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need a critical eye...Front Yard

Posted by landscapenewb 5 (My Page) on
Sat, Feb 27, 10 at 17:44

I've laid out the landscaping I would like to put in for my house using one of those programs. I would welcome feedback! Does it look OK? What should I change? Problem areas? Better suggestions???

Thanks!

(PS, I haven't really addressed the left side of the house yet...tbd)

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Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: need a critical eye...Front Yard

I think there are way too many clouds over the house and I am not sure the horizon is totally level, is it?


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RE: need a critical eye...Front Yard

You've put together some lovely choices. For me personally I would start at the second curve about where the stairs are and make the bed cut there which would widen it some and then go on over to the tree and make the tree part of the bed. Curves in the bed can look nice but can also distract from the overall look if there are too many. I think it looks very nice though but I would wonder whether those hostas are going to burn up from the sun based on their location.
Cher


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RE: need a critical eye...Front Yard

Good point about the curves, I hadn't even noticed that. Maybe I could take out the curve by the walkway by smoothing the line direct from the walkway corner straight to the corner near the stairs.

With the hostas, this is a southern exposure, but I was hoping that the tree would shade them in the morning, and the 2nd story and garage in the evening. Though that does leave full midday sun. Is there a sun-loving plant with broad leaves like that?? I wanted a broad leaf to contrast all the grass-like plants around.

Also, I am considering switching all the lilyturf and daylilies with each other?


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RE: need a critical eye...Front Yard

That's me then. Finally. To all the old gang that only lurk here now, see what happens when you don't participate.


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RE: need a critical eye...Front Yard

Okay I'll toss out some observations for your considereration, mind that I'm not a pro or anything.

1) As mentioned the secondary waviness of the curved bed is a detail that will be quickly lost in the big picture and not aiding the design. The major outlines of the beds and lawn are what will make the design effective.

2) Balance, the mass of the garage and driveway on the left does need a larger form(s)to balance it out. The traditional approach would be to place the tree further out into the yard.

3) Fitting into your local environment. How do the neighbors houses and plantings impact your site? That's a lot to take into consideration, but unlike the depicted cartoon house your house must be surrounded by something. Often these are things we have no control over, but they can affect the views of your house.

4) The plant material selected from what I can tell looks like it's all herbaceous or decidous. Some evergreens for off-season structure would be helpful in re-inforcing the design lines all year around.


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RE: need a critical eye...Front Yard

Lay out the bed with a hose and then if you mow with a riding lawn mower try to drive those curves. If they are too curvy and not big enough you will have to drag out the push mower every week and that could be a pain.


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RE: need a critical eye...Front Yard

The tiny space between the circle around the tree and the bed seems a little awkward, maybe make them all one bed?

I'm a little biased because I don't like pampas grass :P but I think switching out the grasses near the house for conical evergreens would keep the house from looking naked in winter.

Also, I think the spiked pinkish plant you chose is weigela--be careful which one you choose because some varieties can get quite large. There are some dwarf varieties that would probably work.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Broad-leaf, part shade/full sun plants:
Rhubarb (edible! Looks similar to hosta, perennial, full sun)
http://www.gardenaction.co.uk/images/rhubarb2_original.jpg

Acanthus mollis (3 feet wide, 2 feet tall)
http://www.waysidegardens.com/gardening/PD/40737/

Brunnera (1.5ft by 1.5ft)
http://www.waysidegardens.com/gardening/PD/48197/

Heuchera (different varieties can handle anything from full sun to full shade, really fun leaf colors)
http://www.srgc.org.uk/feature/sandyjuly2007/IMG_2540 Heuchera gingerale.jpg

Euphorbia (not really "broad" leaf, but not grasslike)
http://www.waysidegardens.com/gardening/PD/40950/

Good luck! Fun to start with a clean slate :)


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RE: need a critical eye...Front Yard

Does your program show the design in winter?
:-)

KarinL


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RE: need a critical eye...Front Yard

  • Posted by laag z6CapeCod (My Page) on
    Sat, Feb 27, 10 at 22:28

It is my opinion, based on drawing lots and lots of plans, that these plants are drawn way out of proportion and the resulting planting will be very dinky, spotty, and inadequate.

I like the design and layout, it is just that you would need to substitute more substantial shrubs to make it actually look like the image. You did great using a lot of different color, form, and texture to still get a very successful composition.

I don't particularly like the large ornamental grass on the outside of the walkway because it makes the door less inviting. This common relationship of the door tucked around the corner of an advanced gargage sucks enough without adding a visual interuption to the door or walkway leading to the door. Just my opinion.


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RE: need a critical eye...Front Yard

Generally speaking, plants grow broad leaves as an adaptation to shade; the leaves are designed to catch whatever light is available. That said, there are hostas that do well in sun - H. plantaginea and its hybrids such as Guacamole, Stained Glass, and a bunch I can't remember. As a bonus, they are often fragrant. But they're not blue. But... even blue hostas can tolerate a fair bit of sun if soil moisture is adequate. There are some broadleaved sun plants that have other adaptations to survive in it, for example stachys or a silver salvia that have dense hairs on the leaves to protect from the sun.

KarinL


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RE: need a critical eye...Front Yard

If you are wanting to stick with the grasses maybe the smaller blue oat grass which will be a shorter height and not be in the way. For me - I would use mostly all evergreen type plants. I would change out the grass growing up near the house with either conifers, maybe dwarf blue spruce or firs or junipers. If some of those areas were evergreen and blue I could then focus maybe on adding some evergreen Heucheras or Heaths/Heathers in to the areas that have blue hostas.

We all have different ideas on what we like. What I liked 20 years ago is not what I like now. I am trying to focus on what plants you like. If you want to see some beautiful gardens go check out the conifers forum here. I'm sure it will give you some great ideas on design and garden plant choices.
Cher


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RE: need a critical eye...Front Yard

landscapenewb,

As an exercise in design composition, you have done pretty good. I concur with the comments of the others on improvements. But this is a design for a property trapped in endless summer, on a dead flat terrain, with no boundaries, and no particular orientation to the sun. The real world is something else. What you have is a concept; the first small step to a successful design for a real landscape. Try to implement the concept without doing a plan and you will likely be disappointed in the results.

For example, if the lot really is perfectly flat, then the bed between the walk and garage will be a problem. The moisture level in such beds is almost impossible to control; too dry and the plants suffer, too wet and plants drown and damage to the footing support for the garage can occur. A flat lot without a lower place to discharge excess water precludes any easy fix to the problem. Is the lot flat or not?

