SHOP PRODUCTS
Houzz Logo Print
seventowers_gw

Help Need Advice Ideas Landscape Front House

seventowers
17 years ago

Hi , Can anyone please help me reguarding the design for the front yard of my house? Currently there isn't a walkway to the front door . The patio outside the front door is flagstone and due to lack of funds the best I can do for a walkway at this time is create a very casual curved flagstone path. I figured this will also be easy to remove when funds are better and we could upgrade.

Anyway here are the photo's and the only shrub there now is a lone hydrangea Big smile to the right of the screen.

Any Advice input would be great. It's really neat what some of you have been able to do with pictures submitted by adding shrubs ect to show design.

Let me know if you need anymore info or better photos ect..

Thanks

{{gwi:28864}}

{{gwi:28865}}

Comments (25)

  • Saypoint zone 6 CT
    17 years ago

    What are you trying to accomplish, plantwise? For the walk, I would remove the sod from the intended pathway and set the stones on a bed of sand or you'll have a heck of a time trying to get them level and even. Ideally this would be over a crushed stone base, but if it's temporary, you could get away with the sand, I think.

    Are you planning to do some gardening out there, or do you have space in the backyard for flowers? Keep the path and driveway edges clear for snow removal unless you want to have to throw it over shrubs when you shovel. :o)

  • accordian
    17 years ago

    Can I just say - awww! What a charming place. I'm assuming you are meaning on making a walkway from the door to the sidewalk, not back to the driveway as it looks like your patio has a step down directly to the driveway already. Do you really need a front path? And my 2 cents - I think you should not do foundation plantings. The house doesn't need them. Maybe some spring bulbs scattered through the front lawn to come up in the spring. And you could do the low white picket fence thing when funds allow if you like that look. But this place is one where less might really be more - it has a natural innocence and beauty - you don't need to tart it up with all kinds of excess plantings and whatnot (not that I'm saying you would!)

  • Related Discussions

    Need ideas for landscape improvments for front of house

    Q

    Comments (12)
    I too would think rejuvenation rather than clean slate unless you are working with an expert and have budget for mature specimens. Start by identifying each of your shrubs and groundcovers. That helps you see what takes what kind of pruning and also what it would "cost" to replace mature shrubs. So you can get an idea of what would work well as backbones and where to integrate new shrubs--it's not that you can't rip some out, but need to be more knowledgable, if you can, on which give best bang as-is vs. what and where to replace or to build outward with another layer. For example, red or purple shrubs would fade away if just in front of the red brick, so if you rip all out, you still have to think what goes where; if you like gray or lime foliage, it stands out against dark green and can then mix other colors in front. some shrubs would fasat-growing and need to be pruned back each year and is a pain (for me) whereas others can be shaped and reduced and need less maintenance. Also, all "greens" are not equal--so look up close and see, do you LIKE the foliage on one type more than others--then don't rip that out only to replace with the same later. I'm assuming from what you said that these don't bloom, but again, I can't tell from photo whether there're any bonus features like blooms or berries. It would also be helpful for you to be informed about what types of "colorful" things do well in your zone--particularly hardy shrubs --because again, you'll want to do a little window shopping--other neighborhoods, nurseries-- and see what appeals to you & read about the growth and requirements..
    ...See More

    I need ideas for landscaping the front of my small ranch home!!

    Q

    Comments (3)
    Here are suggestions for a simple scheme that keeps some lawn. The first thing I would do, though, is bust out the end of the walk (where it meets porch) or maybe the whole walk, and redo it, adding space and width. A skinny walk with little space at the porch makes the whole house look cheaper. If breaking out and redoing is not possible, then find a way to patch on some extra space.
    ...See More

    Need Advice - Landscape Design - Front of House

    Q

    Comments (18)
    I don't want to take all the fun of selecting shrubs away from you! Check locally and see what plants are easy to maintain at the sizes shown and have the personalities (leaf size/color/flowers/evergreen, etc.) that appeal to you. There would be a few options. The flanking space is that to each side of house front. We can't see how the house fits into its surrounding.
    ...See More

    HELP! Need front of house landscaping ideas!

