New and redesigning small front yard

awoodwaring(9)May 12, 2006

Hello, I also post over at potager and pools forum. Anyhow, I would like some design input.


We are putting in a pool and all my veggies were removed.

We live in Sac county where you can get ticketed for growing veggies in your front yard.


Grow veggies in the front yard, but hide them amongst flowers so noone can tell (unless they look close).

Kid and critter friendly.

Low maintenance.

What we had:

What we have now:

The area by the house (it is a small pond...hard to see):

What we sort of envision:

What has been started (2 more arbors will be added, creating a path to the front door):

My Disneyland rose tree:

My trumpet flower will grow with this clematis on one of the arbors:

My kiwi on another arbor:

And we have morning glory on the entry arbor.

Finally...please use simple terminology; I am a total rookie! :)

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saypoint(6b CT)

What is the question? The only comment I can make is that the stone wall you envision may actually be on town-owned land which often extends a number of feet into front yards as part of the road easement, so you may not be able to build anything permanent there. Also, I see several different styles happening in your mockup, I think you need to pick one and stick with it.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2006 at 10:47AM
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saypoint(6b CT)

OK, I see that you've asked for design input. I think your plan is too busy, and has a number of different styles going on, none of which suit the spanish style architecture of your home. You've got a rural country style split rail fence, an Asian-inspired bridge, an English cottage arbor, large rocks that are informal naturalistic style, a New England style stone wall, and tree planted right in front of the entry. Sorry if this is too blunt for you, don't want to hurt your feelings.

Before you go any further, get thee to the library and/or internet and do some research on Mediterranean or Spanish/Moorish style gardens.

Can you do your veggie gardening in containers in the back yard?

    Bookmark   May 12, 2006 at 10:57AM
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Input is good...

how about English-country or French country (as that is what potage is)? Or eclectic? haha

I can't say I am crazy about the style of the front of my house, but every house in the surrounding area looks like this.

The ideas were just pulled off a computer graphics program and served as generic ideas (as in, we would like a bridge with a dry stream bed, groups of plantings and a flagstone rockway with a smallish rock retaining wall).

When I am at the landscaping stores, how do I know which style is which? I just picked the arbors because they were pretty, strong and rustic. I would like to stick with a similar style.

Again...input is good. You won't hurt my feelings. :)

oh...and here is the backyard...not a whole lot of room for all my veggies

like I said...small lot (115x65 with the house).

    Bookmark   May 12, 2006 at 11:19AM
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One problem I see is that everything is out of scale. For example, comparing it's size to the size of your front door, the small bridge would be appropriate only for toddlers and your split rail fence is only about a foot tall. Do you see what I am talking about?

I think you will have a lovely front garden if you can scale your desires back quite a bit. You have started with some lovely vines and arbors. Don't be afraid to let things evolve slowly over time. Just as most of us wouldn't want to have quadruplets, but rather to space our children out a bit, it can be equally overwhelming to try and "birth" many parts of the landscape at the same time.

By the way, your pool area has great potential.

Re. veggies...first of all, we have an area in my town with a similar, insane policy of no veggie gardens in the front lawn. Zoning Board Craziness! But many of our veggies are very beautiful...lettuces, swiss chard, cabbages and so forth can easily be tucked into containers or in part of a bed. While I would avoid corn, tomatoes, and also potatoes, you can easily "justify" your peas (sweet peas are a "flower", aren't are Sugar Ann peas, then) and beans (if you can have Red Runner Beans as a flowers, why not have french green beans?) and even squash...isn't the zucchini foliage lush and the blossom divine? (Put the tomatoes in containers near the pool).


    Bookmark   May 12, 2006 at 11:44AM
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catkim(San Diego 10/24)

"When I am at the landscaping stores, how do I know which style is which? I just picked the arbors because they were pretty, strong and rustic." That was a good instinctive choice, it appears to work with your house. consistent!! Then you won't have to worry about which style is which. Stick to the same material and style for other pieces.

In the mock-up (which has no perspective and really messes with my eyeballs) you have too many different materials, as Saypoint said. Danger, danger! I'm picking up on an impulsive nature; there is no arch in the mock-up, but there it is in the "what has been done" picture. Try to remember when you are in the stores that if you pick out every pretty thing, you will have a hodge-podge; it's more important to *exclude* things than to include too much. Fortunately, your arch was a good impulse, but be wary of being impulsive. (I am speaking from personal experience with buying the wrong things on impulse. Not productive.)

