would love some help with my front yard
Hi! I've been lurking here for a while and post sometimes over on the home side of the site.
I'm starting to think about what to do with my front yard. I'm just in the planning stages now, and plan to do the actual landscaping work in the fall. I live in a townhouse in the Baltimore area - zone 7. Here is the front of the house now:
The house faces mostly south, a little bit east, so it gets lots of sun.
I'd like to remove everything that is planted in the beds and start fresh. The right bed used to have a large, upright evergreen (same as on the left, but much taller), but it got damaged in the blizzard this winter and we had it cut down. I plan to have the stump ground out, but haven't done so yet. I also am planning to paint the lower concrete part of the house a creamy white color. I did this on the side of the house and it is such a nice improvement over the ugly concrete.
Restrictions on the site: On the right side of the stairs, below the dryer vent, is an outlet for a hose. We need to maintain access to that. On the far right side is the electrical meter and Fios box. I'd like to block the view of those, but they should be reachable.
You may notice a barely visible trash can on the left side behind the tall evergreen. We are having a shed built that will be on the other side of the fence, and when this is finished, the trashcan will be inside there and will not be visible.
On the left side, I don't like the upright evergreen and want to remove it, but I do like the screen that it provides. The beds are currently edged with the same wood that is used in the back yard:
. I don't know what that is called, but there is just one level of it in the front. I'd prefer to work with the existing edging, but I'm willing to consider changing it, too!
What I want:
I'd really love to have some big ornamental grasses, but I'm not sure what varieties are good for my area. I'd like the area to look nice all year round, so some evergreens might be good. I have a barberry in my back yard that I'd like to move anyway, so that might be nice. Other than that, I'm not really sure! On the right side, I don't want any plants to block the windows on the first floor. The distance from the ground to the bottom of the bay window is 7'.
Here's a graph paper diagram of the area (sorry about the poor quality - that's a bad photo of the paper). The scale is 1 box = 6".
If anyone has any ideas, I would love to hear them. I really appreciate the help. I get really overwhelmed with a blank slate like this!