What to do with large comercial shop? Help!

mla2ofusNovember 10, 2012

We bought this house last spring. There was no door opening into the back yard so we put a glass sliding door in our office. Now this is what I look at while sitting at my desk. Our house is sided in a pale yellow with gray roof and trim. This is a comercial building so is very well built and we really don't want to paint it. Would framing in the doors with gray help to match the house? (the glass sliding door is not permanent. It will be used on our green house.) I have planted two tall growing clematis on the trellis and plan on planting a red trumpet honeysuckle where the glass door is. Oh, the lattice fence will be replaced with a privacy fence in the spring. Any help would be greatly appreciated as this is driving me crazy.

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No pictures are showing. YOu can post one at a time using the built-in GarednWeb feature. Or multiple photos by pasting html code from the photo-hosting site.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2012 at 10:14PM
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I'm sorry. The picture showed up in the preview. I'll try again.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2012 at 1:18AM
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FYI, while previewing, each time you make any changes to the text and preview again, the picture will need to be reloaded.

I don't think attempting to "match" the house is necessarily the key to making things look better. The scene just needs winter interest --deciduous and evergreen-- a combination ... and time for things to grow. Is there a nearby botanical garden you could visit? It's very likely that you would see pretty plants even in the dead of winter. Or observe everywhere you regularly travel and see if there aren't some good plants to look at ... grasses, vines, evergreen shrubs, etc. You have a couple of trees in the picture, but they are too young to expect much out of. Later, they'll help. And if you put some effort into shearing their shape at the end of winter, next season they would have more twigs (density.)

    Bookmark   November 11, 2012 at 8:36AM
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catkim(San Diego 10/24)

If those two little trees leaf out in spring, it's going to improve your view quite a bit. If they grow larger over time, the screening will increase. Judging from the footprints in the snow, you trek over there and use both entrances from time to time? The privacy fence and the advent of spring will do a lot to improve the view. Brrrr!!! You'll be able to plant some low-growing pretties along the fence and everything will look a lot more cheerful.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2012 at 4:21PM
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Pretty snow and sky. (I live in a land of winter grayness.) Posts from various parts of the country are enjoyable, as we get a glimpse of different environments from our own, varying in lifestyle, vegetation, climate, etc. Would enjoy more posts from outside of the US! I see that Caribou Co. ID is in SE Idaho and has an average housing density of 2 per square mile.

I'm not qualified to give any advice on embellishing the facade of your building. However, in your photo, I see a white building which is an extension of the snowy landscape; a very neutral winter background for your garden. It could provide a background for blue and golden conifers, low shrubs with colorful stems, architectural grasses. I've provided a link to a photo in an Oregon garden.

Will the fence be moved to the outside of the building?

Is that a giant black spider I see on the building in addition to the trellis? Would you most enjoy looking at whimsical, casual, industrial or romantic or some other style?


Here is a link that might be useful: Inland Northwest Gardening

    Bookmark   November 11, 2012 at 4:37PM
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The fence will be moved to the outside edge of the shop. The planting bed can only be 4 foot wide as there will be a drive through gate starting 4 foot out. We need it as it will be the only access to the yard. Your advice has already got me thinking. I could plant a trumpet honeysuckle on the left. It is suppose to be hardy in this area and is evergreen. A tall narrow evergreen near the walk through door. The tree may shade it as it matures but we plan on trimming it up as it growes so it will be high shade. I'm thinking of shrubs with winter interest also. What do you think of these ideas? I do tend to like whimsical and casual like things hiding in the garden. At one time I had pink flamingos peering out of a large bed of cone flowers. Their heads was all you could see but it was cute.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2012 at 9:49PM
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A "tall narrow evergreen" could manifest in umpteen variations so it's hard to comment on the exact vision that's in your mind. Whatever it is, it should be placed and maintained so it always has "breathing room" from the doorway.

Don't overlook the value of deciduous plants. As one example, the bottom pic is of a trumpet vine, with a branch span of about 8', growing on a dead tree trunk. Re-creating a similar scheme on a decorative pole would make a very low maintenance small "tree." And the colored twigs of red-twig dogwoods (and some other plants) pollarded annually, look attractive in winter.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 6:38AM
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I'm just a hobbyist; there are many others who are much more able to give you suggestions concerning design. However, I'll pass along some thoughts.

Gardens with casual/rustic/whimsical/humorous flavors seem at home in the west.

Moving the fence to the left of the shop will make the yard seem like a more complete space.

I like the mounding shapes of the plants (and stones) in the garden at this link, as they provide mass or weight in front of the building: http://www.inlandnwgardening.com/gallery2/v/Baker-OR/070807Leuenberger/0713150.jpg.html

You've mentioned trumpet honeysuckle, Lonicera sempervirens. This is a different plant from the honeysuckle vine in the image above. As trumpet honeysuckle has a very wide native distribution in eastern North America, it should be hardy for you, and like other honeysuckles, is a hummingbird attractant.

For an evergreen tree, there's a huge world of specialty conifers out there. You should be able to find one with the form, color, adaptability to your climate and most important the growth rate you want (in inches per year). If you want help with this, go to the conifer forum. For example, for whimsical, but with a small footprint, do an image search on "Picea omorika 'Bruns'" or "Picea omorika 'Pendula Bruns'" These are two different plants, both cultivars of Serbian spruce.

Here is a link that might be useful: Not a formal garden in Brotnov ID

    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 4:21PM
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I appreciate everyones response. I have thought of some possible problems. One is that the young tree (cottenless Cottenwood) that is to the south is going to shade this area in a few years and also thought about the snow sliding off of the roof. It isn't a steep slope but do I need to take that into concideration?
Again, thanks for your advise.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 1:54PM
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