need good bones

firstlastbuildApril 10, 2010

Hi, we moved in our new house in Oct. We are still waiting for the guy to come move dirt around house. I would like suggestions. As you can see, the house is very symmetrical. However, the sidewalk curves around from drive by garage. This creates one bed on that side.

Dimensions - porch is 16' from side of stairs to edge of porch on each side. Edge of porch to drive is 8'. Curved sidewalk is 5' from porch at narrowest and 8' at broadest.

Thank you for your help!

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I would be thinking about placing some short lived trees for instant shade and some longer lived trees for the future.

It's hard to tell where, but I wouldn't place them anywhere in the areas depicted in the pics, as it would be to close to the house.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2010 at 9:05AM
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missingtheobvious(Blue Ridge 7a)

firstlastbuild, could you post a picture of the entire house, straight on? Unless you're a couple of hundred feet from the street, the picture should show the location of the street or sidewalk as well as the yard and house.

This will help us suggest locations for trees.

Very attractive house. [I could call it a twenty-first century expansion of a traditional cabin design -- but I really don't know what I'm talking about....]

    Bookmark   April 12, 2010 at 3:31PM
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We are pretty far off of the highway. To the back left(SE) of the house, we have 2 large oak trees. Front left (SW) is a large shaded yard. This was in front of our original house, which we moved. The driveway comes up toward the middle of house then curves toward the garage. I placed a riding toy in the drive to show what part will be dug up and placed in yard. We have to redo drive, also. Thank you for your help!

    Bookmark   April 12, 2010 at 9:33PM
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We don't really need shade trees close to house right now. I am currently trying to decide what to put in curved bed between the porch and sidewalk, the place in front of the other side of the porch (no sidewalk to define) and the area to the left of the porch. I am not sure what to put to left of the porch since the garage is to the right of the porch. I am wondering about balance. How would you suggest I lay out these areas? what to plant?

Thanks for your help. I am anxious to get started.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2010 at 8:12AM
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karinl(BC Z8)

I'm afraid you'll find that requests for plant selection don't often get much response here. Partly that's because plants can only do so much to mitigate design that's already done - in this case, you've laid that sidewalk and thus determined the width of the bed, so the bones you're requesting are in effect already there.

Plants are also so much a matter of taste that it's hard to make recommendations, plus we don't know what's available to you or what kind of maintenance you like to do, and the fact is that you could put almost any set of standard landscaping shrubs there and the effect would be about the same, given that the bed shape is set in stone so to speak.

However, there is a really pretty curve to the sidewalk and I think my instinct would lead me to repeat that on the other side (mirror image) to border the foundation bed there. The garage is what it is, you can't balance that - read other threads here in which the discussion mentions drawing the eye somewhere else, if it's important to you.

In short, my advice would be to go shopping and find plants you like, arrange them in a way that pleases you in those beds, and change it up if they develop in a way you don't like. The other thing I'd say is that whenever I see a big house like this, my eye seems to want to see rock out in the garden to connect it to the ground. But that may be a locally-developed taste thing.

Anyway, I may be wrong and you may get plant suggestions from others here.


    Bookmark   April 14, 2010 at 1:17PM
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thanks, Karin. I wasn't necessarily wanting specific plant selections. I wanted to know size. Should I put a small ornamental tree in with the bushes? I will trying laying the garden hose out to mirror the sidewalk on the other side. I didn't really know what to do since the sidewalk is only on one side. I agree with you on the rocks. I am waiting to see if any rocks are excavated when the pan digs dirt out of hill on other side of farm:>
I also will be laying out back of house. I have *nothing* back there and will need a retaining wall of sorts. Now *that* is a project the design folks will hopefully enjoy!

    Bookmark   April 14, 2010 at 7:32PM
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Maybe do some small conifers or shrubs that stay about 4-6' high maybe narrow then try a few shorter/dwarf shrubs about 2-3' high between or slightly in front of the taller ones. then put a small mix of flowers/plants in ranging height and color. Depending on your zone and winters you can try some plants/shrubs that have an apeal after they lose their leaves or just do all short and tall conifers.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2010 at 11:16PM
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