Front Yard Landscaping
As you can tell, the house sits below the street. The house is 2 1/2 years old. Grading was done so the rain is diverted around the house. It works well, but we have had to tweak it a bit. The driveway has a "circle" in front of the house. The garden in the middle of it is a pollinator garden. It is a work in progress, but it functions well to deal with the rainwater. What you see in front of the house, between the cedar wall and the driveway is a rain garden. That works well too. The water that collects there is only from parts of the driveway and the front yard. The downspouts do not go to the rain garden.
I am interested in landscaping the area to the left of the walk where the woodchips are located. The woodchips were placed there as a temporary step to keep down the weeds and keep the soil from washing away. You probably noticed that some of the woodchips washed onto the walkway. This happened three months ago when there was a problem with the downspout on the left. That issue has been solved. Also, a slight swale has now been made in the woodchip area because we recently experienced some settling in that area.
Here are some closer photos of the area. It is difficult to photo this area because of the lighting. The front of the house faces due north.
My goal is to make this area look like it was landscaped and not just a bunch of plants stuck in the ground. We had a landscape design done by a landscape architect when we built, but it was not followed for a number of reasons, mainly inappropriate plants due to size or not being deer resistant. We do not want any grass in the front yard. We are okay with moving some of the plants that are currently there. The ones we really do not want to move are the Japanese maple and the cryptomeria. I also think the trellis needs to be replaced with a taller one. That was put in because we needed something there in front of the drop off (there is a walkout basement on that side).
The prostrate yew has always struggled there (might need more shade). The compact Japanese pieris look nice when blooming, but they aren't doing super well either. The ilex crennat 'Hoogendorn' look very small because the deer pruned them - the one on the other side of the walkway is doing much better. My mom moved the ferns from the woods and they are doing really well. They are braken and lady fern. The yellow twig dogwood appears to be doing well as does the fringe tree and the barberry. The witch hazel tree is relatively new.
Here is the layout of the current plants. Obviously, they are drawn at their mature size rather than how big they are currently.
I realize the plan comes first and then the plants. But I thought I would include this information anyway. We live in central NC. The soil has a lot of clay in it. And we get rain. It is not that we get outrageous amounts of rain, but it is not unusual to for it to fall at the rate of 3-4 inches per hour for 15-20 minutes. We prefer plants that need little maintenance. We do get deer, so any plants need to be deer resistant. I also have the following shrubs that can be included in any plan - seven Sugartina 'Crystalina' Clethra alnifolia, three Limemound spirea and two Emerald Heights distylium.
I thank you if you have made it to the bottom of this posting. I know it was long, but I wanted to be able to give you a sense of the area and what we are hoping to achieve. If you need more information or photos just ask. I know I should probably post a photo of the front of the house standing in line with the fringe tree. I thought I had that shot, but I don't so I will try to take one.