ontariomom

Will this landscape plan repair the curb appeal after house addition?

ontariomom
June 21, 2015
last modified: June 21, 2015

Hi everyone,

This is the first time I have posted on the garden side of Houzz/GW, but have posted frequently on the home forums. We are in the process of completing a large addition on our split-foyer home. It now has a two storey on the back of the house. We are DIYing the second half of the build so progress is very slow. We are ready to make the outside of the house look as complete as possible so it ceases to look, from the outside, as a house under construction.

We live near Toronto Ontairo (not sure what zone), but the plantings have been chosen by a landscape architect in our area. We have to do a retaining wall with armour stone to accommodate the grade. The flagstone path will be the path to the backyard and the step there is also to accommodate the raise in elevation. We already have the step from our house prior to the addition and it is a lovely stone step. We also have all of our interlocking brick that we will re-use. We will re-order a small quantity of it and sub in the darker colours here and there. Below I will post a picture of the house prior to addition so you can see the interlocking brick we have and will re-use.

The only thing that I still wonder about was whether we should have done some sort of portico given the front door is lost due to the 10 foot bump out of the garage? It would have to be a very high portico as the door is an 8 foot door with transom above.

Here is the house with a bit of photo shop work to show the eventual railings around the deck over the garage. BTW, we are still debating whether to have a single colour for the garage door or the two toned look. The main colour of the garage door will be painted to match the siding. We are planning on using a grey similar to the house trim for the railings around the deck and the as handrails for the steps.

Here is the landscape plan:

Believe it or not this is the original house before we embarked on this crazy project. You can see the paving stones will have to reuse in these photos:

Here are the new stone steps we installed to the front door.

We are hoping the implementation of these plans above will make the house look decent. I am not sure it will look fantastic, but we want to do what we can to make it look the best it can given all we have put into the construction.

To sum up here is where we need input:

Should we consider a portico to bring more attention to the front door?

Should the garage be painted two colours as shown (body colour and trim colour) or just a single colour to match the body colour on the house?

Any comments on the landscape plan and hardscape plan?

Any other comments on what to do to improve the curb appeal aside from our plans above?

What colour for the exterior light fixtures?

Thank you so much for any thoughts and help.

Carol

Comments (108)

  • ontariomom

    Thanks for your help, woodyoak. We will have to see about that boulder. My friend who has worked as a landscaper has suggested we can reposition it with an appliance cart (we own one). So we will likely have the landscape contractor put it near the birch for now or beside the back steps and can move it if it is needed elsewhere.

    As per those skinny trees getting bigger than expected, are the stats posted on mature tree size generally inaccurate? I was assuming if it said the mature width is 10 feet, than that was the case and it would not grow fatter than 10 feet.

    Carol

  • PRO
    Yardvaark

    I meant enlarge circle of pavers. Instead of adding on smaller looping part circles, just make single circle larger ...?

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  • ontariomom

    Oh thanks Yardvaark. That is easy to do with the pavers we have. We will plan on a large single circle.

  • woodyoak zone 5 southern Ont., Canada

    I had a shot at 'painting the garage door to show what I meant. Ignore the rather uneven spacing of the panels in the garage door - I think you should be able to see the overall effect regardless of the artistic limitations of the rendering :-) The main point is providing the base of the house a solid/stable unified feel while allowing the upper part, with its lighter colors, to feel like it's floating/soaring above. The garage door and its trim are all one color with the darker lines representing shadows rather than different paint colors (I assume the currently darker lines on the garage door are raised sections that would be capable of casting shadows....?)

    Mature sizes for trees etc. are usually an indication of their size at about 10 years of age - they don't necessarily stop growing at that point!

    Hmmm I can't seem to add the photo to this post - I'll try posting this and putting the picture in a separate reply to see if that works....


  • woodyoak zone 5 southern Ont., Canada

    Trying again for the picture:


  • ontariomom

    Thank you very much for posting that picture, woodyoak! You did a very good job keeping the trim lines on the garage and changing the colour! I started a thread on front facing garage doors and how to accent them (since they are in your face). In that thread is many options for different garage colours for my house that people are voting on (scroll down to last 10 entries or so to see final options).