A potager is a kitchen garden, ("potage" is soup in French) and herbs are the perfect thing to blend into the front garden without being immediately found out by the garden police. So be free with your fennel, basil, parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme! They will look lovely amongst the flowers. Be sure to group them with flowering plants with similar water needs: thirsty plants together, less thirsty plants together.

One last point, because you say you are a rookie: pay attention to weed control from the get-go. I have seen many gardens like this overwhelmed with weeds within a year because the gardeners didn't know about weed control. Pulling weeds is not weed control; you must concentrate on prevention. Never let them sprout. Use a weed germination preventer where you can (perhaps not among the veggies) and a thick layer of compost and/or mulch everywhere.

Good luck, I love your general idea. You are going to have a terrific garden front and back.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2006 at 12:24PM
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"One problem I see is that everything is out of scale."
Absolutely...can I blame this on my husband? He did the mock-up. Though I don't know that mine is much better...

"Don't be afraid to let things evolve slowly over time. "
Fortunatey, my budget will require this.

"But many of our veggies are very beautiful...lettuces, swiss chard, cabbages and so forth can easily be tucked into containers or in part of a bed. "
That is exactly what I am doing. I'll refrain from the corn and wheat! :) However, I was going to try and sneak a cuc on the arbor with maybe one of the flowers.

"I'm picking up on an impulsive nature"
heh..that obvious, eh? :) shhh, don't tell my husband! Actually, the whole arch thing came about when I saw the kiwi. I just had to have them...and, well, then something to support them. Then there was the clematis, and the morning glory, and the....well, you get the point. Luckily, my budget will prevent me from doing that again!

"So be free with your fennel, basil, parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme!"
Oh, yes, I will! :)

"pay attention to weed control from the get-go"
Yeah, I was going to lay down weed barrier under the mulch "paths"

More specifically:
Should we ditch the dry stream bed and/or the bridge?

I also have 2 more arbors that I was going to space equally down to the walkway. It will form the pathway to the door. Too much?

How about the vining roses...what kind of fence? Like in our mock-up? I have the fence/vines to hide a flat area near my front porch that is about 15'x15' and would house many of my veggie beds. It looks like this now (we'll remove the existing shrubs...

Suggestions on the rock path? I was looking at Arizona flagstone. Or, maybe New England Tudor Blue? That is what we will have in our backyard.

Thanks so much!!

    Bookmark   May 12, 2006 at 1:25PM
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saypoint(6b CT)

I'd lose the bridge. I would prefer having it in a setting that looks like a bridge "belongs", rather than just plunking it down in an area that actually looks fairly arid because you think it's cute. Kind up right up there with the fake miniature wishing wells in the front yard.

Now, if you were doing a Japanese style garden (which really wouldn't work with your house) that's another story.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   May 12, 2006 at 2:16PM
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I think if you really love it, you could make a bridge work...see the link below. Not my style, but workable. However, it really comes down to making choices. As you can see, the whole bridge venue would take up quite a lot of room.

I agree with Saypoint about things being out of context though. Would there be a bridge with a dry river bed right next to lush, well-watered vines and roses? I think it is so funny to see these "water features" that purport to be like a waterfall, but where the heck is the water supposed to be coming from?! Odd.

But you have a good attitude about all this and I think you are (will be) having fun.

Hey, if my DH showed even a little interest in the garden, even if he planned for a tiny weeny little bridge and fence, I'd be happy!


Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   May 12, 2006 at 2:31PM
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catkim(San Diego 10/24)

Just my amateur opinions: ditch the bridge, it doesn't fit. A dry stream bed made with round river stone can be attractive, but the location in your mock-up doesn't look right to me. Water flows downhill. Looking at your photo, it appears to me it should flow from about the arbor to the left-hand corner of the lot, away from the driveway.

Two more arbors? That would give you a dark tunnel effect. Too much? Yes; again, just my amateur opinion.

Fence: remember, consistency. I would be looking for fencing to match the railing under the arch on your house. That would be great for roses.

If you relocate the dry stream, I'm not sure you'd need more than mulch paths, but I'll let someone more knowledgeable comment on the stone.

