Ideas for improving my bungalow's front/side yard? (pics!)
Dear Wise Landscaping Friends,
I'm looking for ideas for new shrubs and other plantings for the northeast corner of my house, the front yard (the house faces north) and a little bit of side yard. In the long run, my goal is to have a grass-free front yard and a sort of cottage garden effect, but I don't want to undertake major landscaping of the whole space at this point, because chances are very good that there'll be some drainage/plumbing work that'll cut through the middle of the front yard sometime in the next couple of years. (I've just moved in and am monitoring the basement to see how bad things are likely to get :-) So I'd like to start working from the property line in on this side - the side where there are no drainage problems - defining the space and making the whole thing look like less of an unplanned mess, and I'd like to get a start on it during this year's fall planting season.
I'm in the process of having some horrible, rusty chain link fence removed. The chainlink that separates my front yard from my neighbors' yard is down and the frame for it will be coming down shortly. A new, wood, 6' fence around the back yard will end just behind my chimney, which you can just see in this pic:
and here's a more general view of the front of the house:
I love my next-door neighbors on this side and have an excellent chatting-over-the-hedge relationship with them, so I'd like to plant something along the property line that attractively defines my yard but doesn't end up much higher than the 3' or so of the old fence.
- I have dogs and so would like to avoid things that are aggressively poisonous or that shed things that would get caught in spaniel feathers, but this area will be outside the fenced dog zone, so it's a semi-safe space for plants I wouldn't want them to be running through all the time.
- As you might be able to see, there are various mechanicals right near the chimney - meters, a/c unit - so I'll want to clear a path around from the front walk back along next to the house on this side and put down some stepping stones, so it's easy to access those. There are a couple of scruffy little azaleas back there that could definitely be moved.
- I'm in Washington, DC, in zone 7. Because of the slope of the land and the space between my house and my neighbors', this corner of the yard gets some morning sun, and midday, too, in the summer. The other side of my front yard, just out of frame to the right in these pics, is entirely occupied by a splendid old holly tree, so that side is completely in shade and the tree shades the east side of the lot, too, in the later afternoon. (I took these pics at about 4pm today.)
I'd be grateful for any and all ideas, because I find I have no landscaping imagination. Thanks!