Help with front yard landscaping - Starting from scratch

go_dawgs_01December 25, 2011

We bought this house and completely remodeled. We also added a driveway and walk way to the front door. The good/bad news is we have a clean slate to work with. There is a sole nandina on the left corner of the house. We are wanting to put in shrubs and flowers between the walkway/parking pad on the right of the house, and outline an area about the same depth from the house on the left. My wife tells me she doesn't want a line of the same thing all the way across the front. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated since we're pretty new at this.

Thanks a bunch! From Lawton

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missingtheobvious(Blue Ridge 7a)

Hello, go dawgs. I hope your day is merry and bright.

If you're north Georgia, you're most likely zone 7a or 7b (possibly 6b if you're right on the NC line). It would be a good idea to know which zone you're in; I can tell you as a 7a-er that some shrubs are a lot happier in 7b than in 7a's colder winters. You can enter your zip code here and find out your zone:

You made a good choice in keeping the walkway far enough from the house to allow plenty of space for plants.

Some questions:

Which direction does the house face?

Have you considered planting shade trees?

I see steps down from the left side of the porch; did you have anything in mind for that area, or is it simply for ease of access to the garden (i.e. no hardscape needed other than a stepping stone or two)?

Since the outbuilding is the same color scheme as the house, I assume it's yours, and therefore the car on the edge of the photo is yours also. Even if you have no intentions of landscaping that area just now, have you thought about what you'd want to have growing in that area?

On the far right edge of the house, is that a stair railing I see? Would there need to be a path there from the walkway or the driveway(?) the walkway adjoins?

Have you thought about doing something to conceal the propane tank?

    Bookmark   December 25, 2011 at 6:09PM
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"missingtheobvious", THANKS FOR THE REPLY. We're new to the forum. Your questions are great, so let me answer them. Also, we're out in the country on a 1+ acre lot, so everything you see, plus some, is ours.

DIRECTION: The house faces due west, so what you see gets direct afternoon sun.

SHADE TREES: We have definitely considered shade trees, probably a couple in the front yard to help with afternoon sun in the summer afternoons. We're open to any suggestions on numbers, species, and placement.

STEPS ON LEFT: Those are going. They are an artifact from the walkway instillation. You've point our our laziness :). We want to landscape from there past the UGLY propane tank to conceal it. We actually thought about putting in a shadow-box fence to conceal it and the furnace.

ON THE RIGHT. The out building is ours; it sits about 25 ft behind the parking area. We want to tie it in to the steps on that side of the house. There is a change in elevation between the pad and the stairs we're scratching our heads on. We had some ground work done, so the green you see is ryegrass to hold onto the soil until we can landscape.

STAIR RAIL: Yes you are right. Along the lines of the previous statement, we're going to tie it into the parking pad, maybe with a river stone walkway, and a walkway to the back.

PROPANE TANK: It is horribly ugly. We have to do something to conceal it.

Thanks again to anyone and everyone that can give any advice. We've been staring at it for the past ~4 months trying to decide what to do.


    Bookmark   December 25, 2011 at 7:23PM
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Maybe you like my suggests:

    Bookmark   December 25, 2011 at 8:10PM
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It looks like you have a very flat lot. My advice is to do a grading and drainage plan before you plant anything, even grass. The plan should have been done before the walk was constructed.

    Bookmark   December 25, 2011 at 9:56PM
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Here's a suggestion of a scheme showing plant masses & shapes. I'm not trying to show details so don't take it too literally.

'Twer it mine, I'd consider re-configuring the walk so that it's termination centered on the porch and so that the walk was wider... as shown in the second picture.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2011 at 1:53AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

I've nothing to add - I just wanted to say: Yardvaark - I'm very impressed by your ability with the Paint program!

    Bookmark   December 26, 2011 at 10:32AM
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Thanks, Woodyoak. MS Paint has its limitation but with a little experimentation, it can do some things. The spray paint, eyedropper and "undo" are the most useful features. (I like the free MyPaint better, but my computer refuses to allow me to use it right now.)

    Bookmark   December 26, 2011 at 11:25PM
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Thanks for all of the suggestions. We took off out of town shortly after my last post, then got busy with the suggestions here, and completely forgot to reply with my thanks. We're currently putting in some shrubs, but still have a few more days to go. I'll give an update in the coming days as we progress. Thanks again for all of your help!

    Bookmark   January 3, 2012 at 5:04PM
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Plantings also depend on soil type and conditions (read: healthy and beautiful plants and lawns. Call your county extension office for further details on soil tests.)

Me being me - these days, if I can't eat it, I don't plant it - I'd consider dwarf or semi-dwarf fruit trees, papershell pecan and/or english walnut. There are several varieties of bushes that provide fruit as well as decorative foilage(sp) and structure.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2012 at 10:14PM
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