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I need help with my landscaping

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May 30, 2012, 12:08 PM
I need help with my landscaping
Please take a look at the front of my house:

I need some major help. I have made several improvements since I moved in, including pressure washing, painting the top and bottom of the house, adding window boxes, painting the door and adding wreaths, however there is something missing. I also added a nice mailbox that you can't see here. This picture is dark, as there are two huge trees in the front yard (which may be a problem too) but you get the gist.

I need some visual/curb appeal badly.

The split foyer makes an awkward look for sure, and I get overwhelmed with the options of plants and trees and how they'll look in the off-seasons.

I like a modern, spunky look and would like some nice focal points. Right now, there are a few crappy plants in dirt in the garden bed between the house and the concrete walkway.

My goal: I want to do some landscaping on a budget that will make a big impact (stuff HGTV is known for.)

Can anyone help with ideas?

Structural suggestions are welcome too, but landscaping is the main thing for right now, before I go crazy thinking about it.

Thanks in advance!

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Shauhncy,
Jun 02, 2012, 10:54 PM
Look thru some books to see what you like. Then be sure to google the plants to make sure they will grow in the conditions you have and in your space. Don't forget...most plants GROW...both up AND out....leave room!

"The soil is the source of life, creativity, culture and real independence." David Ben-Gurion
Jun 04, 2012, 04:29 PM
River City Girl
Consider trimming those trees back to receive some more sun and light before planting. What planting zone are you in? How wide is the area between the walkway and the house?
Jun 04, 2012, 05:24 PM
That's a good idea. Having someone trim large trees is quite expensive though, isn't it? I do want them trimmed back but I've heard it's outrageous. I will look into it. Zone 6.

That area between the walkway and house is about 2 feet wide- not much room to do anything there, really, so I was thinking about landscaping a large spot along the other side of the walkway and maybe just putting black mulch and a row of matching small plants in that bed.
Jun 05, 2012, 09:51 AM
River City Girl
Tree trimming is expensive, so do shop around for the best price. This is probably not a good time to trim because in my area of Pennsylvania, they are very busy. When they are not so busy, in the fall, you might get a better price. You could also invest in a pole trimmer($100.00) but it will not get the top growth. It will help keep the bottom width from spreading though and you could save the tree trimmers because they will do the higher trimming. I think you would do well to lay landscaping cloth close to the house and place gravel or rock that matches the house color. I like the idea of plantings along the outside of the walkway but again you will have to trim the lower branches. Hosta might be an option since some varieties do well in shade.
Jun 10, 2012, 02:14 PM
Tree trimming can be as little as removal of one or more lower branches to let in more light.
The amount of light will be controlled by the exposure you have to the sun. Such trimming will also help the grass underneath.

The low feature of the windows at the front along the walk might be solved by placing a low growing evergreen hedge along the length of the walk. How high you let such hedge grow can depend on whether those windows are important. Would hiding them be possible---how much light do they let in and is that important to the room behind.
Low growing evergreens such as boxwood or Yew come to mind. They grow low and would fit nicely in the two-foot width. They have soft needles and need minimal trimming and what's best, they stay green all year round. Such hedging can be kept low but I suggest let them grow beyond the height of the windows--thus hiding them.

The window boxes should be removed; their size does nothing for the small windows. Plants only draw attention to their small size. Instead, attach shutters to the windows in sizes that will compliment them. The color scheme will be important. The wall and roof are beige--so the shutters can be darker to enhance their look, maybe a dark brown or green. (please--don't paint shutters blue--or red--that's too bold)
Stay with white for the overall look of the porch and windows.

That plant by the porch could be removed also and something like a flowering vine could replace it to bring out the best of the small porch.
Jun 10, 2012, 05:26 PM
if it were me, I'd put a trellis up between the 2 lower windows & put a clematis or a climbing rosebush on it. something to grow up between those windows. & I would trim up or remove that tree beside the porch. that's what I would do.

cheryl hill
Jun 10, 2012, 10:10 PM
This is just my opinion and it's not for everyone...but I would NOT use weed barrier cloth or rocks for landscaping. They are both horrible to remove! And the weed barrier will still get weeds and the whole thing will try to come up when you pull the weeds out.
Neither will do anything to help your soil while mulch will.

"The soil is the source of life, creativity, culture and real independence." David Ben-Gurion
Jun 18, 2013, 01:01 AM
I would suggest you to choose native plant because these plants are better adapted to the pests and weed specific to the area. These plants easily adapt the soil and climate conditions of the region.

Temple Landscaping
Jun 18, 2013, 07:41 PM
Chuck Steak
It might be too much of a stretch for your budget, but what I'd do is move the steps to the front of the porch and tear out the existing walkway. You could then create a new path to the front of the porch with a much deeper bed between it and the house. That path could be as simple, to start, as flagstones set in the lawn.
Jul 10, 2013, 02:05 PM
I love your home. Its has a charming appeal. I like those hanging planters. I have copper planters that are made of fiber glass. Its very sturdy. I like Chuck Steak's idea of creating a new pathway to the front porch. I would also do some trimming so it doesn't cover the view of the house but still provide enough shade and privacy.You can probably add some garden decor once you have the main landscaping done to give more definition. You can have rain chains, cupolas. I would suggest some good post or hanging lantern to lit the area in the front porch area.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: weathervanes,