Help tackling the front yard...raised gazebo

cadillactasteJune 9, 2013

The last two years we focused on our backyard. After learning of how black walnut trees can effect what you plant. (Lost most our plants in the raised flowerbeds) So disgusted we gave up. Finally found out our issue and went to work making a "grow old with me" spot to relax in on the back patio...including a large waterfall with creek beds.

All that work we now notice how neglected our front yard is. I wish to continue with the hardscape and use the rocks under the gazebo. Bury a few large rocks so they look planted instead of laying on top.
Trying to decide if I want to "hide" the poles of the gazebo with tall plants/shrubs. Or leave it and go for simple...

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cadillactaste

This photo shows a lot...the hardscape I mentioned and the Tamerix that we have planted near the railing going up the side steps. Notice the size because I have another one that we ordered at the same time...and it looks like a Charlie Brown Christmas tree! Though it was closer to the walnut tree and had our pup chew one main stem branch off the first year.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2013 at 8:08PM
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cadillactaste

In the corner of the fence you'll see the pathetic Tamerix. It actually has done more this year...with shoots coming out of the trunk area that was chewed previously. (Please forgive the cords in the photo my husband just got our power washer back from the shop and was cleaning the fence.) Curious since it has never been pruned what next year would bring if I did so later once the other is done blooming. But if this doesn't do something next Spring I have a feeling it will be yanked out and tossed to the wayside. So I feel I can't do much here...I do have three glass plate flowers I could toss in here with this. To make it more substance.

I also considered making a small butterfly garden here and stager at three different heights butterfly houses. Or just one centered in the far back to add height.

This post was edited by cadillactaste on Mon, Jun 10, 13 at 7:05

    Bookmark   June 9, 2013 at 8:15PM
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cadillactaste

You can see where I hacked our forsynthia. We never really pruned it hard...and this year when I went get it under control I had bare twigs left where the leaves should have been. Now tha I know hard pruning won't hurt it I hacked it down to help the ugly shrub. It has tons of shoots starting so I am happy for that. Wouldn't mind a flower bed along here to hide from seeing through it.

It gets afternoon sun by the way.

I know for sure I want to plant something along this smaller landing/deck and warp it around to the end of railing. Flowering shrubs maybe? Something to block seeing under it.

This post was edited by cadillactaste on Mon, Jun 10, 13 at 7:08

    Bookmark   June 9, 2013 at 8:21PM
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cadillactaste

I also considered having my husband build trellises on the tall posts of the gazebo with a birdhouse like this sort of. But leaving a few feet from the bottom and top exposed so it doesn't feel totally enclosed. I do have if you walk under the gazebo a starting of a birdhouse collection hanging to the left on the enclosed part of that landing/small deck to the left of it. The trellis not having a peak top but one that would run straight across.

Possibly a solar powered bird bath or electric fountain...in area where the sidewalk splits to go up the steps or under the gazebo. You'll notice a small trellis with a birdhouse there back a bit where I would have this more centered in that area.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2013 at 7:22AM
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cadillactaste

I like this fountain...there is rocks at the base where the water is. Which would tie in with the rocks we plan on using as hardscape.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2013 at 7:36AM
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cadillactaste

I also like this...maybe in the corner of the fence area? Instead of butterfly houses.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2013 at 9:50AM
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catkim(San Diego 10/24)

I'm going to give you 'blind man feeling the elephant' comments, because there is no photo of the entire front of the house, the entire gazebo, or your front entry. At least I don't think so.

The floating gazebo needs grounding and shrubs are not likely to do that effectively without creating more problems and crowding the stairs. I suggest some skirting added to the bare legs -- possibly lattice or even some more solid-looking structure. You don't really use the sidwalk that goes under the gazebo, do you? If so, re-route the walk around the side of the structure.

Put the bird houses and fountain further out in the garden where the birds are more likely to approach them. Situated in a bed that includes flowers, shrubs, or ornamental grasses to embrace them will improve upon their charm.

