Curb Appeal Plantings for 3b Victorian Cottage

prairiedawnpam(3b)August 22, 2010

Hi. I'm new to this forum. I've jumped over from the decor area because I need front yard help. Our house and TEENY front garden are a work in progress. This is how we bought the house:

The house is placed far forward on the lot. The only lawn is from the edge of the "dry creek" to the sidewalk on the left. The stones are Montana Rainbow:

I am debating if the rock should come out entirely or just be softened by a flower bed. We did just plant an Evans Cherry in that bit of lawn, but I'm not sure if its going to live (we didn't prep our clay soil well enough).

The driveway was extended to the right by the previous owners. We may take the extension out to remove some of the hardness of the landscape. If we do, what should go there? Lawn? Evergreens? Pots?

This is Hubby's vision for our house (it needs tweaking, but its a start):

A friend did this for me and its a bit different:

Our front yard "view" is of the cul-de-sac street we live on. Neighbourhood kids play street hockey year 'round. We don't use that piece of lawn at all.

My questions are:

- Is there an evergreen that might survive the winter in a porch planter in my 3b zone?

- What evergreens would have a columnar (preferred) or globe shape and maximum height of 4 ft? (I want fewer than Hubby drew and shorter heights.)

- Does it matter that we don't have a front walkway? We just use the driveway.

- Any other ideas?

Thanks in advance!


Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I forgot to mention that the yard's exposure is west and gets a lot of sun and wind. Our soil has lots of clay in it. We are in Alberta, Canada.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2010 at 5:47PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Your place is some cold in winter,I add some maple...maybe you select some.

Here is a link that might be useful: if need more pic designing

    Bookmark   August 22, 2010 at 8:29PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


Just a quick thought and your winter may affect this, think about Grass Crete blocks to replace your concrete on the right of the photo. Then you can use it to park vehicles on but looks like a lawn. Aloha

    Bookmark   August 22, 2010 at 8:52PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thank you, Lehua! They use grass crete blocks at the college where I work. What a brilliant idea!

Ideasshare, the scale of your drawing seems inaccurate. I don't have room for all of those trees.


    Bookmark   August 22, 2010 at 9:56PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

they only are juniper bush in the space left of the stair,need only 1 feet mud.

Here is a link that might be useful: if need more pic designing

    Bookmark   August 23, 2010 at 2:54AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Space, scale, suitability... has never been an impediment.

Add risers to the stairs, for sure, but I might also scale back the gingerbreading and architectural detailing - especially the flying buttress on the right. (I realize it's just a plan in the idea stage.)

Does the dry creek actually channel water? Purely decorative because previous owners didn't want much to mow? If it's purely for some kind of look, I'd take them up and use elsewhere - in the backyard, maybe. It's a nice color blend of rock.

Container gardening in cold climates is iffy. I've had spruce sprout up in pots and left exposed - they seem to survive quite well. I don't know if I'd want to try it with something I paid money for.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2010 at 12:16PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

You said you don't use the walkway but what about guests or the mailman? How do they get to your front door? You may want to change your concrete front walk but it seems like there should be some way of reaching your front door that doesn't involve walking on yard. Although concrete is probably easiest to shovel.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2010 at 3:54PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Keep the walkway. Houses without them are hostile. (I've lived in one.) If anything, widen the area in front of the stairs.

Replace the stairs. They are the least attractive thing right now. A nice house should have enclosed stairs.

You're in 3b. Keep evergreens in front, or more than half the year, the front will look naked. They don't have to be the same evergreens--in that little space, I'd go for bigger ones instead of the double layer there now.

I'd replace the whole gravel bed with a planting space. I'd make a minimum of 1/3 of the planting material evergreen. In 3b, I'd go more toward 1/2.

A small, pretty tree (not sure what does well in your climate) will add some weight to the left side of the house. Don't crowd it against the foundation, though.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2010 at 10:38PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

ideasshare - Junipers will do well on my property. Thank you.

deuluthinbloomz - I'm not sure what was intended with the rock. It didn't really look like jor function as a dry creek, but that's what I'm turning it into because we do have a water problem. Our neighbourhood was built on a series of underground springs and bogs that were filled in -- how sad -- and our sump pump runs constantly, draining to the front of the house. The upside is that we NEVER have to water that teeny patch of lawn, but sometimes it does get too wet. I have researched what a dry creek SHOULD look like and have already started on it. The sump pipe will spill into the dry creek and flow to the street.

tanowicki - We do not have a separate walkway, just the driveway. I think I'll remove the extension on the driveway (on the right) to soften the look, but that will not impact on anyone getting to our front door.

reyesuela - The stairs will get risers. There's lots of valuable space under them that I'd like to use for storage once its made invisible. I agree with your tip to go with 1/2 evergreens. The yard does look dead and naked most of the year. I guess that's why many folks use fake plants on their porches.


    Bookmark   August 25, 2010 at 10:25AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'm looking for a simple and inexpensive ideas for incorporating sump and rainwater drainage into a TEENY front landscape. I've learned our neighbourhood was built on top of a spring -- groan -- which is why our sump runs very frequently, even though our region is is semi desert (3b in Alberta, Canada). Our little patch of lawn -- which may be removed because its not enough to warrant a lawn mower -- is LUSH. I'm wondering about making something decorative out of the water source. The previous owner put a lot of rock in the landscape, so there is a dry creek in the making now. What about adding a pond or some sort of collection basin? I know my choice of plantings in that area may depend on what I do with all the water produced by the sump. Thanks in advance for your ideas.


Here is a link that might be useful: My front yard now

    Bookmark   August 26, 2010 at 6:18PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
On Site Calculations - Area
If you do construction as well as design, sooner or...
Help! My new front yard is UGLY! Any ideas appreciated!
Do I keep the stone flower bed edge? I was told it...
Please need help 100% blank slate both front and back
Hi guys glad I found this forum been reading alot of...
Issue with Retainer Wall, fixable or redo?
Hi, first time posting here. I'm looking for advice...
John Turner
Need help design patio & location of tree
The backyard of my future home (yet to be completed)...
Late Sound
Sponsored Products
Herb Cutting Set
$24.99 | zulily
Sisal Brown Rectangular: 5 Ft. x 8 Ft. Rug
$169.00 | Bellacor
Snow Multi-Light Pendant by Trend Lighting
$1,130.00 | Lumens
Hanging Basket 36" High Solar LED Planter Spotlight
$49.00 | Lamps Plus
Canterbury Arbor - 42" Opening
Six-shelf Metal Cookware Stand
Home Decorators Indoor/Outdoor Accent Rug: Home Decorators Collection Rugs
Home Depot
Acanthus Planter
The City Farm
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™