Need Landscaping Ideas
Sara
March 6, 2013 in Design Dilemma
We bought a 1950's home about 7 months ago. Most of the inside we have finished. Now we are left with the outside to deal with. So far, we have removed 3 giant rhodadendron bushes, a huge holly tree and tons of that black weed-preventing ground cover. What are your suggestions for new plants and new lines? Fyi: there are two oak trees that provide some shade on the right and left side of the house. Packasandra lines the right side of the house. Please help! As I don't have a knack for this!
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A Crew of Two
Where is your new home? Climate is important
March 6, 2013 at 4:11am   
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Laara Copley-Smith Garden & Landscape Design
Other consideration s are you sunlight, soil conditions, location ( what immediately surrounds your property, what grows well in your location / soil & how you want to dress the house. I would get clear on this as a starting point. And as kklinton says climate.
March 6, 2013 at 4:18am   
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Sara
Lancaster Pennsylvania. Facing southeast
March 6, 2013 at 5:05am     
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Dytecture
A landscape architect / designer will be able to help you come up with an overall plan that could be broken up into different phases when required.


March 6, 2013 at 5:28am   
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Sara
We have cleaned up the remains of the trees and raked up the leaves. It may not look nice now. The picture is a few months old.
The trees that were there were beyond their years and not well maintained. We were advised by a local landscaper to remove them because of their irreparable distortions.
March 6, 2013 at 6:30am     
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apple_pie_order
I was indeed ignorant of the reasons for cutting down the trees and shrubs, which were not given in your original post with the photo that was taken months ago. Best wishes for your new landscape.

I've deleted my original post.
March 6, 2013 at 6:38am     
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Laara Copley-Smith Garden & Landscape Design
I would also collate images of planting styles you like which may work in your soil type. This `finding your style/ vision` is really useful before you start to plot or decide what you will plant.
March 6, 2013 at 6:40am     
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handymam
Congratulations on your adorable house! I would love a house like that! If you like a cottage look, you must have some hydrangeas! I favor the forever summer (?) pink or blue type myself, as they are repeat blooming and bloom all summer. (Unless a deer comes and eats them! )

Take out the last bush in front of the window and start with a clean slate. I love the pachysandra, a lot of people would love to have the amount of it that you have! Is that a sidewalk there? Does it lead to the driveway? You may want to swing a bed out on the left side, wider and with curving lines. Take your garden hose out (when the snow is gone!) and lay out a large pleasing bed.

You may want to incororate a smaller growing flowering tree on the left side of your yard, but not right up near the house. A pink or white dogwood would be lovely.

When planning your plant choices, you might want to plant some evergreen type shrubs as a backdrop for any annuals, it will give a nice look for year round views, especially in those cold and snowy PA winters. Whatever you put in though, use dwarf varieties. They won't grow huge and need constant trimming.

I believe I may have saved a cottage look garden in my ideabook (yes, look at the one that says Gorgeous, lush...) if you would like to look, but I am sure if you look through the ideabooks on houzz, you will get lots of ideas you can save to your own book.

Just out of curiosity, will you be keeping the house and shutter colors or changing them? That might come into play with your choice of plant colors.