So where do you go from here? The next logical step in the design process is to complete a detailed base map of your property.


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RE: need a critical eye...Front Yard

  • Posted by tibs 5/6 OH (My Page) on
    Sun, Feb 28, 10 at 10:22

Make the sidewalk as wide as your steps. All those plants you have picked are going to grow and spread over the path and it will not be wide enough. And speaking from experience you will not be able to plant those hostas etc as far from the path as they should be because they will look too far away. Then you will have to dig up and move back in a few years. I would not put to many shrubs in that flower bed because when you have winters like this one there is no place to put the snow.

Ink, you are so bad. You and Karin got a snicker out of me.


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RE: need a critical eye...Front Yard

I am seeing that the plantings are hugging the edges of the existing hardscape without there being an important design reason to have the area so constricted. Along the same lines as tibs' comment and laag re: not reinforcing the existing design flaws.

So for example on the R side of the steps (the side that falls away) you might still want a planting that softens that but it could transition into a wider area and not make such a vertical boundary there that does not help the entry; and the same for the sidewalk. If you could actually widen the sidewalk, that would be good. If not, you can create plantings that give a sense of more spaciousness rather than crimp you in.


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RE: need a critical eye...Front Yard

  • Posted by laag z6CapeCod (My Page) on
    Sun, Feb 28, 10 at 14:30

I would not go full width with the walk. The bed next to the garage is very important in my opinion.

I'm guessing that the walk is existing, anyway. If the walk and driveway are not built, I'd not make the driveway any wider than the aprons in front of the garage doors so that I could get plants on the corners of the garage rather than next to them (happy, Ink?).

I just don't understand why the rest of the country designs garages with houses added on to them instead of the other way around. Very strange to me.


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RE: need a critical eye...Front Yard

laag, I was not thinking of expanding the walk toward the garage wall, but allowing more breathing space on the yard side of the walk. This might mean also not curving the bed in to hug the steps and front window as a tiny apron, but allowing a deeper bed in front of what is a tall house.


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RE: need a critical eye...Front Yard

May I ask what program you used? Or what you would suggest? I think that's really neat!


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RE: need a critical eye...Front Yard

  • Posted by mjsee Zone 7b, NC (My Page) on
    Sun, Feb 28, 10 at 18:02

I would not go full width with the walk. The bed next to the garage is very important in my opinion.

Perhaps...but landscapenewb is gonna have a hard time getting grasses AND hostas to coexist in it. One wants sun, the other shade.

Or much of anything, for that matter. My "hell strips" next to my house never really flourished. I finally ended up with pavers and pots. Now...the POTS are doing quite well. But back when I tried to plant stuff under the eaves? Not so much.

Ink...DON'T LEAVE ME! I promise...I'll check in more often...


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RE: need a critical eye...Front Yard

I really appreciate all of your input! It's a lot to take in. What about the idea of replacing the small bed next to the garage with pavers and bench?? Or maybe a trellis with vine?

The pink spikey plants are crude renderings of Barberrys and the green mounds are supposed to be the Green barberry variety. Would these give any winter interest? Not too much height, but maybe something...

The software is Realtime Landscaping Architect 2. Seems like one of the more pricier ones, but I borrowed a coworker's copy...so not so much.

Another note, is that I extrapolated the design out ~30 yrs to see what the software says the landscape looks like with fully grown plants. I understand that the spacing may be less dense in the early years. Too, when planting I would look at the actual spacing in the area, not strictly adhere to what the software is showing for placement.

And I do not know yet what the grade of the lot is going to be. It will be somewhere around flat, no steep grades or anything, but yeah, not really sure how drainage will specifically work.


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RE: need a critical eye...Front Yard

LS-Newb

That's a lot of lawn, which needs to be shaped bit more to be power-mower friendly!

If the planting bed on the right of the house is extended further out into the yard to the border of the property and planted, that will help create a more pleasing lawn shape. Think of a catchers mit with your front door as the middle of the glove.

Also a tree or taller evergreen shrub out by the driveway will help to create a distraction to the driveway. The more recent trends I'm seeing are to shape the driveway also away from a geometric rectangular block of asphalt to a curving shape (not to sharp, so no one is tempted to drive on the grass), but enough so the driveway doesn't look like huge tennis court.


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RE: need a critical eye...Front Yard

  • Posted by mjsee Zone 7b, NC (My Page) on
    Mon, Mar 1, 10 at 13:04

Don't plant barberries close to a walkway. Have you ever fallen into one? Not good.


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RE: need a critical eye...Front Yard

Pavers & a bench on side of garage, and maybe a wall-hung sculptural relief, would be nice. Also, those tall grasses aren't going to stay so narrow and straight, given wind and rain, unless they're tied up. There is something child's-drawingish about the 3 clumps, 1 at each corner and an innie corner. I'd say double one up (near picture window?), and remove one (garage corner), make it less formal.

Carol (not a professional)


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RE: need a critical eye...Front Yard

I guess in zone 5 it may not be as much of an issue as it would be here, but . . . when you think about spending time enjoying yourself outdoors, do you usually think about a nearly treeless expanse of lawn? To me that sounds absolutely unusable. I would plant a whole lot more than just one tree in that huge expanse. But then, for me in zone 9, any space not shaded by a tree would be a space I couldn't possibly enter all summer, when it would be 100 degrees outside. For you I assume that wouldn't be a problem. Still, aren't trees kind of important in making a space habitable? They could help shield your property from cold winds, if nothing else.


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RE: need a critical eye...Front Yard

  • Posted by laag z6CapeCod (My Page) on
    Mon, Mar 1, 10 at 21:28

"Pavers & a bench on side of garage, and maybe a wall-hung sculptural relief, would be nice." ..... to each his own, but I would recommend a bigleaf fig tree if that were the case.

I have to repeat that these plants are terrible under proportioned to the house (and maybe the sculpture too!)and will never achieve what is displayed in the rendering. You need a different plant pallet that will make that composition work.

The design is not bad, just that THOSE plants will not achieve it.


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RE: need a critical eye...Front Yard

laag, you may be a landscape architect, but I"m a sculptor. I know what would work on an exterior wall on the way to the entry. What I envisioned was a relief sculpture on the wall, breaking up the wall texture visually without protruding. Sorry I wasn't clearer.