Hope you are having fun with the process.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2006 at 2:39PM
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saypoint(6b CT)

Here's a link to a photo of a portion of a mediterranean garden. A google search and click on "images" turned up a lot of pictures of gardens in a style that would complement your home. One of the sites even had a veggie garden on it.

Here is a link that might be useful: link

    Bookmark   May 12, 2006 at 2:59PM
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saypoint(6b CT)

Here ya go, nice example. Lots of herbs could be included in a garden like this, and if you could screen off a sunny corner of the yard from view without blocking the sun, you could put some veggies in raised beds or containers to make a sort or potager.

Here is a link that might be useful: link

    Bookmark   May 12, 2006 at 3:05PM
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I like the repetition of the arches a lot. The one on the walkway ties in well with the arch to the left of the front door and the arched window to the right. The arches are not all on the same line and that adds some dynamic tenision; however, the small arched bridge detracts from that.

It seems that concealment and deception are needed for your guerilla vegetable garden. Since you have a Spanish theme a low wall stucco wall around the front yard could hide some veggies.

I like the idea of permaculture being worked into your scheme.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2006 at 3:08PM
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vicki_ca(Sunset 14, US9)

I see that you want to get away from the green carpet look of your neighborhood. Just don't overdo it by trying to cram too much into a small area. Believe me, I understand this, because I have to resist doing this myself.

I suggest that you temporarily put your plans on hold and pick up a copy of Sunset Western Landscaping. You should be able to find it at any major bookstore, as well as some of the nurseries and home improvement centers. The book has lots of photos, design tips, and step-by-step instructions. It will be well worth your time to read it.

From what I can see in your pictures, your yard has only a very slight slope. I don't think you will be able to pull off the raised bed or terraced look there, unless you are prepared to haul in quite a few cubic yards of soil.

Dry streams work well in CA xeriscaping gardens, although it sounds like you are mostly planting thirsty plants. For a dry stream to look good, you can't just lay a bunch of uniform stones down on top of a level surface. You need to dig down a bit and use river rocks of varying sizes. The stream bed should not dump out onto the sidewalk with two layers of rock stopping it either. If you decide to keep the stream, make it curve over towards the right side of your yard and have disappear into an arrangement of partially buried boulders and ornamental grasses or shrubs. If you do keep the dry stream, lose the bridge. With the exception of Japanese gardens, I think little bridges to nowhere look kitschy. This last bit is my personal bias, but you may be able to find some small bridge examples where it can be pulled off.

Are the white clumps Santa Barbara daisies? They are a very good selection for hot, dry Sacramento. They are often seen in rock gardens and along dry streams. Clumps of blue fescue near the SB daisies work well together. Some nearby lavender would work too. These are Mediterranean plants that are very suitable to your architecture and do exceptionally well in our CA climate.

You do not have room for a path and a dry stream. I don't see the point of a path there, so I suggest eliminating it from your plan. Likewise, I think two more arches will overwhelm your small yard. If you decide to go with just one arbor, try moving the current one forward to the place where your walkway makes its 90 degree turn. Then stand across the street and see how it looks.

I don't think you should use a low fence along the sides of your front yard. Let your plants form a natural border instead.

Looks like you live in a new neighborhood, and being in CA, I'll bet you have a HOA with front yard landscaping rules. If the HOA allows that rustic rock edging, you will need to keep the rocks off of the sidewalk and prevent soil from spilling through. I would prefer to see a soft edge of plants along the public sidewalk, rather than rock edging.

Do you have a way to keep that utility box accessible to utility company employees? When PG&E or whoever owns that box needs access to it, they will cut down or dig up anything in their way, which is their right to do.

Here is a link that might be useful: Sunset Western Landscaping Book

    Bookmark   May 12, 2006 at 3:32PM
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guerilla vegetable garden...stealth gardening...and plant amnesty...this is quite the subversive group here! :)


    Bookmark   May 12, 2006 at 3:34PM
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I don't like the bridge because of the size and style of the house. If the house had little to no style, then I could see it, but it makes a very strong statement, and if you deviate from the statement too much, it draws attention to the contrast.

Saypoint mentioned some choices. I'd like to add a few. *g* Unfortunately, none of the would look right with the bridge, and with such a small front yard, I wouldn't put the bridge there, anyway.

