ideas needed for front of house

lowjo1(5)May 30, 2011

Not sure whether to post to landscape design, perennials or annuals as I think they all apply. Sorry for repeat posts.

I'm looking for ideas on what to plant in the front of my house. Here are some pics with descriptions on what I think I need generally.

Here is a pic of the entire front.

Here is a pic of the right side. The ground cover is recently planted and is Wintercreeper. I'm waiting a bit before pulling the tulip stems. Shrubs are small globe arborvitae. Think I need some color here. What do you think?

Here is a pic of the left side. Some flowers here? Maybe small flowering shrubs?

Here are the (overgrown) liliacs. Previous owner planted a species too large for here. Cut back hard every other year, but should probably be every year! Will trim after bloom. Below on right is hyacinth. Pretty much done blooming. Plan something here for summer?

Here is a pic of the triangle section on the left. These are Rugosa Roses. 3 of them. The large plants to the left and mid-right front is wild sage that I'm going to pull and put in the backyard. The only that will be left here here are the 3 rose bushes and the Bungleweed ground cover (that's almost done blooming). Ideas for here?

In summary, trying to pull it all together with some summer color. Maybe perennials, annuals and/or shrubs (or all the above) Thanks for any ideas!

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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

get rid of the tree on the left of the first pic.. its all out of scale

and get rid of the lilacs ....

the happiest day at my first house ... was the day i finally got rid of all the prior owners mistakes.. unfortunately.. it took me 5 years to do it ... lol ..

whats the tree in the lawn on the right ??? looks like something happened to it ... if it isnt happy.. maybe it should also go ...

once all that is done.. i would need new pix ... to see where to go from there ...

you start by setting.. or removing the backbones of the scape ... in your case.. its getting rid of the bad stuff .. then you will be closer to 'seeing' the potential of what is left ...


    Bookmark   May 30, 2011 at 11:53AM
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I've never been a fan of the standard evergreens-go-next-the-foundation status quo.

The only shrub I let live near (but not AT) my foundation is a planting of old fashioned lilacs because we live on a hill, and when they are in bloom, the fragrance on an evening breeze is absolutely intoxicating!

Having said that, I never have a plan other than a mixture of Anns & Perens. I rearrange my front perennial bed every fall so my garden ends up with a different look every year, and I leave space along the walkway to line it with annuals of whatever-strikes-my-fancy-on-the-February-seed-rack :)

    Bookmark   May 30, 2011 at 2:05PM
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Tree on the left being out of scale notwithstanding - it looks to be a foot or less from the foundation... a gutter filler with tree debris; a house slapper in wind; and a topic of some debate as to whether or not close big tree planting can actually do any damage to the foundation.

I love lilacs, my house is hidden behind a block long hedge of lilacs. I would not want them on either side of my front stoop and have to hack them into submission after blooming each year.

Also, the globes are too close. Dwarf or "small" globe arborvitae is a bit of a misnomer. Though slowly, they definitely do expand in all directions all the while keeping their globe shape without ever having to do much, if any, shearing. They're small now, move them out further while you still can easily.

Over the last few years, I've rediscovered the beauty of annuals. My gardens with their backbones of conifers, shrubs, and perennials are set, but annuals give a real bang for the buck with all season blooming and I can change out color schemes each year with my whims.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2011 at 3:00PM
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Nice house! I like both the porch and the overall proportions and design.

I'm afraid I agree with the suggestions to remove the plants that are too big for where they are and shift the arbovitaes away from the foundation. I try to plant woody plants to accomodate their eventual size and then put in annuals, vines and perennials to fill the space while they grow.

Consider foliage color and texture while you are thinking about your new plantings. An all green bed can be restful, but will be of more interest if the foliage texture is varied. Many of my spring blooming plants are situated so that their foliage size and texture contrasts with that of near-by plants: iris with Veronica 'Georgia Blue', Baptisia, and Hydrangea for instance. For foliage color, there are plants with cream or yellow variegated foliage such as some of the dogwood (Cornus) shrubs and small trees or wegeilas. Some wegeilas have dark red foliage as do some of the ninebarks. I also try to have at least something blooming most of the growing season. Two of my favorite summer blooming plants are the later blooming clematis and hydrangeas, either the H. paniculatas like 'Limelight' and 'PInky Winky' or H. arborescens like 'Annabelle' or the reblooming and hardier forms of H. macrophylla like 'Endless Summer', 'Penny Mac' or 'All Summer Beauty'. Both the hard prune (type 3 or type C) clematis that bloom in summer and the summer blooming hydrangeas bloom for at least several weeks for me. I grow some of my clematis on stuctures like obelisks, but others I grow through shrubs and small trees that have finished blooming earlier in the year such as Cornus alternifolia, and the clematis provides an apparent second bloom for these plants.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2011 at 4:21PM
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I would re-think the wintercreeper too. It will take over everything in short time. I spent 3 years getting rid of a whole hillside of it.

Agree with the other subtraction comments too. The globe arbs look to be right smack next to the foundation of the porch. They need to be at least 4' (OC) from the foundation.

As far as color additions, we need to know what zone you are in and how much sun. Am guessing full or close to full sun.

Know that perennials will give you spurts of color, but not the real long term pop that annuals do. For perennials, you can't go wrong with these: bearded iris, Geranium Rozanne, daylilies, tall phlox, floral carpet rose or The Fairy, Salvia 'May Night", Nepeta 'Walkers Low'.

Maybe you can put one of the lilacs in place of where the tree won't be anymore. And two spireas 'Magic Carpet' will stay more to scale replacing the lilacs, but I prefer an evergreen for winter interest. THere are many great dwarf conifers for the spot, but matching identical side by side can get tricky long term.

Overall, the curb appeal is there already. great lines. I love porches. just need to tweak.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2011 at 4:22PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

As someone who used to own a house with a basement damaged by tree roots, I wanted to cast a 4th (? lost count) opinion that the tree between garage and front door is going to cause trouble and repair expenses from the ground-up.

The little "green meatball" shrubs are out of scale for the location, way too small, even if they were put farther from the house. They might look cute relocated where you are going to remove the sage, in front of/around the roses. As mentioned, the porch is gorgeous and it would be a shame to hide it with too much foliage. I would fill that area with beautiful annuals and shorter perennials.

Agree with nhbabs, it's all the same color green. Varying foliage would be my priority for new additions.

An attractive border separating the lawn from the beds is something I prefer visually and practically. It just looks more "finished" to me. Something to consider, if you like them, too.

A few really cool rocks placed here and there can add a lot of character and year-round interest as well.

The tulips will look a lot better if you cut off the stalks where the flowers were. The leaves should really be left alone. They are producing the stored reserves for next year's flowers. I wasn't sure exactly what you meant by "pulling the stems" or if you knew about the importance of what the leaves are still doing.

With a house that cute, it would be hard to go wrong as long as you don't hide it too much.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2011 at 2:36PM
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Thank you all so much for the feedback. We have been battling that crab tree for years. It is a weed. You've helped me decide it will go for sure. After it is pulled out, we trim the liliacs, move the globe arboritae out a bit, and move the sage from the triangle area to the backyard, I'll repost pics and see where we stand.

Thanks again!

    Bookmark   May 31, 2011 at 8:34PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

get rid of the lilacs!!!!!

or move them 6 feet further out ... this would be done in fall ..

if you are going to do it.. do it right ...

anything that needs to be machete'd back to keep it in proper size.. is not in the right place ...


    Bookmark   June 1, 2011 at 9:05AM
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