I like having a narrow bench between car parking and front door so I can put down an armful of bags & stuff and get it up the steps in smaller batches. But I don't have a garage so I don't know how those people do it - maybe enter the house from inside the garage in an inner door and then go up the stairs? Still, having a small place to sit down, a perch, is good planning and is welcoming.


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RE: need a critical eye...Front Yard

  • Posted by laag z6CapeCod (My Page) on
    Tue, Mar 2, 10 at 6:54

Carol, I was just having fun with your choice of words. Sorry that I can not resist a set up like that - a personal flaw of mine .... the not resisting making a joke that is.

It is a great place for a sculpture, but the bigger picture is that the house is the biggest element in this landscape (I have not seen the sculpture, yet LOL)and it needs a lot of help. If the sculpture does not displace a greater ability to help the house it is a great addition. It is not the sculpture, but the removal of the bed that is my objection. Actually, it is the garage that is the biggest element that needs mitigation. More hardscape on the ground or more architectural elements take away from the very limited area to do that mitigation.

A sculpture on the wall would not displace mitigation area, just enhance what would be there for a better composition. It is the view from the driveway and street that need the greatest help first in this case. All other enhancement is fine as long as it does not impair the mitigation.

Personally, I'd lean toward a mermaid, Laddy Godiva, or something other than a well hung anything. That's just me. If I have to explain the joke, it obviously was not a good joke. Sorry


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RE: need a critical eye...Front Yard

laag, you're right that the overall effect of the house with garage is more important than teeny surface treatments such as the one I suggested. Outside of our New England, the car-centric nation seems to prefer designing a garage first, then adding a house half behind it. But I defer to the owner's needs, and the house is evidently already in existence.

First I'd add a roof over the front door for when it's raining or snowing, then a bench and a big plant container next to it. But maybe these people never use their front door; just drive right into their automatic-opening-door garage. Different world.

In our world, laag, we'd drive up to our weathered cedar shingle saltbox in our pickup with clamming gear in back, enter a mudroom to kick off our L.L.Bean waterproof boots, and bring the golden retriever into the kitchen while we start the chowder cooking.

But sorry, this forum IS about landscape design, so I'll focus on that yard: all that grass, and a front-entry border bed that forces everyone to take that right-and-left to get to the door. Make it a straighter path and make it wider. If you must keep the narrow bed next to the garage side, at least get rid of the little part that extends forward and makes people walk around it. People will cut across that part of it. There's a concept called the "path of desire" which is where people desire to walk in spite of public landscaping or small obstacles put in their way. Examples are those worn places one sees in the middle of public parking lots' shrubbed low dividers and the grassless corners of lawns near street corners.

Put in shrubs and trees of varying heights. Get rid of a lot of that lawn and go greener with big areas of shrub, tree & perennial beds. (Unless there's a development covenant demanding all lawn in front.)

The orig. poster used a computer program well, considering he's a beginner at it. The only other consideration I'd like him to have is to make the place look more welcoming. But I bet he has a good idea in his mind's eye as to what he wants, and the comp. program can only go so far. Nice house, newbe; good luck!


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RE: need a critical eye...Front Yard

  • Posted by laag z6CapeCod (My Page) on
    Tue, Mar 2, 10 at 18:12

Path of desire can be influenced by what is in the beds.


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RE: need a critical eye...Front Yard

"Path of desire can be influenced by what is in the beds." True. Razor wire comes to mind, to keep people on the real path. Flowering hawthorn. Rugosa roses. Terrific phrase, path of desire. Sounds like a romance novel title. :)


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RE: need a critical eye...Front Yard

"I have to repeat that these plants are terrible under proportioned to the house"
Laag-
This is a huge concern I have. I am struggling to envision ways to achieve proportion with the house without the house being hidden by a forest of trees. What other plants would you consider to balance with the house??


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RE: need a critical eye...Front Yard

  • Posted by laag z6CapeCod (My Page) on
    Wed, Mar 3, 10 at 18:10

Carol, just as the steps create the initial psychological direct line of desire, other objects that influence how you feel can change that without actual barriers or actual threat to personal injury. Few people walk within 2' of a wall if the walkway is wide enough and the space is open on the other side, for example.

People will drive 50 mph 7'-8' from cars doing the same in the opposite direction, yet they'll move 2' to the right if they stop to wait for an opportunity to make a left hand turn.

It is about comfort and discomfort. The architect obviously had no concept of this outside of the house, or the door would be somewhere else.

It raises the idea of taking that to a higher extreme by building a center of gravity that outweighs the door itself. The whole balance of the house could be re-adjusted with fencing or hedging to pull it to the right, a patio could anchor the center of it, the hedging or fencing could force (by being an actual barrier) the walk over to the right making the approach to the door from that point much more comfortable. The landing at the door could be extended into an "L' with the steps going across the face of it to the right and into the heart of the courtyard. That center of gravity could be right in front of the double windows. Making the middle of the courtyard the mental destination rather than the front door would change everything.

That is just one concept. Not THE concept, but something different to think about.


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RE: need a critical eye...Front Yard

made a few modifications, am I going in the right direction?
the plants are, green barberry, red barberry, daylily, lilyturf, dwarf weeping cherry, blue arrow juniper, and river birch. I kind of liked the idea of a bench, it makes it more social, I think.

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RE: need a critical eye...Front Yard

By the time your daylilies are blooming, the weeping cherry (if that's what it is) will have long since finished. But that's nitpicking. I definitely prefer the upright junipers to the grasses, though I'm not sure about their placement.

Can you clarify whether the house and driveway are already existing, or whether they are still a gleam in your contractor's eye? Someone up top mentioned making a curved rather than rectangular driveway, and Laag's idea of altering the front considerably also raises the question of whether there is any chance of influencing all that.

And if they are existing, is there a chance of a photo? There is something about these mock-ups that makes it hard. I think it's partly the lack of surroundings, as someone mentioned.

KarinL


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RE: need a critical eye...Front Yard

"Path of desire can be influenced by what is in the beds" ...now that just made me blush.

As neat as a weeping cherry tree is, when it's placed right there, it seems to be blocking the walk to the front door. Maybe it's just the perspective of the drawing? I do like this plan better than the prior one with the tall grasses.

A photo of the actual house would be helpful, and I was also wondering if the house was actually built that way, or if it's still in the planning stages.

My own house a ridiculously large garage, but thankfully, the PO had it added on the side and back of the house.


