OK, what would you do with this weird spot (pic heavy)

pbl_ge(5/6)April 7, 2012

Hi. Me again. I've been waiting for brilliant insight to come to me about this odd little spot between the front porch and the house, and it hasn't happened. Here's what it looks like now:

That's a clematis (not sure what kind) in the background, some unknown rose on the right. The bed is about 10' x 8' at its widest points. That photo is taken standing in my driveway looking due north. There's a tree directly behind you as you look at this, so it mostly gets sun after about 3 PM (depends a lot on the time of year). Best guess is that it counts as part sun.

To the right of this area, we planted some blueberry bushes; here's the after and before on that:

There are enough daffodils there to last a lifetime.

Here's the view of the front of the house. The little spot is on the right, directly behind the crabapple tree (tree is gone, but we're replacing it this spring--probably a Japanese maple):

I really can't come up with a vision for this spot, and it occurred to me that I should get some ideas before I finalize my plans for the rest of the front yard (most of what you see will be removed, some new plants brought in).

Here are another couple of perspectives, if you'd like:

I'm really struggling to even come up with a concept for this odd little space, so I'd appreciate any suggestions. Too close to the house for a tree. Maybe just a mixed perennial bed? Any other amazing ideas? Thanks in advance for thoughts!!

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I posted a idea's pic with concrete step for you.remember?I continue...

    Bookmark   April 7, 2012 at 10:27PM
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    Bookmark   April 7, 2012 at 10:49PM
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    Bookmark   April 8, 2012 at 7:33AM
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karinl(BC Z8)

I have a couple of narrow areas like this in my yard, although I don't view them they way you do this one, and my policy is that I want it to be pleasant to get IN there because I have to tend them no matter what they are - weed, sweep, rake, what have you. (Most recently, what I have is to repair some digging that a skunk or something is doing to try to get under the adjacent garage).

So my priority would be an area of paving - I would say large slabs so there are fewer cracks to catch weed seeds, and if you want it to be really easy to lay, make it rubber - I get mine at Canadian Tire, Home Depot has something similar for patios, but maybe someone else would sell some form of it as garage flooring. If you do pavers, it would be worth doing an attractive pattern since you look down on the area.

You could either run this surface the perimeter of the area, if you want it to be a full planting most of the year that you just go in to clean up in fall, or you could make the central area a hard surface, bordered with plantings, and maybe a central container or other focal point.

The perimeter idea might work better, because plants will grow best in the centre of this area where they are not getting light from only one side or a strange angle. To get the best of both options, you might do just a horseshoe shaped area of plants with paving both at the perimeter and up the centre.

You can have some design fun here since the area is isolated and does not have to "go" with the rest of your yard.

It would also lend itself to a pond, but that is so not my thing that I couldn't tell you a thing about how to do it. Or a Japanse zen garden... and ditto on that.

Karin L

    Bookmark   April 8, 2012 at 11:31AM
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I think this is a great spot for some kind of focal point. It could be a pond as karinl suggested or maybe just a birdbath or a large art piece. If you keep it low, it could be a secret spot to be discovered when you walk on the deck or from the back. Or you could make something really tall that can be seen from the street.

But, it does have to be accessible for maintenance.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2012 at 3:44PM
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Brad Edwards

I agree 100% with tanowicki. I think a sculpture of some sort would be nice as well. Bamboo in a pot and a coy pond would look nice. I think a weeping juniper would look nice there as well. I think it would be fun to add some cinder blocks, bring in some serious dirt, and have a large herb garden right there. I mean its a pretty decent spot depending on light because it would be so easy when getting home if you know what your going to make.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2012 at 5:27PM
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Honestly? I wouldn't do much in the short term, because I'd start working on a medium/long term plan to get rid of it. I would have the stairs come straight down from the entry and then have a walk access to the drive (or wherever) rather than carrying the porch and steps all the way over to the drive which creates that very odd space. Hey, it's a wood deck/stair combo and won't last forever anyway and the current configuration closes off the front of your house. Something to think about.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2012 at 8:00PM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

Thats a nice little cove for a slow growing, upright Japanese maple. Acer s. 'Autumn Moon' would look great and contrast nicely with your home's trim color.

Throw down some Russian cypress and you're set.

If you don't want to block the window, then go with a weeping selection that you take to the desired height.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2012 at 9:26PM
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Thanks for all the ideas! I love the idea of a birdbath or statuary there. That hadn't occurred to me, and it lets me know that I shouldn't pick plants until we figure out what that will be.


    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 8:48AM
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