curb appeal ideas

doglilly(PA)August 13, 2012

I am looking for any ideas for a more modern design. I'd love to remove the shrubs from in front of the windows. Maybe have some lovely landscaping that would lead you in. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

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ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9

You have a very large area of sunny lawn. You might consider removing 5-6 feet of the lawn from the sidewalk to the house and planting flowering shrubs there, and removing especially the shrubs in front of the house that block the view there. I'm not in your zone and can't help much with suggestions. In front of the house irises would be low and would be lovely, but for you they may die down in the winter. Perhaps low-growing azaleas would be nice. Your house is charming and with the right landscaping could be made even more so.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2012 at 8:36PM
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karin_mt(4 MT)

Your instincts are correct - I would definitely take out the shrubs that are blocking the windows. In general, the landscaping seems to be doing a good job of obscuring the house and not adding anything to it. The way that each shrub is clipped into a pompom is not helping the scene either.

I might start by thinking about the front door. It is nearly invisible the way it is tucked next to the garage door. I'd think about some shrubs that are lower, flowering and inviting in that corner area. You could bump out the bed where it meets the driveway and create something inviting there, keeping with low plantings that will touch the bottom of the windows but not more than that. A hanging basket or big container planting could also add a nice accent to that spot.

Your house is really cute and some attractive plantings will make a huge difference!

    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 9:41AM
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It looks like existing shrubs are all separate individuals that are not performing any teamwork. I'd get rid of those that cannot be made into something bigger and better than just themselves. Beef up the shrubs around the tree at the left. Maybe it's just a semi-circle depending on where the lot line is. Cannot see much of the treed area at the right so can't say much about that, except work toward limbing up lower hanging branches. A low (6"-8" ht. groundcover could do a lot to define beds and tie other plants together. I'm sure the r. window is different than I show, but you can still grasp the concept.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 11:12AM
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Thank you so much for your ideas. And thanks, Yardvaark, for taking the time to do the visual! It looks great! I love rocks and was also considering boulders with a rock garden leading up to the house.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 12:16PM
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deviant-deziner(Oh zone)

How modern do you want to update the landscape ?
Do you want to really renovate and update the front yard appeal or do you simply want some new shrubberies to frame the house in the regular old cookie cutter way ?

If you were to tell me that you really were interested in adding a contemporary feel to the yard I would start by removing the existing planting and come up with a plan that strongly incorporated a sence of entry. At the same time you need to be compassionate towards your neighbors and not go too out there.

I'd start with integrating the far right hand edge of the driveway and part of the lawn into a striking path. Using a rectangle shaped piece of colored concrete inlay some stepping stone pads 1/2 way into the driveway and 2/3 's of the way into the grass - this will truly at some eye candy and convey where the front door is as the inlay pattern wraps it way in front of the entry door.

The surrounding landscape can then be updated with a blend of ornamental grasses, shrubs with burgandy and gold foliage ( to pop against all the green ) and grouncovers that can tie the ground plane all together.

attached is a vignette page that can help you think outside the box, if that is what you are after.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 1:13PM
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I think dd's last illustration is a fabulous idea for you, doglily. If you do that, you'll have a strong basis for the rest of your design.

Hope you like it at least half as much as I do.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 2:26PM
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mad_gallica(zone 5 - eastern New York)

It is going to make a difference if the climate has one long brown season, or two browns seasons sandwiching a white season. That is really where you need to start, using what stays around all year as the bones of the design. Then fancy touches can be added for the green season.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 2:52PM
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"I love rocks and was also considering boulders with a rock garden leading up to the house."

The thinking behind a common landscape strategy is that in order to display a particular feature, it must be in the foreground... where people can REALLY see it. This strikes me as akin to when small children want someone to see something... they hold it two inches from the viewers eyeballs! In landscape, features often work and look best set back from where the viewer might observe them. Here, I like that the path to your door seems like a floor inlaid into a clean expanse of green velvet wall-to-wall carpeting. I think it's a powerful invitation leading one to enter. Placing a complex (busy?) garden adjacent to the drive seems to me that it will detract from the invitation into the scene by competing with what's beyond. I'd "push" a rock garden feature to the right so that it was blended/unified into the already existing bed area. Also, unless there are some rocks that have good size to them, the rock garden statement will read as weak and puny and be ineffective for the overall scene. I've revised my picture to show what I mean. I'm not good with drawing "rock gardens" but you can imagine your vision in its place. I also added some seasonal color to the other side of the carport to strengthen the "entrance" aspect of the house. Obviously, since your picture doesn't show what's at the right of the yard, I'm making stuff up, but I think you can get the general idea of what I'm trying to say.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 11:13AM
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Thanks again, Yardvaark, for your additional ideas. I like what you've done. It seems to fit with the rest of the property. And thanks, D-D for that "out of the box" approach. Although the design is stunning, it may be a bit too contemporary. Living in PA, we do have a dormant season, as mentioned by mad gallica, which is a good point. Thanks, everyone!

    Bookmark   August 29, 2012 at 8:07AM
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Doglily, you're welcome. Glad you like and thank you for acknowledging. There are lots of ways you can adapt the ideas to suit your needs.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2012 at 12:39PM
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