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RE: need a critical eye...Front Yard

This house IS only on paper so far. Groundbreaking is scheduled for about 2 weeks from now!! This home is also being built in an HOA, so shape of the driveway and walkway are predetermined per their regs.
This is the best I could do for a pic, it's one of their model homes. My house will not have the bay window, and the colors will more closely match with what I have in my own rendering.
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As a sidenote, I did build my model from actual blueprints, so the dimensions are very close to accurate. I realize the builder's photo looks like it has slightly different proportions.


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RE: need a critical eye...Front Yard

  • Posted by laag z6CapeCod (My Page) on
    Wed, Mar 3, 10 at 20:07

You use public transportation?


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RE: need a critical eye...Front Yard

haha, no, but I might have to start


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RE: need a critical eye...Front Yard

Is it just me, or is the way that they've landscaped the model home say "Look at my garage!!" even more? It's as though the front door is an afterthought.


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RE: need a critical eye...Front Yard

That's one way to reduce the welcome to my garage look!

Frankie you have an interesting observation, the cartoon's view of the house is like from a second story window. A street level view or looking back from the mailbox point of view cartoon would be helpful -just like the photo of the model house provided.

My own house has a very similar protrouding garage and sequestered front door, and a bit more extreme. I have tried the approach of using some large forms to the right of the house like your cherry tree and other larger trees to provide some balance as well, so I do like your latest plan as improvement other the first one.


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RE: need a critical eye...Front Yard

  • Posted by laag z6CapeCod (My Page) on
    Thu, Mar 4, 10 at 7:21

If you do a circular driveway, do it in front of the house, not in front of the garage. Not only does it block the use of the garage, but it centers the view even more on the garage. If it centers on the house (I have designed many built circle driveways that work) the garage is easily accessed from the left side of the circle. You more or less drive straight in and back straight out before continuing around the circle. The way that one is drawn, you have to turn 90 degrees from going around the circle and would need the circle to be an absoulute minimum of 24' away and you'd still not be able to park in front of the door.

While the circle in front of the house leaves the garage in full view, the entire composition becomes anchored by the circle and the garage becomes peripheral much the same as the effect that the courtyard explained above could do. You don't have to hide something to make it less significant.

I just realized that the driveway shown is not actually circular, but you need to remember that when two cars are in a garage, you have to back up without turning the wheel until you clear the car length. You need a lot of room in front of those doors.

Have you considered putting windows in front of the garage and the door on the side? Again, you'll need to have the space to maneuver the car. Again, it would be good to use a circular drive in front of the house if you do that or your front door becomes even more remote from arrivals.

The driveway can enter from the street centered on the front door with guests using the circular drive and you turning off to the garage and "service" side of the house.


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RE: need a critical eye...Front Yard

I'm glad you took my advise about the sky.

Seriously, there is a big difference between presenting a model home and designing a house and garden to live in. The flower bed in front of the garage serves to highlight the difference and there is no need for you to arrange your landscape to show off the house. If the curves of your beds went the opposite way there would be an enclosing or wrap around effect that you could continue on the other side of the drive. To my eye it is the garage that will upset any chance of unity if you develop just the one side, especially if you stay up close to the house walls. This may sound like an old hippie suggestion and may be your HOA won't like it but could that door hold a mural or I guess it would be a portal or even dooral?


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RE: need a critical eye...Front Yard

OMG of course, it's the perspective that's odd. Thanks, Frank's Mom!

Laag, I think your explanation of how a circular driveway in front of the HOUSE door would attract attention there is brilliant - I mean, I finally understand that, and it makes it so much more easy to picture how your courtyard idea works too.

On another note, if the HOA presents that as the model home and then tells you that your driveway has to be rectangular and straight, someone's doing some false advertising. But that aside, that driveway and walkway have to be "per their regs" is what I think needed to be clarified. Thank you.

Since you can't change that, I would tend toward Laag's idea, which if I understand the "how" of it, would be to not crowd the walkway with a flower bed but create opportunities to step off of it and places to go to the right. If I remember Isabella's house correctly, she has a ravine where you have a front yard so she really can't go anywhere else, but you have that opportunity.

Would this be a front yard in which you might spend some time, from the perspective of sun exposure, privacy, or such? If so, you might go back to QBC's comment along those lines and consider something like a shrub barrier across the front of the yard at the street and the creation of a pleasant somewhat private space, courtyard included, in front of the house.

The design you have so far is just for looking at. My question is always, what landscape do you need for "being" there?

KarinL


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RE: need a critical eye...Front Yard

As I look at the OP's updated design and combine with what I think is the concept of balancing the garage, then instead of the thin U-shape made by the flower bed, with long thin legs of the U, there would be more mass and bulk the R of the steps and on over to the house corner (which could include something like the tree shown). There is no particular reason to put the weeping cherry type tree where it is, blocking the view to the front door. Instead it seems that the goal would be, you have the big garage on the L, then you try to leave the entry open and welcoming and perhaps emphasized in some way, maybe some more prominent door features, then you add mass further to the R to balance the garage.

We also did not discuss some ways that paint colors, such as garage door, can mitigate or worsen the garage effects.

At least that is what I think I understand.


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RE: need a critical eye...Front Yard

  • Posted by laag z6CapeCod (My Page) on
    Fri, Mar 5, 10 at 7:39

One very powerful element that many people under-estimate is the space that is not bulked up. More specifically, any place that seems like a place that you want to be - implied human space. Any pavement is a strong "human space" and a pedestrian pavement area is even stronger.

A pedestrian space that is clearly not just a pass through area is even stronger than that - a landing in front of a door, a patio, a courtyard patio are all increasing in power. It is not so much that you are planning your path in the back of your mind as it is that you are placing yourself there before you get there. How easily your brain places yourself somewhere and how comfortable it perceives the space to be before you get there is going to influence how you perceive the view from where you are already standing.

This is why the entry door to a house is so important to address. BUT, when it is in just such a tough location as it is above, you either get discomfort by projecting yourself there or your subconcious is aware of a more comfortable space or more obvious space to project itself. That causes conflict between where you are actually going and where your brain feel like you should be going.

It is not so much that the garage is big and ugly and needs to be screened as it is that the pavement in front of it is making your subconcious want to be there more than at the door that is stuffed around the corner.

All you need to do is overcome that by over powering it where you want people's subconscious to project themselves. Often it is a lot easier to overcome when the door is in a well defined human space - more centered.