1. Mediterranean. (as she said...) You have some elements there with the grasses already...

2. Spanish. Somewhat different.

3. Moroccan. You could use it as an excuse to do some accents that make your house different from everyone else's...

4. Tropical. Large parts of Central and South America combine this type of architecture in tropical settings. This is your best bet for high-water, where exhuberant veggies would look really good. And again, you could take some Mexican and Central American colors and give your house a shock of different, and it would look good in this setting. You could paint the wall behind the arches electric blue or pink. Not often THOSE colors would look in the right setting, but in a tropical garden, it would. *g*

5. Desert xeriscape. Play up southwestern themes, and you get a desert look, which I've come to appreciate, living where I do. It can be quite colorful...but not a place for your veggies.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2006 at 4:14PM
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sammie070502(PNW z8)

I'm concerned that the kiwi will pull down that arbor in about 2 seasons. Around here, 40 feet seems about average for kiwi plants. Also, you'll need to have a male and a female plant if you want fruit production--except I have heard of people grafting a male plant to a female one or vice versa and solving this problem in less space. If a fence or pergola is in the picture, that would be a more suitable place for the kiwi, IMO.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2006 at 10:57PM
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Thanks so much for the ideas...let's see what I can address...

~thanks for the warning, I'll make sure we have a solid foundation and I do have both the male and female. The male is the full bushy, beautiful one.

~I think we'll nix the bridge. I was afraid it would be too much and the arbors are more practical, as well as, beautiful.

The plants I want (this will lead to my question):
~roses: these are a must as my 5 yr old son *loves* them and wanted them for their exceptional aphid attracting capabilities! :)

~citrus trees: I have 2 that I tried to grow as container plants and they are doing horribly; so, I was hoping to give them new life in the front

~my kiwis, trumpet flower, clematis, morning glory...though we do have a shade structure in the back that we can put them on. The area surrounding the structure is filled with a hodge-podge of stuff and I love it! lol I am sure this will make most of you cringe, but we have 3 maples, a nectarine, apricot, cherry, apple, one dwarf and one miniture peach, and a million flowers/grasses/bushes that I have no idea what they are...but they sure are pretty. :)

Or we could move one of the arbors back there and, again put one or more of these in the back.

~strawberries: these will need their own bed
~artichoke (this would be nice *and* it fits with the Medit. theme!)
~the usual veggies...chard, lettuce, tomatoes (though these will be closest to the house and obscured by the vining roses)
~blueberries (apparently there are some varieties made for this area)
~lots of herbs

The sloping front is about 20'x30' and the flat part closest to the house is about 15'x15' (as pictured above). The flagstone path would connect the sidewalk to the concrete path coming off the driveway. I really want this path as it is easier for people to use instead of walking around the cars in the driveway.

Terracing and Raised beds: I am absolutely willing to bring in the extra dirt for this. DH and I have done this too many times to count (note the raised cmu wall in our backyard to name just one!). I do this because we have that really dense clay soil that just isn't conducive to the growth of many veggies/plants.

As for "style"...
~I am afraid I won't be able to create a "look" as I want a variety of specific plants and they don't seem to fall into any one category. My plant selection is more important than the style. However, this is not saying that I don't want it to look good and cohesive.

I love this one:

But what gives it its Mediterranian style? The hardscape, the plants, both?

    Bookmark   May 13, 2006 at 10:35AM
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vicki_ca(Sunset 14, US9)

In a Mediterranean garden, most of the plants are well suited to a mild climate with a summer dry season and wet winters. Many of the plants are not particular about soil. They can handle the intense summer sun and heat experienced in your part of California. Plant selections are those that originate from the Mediterranean region, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.

The range of foliage colors in the Mediterranean garden spans the color palate ranging from blue-gray to lime green. Most of the foliage is evergreen, contributing to year-round beauty. Flowers may be shockingly bright (bougainvillea) or in muted tones, depending on selection. Sage/salvia from Mexico and other parts of the world provide interest for 9-10 months per year. Strappy New Zealand flax and billowy ornamental grass add movement, and upright phormiums add exclamation points. Fragrance is provided by citrus, lavender, rosemary, and roses. Yes, roses! You just need to make sure that your roses, which require summer water, do not share their root zone with lavender and rosemary which require far less summer water. This is easy to accomplish by using drip irrigation or soaker hoses around your roses and water lovers, while keeping excess irrigation away from plants that prefer dry feet.

