Landscaping advice needed

tamujunMay 10, 2011

Hi all pros,

I need your advice on how to improve the landscaping of my house. Ideally I would like to add a few shrubs/small plants to beautify the front yard. My challenge is that my home is on the top of small hill. So I think I need more plants to make the front house more beautiful and also to provide more privacy.

Also there are two small patches I want to plant something for better view. One is near the entrance of the driveway, near mailbox. The other is further away near the entrance of the community. When you get onto community road, the patch is on your left side. Please see the pictures I attached.

Currently I have some tulips on the first patch (but unfortunately were eaten by some animals this season!), and some lilies in the another patch.

Finally, as a budget home buyer and a newbie to home landscaping, I hope your suggestions are not too expensive, and too much work involved:-) yes, I am lazy!


Here is a link that might be useful: House Pictures

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lpinkmountain(5b/6a border PA)

I'll bet those tulips were eaten by deer, and so one thing you are going to have to constantly battle where you live are deer munching on your landscaping. Google "deer proof plants" and start researching plants that deer don't eat. And good luck, there aren't many!

    Bookmark   May 11, 2011 at 9:19AM
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Thanks lpinkmountain. I will check out those deer-proof plants.

btw, any good advices to improve landscaping in the front yard of my house?


    Bookmark   May 12, 2011 at 11:01PM
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karinl(BC Z8)

I think you are thinking too small, based on the plants you are talking about having planted like lilies, and also that you are constricting where you can plant to the edges of your property and your house and "at" things like the mailbox.

If you really want to make an impact, you should think in larger terms, and also use your whole property. Planting "at" the mailbox is only going to constrict the driveway, hide the mailbox, and generally make the whole place look awkward.

You should visit a local nursery and see what kinds of plants you like - read plant tags to assess size in ten years, look at foliage colour and plant form, and pick plants that look good together, contrasting and complementing each other. Pay attention to evergreen vs. deciduous, but get a bit of both.

If there were no deer, I would put a nice shrub border somewhere along the slope in your lawn, making an attractive shape of flower bed and edging it as cleanly as you can for easy mowing. I would also tend not to put too many shrubs at the foundation of the house, but rather a nice low garden of perennials that are interesting up close so you can enjoy their changes through the seasons as you come and go.

The fact that there are deer does complicate things. Perhaps you can just work with deerproof plants, or with plants that might outgrow their eating, but those would have to be some vigorous shrubs! If it is important to you to have a nice looking planting, I wonder if you could consider a wire mesh fence around the shrubs - would have to be removal for weeding. If someone hasn't invented a fencing system like that, they should.

Your other best bet might just be to plant a tree or two in the front yard. These would also have to be protected from the deer while young, but eventually their foliage would grow above the deer and you would have your screening - but it would be up fairly high. You have to decide where you actually want privacy.


    Bookmark   May 13, 2011 at 7:56AM
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Just a word on deer-proof lists on the internet: many are wrong. Here in VA, the population pressures are so high that the deer eat a LOT of what's on the safe list. Rudbeckia and achillea are considered no-brainers, along with stachys; not in Vienna, VA. The deer wiped them out.

So I'd say at the least, talk with a knowledgeable person at an independent garden center and see what typically makes it in your area.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2011 at 9:54AM
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lpinkmountain(5b/6a border PA)

Maybe not as much of a deer problem in NH, a lot depends on what the landscape is around where your house is. If there are large enough areas of wild around your house to harbor predators that keep deer at bay, or give them plenty of other stuff to eat, then you just have to avoid making your yard a "deer salad." If, on the other hand, it is miles of suburbia with intermittent islands of woods for the deer to sleep in thank you, (like Marci probably has in Vienna where I used to live) then all bets are off, like she said. But her advice still stands, as does Karin's.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2011 at 10:53AM
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Thanks KarinL for your comments and suggestions, and marcinde, lpinkmountain for more information on deer-proof plants. I will do more research, probably get more advices from a local professional. Thanks again.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2011 at 10:54PM
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