Southern California Front Yard: Desperate for HELP!
SO HERE'S THE PROBLEM:
I just moved in a few months ago, and have been busy digging out all of the overgrown plants in the front yard.
But now I'm left with dirt, and a patchy lawn.
I'm at a lost as to what I should do next. Will you PLEASE HELP me create an overall plan and layout??? All of your ideas and suggestions will be GREATLY appreciated.
WHAT I WOULD LIKE:
1. I would like a design that will complement the architecture and style of the house... only, I'm not quite sure what this style is??? If you think you know, please share. Keep in mind that the color of the house will eventually change, but it will still be a color that will complement the brownish-greyish roof color. But for now, the house is this light yellowish-beige color.
2. Get rid of the round ficus tree. I was told that it MUST go, because as it gets bigger, the roots will create issues with our plumbing and pipes.
3. I want to create a screen to cover the unsightly area by the trash cans on the right side of the house.
4. I want to have the large bay window at the front of the house make more visual sense. It currently looks misplaced and off center because it runs into the current walk way.
5. I want to cover up and soften the look of the ugly retaining walls on either side of my property, between me and my neighbors.
I was thinking some evergreen shrubs, like:
-Sweet Pea Shrub (polygala myrtifolia)
-Buddleia Pink Charm (6-8 ft tall)
-Lavatera bi-color Mallow (Lavatera Bi-color)
-Buddleia 'Butterfly Bush' Pink Charm (6-7 ft tall)
-White Chiffon rose of Sharon: (although I'm not sure if the White Chiffon Rose of Sharon can really take the heat)...
-Silver Sheen (Pittosporum): I think they can look nice grown at back corners on both sides of the house. I've even seen the silver sheen shrub, grown to look like a tall and somewhat slender multi-trunk tree.
-White Iceberg Roses: I was also thinking of interspersing some white iceberg roses in front of the evergreen shrubs and adding some other flowering perennials like Blue Russian Sage, or edible herbs like thyme or sage in front of the roses. If you have any plant suggestions, PLEASE share.
5. I also like the idea of a small tree of some kind, but I'm not sure if that's a good idea, or where it should go... maybe something like a crepe myrtle or some kind of small weeping type tree... or even maybe some kind of smaller fruit tree???
Here are the WEATHER CONDITIONS at my house:
1. The front of the house faces SOUTH, so it gets ALL DAY sun.
2. The summer temperatures are generally up into the mid to high 90's.
3. The winters here are fairly mild, and we generally never get frost... the lowest temperatures are maybe down in the 40's.
4. As I mentioned above, I am in a semi-coastal area, so our house always gets a breeze coming from the south-west off the coast, every day at about 3pm. Sometimes, this breeze can be quite strong.
5. There are also a few days during the year where we'll get something called the Santa Ana Winds, which is a VERY HOT and DRY and STRONG dessert wind.
6. Sometimes, we get a little wet marine layer in the early morning, but it burns off quickly as soon as the sun comes out.
1. Dirt Conditions: I have dark clay type soil.
2. The plants need to be able to take heat and all day sun.
3. The plants need to be able to handle windy conditions.
I'm posting lots of pictures to give you an overall sense of front yard area, in the hopes that you will be able to give me some great ideas I can implement. Thank you for looking at this, and sharing your thoughts and ideas with me.