Ideas for front yard?
Does anyone have any ideas for me here in NY zone 5? I'd like to give my yard a makeover. I got a great suggestion for starting out with a short fence up front and was going to work my way toward the house. However, I just had the utilities marked and they run across the width of the property (covering about 4 feet of frontage, there's 3 lines and they end between the tree and the light post in the front). Now I'm stumped again. The sun comes from the street. It's full sun up to the oak tree by the house. About 1/3-1/2 of in front of the deck is shade (side the tree is on) and the rest is sunny. I started taking out the boxwoods (the one in the middle has greened up again) and realized I didn't know what I was going to replace with. It was recommended not to plant in front of the deck (since it's so small) and that sounded like sound advice. Another suggestion was to block the view of one door which I liked if do-able. I got an id of the tree up front - it's a choke cherry tree. The light post needs some immediate attention but we'd like to leave it. We're contemplating moving our mailboxes up in front. This is a duplex but just my family lives here.
A couple of other things, I have to leave room for snow clearing around the driveways. Also, that oak tree drops a considerable amount of leaves so I have to be mindful about planting things I can clean around in the fall.
I don't have experience with shrubs yet (but have a nice collection started on my trade list). I'm trying to convert over most of my perennials gardens, hence the large collection. I have a pretty casual style and I like color. I don't mind yard work at all but not a fan of having to water everyday once things are established.
A couple of things I really like are my dappled willow if it can really take my zone (made it this winter) and my diablo ninebark. I think I might have to put some hydrangea out there so I don't have flower withdrawal. I prefer more of a carefree, eclectic that's kept in color. I was originally going to start with peony up front (not sure if they'll be a problem now with those utility lines) along with those low yellow "mop" yews and some crimson barberry to keep that area in color. Now I'm kinda stuck because I won't have a fence drop.
Any ideas come to mind?