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Please help! Old Victorian house

Posted by efox14 7 (My Page) on
Wed, Jul 10, 13 at 11:13

Hello, friends. Here is a photo of the front of my Victorian. As you can see, it is in need of some SERIOUS love. There were 3 rhododendrons planted right at the base of the porch, but after 1 year, they died. My mom thinks it was moles. Anyway, I'm really wanting to go for the "cottage garden" type look. I'd like to plant some things in front of the house, and also up against the fence. Preferably low-ish maintenance perennials with a decent bloom time. I was considering some type of rosebushes or maybe hydrangeas? I don't really go for the knock-out rose because in my opinion, the blooms are too small. Too much green, not enough red. I would really appreciate suggestions. Thank you!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Please help! Old Victorian house

Where do you live? Zone?


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RE: Please help! Old Victorian house

I'm sorry. This is my first post. I thought I entered it where it asked. I'm in south jersey. Zone 7


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RE: Please help! Old Victorian house

I'm sorry. This is my first post. I thought I entered it where it asked. I'm in south jersey. Zone 7


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RE: Please help! Old Victorian house

First thing, get rid of the moles.


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RE: Please help! Old Victorian house

If someone asked what on this house needs covering up so as not to be seen, my answer would be: absolutely nothing. All of the period details give it buckets of charm. When I think of the cottage garden style, while all the plants, in and of themselves, are very pretty, the overall effect is generally "busy" to the maximum. If it could correspond to a style of interior decorating, it would be clutter (and sometimes hoarding) ... with something different everywhere one looked. In addition, there is a propensity for the cottage garden to obscure much of what is behind it. Does this describe the objectives you are seeking to fulfill? I think your simple blue flowered hanging baskets and pink wreath look spectacular with the white gingerbread of the house. If you let a correlated theme spill into the yard, I think you'd really have something. For getting landscape help, you'd do better to post a wider shot of the yard. (Or from the same camera position, show left and right-ward directed shots.)

While your zone # shows in the first post, it doesn't tell where you live. As you can imagine, zone 7 plants in Jersey are different from those in New Mexico and Arizona


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RE: Please help! Old Victorian house

Thank you! I will post another few photos. I'm not completely sure if I had moles- the rhododendrons did bloom a little bit this year, but the leaves are totally brown and the plant does not look healthy. But, they did show a few blooms this year which really surprised me.
To the left of the little sidewalk is just the driveway. I don't really have much planted in the yard yet. This is my first total year in the house.


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RE: Please help! Old Victorian house

I have peonies along the other fence, but I don't like that they only bloom for a week!


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RE: Please help! Old Victorian house

The purpose of additional pictures is so that a person can get a complete, integrated view of the property. But the second picture is taken from a different position so that it cannot be conjoined with the first picture. We need to see not just the house, but what's left and right of it ... with IT still in the picture.

So far, efox14, you have not acknowledged any of the points I brought up earlier so I'm thinking maybe you don't wish to discuss them. Maybe someone else can help you move in the direction that interests you.


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RE: Please help! Old Victorian house

SORRY! I was posting from my phone and I uploaded the wrong photo. Ugh. Here's the one I meant to upload. I couldn't get exactly the same angle from far enough away without being in the neighbor's house.

I do agree with what you say about cottage gardens resembling kind of a big mess. I am totally open to all suggestions and help.


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RE: Please help! Old Victorian house

SORRY! I was posting from my phone and I uploaded the wrong photo. Ugh. Here's the one I meant to upload. I couldn't get exactly the same angle from far enough away without being in the neighbor's house.

I do agree with what you say about cottage gardens resembling kind of a big mess. I am totally open to all suggestions and help.


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RE: Please help! Old Victorian house

The new photo helps to understand the property much better. And the farther back distance helps, too. We still need to see the right side. (This house looks great. Love the upstairs windows at the front gable.)

To explain what I meant about where to take the pictures from, it was to take them all from the exact same central position. One picture pivots the camera slightly left, one is straight-on (that you have already provided) and a third pivots the camera slightly to the right). Then, essentially, we have a panorama (but without the profound distortion that computer generated panoramas create.)

Also, it would be useful to see a picture taken from the left side yard that shows the ground floor portion of the left side of the house, including the lawn portion to the driveway. Guessing ahead, I'd probably want to see the right side taken from the right side yard, too.

Rhododendrons can become quite large. It's hard to imagine that you would wish to cover that much of the front of your house with them.


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RE: Please help! Old Victorian house

What a charming house.

I find the cottage garden look quite appealing. I believe one can have a beautiful and varied garden withou it being a mess. Inside my house I really do not like clutter and I find it distracting. I find most gardens quite interesting though.

I think the main challenge is a big house but not much space in that corner if the yard.

I can't help but think of the big white snowball type hydrangeas (Annabelle or invincibelle) when I see houses like this. I think they look incredible charming out front, but I might be a hopeless romantic. I'd put in a row if the hydrsnges in front if the house but I'd try to get ones that would not get too tall and over power the porch. Then a bed along the front fence of colorful low growers with a few seasonally tall plants like large alliums, etc so you get some height variation but you do not have tall plants year round. If put in taller plants along the driveway side. I think a planting like the one in the garden web link below would be stunning.

Here is a link that might be useful: Fence with roses


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