Can you steer me in the right direction?
I've been hanging out over in Kitchens, and sometimes Baths, Plumbing, and Electrical for a while, and we now have those things under control. Which brings us to the front of the house. It's never been interesting or attractive, and I'd like it to be. It's not just a question of what to plant, it also involves a house which has no architectural interest whatsoever and a front entry which is generally ignored. Over the years we've replaced all the windows, re-stuccoed, re-done all the concrete walkways around the house, and re-roofed a couple of times. We re-sloped the front yard so the water which comes from above us flowed out to the easement road rather than down the hill to collect under that neighbor's house. I stood on the easement road to take this photo. The actual road is one more property downhill to the left parallel to the house. We added the fireplace, hence the chimney. Years ago my DH built a deck onto the front of the house (that's what's behind that hedge) which replaced the three concrete steps up to the front door. The steps are still under the deck-they separated from the house early on, but are still there. No one ever uses the front door or the front deck-it was just an attempt to make the front look better. Yes, the hedge is two different kinds of plant; they were on sale during a year in which we had little kids and littler income. There were Italian Cypruses out there when we bought the house, and even a two-tone hedge is better than they were.
After coming here a couple of months ago, I began looking up local landscape design people. The descriptions they gave of what they do didn't really match what we need. So I looked up architects and that really wasn't right. The other issue is that the architects tend to feature the marvelous things they do in Rancho Santa Fe and La Costa where houses start at $1M for the cheapies. This house is valued at just under $300,000 these days, which is appropriate to the neighborhood. Landscape design seems to divide between RSF multi-acre gardens and the guys who come out to cut the lawn, which I don't actually think of as landscape design no matter what their website says.
So, can you steer me in the right direction to find the kind of professional who can come up with a design appropriate to the house and property?
We tend to be DIY folks, but not for the things above our competence level: we installed our own kitchen cabinets, but we hired an electrician to wire all the new lights, we re-sloped the yard, but we hired the concrete guys to do all the walkways and patio. That pile of stuff on the front "lawn" is woodchips from the city recycling place that we used as mulch under the plants in the foreground. That area looks quite nice these days - except for those stupid Irish Bells I planted five years ago which magically reappear each spring!! I didn't like them after the first year, but they are certainly persistent.