In the Mediterranean garden, evergreen shrubs, low walls, and large arbors like your white one can be used to define spaces/rooms. Paving, gravel or bark mulch is used instead of turf/lawns.

Here is an example of a well designed, low maintenance Mediterranean garden planted around a Spanish style home with a lot that is even smaller than yours. This home is located in one of the Contra Costa County (East Bay) suburbs.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2006 at 12:27PM
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ooohhh, Vicki, that is beautiful!!

Which of my vining plants would work best...clematis, trumpet flower, morning glory or kiwi? I could move the others to the back (where I was planning on putting grapes, which could move to the front).

    Bookmark   May 13, 2006 at 12:42PM
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vicki_ca(Sunset 14, US9)

If you love that last picture you posted, you may want to schedule a day trip to Filoli Gardens in Woodside, CA. The pics below are of the Filoli knot garden. Filoli also has kitchen gardens.

More Filoli Knot Garden pics:

Here is a link that might be useful: Filoli Estate and Gardens

    Bookmark   May 13, 2006 at 12:45PM
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vicki_ca(Sunset 14, US9)

"Which of my vining plants would work best...clematis, trumpet flower, morning glory or kiwi? I could move the others to the back..."

If I had a front yard arbor, I would plant it with a climbing roses and clematis. Depending on your selection, clematis and a rose can share the same climbing structure. People at the Rose Forum can provide you with suggestions for climbing roses and clematis that will be well suited for your arbor. One of the avid posters at that forum lives in Davis, which may be near you.

Be careful with morning glories. Annual morning glories are very pretty. They will self-seed everywhere, but you can control that each spring by pulling them out.
WARNING: There is a perennial morning glory that is so invasive, it will eventually end up all over your neighborhood. I'm not sure whether that one is hardy in your area, but I suggest that you ask about it at the California Forum. One of the funniest (and scariest) threads I ever read at the California forum was about a driveway leaping morning glory.

Trumpet vines are house eaters and there are times of the year when they don't look very good. I'd move that to a back or side yard. I don't know enough about Kiwi to provide suggestions, but if it grows to 40 feet as mentioned by another poster, it doesn't sound like a good choice for your front yard.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2006 at 1:06PM
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sammie070502(PNW z8)

Many people are suggesting a meditterranean garden be installed. While I agree that it would be most appropriate with the house and also more xeric than other options, the OP clearly wants to incorporate plants that are more lush and leafy and I'm not convinced that she will limit herself to the plants which will support a meditarranean appearance. I think that maybe she should try to achieve a tropical jungle style which would be consistent with the Spanish architecture. I can picture the use of kiwi, clematis, rainbow chard, climbing roses etc. in this scheme much better than I can in a mediterranean scheme. I'd add flashy plants like bouganvilla, cannas, calla lilies etc. and call it a tropical extravaganza.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2006 at 3:17PM
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"I'm not convinced that she will limit herself to the plants which will support a meditarranean appearance"

Nope...plant first, design second! :) I won't give up the fruits and veggies to create a certain look. That is why I am trying to combine the 2 into a workable solution.

I found something called "The California Garden"...would this qualify? :)

    Bookmark   May 13, 2006 at 7:41PM
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saypoint(6b CT)

Is this something like "ready, fire, aim!" ? :o)

    Bookmark   May 13, 2006 at 8:31PM
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"ready, fire, aim!"

lol...hey, now there's a style I actually recognize!! *That* is *my * style!!

Now the real question is, can you make it look good?? :P

    Bookmark   May 13, 2006 at 8:45PM
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If you're HIDING them, I'd go for tropical. They'd stick out like a sore thumb with mediterrean because it tends to be more spare and lower on the bloom.

Also, you'll simply drown most mediterranean-suitable plants in conditions that would support your veggies! That's what Sammie meant. No point in investing all that money in cool looking grasses and conifers just to have them die for your strawberries. *g*

Take all the plants you already know you want, figure out wwhere they'll be, and stuff tropicals around them everywhere. For a rose-lover, this will probably be the best style that would be suited to your temperment long term, as it would have the most color and bloom.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2006 at 4:38AM
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ok then...given my arbors and "style", do any of these match (they would support the roses that hide my veggies)
Keep in mind I'll be taking down the rail on my front porch.

If not, what the heck would I use???

    Bookmark   May 14, 2006 at 4:58AM
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Stuff to check out:

Peek inside a book on tropical gardening

another in B&W

link to another pic

Sorry I couldn't find better examples!

