Cottage-eque landscape...how to make it look manicured?
I am pretty happy with our front yard landscape. There is no lawn, and I have trees/shrubs/perennials everywhere. When I'm working in the front yard, I feel so happy, I think it's a pleasant place to be. There are lots of bugs and birds, it feels like a little oasis in our neighborhood of lawns and meatball shrubs LOL!
However, my DH practically hates it. He says it's unkempt and disheveled. I have been working on the yard for ten years now, but I feel like I'm just spinning my wheels trying to make it look more appealing to him (he says the yard looks embarrassing). I'm ready to capitulate and try to achieve something less personalized.
Mainly I'm trying to add some organization and uniformity. Along the house I've taken out mixed plantings and am having only 2-3 types of plants together. For example, along the walkway on the left side is a narrow planter, about 2 1/2 feet deep (between garage and walkway). It now contains only "Egyptian Ibis" daylilies and peppermint. And along the front of the house, I've taken out a lot of things and it will be only "Veitchii" gardenia and some groundcovers (baby tears mainly).
The other thing in the works will be to add some one-block-high terraces (probably three terraces, each 15-ish feet long) to the steeper hillside (we are on a corner lot). This will help with "mulch erosion" (happens every time it rains, we are tired of it) and will probably make that area look more visually organized.
To be totally honest, I can see my DHs point. When I stand across the street and look at the yard, it DOES have a haphazard feel. But when I am in it and I look at things up close, I think it looks great ;-)
I wondered what other kinds of things could be done to make it look more maintained and less "wild"? I'm looking for more generalized ideas, like what makes a cottage-style garden look organized rather than messy? For what it's worth, our landscaping budget is negligible. The BIG feature/expense will be the DIY terracing. But I have a TON of plants, many of which can be divided or propageted if I need more of the same.