front-yard landscaping & low-slung, big-driveway suburban houses
The house is long and low. The driveway and garage door are prominent, competing with the main entrance, usually winning.
The front yard is too large for a town garden yet not large enough for a country garden.
The house, the lot, the whole neighborhood (filled with such houses) is designed for empty areas of lawn and clipped shrubs along the lot lines and foundations, a tree or two--if the septic drain field doesn't prevent it. Any homeowner who doesn't stick to this standard design stands out, usually not in a good way. Even if he or she manages to make a beautiful garden or landscape--very rare--it's incongruous with the rest of the neighborhood. The beauty and interest upset the dull harmony.
I see these sorts of houses and front yards everywhere. I live in such a house too.
Landscape designers sometimes struggle to reduce the size of the front lawns, planting low shrubs and groundcovers instead. The result almost always seems cluttered and clausterphobic to me. The houses, so low in profile, "sink" in the plantings.
A few try to "hide" the house with hedges, tall fences or mixed plantings. The police discourage this. It encourages burglars, and it can seem anti social.
I read garden design books looking for a solution. I look at pictures in garden magazines. Both tend to avoid these kinds of houses and settings. The few examples I see I almost never like.
Any suggestions? (Besides moving).