    Q

    Comments (1)
    So just some thoughts... I would ditch the clematis for some sort of topiary bush. It would become a statement plant. Look at low bushes that are purple, red, yellow that are slow growing and don’t require a lot of trimming. I wouldn’t really add anymore green. Between the lawn and the house color, you need other colors. Also consider something spiked to add interest. Along the rail, just do a low border plant like liriope. It has white and green leaves and gets a purple bloom in summer. A local nursery can really help. They can even create a plan for you.
    ...See More
  • zarine
    17 years ago

    Your house screams flower boxes to me. Maybe some daylilies/climbers on a trellis, too. Cute house!

  • seventowers
    Original Author
    17 years ago

    Hey Say, Yes I plan to garden in front. I have many perennials in the back yard in gardens beds to choose from to place out front . I'm just not sure how to go about the design.
    The Flagstones were only placed to judge how they would look .. I am most definitely going to use stone dust after the grass and some soil is removed.
    Accordian ,
    The path is being made so it meets the sidewalk .
    You think just bulbs ? I don't want to load the front but I would like some texture dimension out there .
    Those Green shutters are going to be replaced as well . They have gotten really old and are falling apart.
    So should I just stick with annual perennial types ? repeat pattern of a few plants ?
    I would like to pull the beds out some but am not sure how far .
    Let me know your thoughts everyone.
    Laura

  • Lemon_Poppy
    17 years ago

    Whee! I've never offered advice here before! I'm all a twitter!

    Let's see...I agree with those who say your house is cute as a button. I just love it. I also agree that it is calling out for window box planters. I do think if you remove these shutters you should strongly consider replacing them. They add that little something and I think the house would be sorely lacking without them. I would even consider painting the front door to match the shutter color to make it pop a little.

    I also think as far as gardening in the front, less is better. Some window box planters and maybe a bit of ground cover to surround that little bush you have there on the right (my right)and fill in that little area under the window. Maybe some catmint, periwinkle or vinca?

    Another small shrub idea for that area is Weigela Minuet. It's a dwarf variety (height 2-2 and a half ft.) and it has really lovely foliage and cute little flowers. Butterflies are attracted to it.

    Is there planting area available on the left side (my left) of the house? It's hard to tell by the photo.

    What are your plans for the concrete slab/porch area in front of the door? How about some paint? Paint it or stain it to give it some life?

    In my minds eye I can see a very short white picket fence edging the concrete area on the right end and across the front leaving an opening to approach the front door. I can also see some medium sized bright colored containers with flowers in them, possibly sitting on a plant stand in the one corner near the house to give them variation in height. You can't put too much on that porch area but the containers would give it a welcoming feel.

    I can also see a Shepherds hook there on the right at the corner of the porch with a hanging basket of wave petunias or brightly colored million bells.

    Just a few ideas to kick around.

    Can't wait to see what you ultimately decide to do. Sure is a sweet little place :)

    Here is a link that might be useful: Weigela Minuet

  • Saypoint zone 6 CT
    17 years ago

    I'd keep the plantings low to be in scale with the house. Maybe a small curving bed that starts near the driveway and crosses the new walk, and curves back to the corner of the house or to meet the side bed. A couple of strategically placed very short evergreens so the area is not completely nekkid in winter, maybe one or two small flowering shrubs with good fall color (Fothergilla? Itea?), and a few perennials in masses. Choose some for each season, and underplant with spring bulbs. Because it's the front yard, I'd try to choose perennials that have attractive foliage all season, like daylilies, montauk daisies, sedum, lavender, hypericum, depends on the sun and soil conditions, as you haven't provided that info.

  • seventowers
    Original Author
    17 years ago

    Hi All, Thanks for the responses, I should have been clearer about the shutters , I am going to replace them with new ones most definitely and it's funny you should mention painting the frame around the door because we are doing that as well. The neighbors who have a similar house did this and it looks stunning.
    I have a shepards hook and it was up in the front last year with a hanging fucshia but I placed it on the left side corner.
    I bought a torienia ? sp ?? and was going to hang that from the hook . Funny you should mention petunia as well because that was my first choice but they had no wave , nor did they have milllion bells just the old style petunia and they get ratty mid season.
    I have a clematis in a container , verbena , tropical hibiscus 2 of them and a few other container plants.
    This was what I set up last year.
    Thanks again for your help and I will post pictures when complete.
    Laura

  • Brent_In_NoVA
    17 years ago

    Sorry...I don't have any great suggestions. I just thought that it was odd to get this far along without one mention of the tree in your front yard. It is the first thing that I notice and it seems hard to design your front landscape without taking into account the tree. What kind of tree is it? Are you planning on running the walk straight out to the sidewalk?