I hope you have fun with this and that you will post after pics!
March 6, 2013 at 6:48am     
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fuzinav
How about a deep curved bed under the windows to the left of the door. It should come out pretty far from the house. Then, the foundation plantings will be farther from the house and not look too crowded. Anchor the left corner with a taller plant or small tree to distract from the downspout. Then look at local gardening centers and nearby yards for inspiration. Ideally, you want some evergreen bushes ( holly, camellia, acuba, arborvitae etc) in scale to the wall. A taller bush could be centered. Then in front of those bushes choose something smaller, possibly with seasonal interest such as small azaleas ( gumpo) , spirea, or something else that you like. The rest of the bed should be mulched initially, a ground cover can be introduced later.
March 6, 2013 at 6:48am     
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Sara
Thank you all for your ideas. This was exactly what I was looking for beyond cleanup and lamenting the fact that we were forced to chop down trees which were neglected by the previous owners. Your comments have restored my trust in putting myself out there with pictures of our resurrecting home.
March 6, 2013 at 7:13am   
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teague1
Is there space for a long deck the length of the house? If so, it would add some dimension to the entry and be a great place for potted plants and a suite of outdoor furniture.
March 6, 2013 at 8:28am     
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Sweet Caroline Garden Design
Lovely home. I would go for a cottage look - window boxes full of blooming flowers, a pergola attached to the house ( two square posts on each side of entrance for emphasis , and going all across the left side with a patio underneath and a porch railing. A walkway that curves and goes to the destination most traveled ; cottage garden beds and maybe even a little picket fence to enhance the look .
March 6, 2013 at 3:13pm     
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Sweet Caroline Garden Design
Check Houzz for cottage gardens. Here's a lawn less garden that I like :
March 6, 2013 at 3:16pm     
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Sara
To Handyman, Thank you for your feedback. I am not sure that it is adorable right now but I do see potential for the future. I am very thankful that we have a private yard and a house with character. We actually found hydrangea bushes to the left and back of the house, the ones you recommended. They are lovely. Not sure if we could move them as they have probably been there a long time. More might be nice anyway. And funny that you mentioned it about the dogwood. There was one to the right but it was diseased and uncared for. Amazing how beautiful greens can go haywire when not pruned accurately. I liked the evergreen dwarf variety idea. The plants that were there were nice but definitely not dwarf anymore. The shutters we painted black for now. I hope to change the look of the front of the house like a picture I saw on Houzz a few months ago. Will try and post the pic. Thank you for your time. Your recommendations are helpful!
March 6, 2013 at 9:45pm     
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Sara
To Teague1: Yes, we do have a large deck in the back, but it is not the length of the home. It is set perpendicularly to the house on the back left (L shape with the house) It does add depth and dimension like you said. You made me appreciate that part more. Thanks
March 6, 2013 at 9:50pm   
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Sara
to Sweet Caroline Garden Design: Can you expand on what you meant by a patio underneath with a porch railing? I am having a hard time picturing it. Sounds lovely. We have a patio and railing to the right of the house which wraps into the covered patio in the back. Do you by any chance have a digital landscaping tool that you can show me what you were talking about? If not, do you have a recommendation for a tool that is not too expensive so I can try some of these ideas out before committing to them?
March 6, 2013 at 9:56pm     
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Sara
I hope to sometime do something like this to the front of my house...
March 6, 2013 at 10:14pm     
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Sara
The basic layout of doors and windows are the same. Does anyone think this will look right? We have aluminum siding and hope to paint it a gray color or a mid-dark tan. The only thing now, is that I have been inspired by a cottage look. But this is definitely not cottage looking.
March 6, 2013 at 10:16pm     
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handymam
Sara, I love your inspiration pic! I think that the entry overhang will be just beautiful! I like the colors too, although a creamy tan or light sage would look nice as well. I have painted alum siding that was white and it came out beautiful, no fear! I think when your plants are in, your place will look very much cottage! Have you searched cottage gardens on Houzz yet?
March 7, 2013 at 5:22am   
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Sara
No. but thats a good idea I just searched for cottage ranch. There is so much to look at! Any tip about painting alum. siding? We have been advised by one friend not to do it because of the 1950's material is hard to predict.
March 7, 2013 at 6:12am   
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Sara
Another question: Who do I go to to have a plan drawn up to envision this new front of the house and landscaping? We cannot complete it for a while due to finances (we spent most of our stash redoing the inside) but I am always interested in a final goal. That way when we do have cash here and there, we can slowly complete the picture. How much does it cost in general to have a plan drawn up?
March 7, 2013 at 6:15am   
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handymam
I did the painting after talking to someone in the paint dept at Lowes. You will need to powerwash the siding and let it dry. Then, just paint. I went and got a sample of vinyl siding and had them match the color because that way, I knew I was painting it the tan was now "in." It came out really nice, and a lot of people stopped to comment on it while I was actually painting it.

I am not sure I would spend the $ to have someone do the drawing , but other people will tell you it is worth it. I would however, save and print out pics of what you are looking for and show the contractors you might hire. Ask if he has done anything like them and ask to see things he has done. Check references etc.

Don't know about garden designers either as I usually can solve my own dilemmas as long as I have the $, lol.
March 7, 2013 at 6:23am   
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Sweet Caroline Garden Design
Hi Sara. Here's a dooble of an arbor/pergola that's attached to the house and has a porch beneath. You can plant a flowering vine like Clematis ( or other non-agressive ones ) that won't interfere with your gutters.
March 7, 2013 at 6:31am   
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Sweet Caroline Garden Design
This is a version also but without the porch railing.
March 7, 2013 at 6:34am     
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Sweet Caroline Garden Design
Yet another pergola :
March 7, 2013 at 6:36am     
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handymam
Usually, I like the pergola look caroline, but on this size house, I think it loses too much space that could be used to plant a charming cottage feeling garden. I do think a nice sized trellis between the frontwindows on the left would look nice though. Did you see the front entry that sara posted?
March 7, 2013 at 6:36am     
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handymam
Caroline, I like the one without the railing!
March 7, 2013 at 6:37am     
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Sara
Thank you for your insight! I like the doodle too. I hope to stick to my arcadia type style and add some cottage feel.
March 7, 2013 at 9:13am     
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patternsinnature
Sara, a landscape design is a good investment especially if you hope to do the work in phases, and if you aren't super knowledgable about plants. You can save money in the long run because you'll do it right the first time. If you just need help with layout and hardscape design (your entry patio and pergola, for instance) you can often commission just the schematic plan without all the plant detail.
March 10, 2013 at 9:51pm   
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Eye of the Day
For me your photo looks like your house was just dropped there I would begin by seeing your house on a stage and what that stage looks like. Then once you see it you can begin. Oh, I see a beautiful Japanese Maple stage left. Good luck!
March 16, 2013 at 6:21am   
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sacapuntaslapioz
Sara, come the next storm you will be very glad you took down those trees right in front. We have seen many tragedies here in northern westchester, NY of people dying when huge trees that gave shade and were planted a few feet from their houses fell on them. Trees are great but do not belong so near a house. You could go for a cottage look, or remove the shutters and go for a more modern look. Be aware that a cottage look, for all the "wild" actually needs a LOT of work. A more modern landscape: lots of gravel, few specimens, grasses and a few perennials is actually a lot less work. Be very wary of climbing plants in your house proper, as they do damage structures.we actually found ivy climbing inside the walls and had to change a whole side of the house, siding, inside, sheeting, etc. VERY EXPENSIVE
.[houzz=shwa][houzz=Ranch style home with short bridge over dry creek][houzz=Hornstein Residence][houzz=Blueridge residence][houzz=Modern Renovation & Addition, Hingham MA][houzz=Exterior][houzz=Northwest Contemporary Exterior]
March 20, 2013 at 3:12am   
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