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Need Landscaping Ideas with Pictures

August 29, 2011

We're planning to replace shrubs in our front yard with some nice landscaping choices. I'd appreacite any ideas or images. I don't know how to load a picture of the front of our house.


Comments (31)

  • isabella__MA

    Well, what are you replacing and why didn't it work for you?

  • rufinorox

    There are 4 large 5 foot bushes without any appeal at all. How can I attached a picture so everyone can see.

  • missingtheobvious

    How to upload photos from Photobucket:

    GW's how-to on images:
    Note that the Landscape Design forum does not allow direct uploading of images from your computer: you must upload them from somewhere on the web (Photobucket or wherever).

    Whatever you see in Preview Message is what will be in the actual post. So if you want to post a photo, it needs to appear in Preview Message as an actual photo. If you're posting a link, the link must work in Preview Message (try it).

  • rufinorox

    here is the image of the front of our home.

    Here is a link that might be useful: {{gwi:46408}}

  • missingtheobvious

    rufinorox, I give you MTO's Official Permission to remove those shrubs.

    Now, can you tell us how deep the bed on the right is? It looks like there's a walkway between it and the lawn.

    Also, if those shrubs are your idea of ugly, what is your idea of attractive? How do you feel about flowers (flowering shrubs, perennials, whatever)? How do you feel about pruning? [We tend not to be overly fond of "meatballs" on this forum, but I grew up with a father who feels every shrub needs to be pruned into submission, and thinks meatballs are the only kind of shrub to have. I think it's because he's an engineer.]

    You have an almost-symmetrical house with trying-hard-to-be-symmetrical shrubs. Are you looking for symmetricality with the new landscaping?

    Do you know your USDA hardiness zone? If not, you can enter your zipcode here and find out your zone. Or tell us where you live. [Otherwise we might recommend plants that wouldn't survive in your climate.]

    And what direction does the house face?

  • rufinorox

    Thank you for your feedback! MTO ... Thank you! I finally convinced my husband after 3 years they need to go. Not only are they ugly, but the last few snow storms have changed their shapes. Now that we have pruned them back they look dried out (brown) in some areas.

    The bed on the right is 5 foot long by 2 feet wide. It stops there and you cross over to driveway. I'm hoping to replace with a blue star juniper, gold mop and other hearty perennials. Not sure what can withstand our weather. We face North live in NJ 07012.

  • Yardviser

    I did this before seeing last comment so I see it's not in concert with stated goals. Regardless, posting anyway. . . . a little old fashioned. (The arbor would be a surround, not attached to structure.)

  • rufinorox

    thank you! that's great the way you can do that. My husband is against having any trees near the home. We are looking for smaller plants and maybe a 3-4 foot tree on either side.

    I would love to know what program you use to fill in images on plants.

  • inkognito

    Here's that curmudgeon again. Why must we always view OUR garden as if we were the mailman instead?

  • Yardviser

    Rox, just open a picture in any paint program...(MSPaint works.) Above, I used MyPaint.

  • adriennemb2

    Someone needs to feed Ink some chocolate..

  • rufinorox

    Could you send me the link for MyPaint? I was hoping to try different types of images as you did above. Is there an app for that??


  • Yardviser

    Here's a link for MyPaint. Be forewarned, there's a bug in the program that can result in loss of work. When rapidly tapping on a touchscreen with a stylus, sometimes, in a billionth of a second, the work will disappear and not be retrievable. This seems to happen when working on an image that is blown up a lot. I have not noticed during normal views. After you install the program, to use it, just open any picture in it. Pick a tool and pick a color. To use the eyedropper, click on it, then click in the picture on the color that you want to "pick up."

    Here is a link that might be useful: MyPaint download

  • missingtheobvious

    rufinorox, your USDA zone is 6a.

    Both the Blue Star and the Golden Mop want full sun, so place them wherever they'll get the maximum that's available on that side of the house. ("Full sun" means six or more hours of direct sun.)

    maybe a 3-4 foot tree on either side

    Although plant information and tags give figures for height and width, the plant doesn't stop growing when it reaches that size. Some woody plants can be shaped and pruned to keep them small. Others, like your evergreens that showed brown spots, are less forgiving of heavy pruning. Whatever you buy, learn how best to prune it, as well as when to prune it (lots of info on the web -- or go to GW's Shrubs or Trees or Conifers forums and search the name of the plant and the word "prune").

    The height and width cited for trees and shrubs is the average ten-year size. That's not ten years after you plant what you buy from the nursery, but ten years after the seed is sown or the plant is started by a twig being rooted or grafted to rootstock.

    So to find out how much the plant will grow each year, divide the height and width figures by ten. If you want something that will stay small, obviously you want a small figure. But the slower something grows, the longer a nursery has to take care of it before it's large enough to sell -- so the slower-growing trees and shrubs tend to be more expensive.

  • karinl

    I agree with Ink. It is as important to talk about what it is like to BE in the space as it is how it looks.

    From inside the space, the foundation plantings will be little enjoyed, especially looking out windows. What do you want to see FROM the door, or from the windows?


  • drtygrl


    really? I am sorry if this is offensive - but MyPAINT? Landscapes are not designed from a 2d front on photo of a house. Without a scaled overhead drawing it really doesnt mean anything, Does anyone think an arbor of umm maybe ever bloom roses is a good or realistic idea over the front door? And that those trees will fit in that bed? Oh, and a hedge, surely a hedge that never needs to be maintained, under the windows?

    I have really had a very long hard day - and i know I am not being considerate and you all are being very nice...