The plant that is so small probably needs more sunshine, that's my guess.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2013 at 1:03PM
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cadillactaste

Catkim...I am not concerned with attracting birds to my front yard. For we have the backyard bird patio and waterfall that we have easily 20 birds at a time if not more hanging out at the edge of the ravine waiting their turn.

The front I just want to make less of an eye sore. When guests arrive. And sadly the sidewalk that runs under the gazebo is used frequently. When the kids and their friends come up covered in sand from the beach area...it is the quickest route to the laundry room in the basement to de-sand and wrap in a towel and head to the shower. It was a path that was worn so we put the sidewalk in years back.

As to getting a full shot of the yard. Is a bit difficult due to it being built into a hillside and our drive is down low. It isn't a large front yard...we use the back for the most part. We bring in go carts to the side to hose off when they have been back in the woods. So we aren't desiring extravagant but something more eye appealing.

I think I agree with your trellis idea on the gazebo wall. Again since we love bird watching in back...is the reason for the bird theme out front.

I'll post a few more photos to show you a bit more of what the front is like.

This post was edited by cadillactaste on Mon, Jun 10, 13 at 15:52

    Bookmark   June 10, 2013 at 3:08PM
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cadillactaste

The reason I can't deliver a straight on view of our house. Sorry about that.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2013 at 3:10PM
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cadillactaste

Here is one angle...

    Bookmark   June 10, 2013 at 3:12PM
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cadillactaste

Front as best as I could get. Half of it anyways.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2013 at 3:14PM
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cadillactaste

Other half.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2013 at 3:15PM
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cadillactaste

A very pathetic attempt at the gazebo with trellis and fountain. Rocks and planted larger ones under it.

But I would like to plant something along the left side of the gazebo to wrap around the lower landing/deck.

The front of the house has hanging hammock chairs that hang between the posts. Raining here was able to go out during a breather...and grab some shots. The hammock chairs come in when they call for rain. To keep them fresh. (Even though they claim to be mildew resistant)

So ideas of what to plant on the trellis...would be great as well.

I appreciate your input. Again...we're looking to make it less of an eye sore. Without going over the top. Since we use our front yard to drive the go carts through when hosing them down.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2013 at 3:20PM
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cadillactaste

The Pileated Woodpecker that also feeds at our feeders. He's the feather in the cap bird...he always makes us pause and admire him.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2013 at 3:22PM
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cadillactaste

Catkin...the sand cherry shrub was stunted being next to the toxic roots of the black walnut as well...though you maybe onto something about the Charlie Brown tamerix shrub...

Maybe I'll scrap the idea for a bed near the fence. With the hoop for basketball down below...it may not be wise.

I'll see if my dad wants a chance to see if full sun will make this shrub thrive...or to ditch it.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2013 at 3:30PM
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cadillactaste

The husband is a general contractor. He pointed out that my trellis will have to be altered to make due with the dimensions of the posts. That the openings would be to wide. (Makes sense)

Now he has added lighting and beaded soffit under the gazebo. Because blocking the sides in will make the area dark. Sure am lucky he knows how to do everything...so no labor costs.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2013 at 8:41PM
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dani_plus_2

Just a novicehere- can your hubby build seating on the right side using the legs from the gazebo? Then Id make a bed outside of that seating with a small tree/bush flowers etc to pull everything together. On the otherside of th gazebo I'd go crazy with diffrent hostas to brighten it up and make it less bare. A little low voltage lighting on the path woul dbe cute,too. If I have tie after work, I can paint something up.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2013 at 6:24AM
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cadillactaste

Sounds neat...but am having a hard time visualizing it...seating...so we could enjoy the view interested. One benefit of being up high is we see the lake easily from the patio under the deck as well.

Paint something up...I'm in awe. That would be amazing!

    Bookmark   June 11, 2013 at 9:45AM
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dani_plus_2

Not the best at paint program, but I hope you get an idea. You could even put some lights to shine down in the seating area...that'd be super cool! Like a secret nook hideout...

    Bookmark   June 11, 2013 at 4:48PM
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cadillactaste

I really love the hostas...when we walked under the gazebo...the middle support poles would really not work for w bench on that right side. But we could put one on the left...without having poles in the face of those sitting.