    [thread on my garage colour and forward facing garages [(https://www.houzz.com/discussions/for-those-of-us-with-front-facing-garage-doors-can-we-accent-them-dsvw-vd~3177674)

  • woodyoak zone 5 southern Ont., Canada

    I definitely don't like the options that highlight the crosspieces or ones with light colours for the garage door. They make the garage the feature and draw your eyes away from the entrance. The mock ups with the garage door the same colour as the front door are too dark though. Get a bunch of paint sample chip thingies and tape them to the garage brick. Stand back and choose the one that 'disappears' the best against the brick. Use that one to paint the garage door and all its trim. I might even get a can of masonry paint in the same colour to paint the concrete between the brick and the driveway/ground. Then finish the landscaping to open up and enhance the sight line to the front door and visual appeal of the entrance area.

    Slightly revised version with the concrete painted so the brick doesn't 'float' and the flashing (?) at the top of the garage painted to blend into the brick instead of being a light 'hat' :-) I think the front door is now standing out as more visible and the landscaping becoming a more integral part of the overall view of the house:

  • daylily

    Hi, I've followed a few of your threads garden/garage door notably because I also live in Ontario (Ottawa), and am a long time gardener with massive gardens of my own. Hope you don't mind my addition to the discussion.

    First off, I love the addition to your house - I think it looks phenominal. I absolutely love birch trees, and since the birch borer has caused so much damage, they are not as available in Ontario these days. However, it always strikes me that because your birch is so large, I end up looking at the left side of the house with the garage because the birch covers up the right side. My feeling is that this is why you are bothered so much by the garage door colour - because the right side of the house is not visible.

    Because I love birch trees, I hesitate to make this comment, but I will put this out there as just food for thought: I would think that some of your issues might be solved by removing the birch and putting in a smaller ornamental tree such as the Japanese Lilac. I completely understand if you don't like this idea, but I thought I would put it out there anyways, just as food for thought. If you did replace the tree with a Japanese Lilac, I personally would pull the lilac out and away from the house so that it wouldn't press against the house, but simply be an accent. Japanese Lilac are not like other lilacs - it can be a single stemmed tree or a multi-stemmed tree, but it doesn't sucker like the normal lilacs, and it looks very elegant as opposed to the regular lilacs which get powdery mildew, and such. And, though it is a big tree, it is not nearly so big as the birch.

    I personally would colour your garage door the same as the siding. I would just love to see the house as a whole, not obscured by the birch pressing against it. Because you've done a substantial and stunning re-design on the exterior.

    By the way, many of the landscape plantings proposed by your landscape designer are too large for the bed, or could be better. First, I'm not so sure that you can keep the mock orange small enough that it doesn't obscure the bottom window - I would probably instead think about putting yews (which can easily be kept trimmed) along the house line under that window, or perhaps boxwoods instead to line the house. Also I think you'll have trouble with the sedum "Autumn Joy" if the area is mostly shade - it will just flop over and cause you headaches. You could instead put a gorgeous hosta there, or make room for something like a very low Japanese Maple (though you'd have to allocate enough room for it to shine). Many Japanese Maples here in Ontario don't reach the heights they do in the US - I have one in my shade garden at the front of my house that is maybe 2 feet max high but grows low and wide - I think it is called "Waterfall" and it looks stunning in my front garden.

    Another suggestion - the purple heuchera do not really stand out very well if the area is quite shady - I would suggest the Japanese Forest Grass "All Gold" - if you add 7 or 8 of these - they are stunning and bright yellow - they stand out in a shade garden. I would echo another person who commented above about ferns - the Japanese Painted Ferns are also simply gorgeous in shade gardens.

    I guess that I would also be careful about the Burning Bush - the regular ones get huge, and the dwarf ones sometimes don't turn vibrant red as much in the fall if they are in a mostly shaded area. Also, make sure that you check the mature size of the rose of sharon and make sure that it doesn't obscure your front door. I personally would go for something a bit lower in stature.

    One other landscape design idea would be to have a light beside your pathway - about in the area where the burning bushes are. Many paving companies built posts that are maybe 3 feet high, and about 2 feet by 2 feet in size, with a lamp on top to light the pathway. They look elegant and add to your landscape.

    I think with a stunning landscape design, you won't be so bothered by the garage door, and the rest of your house is stunning.

  • ontariomom

    Wow daylily! That was a most helpful comment! Thank you for your kind comments on the house project as well. As per the birch, I agree it is too close to the house and quite large, and obscures the right hand side of the home. I wish we had planted it further from the home. Ironically, my father told me at the time of planting it was going in too close to the house. I brought up that concern with the LA we were working with at the time, at he disagreed with my Dad. Anyway, Dad was right. At this point, it is a lovely large tree that I could just not cut down. We do try to prune it during the safe pruning times of year. Of course, in the winter (which are long in our part of the world as you know) nothing obscures the right half of the house. The tree is around 15 years old, so it won't last forever. It has probably taken quite a beating with all this construction, so we may accidentally have shortened its lifespan. When the tree dies we will explore the option of the Japanese Lilac. I might also look at putting a new birch in further from the house (perhaps near the road on City property as the City tree died).

