Landscaping Ideas

electro992October 17, 2012

Looking for ideas on how to landscape the area of our front yard by the street. Pictures are below, with a plat map showing the area of interest (blue) and numbers showing where each picture was taken.

We would like to add some visual interest while blocking some of the sight lines from the street, particularly from picture one into our sun room. Don't have a huge budget for this, but would appreciate any ideas on how to best use this space.

Photo 1

Photo 2

Photo 3

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KraB

Fence, mixed border or focal point. Fence is probably restricted by local govt and a 4' high fence isn't going to do much for privacy. Mixed border is probably your best option, in 3-4 years with proper irrigation and fertilization it will be nice and lush. In the first 1-3 years the border will provide a sort of focal point. Third, the focal point. A small but wondrous garden bed that you can't not look at. Filled with bulbs, annuals and other pretty stuff. High maintenance but low initial cost as compared to the fence and shrub border.

I would go with the mixed border. Choose a few shrubs that get 5-10' high to be the anchor. Then if you want some color and more interest add some perennials or annuals. Maybe just on your side of the property.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2012 at 12:05PM
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yardvaark

While a hedge would work fine for screening and a backdrop to other plantings, it has a couple of drawbacks: it must be regularly trimmed to size and usually hedges take up a good deal of yard space to accommodate their width. If those two considerations are not a problem, then a hedge of a species that most closely matches your parameters would be one possibility. For a tidier look, my preference would be for a uniform planting as opposed to mixed species. Another possibility would be to create a vine covered trellis screen. It would do the same job as a hedge, but offers the advantage of not taking up much footprint width and being limited in height by the support you provide. As well, depending on what vine was used, it may not require any trimming for width. Low shrubs, perennials and/or annuals could be incorporated at its base for added interest. While a handsome, professionally built, high quality trellis screen could easily add up to some $, an inexpensive one can be created using decorative wood posts linked by chain in swagged fashion. From the chain are suspended temporary cords leading the vine to it's destination. Annual vines could be used for quick cover while a permanent woody or perennial species is becoming established. (This is the quickest way to create height screening.) Because vines offer many different "looks," the final appearance would depend to a large extent on what species of vine was chosen and what other plants were incorporated. The quality of the appearance of the structure would depend primarily on the posts used ... especially their capitals and finish.

Forward of the hedge/screen (toward the road) a lawn could be created of a uniform groundcover for a clean, organized appearance. You could keep a uniform grass strip along the street or take the groundcover all the way to the curb. A groundcover could continue through the existing tree islands or you could re-establish the islands with low flowering shrub masses in roughly circular layouts, using the screening plantings as a backdrop.

While there are always those who disagree with me on this point, I suggest you limb up the low-hanging branches of the trees. Those branches are not helping with screening where you need it, but they are hiding a fair amount of an attractive home. Once you add other plantings, the low-hanging branches will tend to look messy if there is not uniform separation between the two. As well, new plantings usually need light in order to grow well. Low hanging branches limit the light that falls below.

Depending on what the existing conifer is at the corner of the sunroom, I'd move it to a location where it could have more space if it will ultimately become large. Otherewise, it may "eat" that room.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2012 at 6:55AM
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