New Home...Help with Landscaping Plan

redshoetravelerMay 18, 2012

We finished building our Utah home about a month ago & are working on a landscaping plan. We have a landscaper & talked with him about what we want. He came up with a plan (see below), but we'd like your critique and also suggestions for trees & shrubs.

Some info on the home:

*Faces north with an east-facing driveway.

*@ 3,500 square feet 2-story on a 1/4 acre lot

*On the corner of a cul-de-sac with no existing neighbors on the lots immediately around us yet (there is a lot behind ours & one on the side)

Some additional notes on landscaping:

*There is an existing parkway strip on all street fronts

*Planning on a white vinyl fence with two gates

*Existing partially-covered 2-level composite deck with wrap around stairs

*A/C on concrete pad on west side of house near SW corner

*We'd love to incorporate at least one Eastern Redbud & a Japanese Maple somewhere in the plan

*We'd like a water feature (perhaps a pondless waterfall), play area for the kids, raised planter boxes for a garden, & some kind of additional seating area. Firepit is not essential since we have a firepit table on the deck, but my husband still likes the idea of having 2.

Some questions about landscaper's plan:

*Right now he has a tree in front of a window near the entrance; we like the idea of a Japanese Maple or Weeping Cherry there, but don't really like the idea of it in front of the window. Any great solutions?

*Don't know if we want the front walk completely bordered by plants as he has it now. Is it too much?

Seems like the beds are too narrow...what are suggested widths for these?

*Any additional ideas for the location of the water feature & patio? Seems like the additional seating area would be nice to have away from the main seating area, but maybe I'm wrong.

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated! Here is the current plan & pictures of the home.

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Beautiful house. Stunning views. But the plan? Unfortunately, all I can see is wiggly curves and perimeteritis...

    Bookmark   May 18, 2012 at 3:47PM
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catkim(San Diego 10/24)

This does not appear to be a professional plan. What are your landscaper's credentials? Have you seen examples of the landscaper's finished projects?

    Bookmark   May 18, 2012 at 4:06PM
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No offense to your landscaper, but he is not a landscape designer. And this is not a landscape plan. It's a plant-selling scheme with little or no comprehension of actual landscape design, in it. The purposeless wiggly bed edges should be the first clue. Unfortunately, it's the standard by which America lives. It's full of flaws and no different than any common "builders" (cheap) landscape (though it will cost you some $$$ to get this yard.) Most people don't even notice. They coexist with these kinds of schemes for about 15 years and then, in disgust, declare that it has outlived it's usefulness (overgrown is the usual adjective applied) and rip it all out and start over. There is a major difference between this and a real landscape design. In contrast, the house looks as though someone thought highly enough of the details to put some funds and effort into the outcome. It'd be a shame to declare the yard not worth the bother of making it half-way decent. But I think that's what this plan does.

Some people pay tens of thousands of dollars to kill themselves with cigarettes and it's hard to conceive of that as good value. That's what bad landscaping reminds me of. Paying good money to buy wrong plants or put good plants in wrong places. It has the practical effect of creating weeds. The tree in front of the window will not be a benefit, but a curse. Ditto for the plants engulfing the walk. This "plan" is spending $0 on design. So therefore, it's a plan for infecting your yard with a lot of "weeds." It'd be so much better for you in the long run to spend some money on design. If it robbed something away from your landscape installation budget, that's still better than spending money to devalue your property. For a few hundred dollars you should be able to get some good planting design help. But be careful to hire a designer who's work you have seen and admire. Compare the work of a few designers. If you want greater assurance of quality, compare the work of those who work in the field of landscape architecture.

This is about the first house that someone's brought to the forum where I didn't feel the need to gripe about the front walk being too narrow. It's nice and a refreshing change!

    Bookmark   May 18, 2012 at 4:10PM
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I'm going to agree with everyone. The first clue would be the placement of the play area along the street and so far from the covered deck.

That's a lot of grass for Utah.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2012 at 4:41PM
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Nice some panoramic shots.I add some ideas on the photos seriously

    Bookmark   May 18, 2012 at 7:07PM
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    Bookmark   May 19, 2012 at 4:04AM
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Redshoetraveler: House turned out fantastic! If you want to see a similar shaped lot with all of the planning done, nearly all of the hardscaping, and just working on the plant material, come on up to our house in the Cove. It is always easier for me to see an (almost) completed project and then determine what my likes and dislikes are from seeing it. It makes for a much faster jumping off point with less second guessing. And if you don't like what we have, that's ok, at least you know what not to put in your yard! Bryan can give your husband our address.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2012 at 11:26AM
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Your the windows of front yard are some high,should plant shrubs in the bed under the windows.should have a curb appeal goal.face north the bed need some tolerant shade plants,azaleas,

    Bookmark   May 22, 2012 at 7:44AM
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