William Alexander, the Magic of Painting tv show artist, used to always say "you need to have dark in order to have light. It is the same with "human space". The less your brain wants to be somewhere else, the more solidly it will go where you want it. Bulk goes where you don't want people to project themselves (why the weeping cherry is disagreeable to many).

Many people refered the the "U" shaped bed not working. I'd say that it is because their subconcious wants to be on that lawn in the middle of it more than at the front door which conflicts with the concious mind that wants to go to the door. This door is not the best place, so it makes sense to dismiss the door and create a new target to land at.Then the door can be accessed from that place - ie, a courtyard or meet & greet area.

Does that make any sense to anyone or do I just have a warped perception of the world?


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RE: need a critical eye...Front Yard

Interesting, from a view standpoint the U shaped bed works for me, but from an occupying the space standpoint the open "roomy" area of the U shaped lawn is less claustraphobic and inviting. I think the goals space occupancy desires and curb-appeal view can be made to work together. Laag's suggested M&G area area could be the target of a re-shaped U lawn to highlight the importance of this area.

Just make it easy to mow !!


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RE: need a critical eye...Front Yard

Laag, you've certainly expressed my feelings exactly, including why a bench alongside the garage did not do anything for me, or rather why I was indifferent to it.

I have another question that is relevant to the OP's second proposed planting, and will come into play again if/when s/he lays out the courtyard/meet&greet area (I love having that name, it is exactly what is missing from my yard and I have been working to incorporate something with that feel. Yay! to naming the problem!).

My question is about symmetry. I noticed it I think because it came up in a curb appeal thread on the Home Dec forum this week. You have an asymmetrical house and/or land. Do you use symmetry in your design at all, and if so, how do you decide where and how?

KarinL


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RE: need a critical eye...Front Yard

So here is an imaginary house placed within an imaginary (or is the word virtual?)space with a Disneyland landscape and the question is "Does it look OK?". Well no. Or could it be..When Landscape design can take a house/home totally disconnected from where it is so that place becomes only space and plants ('member your love for them?)become shapes to fill in I am out of it.


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RE: need a critical eye...Front Yard

I am still kind of digesting this and trying to wrap my mind around it. We seem to be getting pretty philosophical.

My original goal for this project was to design a landscape that connects the house with the land it is intrudng upon. I realize this is hard to do with software but it is the best way for me to visualize it. I never considered a meet and greet area in the front of the house because I'm used to all outdoor entertaining happening in the backyard. That said, the meet/greet area is growing on me but I don't want it to be overdone.

How about moving the bench to the area where the weeping cherry is now and make a small patio type area so that when you're walking up the desolate driveway the first Area you get to is the bench and then you can proceed to the entryway? Maybe I'm still thinking too small...


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RE: need a critical eye...Front Yard

bugger it, I don't care, none of you can reach me with your guns anyway, I have studied gardens, I have worked in gardens I have designed gardens I have garden friends some of them real and I am offended by this house in the sky. Engage me why doncha? I am so pissed off.


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RE: need a critical eye...Front Yard

Ink, I think you're getting pissed off for the wrong reasons. Landscapenewb is here with the best of intentions for all the right reasons and has responded very positively to everything that's been said, both snarky and friendly. I don't remember too many OPs as willing to learn and progress from where they first started AND ALSO creating and following as many threads of theoretical design discussion that the rest of us can enjoy and learn from while we help.

That's what this forum is for. If it doesn't provide you with enough intellectual stimulus from like-minded people, then it might be that your expectations exceed what the forum can do for you in terms of putting you together with peers. I know I get to that point occasionally, and I'm nowhere near your level of expertise and experience. And we all miss Michelle, I think you more than most of us. But it just doesn't seem that she's coming back, and without her and a few others, the forum is going to be a different place. I have to say on some levels I think it is better. I just spent something like two or three hours on one thread on the Home Dec forum trying to convince someone who posted there about curb appeal that she would not be eaten alive here, and I felt that I could say that with some confidence. Three years ago, I couldn't have.

But even Michelle used to cast off the snark once she got it out of her system and took the time often to post information that was kind and accessible and often bang on the OP's need. Memorable too.

I really wish you were here to offer help to people who are beneath you, because you often have insights that we plebians could gain a lot from. But I often feel that your need to show your intellectual stripes gets in the way of you sharing your knowledge in an open, accessible way. Your need to be cryptic and mysterious and superior often replaces assistance, and then you get all huffy because no one engages you. You could have simply and plainly pointed out the perspective problem off the top, as I'm sure you got it right away, but no, you have to be supercilious so it takes the rest of us forty posts to get to the point, any by then you're impatient that we aren't talking at your level. Hon, you could have raised the level of discussion off the top, and instead you lowered it and the rest of us brought it back up. And now you're complaining that it's not high enough.

Maybe you need someone to tell you what you don't seem to want to admit to yourself Ink: you don't want to be here; these people aren't smart or witty enough for you. So OK, take a break. Find an expert community to yak with, 'cause you're only hurting yourself and others here. If you decide to stick around, change how you participate and you might find it that much more rewarding. Heck, even Ironbelly has mellowed over time, maybe it's your turn.

For better or for worse, that's the landscaping software the OP is using. If you don't like it, say so, suggest an alternative method (I asked for a photo), do an alternative drawing yourself, or just stay away.

KarinL


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RE: need a critical eye...Front Yard

I just want to say that Laag's explanation in this thread of how to manipulate where viewers mentally place themselves in a yard is exactly what keeps me reading this forum. It was a very clear explanation of a concept that I've heard before but that I would not have been able to apply effectively to this situation without Laag's guidance.


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RE: need a critical eye...Front Yard

It is past midnight on this coast karin but your ego rises before the sun "do an alternative drawing yourself, or just stay away" is obviously meant to insult me.


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RE: need a critical eye...Front Yard

What, and your remarks weren't intended to insult the OP?

KarinL


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RE: need a critical eye...Front Yard

  • Posted by mjsee Zone 7b, NC (My Page) on
    Sat, Mar 6, 10 at 9:31

My dears...please quit fussing? I like pretty much everyone here and y'all are breaking my heart. Rough week.

So let us concentrate on the latest words of the OP:

I am still kind of digesting this and trying to wrap my mind around it. We seem to be getting pretty philosophical.

My original goal for this project was to design a landscape that connects the house with the land it is intruding upon. I realize this is hard to do with software but it is the best way for me to visualize it. I never considered a meet and greet area in the front of the house because I'm used to all outdoor entertaining happening in the backyard. That said, the meet/greet area is growing on me but I don't want it to be overdone.

