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Blank front yard

Posted by HoundsBreath 9b / 10 (My Page) on
Wed, Dec 18, 13 at 17:53

I'm in over my head here and stuck on a good design to brighten up our house. We cut down a Bradford pear (logs visible in photo) after it started dropping limbs, cracked, and was obviously rotting from the inside out.
I'd like to plant at least two trees: one would be a large shade tree (i.e. oak, eventually growing 50+ ft tall and ~40 wide) near the center of the yard to hide the peak of the house and break up the wall nearest the street. The second would be a specimen tree (Vitex, Mexican plumb, etc) growing ~20 ft wide to hopefully hide some of the roof and wall on the left. The specimen tree would be planted between the logs in the photo and the sidewalk.
This design would leave a clear view to and from the front door. A planting 4' wide bed curved along the driveway to meet the existing bed would create a more welcoming look.

Any thoughts or suggestions are appreciated.
I've also got plans to repaint the nasty green trim / door and will be cleaning the moldy brick this weekend.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Blank front yard

Some good landscaping could certainly make your home appear as welcoming as you clearly wish it to be. I'm sure you'll get lots of suggestions, and this may not be for everyone, but I see an espalier or two against the wall on the left - it could be purely ornamental or a fruit tree (in line with the growing "edible landscaping" and increased self-sufficiency trends).


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RE: Blank front yard

  • Posted by catkim San Diego 10/24 (My Page) on
    Fri, Dec 20, 13 at 0:54

You must have a great view toward the back.


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RE: Blank front yard

I was thinking espalier also. Would research a lot first. Friends had a home very similar to yours, used pyracantha. It was great until winter temps probably mixed with lots of ice, killed it - several times.

Like your idea of extending the bed, perhaps more than 4'.

Additional views via pics would be good.


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RE: Blank front yard

should soften big the blank brick wall and hard drive road line.need some privacy and appear as welcoming.


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RE: Blank front yard

How about a few windows in lieu of plants ?
I think you would get a greater return on your investment.


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RE: Blank front yard

Hi, you could save the stump of pear tree and let it come back as a bush. I think if you add a seating area in the front yard would be nice. Here is a autoCAD drawing to show what I thought.


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RE: Blank front yard

Depending on where you are located a red oak would work there. Maybe a redbud for the smaller tree.


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RE: Blank front yard

It looks as if there was a door on the solid wall on the left at one time. If so, that could be re-opened, and a window added instead.


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RE: Blank front yard

I'm glad HoundsBreath is painting the front door. Could we see a new photo, please?

Good eyes, mla2ofus, to spot the former single door! And I see signs of a small window to the left of that door, as well as a larger window to the left of the house number.

I agree that the front of the house needs windows. Zero windows facing the street is just too ... well, too far outside our expectations. HoundsBreath, if there's a reason not to have windows, how about fake windows instead? Build a wooden box, 8-12 inches deep; enclosing a window, and attach it to the house. Paint the "indoor" side of the glass to hide the bricks -- or maybe use stained glass; you can include a dim light in the box to give the illusion it's a functional window, if that seems like a good idea.

I would like to see the bed in front of the house extended across that entire side of the house. Adding some shrubs there would be a big help, and would do much more for that side of the house than a tree near the sidewalk. If you really want to break up the roof on that side, perhaps a fastigiate (very narrow) evergreen in the bend of the wall.

How deep is the bed that's currently there? Can you deepen it another foot or two without causing a problem with garage entry? Then add as much bed as you can along the left side of that wall, and link the two areas with a curve.


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RE: Blank front yard

  • Posted by hoovb z9 Southern CA (My Page) on
    Fri, Jan 3, 14 at 19:26

That is a very small space for a 50' tall tree. That is more than twice the height of the home. Eventually it will dwarf the house and be way out of proportion. Something about as tall as the home, or just slightly taller, is going to look better.

Look at what a huge tree in front of a single story home looks like. Is that the effect you are after? When it comes time to sell, potential buyers will see a big problem.


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RE: Blank front yard

  • Posted by hoovb z9 Southern CA (My Page) on
    Fri, Jan 3, 14 at 19:28

duplicate post; deleted.

This post was edited by hoovb on Fri, Jan 3, 14 at 19:29


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RE: Blank front yard

I had some comments which I was saving up, but it appears that HoundsBreath has abandoned this thread. Is that the case, HB?


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