What do I do??

dregaeAugust 11, 2014

I was asked to come up with some landscape ideas for a family members house that is getting built. It is pretty much a blank slate, but they have some stipulations....it has to be maintence free or nearly so. I've drawn up ideas for them and every time they keep saying that it's to much work. I've run out of ideas! I would appreciate any help and ideas!

Grace e

This post was edited by dregae on Tue, Aug 12, 14 at 21:29

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
dregae

From the front door there will br a sidewalk to where the driveway/gravel is

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 10:06PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
dregae

View from the porch. There is a massive old magnolia in front of my car. And directly in front of the house itself is the ohio river which means they don't want a lot if obstructions to the view

Grace

This post was edited by dregae on Tue, Aug 12, 14 at 21:30

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 10:09PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
yardvaark

You should return to each of your posts with an upside-down picture and edit them by replacing the pictures with some that are right-side up. Double check it in the "preview". Also, you might read through the nearby thread "How to take meaningful pictures" in order to see if yours are "framed" in such as way as to be genuinely useful. (The basic, straight-on, WIDE shot seems to be missing.)

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 10:40AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
lazy_gardens

.it has to be maintence free or nearly so

I've drawn up ideas for them and every time they keep saying that it's to much work.

Let's get this straight:
How much work ARE they willing to put in to get it established?
How much ongoing maintenance is "TOO MUCH"? And what kind do they object to?

Low-maintenance landscaping often requires a higher initial expense and/or work input and time to get to the point of low maintenance. You have to pamper many drought tolerant plants through their first couple of years. You have to sweat to install pavers ... or hire it out. And there will be seasonal or occasional rounds of heavy maintenance where trees get trimmed, underbrush cleared, frost damage cleaned up.

Low initial work and low ongoing maintenance = weedpatch, unmowed, with bits of mud and poison ivy.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 1:56PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Mike Larkin

I was asked to come up with some landscape ideas for a family members house that is getting built.

I would suggest that they hire a landscape designer and let a professional take over this project.
It is obvious that they do not understand that plants are living things that require constant care.
Mulch, water, pruning , weeding.

Get out now while you can.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 7:56PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
dregae

Well I don't know what to tell you as far as the upside down picture thing because when I preview it it is right side up even when it's published it's right side up. It may have something to do with this being done on an iPhone. I will check it on my home computer this evening and correct it if I can. As far as a full shot I do realize that it is missing but it's impossible to get. The house is on a main and very busy highway and across the street where I would have to stand to get a full shot is an overgrown patch of poison ivy that I don't care to get into! I'm not worried about doing this for family I trust them implicitly and I owe them a great deal.

They understand that basic maintence is unavoidable, but they don't want things that are heavy on the care. Plants that maybe only need sprucing up in the spring.

I will look into fixing the pictures as soon as I can and I appreciate everyone's help

Grace

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 8:11PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
dregae

Okay I fixed the pictures. I apologize for that, I think it had something to do with my phone. I went back over there this evening and took another picture. It's the best I can get of the overall, and it still doesn't include a full view of the whole lot or the old magnolia, but it will have to do I don't mix well with poison ivy.....shudder. Thanks again for your help.

grace e

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 9:33PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
yardvaark

A massive improvement on the pictures.

If I understood correctly that a walk from the door to drive would be added, being that the space is so small and surrounded by porch paving, it might be better to just make a patio-like area of paving (rather than enclose the left section of porch with a skinny strip of planting bed.) Some tall, narrow screening seems necessary in order to keep from seeing into your neighbor's utility area.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 9:16AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
marcinde(7)

I'm with a few of the earlier posters - if they keep burning your time and telling you everything is too much work, I'm not likely to have any more luck - and I don't have the 1-2 punch of shared DNA and the possibility that they'll bail me out of jail to keep me coming back for more.

Here's what I do when a client is being completely nuts about rejecting everything I suggest but not giving me anything in return to work with: I send them to Houzz.com and I say, "you have homework. Spend the next couple nights looking through photos people have posted online and if you see something you like, save it to an ideabook. BUT you also have to add a couple of lines about WHY you like what you see, as well as anything you also don't like."

Makes it so much easier to understand what they're responding to, and it allows you to move forward. I wouldn't suggest a single other thing until they do this for you,

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 3:19PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
duluthinbloomz4

I'm going with marcinde (and others) on this one. The nail for this hammer is simply that without any homeowner investment/effort in the merest of maintenance, all the OP's well intentioned efforts will end up looking exactly as the yard does now while the house is still under construction.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 5:47PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
dregae

Wow I hadn't expected such a response, but I appreciate everyone's concerns. I love the rendering and I think thy will to! I feel kind of bad that everyone thinks I am getting taken advantage of so I thought I would elaborate just a bit.

The "client" is my husbands grandpa who is in his eighties and has a hard time getting around. That is actually why the house got remodeled was to make everything handicap accessible. My husbands aunt takes care of him, but she also has a small clothing shop she runs so she is very busy. With all this in mind and knowing thier limitations physically and for time they are going to engage someone to do the yard work. They don't care about the initial setup cost and are aware that it will be pricey they just don't want plants that are going to look unkempt if they aren't tended to each month like say roses can get. The main problem that they have had will my drawings and suggestions is they are worried some of the plants I suggested will look messy without a little extra attention. I hope that sets everyone's mind at rest. The reason I came to this forum was for some fresh eyes. Sometimes just getting a different perspective can be inspiring. Thanks again for everyone's concerns and thank you for the rendering yaardvark it was just the fresh perspective I needed.

Grace e

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 10:56AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
yardvaark

No prob. :-)

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 3:15PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Lori (loribug26_gw) Wagerman_Walker(5)

very nice rendering! Neat & simple.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2014 at 2:25PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
yardvaark

Thanks.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2014 at 6:28PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
pauL4645

Just make a simple design just like in the image below so that, you will not spend a lot of money.. Garden Grove Landscaping..

    Bookmark   September 12, 2014 at 3:39AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
johnnycabot(Z4b MI.)

Love Yardvaark's suggestions, incorporating larger entranceway important, they will require room to access vehicles with help.
Probably want to enjoy looking at plants but unable to work with them.
You are to be commended for making life more enjoyable for these older family members.
Don't forget about outdoor lighting for safety, security and a nice big house number.
Good luck Grace.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2014 at 8:06AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Landscaping front yard, zone 5. HELP!!!! :)
We have recently done some work to our front yard (tearing...
midwestmelissa
Brick Patio from Salvaged bricks
I came by about 600 nice clean used bricks for free...
oldgardenguy_zone6
Spacing for Armstrong Maple and Crimson Spire Oak
I plan to provide height to the borders of my backyard...
Bob Sislow
Front Yard Landscape Help! Zone 10a
We are looking to remodel the front of our home. We...
honesthouse
need help regrading
hi, currently the mulch surrounding my home foundation...
mishyq
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™