How about moving the bench to the area where the weeping cherry is now and make a small patio type area so that when you're walking up the desolate driveway the first Area you get to is the bench and then you can proceed to the entryway? Maybe I'm still thinking too small...

We often get philosophical on this board. Really...design is a fairly philosophical pursuit.

I'm liking the idea of a welcoming bench. If I can get some time to sketch things up...I'll play with that idea. I'm not a pro designer...I'm a garden center worker...I sell plants for a living. And as such...I'm begging you...abandon the barberries. The are prickly...they are ugly in the winter...and they will reach out and grab your guests. They do not belong by a walkway. I'll do a little research and come up with some zone 5 plants in the same color family if I can.

One other thought...rather than a weeping cherry (which in my experience is short-lived and prone to disease)...what about a weeping Japanese maple? MUCH prettier naked in the winter...beautiful spring leaves...lovely fall color? Give it some thought.

melanie


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RE: need a critical eye...Front Yard

Hi,landscapenewb!
I love weeping cherries - I have one and they're awesome in spring.
I wouldn't sweat the smaller plantings at all - those can be easily replaced/redesigned in the future to suit your changing needs/tastes. I've re-located my flowers & shrubs MANY times; all successfully!
Trees are a different story. Make SURE you plant your trees sufficiently far from the house - taking into consideration their mature size.
I underplant my daylilies with a few daffodils - when the daffodils stop blooming, the daylilies' foliage covers them. Tulips & hyacinths as well.
On the Trees forum, I mentioned to you deer love to eat daylilies and hosta - but on second thought, the deer probably wouldn't have the nerve to walk up to your front door.
I've seen plenty of hosta here in zone 7 growing in full sun. I've read hostas are actually shade tolerant, not shade loving. The hosta forum could give you info on sunfast hostas.
A cool combination I saw in my neighborhood - all along a sunny front-yard walkway - was a row of green & white streaked hostas interplanted with pink coral bells (Heuchera). The corals bells seemed to bloom forever, many weeks, and I loved how they looked swaying in the breeze!
Hope you enjoy your new home -it looks great!!


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RE: Sun tolerant hosta

I believe the hosta I mentioned were probably Hosta undulata 'Albomarginata'. They are listed as one of the most sun tolerant for zones 6 and lower.


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RE: need a critical eye...Front Yard

I agree with mjsee - Japanese maples are AWESOME all-season trees, I adore mine!! I wish every day I'd planted them years ago since they grow very slowly. But make sure any you may choose are suitable for zone 5. Spring freezes can ruin the spring leaves - or outright kill susceptible trees.


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RE: need a critical eye...Front Yard

Thank you, Laag, for explaining WHY that space seems so uncomfortable, and how to ammend it.


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RE: need a critical eye...Front Yard

Putting a canvas awning over the front door would be charming & would make the door a focal point & inviting IMHO. Here's a link to an example of one:
http://www.discountawnings.com/images/index_dome.jpg
The downside is you have to replace them fairly often.
I'd move the small weeping cherry over to cover the corner of the house.
If you had room, you might move the river birch farther away from the house and make it a clump.


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RE: need a critical eye...Front Yard

1. Japanese barberry is banned for sale in many states because it is an "invasive species"

2. I am curious, why does the sky bother you ink?


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RE: need a critical eye...Front Yard

  • Posted by mjsee Zone 7b, NC (My Page) on
    Sat, Mar 6, 10 at 12:44

Not speaking for ink...but the sky IS off. The perspective and scale of the clouds is wrong. IRL they wouldn't look like that from that angle.

I tend to ignore things like that in computer renderings.


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RE: need a critical eye...Front Yard

Instead of barberries, you might like azaleas. To me, they look like barberries.
"Rosebud" azaleas are evergreen, grow to 2-3 x 2-3 ft., hardy to zone 5, and according to this old gardenweb post link - they're unusual & gorgeous!
http://www.nygardener.com/forums/load/nygarden/msg0423071527528.html?3


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RE: need a critical eye...Front Yard

Ok, another iteration! I actually really like how this is evolving. In this version, I widened the concrete walk with stone pavers on the sides and created the meet/greet patio area. The plants are daylily, lilyturf, canna lily, blue star juniper, arneson gem azalea, blue arrow juniper, sum & substance hosta, and some vine that I haven't actually picked yet.

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket


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RE: need a critical eye...Front Yard

I can't seem to get this idea in design language, but it is about this:

The current plantings hug the front walk because that's where the concrete ends and not because it makes the best visual thing or balance. Bringing the plantings out farther and lined up visually in the yard but right out in front of the steps doesn't help emphasize the entry. I think the perspective of the software isn't quite how one would experience it when you drive by or even when you are standing there. So it may be necessary to think how it will "look" from one view--sort of the curb appeal--and the second view, from standing on the driveway or walk.

So I think the plantings are too much in front of the front door and driveway, too much hugging the right edge of the driveway and steps; don't let the concrete boundary drive the design, and instead need to "pull to the right" so the steps and door are visible and breathing and there is something more rightward pulling you away from the garage and driveway.

I don't know how to say that, and may be way off in the weeds anyway.


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RE: need a critical eye...Front Yard

Thanks mel but my initial take was more to do with the concept of a house and it's surrounding being perfected as if in a vacuum. karin did a pretty good hit job on me but I wasn't insulting the person who posted the question it was more of a raised eyebrow thing.

Anyone who studies landscape design will sooner or later come across the phrase "consider the 'genius' of the place" and we have talked about the concept here. There is no doubt that this type of 'philosophical' subject is a turn off for a lot of people but to put what I mean in simple terms the computer rendered picture is the answer. The question, or questions, might be something like who are you, where are you and what do you want to do there?

If we start at the beginning mistakes like having flower beds blocking any entry to the lawn from the walkway tend not to happen. If the property is mapped out, if only in the mind then mistakes like wasting time deciding precisely where to plant a birch tree forgetting the adjacent property has a forty foot oak tree nearby.

Not many people get the opportunity to build a house and its landscape together I would hate for this to be a missed opportunity to do something really special.


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RE: need a critical eye...Front Yard

  • Posted by mjsee Zone 7b, NC (My Page) on
    Sat, Mar 6, 10 at 15:44

Not many people get the opportunity to build a house and its landscape together I would hate for this to be a missed opportunity to do something really special.