    My favorite is : "rufinorox, I give you MTO's Official Permission to remove those shrubs." THAT is good advice.

  • rufinorox

    I came to this website to get everyone's opinion. Honestly , I wanted others ideas in the form of pictures, which I was hoping would help me be more selective with what choice of plants, bushes or trees would work in front of our home. I know that I would like to look out from the 2 right windows to a pretty Japanese maple and work from there.

    I plan to get a professional to help me with the layout, but thought I'd start here. My paint ? Don't know anything about it, but looks like fun to play around with ideas. I'm not a landscaper or a gardener, that's why I'm here for you opinions.

    Thanks !

  • adriennemb2

    Okay kids, let's play nicely together. The sandbox really is big enough for all of us...

  • rufinorox

    Yes thank you ... now back to my post. I'm looking for pictures of your landscaping for some ideas.

  • adriennemb2

    Sorry, no pictures of the actual landscaping but I have seen a garden which mixed gold mop false cypress (which you already said that you liked) with little lime hydrangea and sem false spirea. Of course it wasn't confined to such small beds as yours, but the combination was informal, exuberant but not gaudy and visually stunning with year-round interest. Yup, can you tell I was really, really impressed?
    I think that a japanese maple or even a trained amur maple would also be a good companion to these plantings. Now that you have convinced your husband to remove the formal bushes, do you think you could also get him to expand the beds beyond the walkways?


  • Yardviser

    Drtygrl, I will chalk you up to NOT liking the arbor over the door and mark your opinion in that column. Btw, 2-d drawing is a tool used to illustrate 3-dimensional ideas. But it doesn't think of ideas any more than Word writes books.

    The sketch I offer is an idea...a scheme. Not a plan. It's not meant to be a photograph. It's purpose is to get someone to be thinking about a "look" while any and all details are subject to change. Neither is is meant to be a photograph and show everything literally. If the "look" I offer is not the look the homeowner wants, then I have have to give them their money back. What?...oh, they didn't pay me anything! Then I guess all is well.

  • drtygrl

    I actually dont really care either way about the mock ups if they are based in REALITY. But when proportion, plant size, practicality are thrown out the window there is no landscape design going on - just magical fantasies.

    It is actually why so many people fail at DIY landscaping - there is no realism in their so called plan.

    Can we put our feet back on the ground? Or maybe they were never there in the first place on this forum.

  • rufinorox

    Adriennemb, thanks for the pictures. I love the hyndrangea's as well. Unfortunatley, we cannot expand on the right of the house, but could definitely wrap around on the left.

  • dalmadarling

    @rufinorox, have you looked here yet? inspiration galore!

    Here is a link that might be useful: landscape ideas on houzz

  • marquest

    dalmadarling, That is a awesome link. Loads of ideas for everywhere.

  • Matthew_1980

    Well, I've found this website:
    I think it's full of nice ideas for you landscape design

    Here is a link that might be useful: landscape design ideas

  • rufinorox

    Dalmadarling - thank you! This gives me lots of ideas. Actually I think I've found some great ideas for my bathroom renovations here as well. In regards to the landscaping we are planning to replace the concrete path with pavers or stamped concrete.

    Has anyone done the stamped concrete?

  • Yardviser

    Did you notice that I widened your sidewalk in my harshly criticized picture? It needed it.

    Stamped concrete is nice solution for dolling up concrete without huge extra expense. I would go to where there are samples that you can actually walk on. For my taste, I find the ones that mimic cobblestone & the like are too annoying to walk on. I prefer simulated brick, tiles, etc.....more flat...not rounded. Also, I usually find browns/tans less attractive....reds/greys more attractive. And darker better than light (it's in the blazing sun so will show up lighter.)

  • mad_nil

    If you have a library nearby, you can also look up books on "garden design" and you'll find lots of pictures to provide inspiration. There are even some that focus on front yards (a couple by Gordon Hayward, and I can't think of others off the top of my head). You might want to look at having a mix of perennials and shrubs in those beds right in front of your house. That's called a "mixed bed", and you can find lots of photos and drawings in the books. Just remember to consider the amount of sun you get and your hardiness zone when you think about applying ideas from the pictures to your own yard.

  • missingtheobvious

    Yardviser, I agree that the existing front walkway needs to be widened.

    It's the same width as the front door, whatever that is. If the front door -- like most front doors -- is 36" wide, your walkway is 7' across, maybe a few inches more. But judging by what I can see of the bricks holding up the front step (and assuming they're regular size bricks), that area is likely 72" wide,so perhaps the front door is unusually narrow.

    While I agree that the original 3' (or less) walkway is too narrow -- and that it wouldn't hurt to deepen the existing wider area below the step -- I don't see the point of a 6' (or wider) walkway. It's much wider than is needed for the proverbial helping-unsteady-Grandma-to-the-Christmas-party situation.

    And it really makes the house look tinier than it already is.

  • rufinorox

    I just started researching so I haven't had a chance to look at any magazines or books, but thanks madnil I will take a look at some books available at my library.

    The walkway is probably the size of the door, not the A-frame. I agree widening the path would look so much nicer. I was leaning towards the pavers for the front entrance. I've seen stamped concrete on a recent trip to Disney at the Harry Potter castle. It's very cool, but the texture does vary. I prefer a much smoother look than the cobblestone look.

    Madnil - I'm in zone 6. I'm learning which shrubs work and don't for my space. We don't get sunlight until the afternoon. So I'm hoping the mixed bushes will withhold even in colder temperatures.

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