Novice- help with front of house landscape?

gilldApril 16, 2012

Because i wanted to include a pic, i posted in the gallery but thought i would mention here, as well. Would appreciate any advice! Here is my post: http://forums2.gardenweb.com/forums/design/nph-ind.cgi?type=gal

Thanks!

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designoline6(Z6)

I soft some straight line.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2012 at 9:41PM
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designoline6(Z6)

    Bookmark   April 16, 2012 at 9:48PM
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yardvaark

gilld, your picture might work for architectural issues, but it shows so little of the yard it's not possible to get a good feel for the relationship between house and yard. Please add a photo that shows the yard. To add it to your post, first upload photo(s) to free photo-hosting site (like Flickr or Photobucket; there are many options.) Explore the "share" link on the site to locate the html code for the photo. Copy and paste the code into your message here. There are various codes so you might have to use trial and error. But the photo will show up when you preview the message if you use the correct code.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2012 at 10:26PM
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gilld

Thanks so much for the tips and landscape!! I guess I stated our goal incorrectly. We want to modify the bed in front of the home, under the windows, next to stairs and not the lawn (although looks great in the photo)! I will try to work on what you recommend for upload.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2012 at 10:51PM
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gilld
    Bookmark   April 16, 2012 at 11:09PM
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gilld

Thanks for your patience!

    Bookmark   April 16, 2012 at 11:17PM
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almondstriations

Your house is so beautiful and charming! I definitely wouldn't cover it up with big privet bushes if it were mine. I'm not a designer, but if I were you I would start by removing BOTH of the privets. Not being familiar with your zone or location I don't have specific recommendations for what else to plant there, but I think anything that that covers the cement foundation without covering any of your windows would be an improvement. Many things could work well there depending on what grows well in your area and what your personal preferences are. I don't think you need anything too showy with such a nice house. If the hosta are happy there (which they seem to be), keeping them and just thinning them out sounds like a good idea. BTW, I also love all of the mature trees in the background.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2012 at 12:29AM
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gilld

Thanks for your kind words and advice, almondstriations. We want to pull out the bushes under the windows and leave the hostas but need to figure out what else to add to the beds... should we plant on corners of house to do something for shape, etc.? Good advice about the cement foundation. The privet is in the hedge next to the sidewalk, so it doesn't block the house. We are zone 6 and I am seeking some advice with plants in this zone.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2012 at 9:57AM
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yardvaark

I would consider an old fashioned simple, formal look that starts with widening the sidewalk by adding a soldier course of brick along each side. The hedge looks like it's on the slope and in bad shape. Redoing it and placing it at the top of the slope would give a more stable look. Using a slow growing plant that doesn't get big and learning how to shape it correctly will make the hedge look better and last longer. Or a plant that never grows larger than 3' ht. and width would be low maintenance. A groundcover on the slope instead would look better. Pushing the ends of the hedge back away from the walk would help a lot to open up the entry experience and the view to the house. I'm showing the house flanked with two small trees. Plants that top out at about 12' to 15' would eliminate worry of them getting too large. Many woody, flowering plants would qualify, depending on the specific characteristics that appeal to you. A couple of 3' ht. dome-shaped shrubs, just off the corners of the foundation, would help to tie the house visually to the ground. Annual color at both sides of the porch would look welcoming. If the lily of the valley grows good, though not evergreen it would make a fine groundcover in the front porch area. At the front of the house there are no ugly features so no need for shrubs that cover the foundation, though you might consider adding some quality window boxes at some point.

I'm copying here your instructions from the other thread as it's inconvenient trying to toggle back and forth.....

Front of house landscape help needed

Posted by gilld 6 (My Page) on Mon, Apr 16, 12 at 19:23
Hi all,
Thanks for reading. I just discovered this great forum in my attempt to look for inspiration for landscaping for the front of our house. I have never done any design nor landscaping and am at a complete loss and appreciate any suggestions! We are looking to just clean things up on a low budget and, of course, to look as nice as possible, knowing that we are not green thumbs and will need to take care of on our own.
The house faces south and gets sun all day. Here is what we know is growing, and what we are thinking of doing so far:

-For lack of a better solution and funds, replace missing privet bush on at sidewalk.
-Pull up the weeds-turned-bushes directly in front of the house (2-3 on each side in front of windows).
-Leave some of the hostas to the right and left of front stairs, but thin them out
-Edge beds on both sides in front of house, to either side of stairs
-Clean out most of the beds, with exception of some hostas, mentioned above
-Question pulling out all of the lily of the valley
-Other half says to pull it all out and add back some bushes and mulch--- I say we need texture, variety in height, texture, color, etc. but no idea where to start!
-We plan to work around the house on it's right side (pictured), to the basement window (for now) as it is more exposed to view and gets more sun. The house's other side is shady because of two trees in neighbor's yard. We think the large trees/roots and shade, in part, the reason why the front privet is dead (in addition to not having been cared for for years).

    Bookmark   April 17, 2012 at 10:56AM
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yardvaark

I meant to mention, also, that you might consider a different paint color for the house. Any variant of taupe with white trim would look very nice here. While the concrete foundation does not bother me as it seems smooth and clean, I would consider painting it,too, for an improved appearance.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2012 at 11:05AM
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gilld

My gosh, yardvaark and designoline6-- i am impressed! Yardvaark- thank you so so much for the detailed description- i will read, digest and follow up with any questions. Also appreciate the paint tip. I cannot thank you enough!!! This is so inspirational!

    Bookmark   April 17, 2012 at 8:04PM
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whitecap2

Nice,very nice, a fit residence for a learned and distinguished "man of the cloth" or academic, a man who knows his Tacitus. I wonder, though, if that foundation is being left naked for the sake of avoiding "design cliche." It's hardly a thing of timeless beauty, no? I can't see it inspiring a poet to pen something in praise of "the well-wrought foundation" (doesn't scan, but you get the idea.) It seems to be crying out for something to clothe its indecency.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2012 at 11:12PM
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