I agree. Honestly, landscapenewb...if you are still in the planning/designing phase...hire a good LA or GD. It will be some of the best money you've ever spent. Get that person to help you lay out the bones of the project...and then you can fill in as time/money allows.

And Ink is right about access. Biggest mistake I made when we re-did the front yard was to NOT leave an opening in one of my low walls between the front yard and the back. We merely replaced a low brick retaining wall with a low brick stone wall...and that was an error. I am forever hauling stuff over that 18" wall. VERY irritating. I think you need to plan for a path from the front walk out to the yard. Even if it's merely stepping stones through the bed...

I finally gave up trying to grow stuff in the natural "cut through" between one of my beds and the street and put down big pieces of stone (I don't have a before pic, but NOTHING would grow where the stones are because people kept walking on it):

If there isn't a path...people WILL make one. The mini-mondo has filled in nicely in the last two years...I should get a more recent picture.


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RE: need a critical eye...Front Yard

When the daylilies, canna, and hosta are gone for the winter, that space in the front yard might look pretty bare.
Just my preference, but I'd put some really cool ornamental tree (like your weeping cherry?) in the front yard - kind of where the lamppost is in the real photo of the house & the birch as you've shown. I'd just plant a modest bed along the right front of the house from the steps to the birch. You can always make it more elaborate as you get a firmer idea of what you want.
I'd save that nice bench & the big landscaping bucks for the back yard, where you'll probably spend 99% of your time with other people.


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RE: need a critical eye...Front Yard

  • Posted by mjsee Zone 7b, NC (My Page) on
    Sat, Mar 6, 10 at 17:44

I'd save that nice bench & the big landscaping bucks for the back yard, where you'll probably spend 99% of your time with other people.

Oddly enough, we spend 99% of our time in our front yard...perhaps because it has easier access to the kitchen? More likely because the only comfy place to sit in the backyard is the deck off the LR. More importantly...I've decided the front yard is (functionally at least) our BACK yard. There's a sanitary sewage easement that runs along the creek in our back yard that people use as a defacto bike and walking path. FAR more traffic on it than the road in front our house.

Back of the house from the "greenway":


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RE: need a critical eye...Front Yard

Newb, my inclination would be to basically reverse that S in the overhead view you've just drawn.

We used to use a term around here that is apt for how most of us instinctively landscape, "perimeteritis." The urge to put a flower bed along the sidewalk is obviously strong with you! But that's exactly what most of us are saying not to do. You may have your reasons, and heck, it's your house. But I think what Laag is saying is to put a place to go off the side of the sidewalk, not a bed that blocks you from doing so. The resting spot is lovely,but it is still at the beginning of the sidewalk and so contributes to the front-back lines of the property, not the side-to side dimension which most of us feel the property would benefit from having emphasized.

Those upright junipers beside the door again seem to shut off access to the right side of the property, when that is where we want the eye, and the hypothetical person, to be able to go.

And now that Ink has stated his perspective in accessible terminology, I agree that the question of the borrowed landscape is one that it might be good to address, at least in broad strokes. What is going to be behind and around the house, or do you not know yet? He's also right in that a design can not always be critiqued on its own, though we are doing so to the extent of saying what will flatter the house and make your entry inviting. Those are fairly generic goals for landscaping that most people have.

Landscaping is not actually done for houses, though, but for people. There is perhaps an optimal design for this property in fairly generic terms, but if you put ten different owners into the same house, it would (and should) have ten different landscapes. So you should consider (and tell us if you think it would advance the discussion) a little bit about what your personal needs are out of this landscape. There are actually some messages in the design you've presented, which is already dramatically different from what I, for example, as a keen gardener, would draft up. Some people's needs are only to have a place that looks neat, pleasant, conventional. That's as legitimate as any other objective, and can actually be hard to achieve in certain settings, such as a "welcome to my garage" house.

By the way, will you want a pathway to go to the back yard on either side? That might help open up the right side, if a pathway were branching off to the right.

KarinL


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RE: need a critical eye...Front Yard

See mel you and those boys of yours and the guy looking quizzically at something you planted and " There's a sanitary sewage easement that runs along the creek in our back yard that people use as a de facto bike and walking path. FAR more traffic on it than the road in front our house." speaks volumes.

Given the option, do we design the place where we live as the place where we live or as a place to position a freaking Hosta?


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RE: need a critical eye...Front Yard

  • Posted by laag z6CapeCod (My Page) on
    Sat, Mar 6, 10 at 19:20

Keep it simple. It's turning into Disney World. I feel like that Simon dude on Idol all of a sudden.

You (the OP)are defeating the whole purpose of putting the pavement in front of the windows with all of the barriers and structures. Those would be fine if they support the effect, but they don't - at least not the way they are in that mock up (never say never).

You got me to do something that I never do. That is hand draw a quick sketch and post it.

The idea is to make the house inviting, so it must be seen very early in the approach - when someone is coming up the driveway. We want them to ignore the garage right away and be drawn into that space. We don't just want a bunch of stuff over there which will reinforce the comfort of the space in front of the garage.

You want the patio surface to be empty in order to make someone see themselves being there. It has to be visible and it has to be somewhat of a void that is supported by what is around it. It has to outgun everything else and become the center of this little universe. At the same time, you have to force the approach or the "desire line" that someone else mentioned will come into play. You can't have a void without having substance around it or everything is a void, so you have to support it with some shrubbery and background trees are important or your brain will leak right past it and go beyond the corner of the house to the side yard. It does not have to be entirely enclosed or entirely planted. I'd prefer a little grass (not that kind of grass, Tony) around the pavement so it does not seem so ... I don't know what.

I am showing a black metal fence so that you see pretty well through it. It goes from the garage to the walk and then has a section or two on the other side of the walk. I really don't want to see a return on it, just some evergreen fluff in there.

Here is my crappy sketch:

Photobucket

The trick is to make that be the primary destination. Once you are there, you are then situated to have a nice approach to the door. You can briefly enjoy the sculpture, the nearby plantings, the view beneath the trees to the side yard, or look back out to the street.

Don't forget that the idea is to enhance the HOUSE with the garden, not make a garden to have stuff in it. The reason you enhance the house is because whether you want it to be or not, it is almost always the dominant feature of a residential landscape.

Also, notice that the driveway does not go the full width of the garage. That allows you to get a plant at least partially in front of the corner of the garage. It is a subtle way of getting the garage in the background, but don't under estimate what that does. The fence needs to be at least slightly behind the corner of the garage as well or it joins the garage to the composition by being on the same plane - again subtle, but effective. No need for a gate, that is an unnecessary barrier both figuratively and actually.