    - Brent

  • seventowers
    Original Author
    17 years ago

    Brent , The path will run to the sidewalk , it is going to curve in a S shape . This shape will allow me to by-pass a large surface root coming from the Tree.
    The tree is a Green Ash. It has suffered from Anthracnose every year since I moved in. It has been about 8 years. Last year was the worst due to the wet prolonged cold weather. The photo seems to exagerate the trees presence , In reality it is not that intrusive. Perhaps it's the 2 dimentional quality of photos. ?
    Saypoint , The light this area receives has changed this year due to my neighbor pruned drastically his 2 very large London Plane Trees (at least thats what I think they are) and as a result the east southern sun was dappled for the duration . Now I get direct sun first thing in the morning on through till 1:00 pm and then it is dappled by my Ash tree as well as the large London Plane on my neighbor's lawn to the left of me. At 4:00 or 5:00 pm the sun gets lower and hits the area with direct sun once again.
    I never knew you could prune a large tree to such a drastic extent. How long does it take for these trees to fill out again ? Because once they do the light will change once again . Does anyone know ?
    As for the soil , I have a decent mix and it all drains very well . I think the Ash tree's root system plays a part keeping soil Aerated . Ph runs 6.0 or so.
    Thanks
    Laura

  • Saypoint zone 6 CT
    17 years ago

    I don't know what "drastic pruning" means, if it wasn't done properly, you may find you have full sun there in a few years.

    I notice the tree in front, really too bad that such a large species was planted in front of a small house, but I assumed you'd want to keep it. I have a series of very large maples in my front yard that I never would have planted there, but they're so old and large that I hate to cut them down.

    So you can grow quite a range of plants there with the light you have.

  • seventowers
    Original Author
    17 years ago

    Saypoint they planted this tree way back for the Street Tree effect. This is not a sterile Ash either and most years the fruit drop is abundant. (But the fruit is food for some birds and I like haveing them around as well) Also I love trees and this one is old as well, I think trees are majestic. wouldn't feel right cutting it down with the exception of it becoming a hazzard to the house and or people.
    Most people don't view my house head on like in the photo, so the tree's impact in that photo is exagerated a great deal.
    Anyway here's a picture of the trees next door that were pruned . There is very little foliage left and I thought this was not a good thing , but then again I know very little about trees.

    Here is a link that might be useful: {{gwi:28863}}

  • Brent_In_NoVA
    17 years ago

    I winced when I saw your neighbor's trees, but it looks like the arborist did a much better job than some of the ones on my street. Mature large trees on a small lot are not an easy problem to deal with. I also had to laugh at the ivy "leg warmers" that your neighbor's trees sport.

    - Brent

  • Saypoint zone 6 CT
    17 years ago

    Yeah, looks like they're topped but not as bad as some I've seen, more like "sheared". That Ivy should be removed, they probably don't realize it.

  • lynne_melb
    17 years ago

    Seventowers, I love the look of your house. So warm and homey.

    As some of the others have suggested, some smaller evergreens would look good to provide some winter interest, and then flowers during the warmer months.

    One question I have, is who will be using the front walkway? If it's curvy, I bet that the mailman will use the driveway. If it's not going to be used a lot, have you considered not putting in a front walkway? I like the look of the house and the yard without one. Good Luck,
    Lynne

  • seventowers
    Original Author
    17 years ago

    Hey Lynne ,
    I wanted to place a walkway because people stomped on my beds that I had planted directly in front of the cement patio. also where the lawn that meets the driveway develops bald spots that look nasty and that area has also become compacted so only moss will go there now .
    I may decide not to place the walk because after laying a portion of it out and eyeing it I think it will use up too much space and I think the grass looks more attractive than the flagstone would .
    A big thanks to everyone who helped with the input, and also thanks for the compliments on the house.
    When I put the new shutters on and paint the trim on the outer door frame I Take a photo and post it .

