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Posted by ttonk 6A (My Page) on
Thu, Feb 14, 13 at 15:16

Hi all,
I asked a tree question "Which tree will go well with knockout roses?" on the trees forum and it has developed into the whole front yard issue. I'd appreciate any suggestions or advice.

These are pictures of the front yard:
 photo IMG_0691_zps5508b005.jpg
The planting bed:
 photo IMG_0612_zps21375e3b.jpg
The planting bed, sideview:
 photo IMG_0628_zps01d2f803.jpg

A view from the porch:
 photo IMG_0632_zps519e4b1c.jpg

Comments I got among many others include:
They are too closely planted to the foundation (I'll move them further out, 4' from the foundation). Extend the bed to the front of the yard. The bed is informal rather than formal. The formation of the boxwood is too formal, uninteresting, and doesn't compliment the house. Mixing out plants will be good. Get a bigger tree on the right corner at least 10' from the house, and a smaller one such as Hydrangea paniculata treeform on a spot marked with "tree 1" below.

This is the current plot map to scale (1 square=2')
 photo f1_zpsbf132c5c.jpg

And I drew this one reflecting comments (as much as I could digest):
 photo f2_zpsa0e8dab7.jpg

I'd like to do this semi-DIY and more importantly really hope that I'd be able to recycle plants I already have (8 green velvet boxwood, 4 red/double knockout roses.) This was my first-time-ever-in-my-life plant purchase and I'm having hard time letting go. Including the planting costs, they were quite expensive, too. And I do like the combination of boxwood and red roses.
I think my main question is how to move and rearrange those boxwood and roses around. And the in the meantime, I'd like to choose the right trees. More broadly, I wonder what else should I plant there and how do I extend the bed. I like picking up flowers from a nursery in the spring, so I can plant annual plants every year.

This post was edited by ttonk on Thu, Feb 14, 13 at 16:04

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Front-yard

Oh my goodness how do you sort out all those suggestions and you have quite alot of house and landscape that you could do things with or keep it very simple. I googled "boxwood and knockout roses" and clicked on images. I got alot of good pics and ideas. What has helped me alot is to drive around and look for ideas or since it is winter browse the 'net or go to library or bookstore. spend an evening or afternoon. Keep it simple use a few types of shrubs. It's hard to tell alot from your landscape in winter. Your house is big and you might need bigger scale. If you can afford go bigger. As for the tree, there are hundreds to choose from. Don't have it located where it will totally block your house in a couple years. Or hang over power lines or fall on your house. Having had several big oaks, sweet gums, cypress to be a problem when mature and old, I tend to like smaller trees that get to be 20 to 40 ft not 100 ft tall. Many folks like to get a tree with 3 or 4 season interest, fall color, spring flowers, pretty bark. You'll have to do a bit or research. Be as sure as you can before you move the shrubs if you do. Winter is a good time to move and plant at least in my zone 7. Good luck. Laurie in Mississippi

RE: Front-yard

I'd some day widen the steps and walk approaching the entrance in order for it to be compatable with the size of the house.

I'd ditch the looping curves. (To me, they seem like a whim imposed for no good reason) Instead use sweeping curves that go somewhere. I'd also ditch the little tree (1) position that will cover up a central feature of the house, in favor of a larger tree at the right side of the front yard that will help the house look nestled in rather than sitting lonely on top of the ground. I know the well meaning advice to enclose the walk leading to the front door with plant material is given from all corners--even professionals--but I would resist listening to it and let the grass come to the fore side of the walk. Drive around and observe the "enclosed" arrangement in real life and see what it becomes in a a relatively short time and then, down the road. It's practically a "Do Not Enter" sign.

I'm imposing these ideas on your plan so you can see generally what they look like in that view. Everyone here knows I show the basics. You can adjust, add plants, subdivide shapes (in a geometrically compatible way,) delete, pick species that spins your beanie or whatever you want ... at your own risk, of course.

RE: Front-yard

Thanks!!!! OMG I've never noticed that the steps are so tiny. They are indeed. I knew they didn't look too nice and thought plants in front would be perfect to hide them. home improvement list is getting indefinitely long. I've just looked up pictures and there are so many pretty front steps, and they all involve some stones or bricks matched well with stones and bricks on foundation and paveways...sigh...
I read the response several times before I fully understood all of your suggestions. I think I agree with most of the points you made. And I'll have to think hard whether I want openness or flowers in front of the steps. I sorta thought enclosure was a good thing but maybe it's not. The house indeed looks like sitting lonely on top of the

And Thanks Laurie! Everything you said is so right. I'm googling boxwood & rose pictures, and they just look lovely.

This post was edited by ttonk on Sat, Feb 16, 13 at 2:17

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