issue.

And the shape of the bed with the weeping cherry in it is a bit strange for me. Sometimes if you make the bed shape first, it's hard to find plants to fit; better to use Laag's trick of planning the plants first, and shaping the bed to fit them.

I hope others will have some guidelines.


    Bookmark   April 28, 2011 at 1:23PM
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This is why I am asking for get rid of the bushes in front but what to replace them with? The house faces north....some sun mid to late day. I like the cottage feel, but do not want only perennials as we need some bushes over winter too! ALso, what plants to line walkway with?

    Bookmark   April 30, 2011 at 4:20PM
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Hi Hypermom...
My name is Brad of Silverthumb Landscape Designs. There are a multitude of really beautiful things that can be done with the beds already created around your home. I live/work in southern Nassau county and see a lot of situations similar to yours...not having 6+ hours of direct sunlight is NOT a problem!!! There are tremendous varieties of evergreen shrubs/hedges that will create a beautiful backdrop against the brick face of your home. It's in my experience that the best landscapes are created in "layers", the first step being a taller, evergreen background, and then working your way forward, lowering the height of each layer. I also have specific plans available for lower maintanence landscaping, so that you don't have to spend all your free time working on your yard! If you're interested in a consultation we can be reached at (917) 363-6041. Thanks- Brad Silverman, SilverThumb Landscape Design.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2011 at 8:33AM
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Such a charming house. I think it needs a few romantic plants along front. :) Either severely cut back the euonymous (I think they can handle that) or just get rid of them.

Would you prefer a uniform look under the window or more variety?
For a uniform look:
Pick a smallish-mid sized shrub you enjoy--plenty to pick from-- hydrangea, fothergillia, weigela, rhododendrons, false cypress, well I don't really know what would grow there so a good nursery could help with that selection -- and plant them under the window (probably 3). If you go with deciduous shrubs, set off the corner with an evergreen, or a grass or grass like plant.
For a varied look: Pick one mid size shrub (a hybrid musk can take some shade--supposedly) on the corner with lower evergreens going under the window toward the house.

Plant front with low growing foam flowers, huecheras, hostas, as you please.

On the other side of steps, add some of the same smaller plant types.

An easy solution for along walkway: Daffodils and daylilies. Or, plant different annuals each year. You could still direct sow zinnias and cosmos as well as some others I am sure.

Good luck, and cute kitties. :)

    Bookmark   June 7, 2011 at 5:58PM
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I think that you should definitely yank those bushes. Then I would start by placing evergreens for all year interest. Then I would place the skeleton plants with the tendons in front and then the flesh plants. For shade you can select hydrangeas (get a reblooming kind), hostas, variegated jacobs ladder, boxwood, azaleas and liriope and many others. I guess it mostly depends on the zone you are in.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2011 at 10:59PM
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Your house is LOVELY! Really, it has so much curb appeal. The cat is a nice touch in the photos as well :)

I agree that the big green ball-looking shrubs are not doing the house any favors. There are much nicer things you can put in that spot.

First things first, I would layout beds so that your mowing/edging work is as easy as possible. I always think it's easy to lay mulch down in an unusual shape compared to mowing an unusual shape. So I agree with the person who said to add plants along the retaining walls. I would use something pretty low growing that will die back in the winter because I'm assuming you have a snow blower that will toss snow onto that area. So, avoid shrubs.

Suggestions for the areas alongside the retaining wall:
Heuchera (many varieties like part shade) - for really great foliage color all summer and fall
Brunnera for contrast with the Heuchera. As a bonus, deer are less likely to eat both of these plants. I understand the deer population on Long Island can be hard on plants
Daffodils - also deer-resistant, lots of spring color, and they live forever.

For in front of the house, where the green globes are, it depends on if you spend time on the porch or not. If you do then I'd look for something that smells good interplanted with some evergreens. If you don't spend time out there, then I'd use boxwood and something to contrast with it. If you have 4 hours of sun, then pieris floribunda is a shorter version of Andromeda that would contrast with boxwood. It can tolerate partial shade but it can grow to 6' so you may have to prune it back (I had this & it survived pruning quite well, I had to keep it to 4' tall or less).

This is getting long, so my last suggestion will be related to the bed with the weeping cherry. Right now there is a tongue of grass that you have to mow between that bed and the edge of the walkway. I think that area would be better used with some plants in there. And it would make your mowing pattern easier :) Pick something that is not thorny and not a big bee magnet since you'll walk by it all the time. Maybe a hydrangea (though they like morning sun better than afternoon, they will do fine in afternoon sun - mine are HUGE). Just look for a smallish one since they can become huge. I would suggest peonies there, since they die back 100% and you can pile snow from the walkway over them in the winter, but I don't know if you have enough sun that close to the house.

Seriously though, that is a really pretty house. You don't have to get super-cute on the landscape because the house is already stunning. Think of it like a gorgeous gown at the Oscars - just some classic jewelry, hair, and makeup is all you need to enhance it without distracting from it (as opposed to the "plain black dress" that needs lots of jewelry to make it red-carpet worthy).

    Bookmark   June 10, 2011 at 6:33PM
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I know I'm coming a little late to the party but I agree that the little strip in front of the weeping cherry can be better used. Rather than plants, I would personally put a little bench so you can enjoy the garden :)

I don't know that both of the euonymous' need to go, the one on the right certainly, but the one on the left could be left to grow into a more natural shape and complemented with other shrubs. Evergreens are good, but don't forget other shrubs that provide winter interest like red twig dogwood, witchhazel and others. Keep the design classic and down to two or three colours with repeating and contrasting shapes. In other words pick out no more than 10 plants with variety of foliage/flowers and use them over and over again. Make sure to do your research on mature sizes and you should be good :) Youve already had some great suggestions on here in terms of plants :)

    Bookmark   June 12, 2011 at 7:29PM
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