    LAURA

  • moon_child
    17 years ago

    Let me begin with a disclaimer: I am NOT a landscape designer or any type of professional. Heck, I'm barely a novice gardener. However, I just LOVE your little house. It's adorable. And, since I'm trying my hand at some garden design software, I thought I'd capture your image and play with it a bit.

    I decided to post the image so that you could see what the house would look like with a stone walk meandering around the tree, some evergreens for structure and window-boxes to add to the cottage-style of your home. Everything is just me playing with the software and in NO MEANS is it a recommendation for particular plants or shapes or even the little hedge around the front! I don't even recognize some of the plants in the database, so don't take anything here very seriously. I was simply playing with form and color and textures. So no flaming allowed!

    With all that said, here's your house:

    {{gwi:28866}}

    I hope this helps you imagine whether those elements mentioned above would add or detract from your home. Good luck and thanks for the picture. It was a lot of fun.

    Moon

  • kimberlyrkb
    17 years ago

    Moon -

    Love your design. Pefect for this house, I think! Nice job!!

    Kimberly

  • karinl
    17 years ago

    Not flaming, just discussing. Choosing a look that involves a profusion of flowers is always risky, as that view is there less than half the year (probably only a quarter between plants emerging and dying) and is a lot of work to co-ordinate and maintain.

    I think a design should be conceived based on only its bones (hardscape plus evergreen) and then jazzed up with colour for summer.

    Having said that, I think the hedge and walkway are great bones, and it's a nicely done mock-up.

  • moon_child
    17 years ago

    karinl,
    I couldn't agree with you more. I've gone through and redone the mock-up showing just the walkway and a plethora of evergreens. If I have time, I'll go back in a add some flowering shrubs and perennials to enhance this evergreen and hardscape backbone.

    {{gwi:28867}}

    Do you think this provides a better beginning? As I said, I'm only a novice gardener, but it's interesting how much I'm learning just by designing on the computer...

    Moon

  • moon_child
    17 years ago

    Here it is with some perennials added:

    {{gwi:28868}}

    Moon

  • Saypoint zone 6 CT
    17 years ago

    A constructive comment: if you look at the left and right halves of the design, the right looks "heavier". There is a large pyramidal evergreen on the right and three roughly equal sized shrubs under the window. I'd vary the height and shape of those shrubs, and either decrease the number/size on the right or increase the number/size on the left for better balance.
    I also find the pointy shrubs in the front hedge distracting. Hope you don't mind my commenting.

  • moon_child
    17 years ago

    yes, it is heavier. This house is similar to the house the DH and I just sold. It had a raised concrete patio in front of the house. I didn't know how to landscape in front of that PIA :o) and I don't know how to landscape in front of this one either. I don't know how this owner feels about their patio, but I didn't want plants large enough that they would obscure the view. Also didn't want the predictable symmetry of two same-size pyramidal evergreens on each side of the house.

    As I said above, I'm no designer. I'm just playing around with pictures, trying to keep reality in mind. To be real honest, if it were me, I'd never plant the large shrub by the corner of the house, just because I'm onery and it's one of those things that "everybody" does, so I wouldn't! That, and we had to cut down two at our previous home 'cuz they had grown to well over 30 feet high. Needless to say that they dwarfed our little ranch/tract home, a house that already sat on a hill. It was atrocious.

    Anyhow, thanks for the notice re: balance or lack thereof. I'll leave that to the homeowner, but I would love a suggested solution to landscaping around those darned patios. I don't have one anymore, but I'd still like to know.

    Moon

  • moon_child
    17 years ago

    Finally figured out how to add a fence, although it doesn't look THAT great. However, I think it adds to the cottage character of the house.

    {{gwi:28869}}

    I've got to stop playing with this now and do something in real life. Maybe I'll go outside with real sunlight and real plants and plan my own, real yard....

    Moon

  • seventowers
    Original Author
    17 years ago

    Hey Moon child nice job , looks good on pc screen , but I wouldn't add the big evergreen shrub either. I am not going to put the walkway in this year I'm going to think on it some more . I like the idea of the window boxes and will see if I can put some in this year or maybe next ..
    Great job though , wish I had this software ,
    Laura

  • kozmosgarden
    17 years ago

    Yeah! What software are you using?