    Thank you very much for all your plant suggestions. The proposed rose of Sharon and burning bush are now gone from the plan. This thread has convinced me to open up that area so there is no obstructing the front door. We will start over with the rest of the planting choices. I will research all the plants you suggested for the remaining garden area. It frustrates me that our current LA has given inappropriate planting suggestions. So glad you and others on this thread have let me know before we planted. I definitely don't want that large basement window shaded by tall plant life. My favourite colours in terms of flowering shrubs, etc are pink, purple, white, wine/burgandy colour, and blue. I don't like orange, red and yellow though. I will look for a variety of folliage colours as pointed out above. For now, once the hardscape is done, we will mulch over the garden area as per the advice given.

    Thanks again for weighing in. If you happen to think of any other plant options we should research, please weigh in. We are not gardeners so need low maintenance.

    Carol

    BTW, I love your light idea too!

  • ontariomom

    Yardvaark and other who are familiar with installing/designing paver stones. DH is telling me he will find it hard to only do one large circle and to complete the rest of the area with rectangles/square pavers as discussed in this thread. He says it has quite a bit to do with the location the armour stone needed to go in. Can anyone explain how to lay the rectangles/squares around the large circle landing? So you don't have to scroll up to far, here is how the armour stone had to be installed (to provide proper grade to area infront of stone steps). The armour stone and single step leading to flagstone was installed much like DH showed in the plan below.


    Please note: the plants still remaining on this plan will be reworked so ignore that. We will mulch for now as we research the plant suggestions in this thread. Also the boulder will move to the area near the birch tree or the backyard. It will not go as shown.




  • daylily

    Hi again - yes I thought that removing the birch would be a problem, just thought I would make the suggestion. I will try to take a picture of my lamppost tomorrow if the rain stops just to give you an idea of a low lamp within a garden bed.

    I would suggest that if you are keeping the birch, that the rest of the landscape garden be relatively low plantings (2 to 3 to 4 feet) as opposed to the taller (6 to 7 feet) plantings that the landscape company suggested. As you can see from your house originally, you had the birch and some very high bushes. As a consequence, one could only see the left side of the house. and the garden looked inconsequential. Hence the garage door stood out. Not that you can't use a tall shrub in your new garden, just not so many tall shrubs.

    I would try to trim a bit of the birch to allow one to see more of the house, and then I would make the garden simple, but stunning nonetheless so that it as well is a showpiece.

    I don't personally mind the multiple circles in the pavers, but if you can simplify the number of circles, then it is probably preferable. Yes, I admit that the multitude of circles are a bit dated, and that the more modern walkways here in Ontario have things like flagstone, and tend to be a bit less busy. But having said that, once installed, all of the circles still appear as a single walkway. And since you'd like to re-use the existing pavers to help with the budget, I would go ahead that way. I would put the money into good quality soil plus decent plants, and thereafter, put the money into well watering things for the first year to ensure everything gets well established.

    By the way, you were discussing above a narrow columnar tree, the Swedish Aspen, for the other side of the house. We don't have that in Ottawa as far as I can tell, but it may be available in Toronto. I have a Columnar Siberian Crabapple that is quite narrow that seems to work in Ontario and is quite narrow. Some neighbours have a columnar Oak, but it is overall a massive tree that is still quite wide. So these are some other suggestions if you feel the need to plant a tree on the other side of the house.

  • ontariomom

    Thanks for your advice, daylily. Yes in our original house those bushes got away from us. They started off as nice sized ones for a few years though. I don't want to run into the same danger of overgrowth. We will prune the birch again in August. It is not safe we have been told to prune it at this time of year (also it is under stress due to heavy equipment over the soil nearby).

    We too were told the circle pavers were dated. Not sure that bothers us as we still like them. We will see what we can do to simplify the number of circles. DH feels we will need one large circle and a few semi-circles. He claims his work will be easier using circles/semi circles to fill up the available space to the steps. I have no clue how these shapes will go together to fill up the space logically.

    Thank you as well for the suggestions of a skinny tree. We might explore that option further. We will talk to the neighbours on that side of the house to see what they think. If we do put a tree there, I'll certainly want one that is very narrow.

    Carol

    P.S. I live in Guelph. I just said Toronto as it is well known.