I'm only doing this because I see that some people are getting it. There are tons and tons of these little mechanisms that are all little on there own but when they all support what you are trying to do, they make a huge difference.


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RE: need a critical eye...Front Yard

BAM! And there it is! Now that you've drawn it out and explained it a wee bit more, it totally makes sense. At least to me it does. Swinging that walk out just a bit and changing the orientation of the meet and greet makes that whole entryway brilliant. Shoot, I'd Paypal you $10 just for that sketch.


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RE: need a critical eye...Front Yard

lol, franksmom, I thought the same thing!


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lol

And I had to snicker at "well hung sculpture or Godiva bust." That made me LOL, yes it did.


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RE: need a critical eye...Front Yard

  • Posted by laag z6CapeCod (My Page) on
    Sun, Mar 7, 10 at 7:30

Man am I embarrassed. I just read through this thread and saw that it said "wAll hung"! Sorry Carol. It was fun though.

This brings up the next point about the wall hung sculpture. The sketch above makes a context for that sculpture and the sculpture influenced the step. They support each other because they both re-orient the person to perpendicular with the wall. The evergreen hedge just behind the fence saves it for when you are in the courtyard. This situation needs the help of something on that large blank wall.

Carol made a good point about that earlier. The only problem that I had with it was that the bigger issue had not been resolved, so it was neither ready nor benefited by that level of detail.

Another option could be to have the house steps oriented at an angle to the center of the circle for better pedestrian flow, but having it at 90 degrees psychologically stops or pauses you in the circle which makes the door less significant. Its that dark in order to have light thing that I mentioned before. The less significant the door is, the more significant the circle is.

The point is that anything is only as powerful as what it is being compared to. If you can't directly weaken something, you have to look to make something more significant so that it becomes weak by comparison.

Our instinct is first to hide what we don't like. But sometimes the hiding just builds onto the negative. We often try to screen using plants, yet at the same time we use plants to decorate what we like. If you think about it, sometimes people do the same thing to screen as they do to decorate while expecting complete opposite perceptions or results. Why would we expect that it is seen as enhancement and supportive over here and a mitigation or distraction over there if it looks the same?

Other times you just can't physically get it done due to site constraints, expense, or something else. This is very common with garages because you need paved access and they are so often out in front of the house. It is often worsened when the approach to the house is directly to the garage. If you can control that prior to construction, it is a lot less to overcome.


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Front Yard

The more I look at it, the more all of the concepts make sense. It also seems like it's very important to have the fence opening and path centered on that window, rather than just "to the right." It gives the eye/brain somewhere to go. I think the small areas of grass tie the garden/fenced area to the yard, making it seem like part of the bigger whole, rather than just a separate area plopped down in front of the house. And perhaps keeps it from being too busy?

And I totally agree that we use plants to screen and plants to decorate with, and expect different results, and are often disappointed with the effect. That is always the hardest part (IMO), to know what to do where, where to do nothing. It's something I'm struggling with now as I plan my own front yard. Actually choosing plants suited to the zone, lighting, size, and color, turns out to be the easy part. Who knew?


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RE: need a critical eye...Front Yard

Yeah.....wow....that looks pretty awesome. There's clearly a reason i'm a Newb.

Would the same concepts apply if I just extended the walkway straight forward on the Centerline to the sidewalk, rather than bending it back to the driveway? Would it be useful to keep a "service walkway" that connects to the driveway?


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RE: need a critical eye...Front Yard

  • Posted by laag z6CapeCod (My Page) on
    Sun, Mar 7, 10 at 15:23

Yes, but aren't your guests going to arrive at the driveway? You can have both. I showed a very straight squared walk to the driveway.There is no reason why it can not curve and flair to be inviting to someone walking up the driveway as well as from a car in the driveway. I'd prefer it that way.

I live in an area where there are nt too many people using sidewalks to visit, so such a walk is purely aesthetic, unfortunately.

Great place to live if you have pedestrian vsitors. That is the first requirement of my next home - we have to be able to walk somewhere from the house and enjoy that walk!


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RE: need a critical eye...Front Yard

Wow a "crappy drawing" like that drawn on the cuff, must be great at getting clients, defining to them the end product, and communicating expectations.


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RE: need a critical eye...Front Yard

Well, thankfully, the drawing is much beyond what I was struggling to put in words when I was using terms like "pulling to the right".

As I see it, the evergreen hedge would be more of a low hedge to pull the walkers toward the right--not a visual-blocking hedge--?


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RE: need a critical eye...Front Yard

It's a good start, laag. And worth ten thousand words. Amazing, the responses to your sketch vs. the responses between everyone when we were using only words.

I was thinking about this thread today while I hammered in stakes to mark a future veg. fenced garden with climbing roses at tall corner posts in our seaview weekend place, re-siting and rehammering them and moving around the yard to get a feel for what the new fenced area would be like. You are right (and the others too who mentioned it): the sense of place and imagining oneself in that defined area, make a difference. In China they'd call it feng shui but here we might say it "feels right".

This has been a most interesting thread.

Carol (who can tell the difference between "wall" and "well")


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RE: need a critical eye...Front Yard

  • Posted by mjsee Zone 7b, NC (My Page) on
    Mon, Mar 8, 10 at 9:26

See what I mean landscapenewb? One quick sketch from a talented LA (or designer!) was worth a thousand words. I still think you would do well to hire someone.

I keep wishing Audric would pop in...he's always got good ideas. I've been out of the loop around here so long...is he still posting? Has he graduated yet?


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RE: need a critical eye...Front Yard

LndSCnewB, you'll have to post another computer generated house drawing of the latest suggested revisions. I can "see" the drawing in imagination, but now you have me spoiled for a high tech approach!


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RE: need a critical eye...Front Yard

Bumping this thread back to the first page for the interest of people with similar houses!

KarinL


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RE: need a critical eye...Front Yard

what program did u use to draw this?


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RE: need a critical eye...Front Yard

  • Posted by laag z6CapeCod (My Page) on
    Sun, Mar 21, 10 at 7:47

"The software is Realtime Landscaping Architect 2. Seems like one of the more pricier ones, but I borrowed a coworker's copy...so not so much."

.... from earlier in thread.


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RE: need a critical eye...Front Yard

bump--what a great thread! I put in some of the changes that laag describes in Paint.


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