    Bookmark   May 14, 2006 at 5:07AM
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Those would work great for tropical but not any of the other styles!

    Bookmark   May 14, 2006 at 5:08AM
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I'd decide where the BIG plants you're already SURE you want are and then plan around them. All stuffing is strictly hyperbole. Really. *g*

Since you kind of want a terraced sort of feel, you can achieve that by varying plant heights, QUITE tall up against the house and starting very short at the curb.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2006 at 5:20AM
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And to allow a very tall layer close to the house, I would go short again in the entry way so that you get all the lushness without blocking the window to the right of the entry. So behind the porch-line, the side bed would be like a private flower courtyard for the porch and that front window. If the "tall" plant at the front (from the window) is blooming, like big cannas, you could get a really lush look with shade foliage short plants and still have that color.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2006 at 5:25AM
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sammie070502(PNW z8)

Those screens are definitely WRONG. They are Asian and look like they belong in a Japanese garden, not in front of a Spanish style house. Look for inspiration in photos of Missions. Think curly wrought iron door panels, stucco columns, and heavy duty trellises made with 2X2 or bigger lumber.

Here is a link that might be useful: Mexican garden book

    Bookmark   May 15, 2006 at 1:09PM
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sammie070502(PNW z8)

I see by your other posting that you've made progress and have given up the screens.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2006 at 1:28PM
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flyingflower(San Francisco Bay Area (CA))

The thing I dislike most is the metal arbor, the house has 3 beautiful arches already, to add a 4th arch (the arbor) ruins the architecture of your house. The arbor is pretty as is (I love arbors!) but totally wrong for your house.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2006 at 1:43PM
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lpinkmountain(5b/6a border PA)

Fascinating discussion! I too have a small yard, love an ecclectic mix of plants, and wanted to mix in "things to eat" in my garden. I wish I had a camera to take pictures of my newly landscaped back yard. It can be done! It took me lots and lots of forethought, doodling, reading, going to nurseries, redoing, etc. before I arrived at my current mix. I bought a lot of books on "edible landscaping" and container gardening but nothing really rang my bell. What I mostly found useful was thinking about the form, shape and texture of my vegetable plants, thinking of them as decorative elements instead of just trying to get the maximum amount of produce. Strawberries are gorgeous and could be put into a layered bed, like a tier, or those clay strawberry pots. I have mine in a mixed flower bed, they are adorable. Most fruit trees are pretty decorative. Herbs, flowers and veggies do go together in pretty ways. Just keep experimenting! My best bed so far has a birch tree, crabapple, raspberries, mint, strawberries, roses, ferns, columbine, dwarf hemlock, bearberry, juniper and blueberry bushes. Totally different zone from you. I was going for a "northwoods" look.

The style you like has been around for centuries. Keep looking for cute examples online or in books. I kept a notebook of pictures.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2006 at 5:08PM
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Hey, Sammie--

I was thinking tiki-tropical, but you're right, won't work. That would need a Hawaiian-influences or (weirdly) a ranch house.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2006 at 9:40PM
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lazydaisy(z7 NTX)

Just throwing some things out here considering the French garden theme:
-Could you retrofit the arch to fit over the porch arch and grow your roses off of it?
-possibly reconfiguring the horizontal railing to have a small two-door gate, matching it to the metal arch (that's now attached to the house arch and matching the color.
-in the area in front of arch and from left side of entry walk, work in some type of stone/pavers interlaced with plants possibly containing a wrought iron bench or little French cafe bistro set. Really getting serious here would be to contain this "bistro" area with a wrap-around railing (that matches all of the other railing or using large rectangular planters to define this "bistro" space.
-Not sure of the name of this water feature but using the "lion" head spitting into the trough water feature, sitting it up against your right hand side entry wall IPO the other water fountain.
-all of this would extend out approximately equal to the walk off of the drive.
Really pushing it here, have your bistro area "step down" into the front section of the yard. The "step down" directly in front of the porch arch with matching stones to the curb, planting your various perrenials to the right and left of that step down.

I'd at least match your fence on the left side of your house to your house. Right now it looks like an extension of your neighbor's fence. Either by painting it to complement your house, by adding fence railing that matches the existing railing or by extending some type of stucco wall that matches your house design.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2006 at 1:37AM
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