The flower bed would look nice across the yard like that. But that is the path the go carts take to hose them off after they get muddy from going threw the streams in the back woods. We typically have our hanging hammock chair out most of th time...and I wish to put more patio furniture under the deck...so we can't take them under there...from another direction.

Curious if I could still plant hostas...if we put up those trellises up. Or the underneath would not get enough sunlight.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2013 at 12:31PM
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cadillactaste

The husband really loved the trellis idea...he came home with material to build it over the weekend. I hadn't expected him to start so soon. WOW!

    Bookmark   June 13, 2013 at 9:53PM
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yardvaark

Since the gazebo's posts appear thin, it would benefit from having some woodwork added to it. Some wood brackets, filigree trim and moulding placed around the top, I think, would do it. Maybe more molding near the bottom, too. IMO, black/dark is not the color to use if you want it to appear more inviting (especially to enter.) For the woodwork you wish to feature, a lighter color is good. For that which you don't, a color more closely aligned with the stone seems like it would be better. My picture is a little sloppy, but I think it gives the idea of what I'm talking about.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2013 at 7:45AM
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cadillactaste

Yardvaark...that is beautiful! Though...my husband has already brought home boards that was ripped down for the trellis.

Though...you have persuaded me to reconsider the dark red as the paint color on the trellis. Possibly a lighter color would be best...tie in the railing. I had not considered that to be honest. Since our pergola in back is the red.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2013 at 10:14AM
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cadillactaste

Now that I see how you all do this...I gave it a shot myself...Not sure if Lavender would grow in partial sun in the afternoon. Or something comparable...plant that on the outside as well as the vines going up. And hostas under the gazebo...Would they have enough sunlight? Surely the vine wouldn't get that thick. to block out all light. Plus...it is only on four sides the trellis is on.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2013 at 7:42PM
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cadillactaste

Maybe take the flowers that will wrap the gazebo and bring them to meet the front sidewalk. Instead of how I have them just starting at the edge of the gazebo.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2013 at 8:03PM
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yardvaark

You may need to pay your money and take your chances on anything that will grow directly below the gazebo after you enclose the surroundings. It'll be too dark for many plants.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2013 at 9:45PM
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cadillactaste

We have a ton of hostas over at the cottage we bought diagonal from our property. So no $$$ lost on them. I may just keep them closer to the sides that are without trellises on the inside. Adding hardscape and planting larger rocks and possibly a small bench or tiny checkers table and chairs. To the one side under the gazebo. Or...something to display a collection of birdhouses on. Worst case we just do hardscape under it. And a few eye catching details to catch ones eye when you walk through.

I must admit...you voice a Huge concern of mine though Yardvaark. Though free plants won't break the budget at least.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2013 at 9:55PM
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yardvaark

You can't beat free plants to try. Hosta presents a reasonable possibility and hardscape a perfect "plan B."

    Bookmark   June 16, 2013 at 8:19AM
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cadillactaste

Thanks Yardvaark! He has already started construction of the trellis work. And we are to have stone delivered...because the area will need some hardscape with the large area under the deck/landing being incorporated into it as well...no plants can go in until our return trip from Honduras. (Mission trip) we'll focus on that when we get back in July.

Neighbors are all commenting on what a great look the trellis adds to the overall appearance of the front yard!

    Bookmark   June 20, 2013 at 11:26AM
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Ruth_MI(z5MI)

If vines are growing up the trellis, it seems like it might look nice from the outside, but kind of unintentionally dark and creepy to walk through. Is that just me?

    Bookmark   June 21, 2013 at 4:17PM
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cadillactaste

Ruth...we're putting beaded soffit under the gazebo with lighting.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2013 at 8:10AM
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cadillactaste

We did get the trellis up...and had many compliments on it. Looking forward to spring to plant things around and on the trellis.

Thanks to the poster who suggested the lighter color for the trellis. For I hadn't given that a possibility until suggested. I much prefer the lighter color than the burgundy I had planned originally.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 8:25AM
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