This is the before, what I started off with before posting to the landscaping site.
This is last summer.
This is the current.
And another. Thanks to everyone that helped, and most especially to Yardvark who answered so many questions for me! I have not done anything yet with the deck, only the plantings. I also have not decided what I want to plant for perennial's to encircle the tree and the entry shrub, so I have just planted annuals. My boxwood bushes were lucky to survive the last winter because it was a record 100 year cold that took us out of our zone, so I ended up cutting off some of the die off. My thought is that I should not prune them this year, unless it is in the winter because of the rough start they had this year due to the cold - a lot of the boxwoods around this area died over the winter. So, do you have any pruning suggestions for the bushes? Or anything else? Thanks for looking at my photos.
we appreciate the updates and pictures! Looks very pretty.
I love how it came out! I bet your neighbors love it too!
When I saw the second picture, I thought, "Dang ... she should get rid of that long skinny string of annuals." Then, I saw it was a picture from last year.
You've achieved quite a difference from the original look. For the most part, it just needs growth. As it grows, I think you could enhance the look by giving the overall picture some crispness. Things still look a little soft and undefined, which makes it harder for the viewer to tell exactly where you're going. You could tighten up the trimming. Actually and for the most part, it looks like the shrubs have reached their final height. Give it an overall shearing, working it into a more "architectural" structure. (I drew green lines on the picture to give you an idea.) Take a good bit off the left side of the yews below the single window in order to get them to coordinate/balance with the window. If you research trimming, you'll see that the bottom of the shrub needs to be trimmed wider than the top, thus the angles of the sides. This prevents bottom foliage from being shaded out and dying off .... creating little ugly trees on stilts instead of shrubs. Do likewise with the round shrub at the end. It should be a dome. Undercutting the foliage at the bottom (as in making a ball instead of a dome) will result in a dome on stilts. For the tree, you are in the phase of developing the trunks so don't worry about the head. The trunks should be a standard "V"-shape arrangement. (Note that this is the opposite of shrubs ... as here you want to lose bottom foliage so that the canopy ends up on stilts. It kind of just happens over time as the head develops and shades the bottom.) There's not enough overhanging foliage to worry about cutting now, but when you do cut, the "V" is the guide.
Another thing you could add that would significantly add definition is a flush laid brick mowing strip separating the lawn from the bed. (Hmmmm.... maybe we already talked about this ....??) I'm not talking about ANY KIND OF RAISED EDGING, but brick inlaid into the ground, with the overall strip having a minimum thickness of 8" (a brick length.) Such as strip could be added any time later, when you feel like it. But it would definitely dress the whole yard up.
A third thing that would make things look good -- and I know we've already talked about it -- would be painting the deck and rail.
mowing strip example ...
Thanks Violet and Desert, I appreciate your feedback!
Yardvark, thanks for your suggestions, I was in need of guidance as to how to continue so I am so glad you took the time to respond. The diagram will be very helpful. You hit on exactly what I sensed, that it needed definition. The groundcover is still in the process of filling in, but even so, I think that it will still need that. You didn't talk about the mowing strip on my post, but I read about it on someone else's post, I follow along on this forum when I can because I love to look at landscaping and learn about it. But of course we did talk about the deck and I know that would help. I am thinking of the rails in white, and staining the rest. I am going to work on the bushes this week, so glad I posted. Thanks again for the guidance, I really appreciate it!!
Thank you for returning with results.
Ditto on emmarene