  • daylily

    I know Guelph - it is a beautiful area - my son goes to school nearby so I pass through often. I didn't read the above thread in total, so I am not sure I quite understood the discussion/issue about the circle versus rectangular pavers. However, when I looked at your existing pavers, they look to me like they are meant for a circular layout. In which case, your plan for a bunch of circles makes sense to me. (I myself have similar pavers in my back yard- a bit dated but I'm not going to rip them out! And, if you saw them within the context of my whole garden, you'd never notice the circles).

    However, I will say that even though a circular pattern may be dated, I'm certain that you will probably put one or two container pots (Summer, and Christmas versions) on your front walkway filled with annuals. Put them near, or on top of, the smaller circles in your original design plan. Once your container pots are in place, I doubt that you'll notice that you have 4 - 5 circles - you'll probably just see the larger 2 circles. I think it will be lovely.


  • ontariomom

    Thanks for your kind and reassuring comments, daylily. Who knows circle pavers may come back in fashion at some point -- you know how trends go.

    Carol

  • daylily

    Just some more food for thought - there are many different possibilities for a landscape plan for your place. Here is another landscape plan that might give you some ideas. I'm assuming that your front garden is mainly shady. If so, you can use annuals for most of the colour, but try to vary the foliage of the plants to use white/green leaves, and lime/yellow leaves as these will stand out in the darker shade.

    In this layout, you could put piping underneath your front walkway when you build it now, so that in the future, you could potentially build a lamppost like I've shown below. If you were to build a lamppost in the future, it would be built out of pavers (or stone), and it would be fairly low so as not to detract from your front door - somewhere between 2 and 2.5 feet. The plantings around it would also be low, maybe 2 feet high max.

    I put pots with annuals along the pathway to reduce the busy-ness of the circles.

    Here are some planting ideas:

    1 - Weigela "My Monet" if you have enough sun in this spot - it has white/green leaves and pink flowers. Otherwise, if too shady, you could look for a dwarf Rhododendron, or you could do a Euonymus with either the white/green leaves, or the yellowish/green leaves.
    2 - Japanese Maple "Waterfall" - but get one that is no more than 2 feet high and then goes out horizontally. Or if you want flowers, try a Hydrangea "Endless Summer" for pink/blue flowers.
    3 - Lots of Japanese Forest Grass "All Gold" really stand out in shady areas.
    4 - Birch
    5 - A group of 3 Hostas with interesting foliage - perhaps Green/White such as the "MinuteMan" or "Patriot" because the white will show up in the shade. Or hosta "June" is a really nice one.
    6 - You could do a larger hosta here depending on the room, such as "Paradigm". Or you could put a bunch of Japanese Painted Ferns.
    7 - You could do a few Yews - they are easy to keep clipped. Or you could put 2 or 3 Euonymus that will climb a bit up the wall of the house, but are easy to hack off to suit your preferences.
    8 - You could put 3 "Jack Frost" Brunnera to get the white/green leaves and the blue flowers in spring. They do well in the shade. Or you could do some ferns, or you could put some Ligularia along here. Alternatively, use annuals if you want.
    9 - Put a bunch of annuals in front of the lamppost box.


  • fernfarmer

    On the plants issue, given your color preferences, I do think you'd like the Japanese painted ferns. There are a number of varieties commonly available that could give you a variety of different looks. The three below are (in order) Pictum (the silvery grey fern in the upper left), Applecourt (which is more green than grey) and Burgundy Lace (which is quite purple):




    The painted ferns are deciduous. They don't require any special care while they are up, but you would want to cut back the dead fronds (check with your local independent nursery to see if that should be done in winter or early spring in your area).

    Another Hachonechloa to consider would be Fubuki (this one is quite young; it will be fuller and floppier with age):


    I your climate, I believe that Hachonechloa foliage will die and turn tan during the winter and need to have it's old foliage cut back in early spring (again check with a local nursery to be sure).

    There are a lot of heucheras that have some purple in them, but also some lighter tones, so they wouldn't disappear in the shade. One option would be Heuchera Rose Granita:


    Two other options you might consider would be heucherellas or tiarellas, which are not subject to rust (at least in my zone 8 climate) the way heuchera can be. The first picture is of Heucherella Cracked Ice. The second is Tiarella Sugar and Spice:


    Hellebores would be another choice, and provide a bolder leave shape. This one is Penny's Pink (which has great foliage and a very pretty pink flower that lasts for months):

    Heucheras, heucherellas and tiarellas are all evergreen. Hellebores also are evergreen (at least they are here), but it's best to cut back their old leaves as the flowers emerge in order to cut down on the chances of fungal problems (and to better view the flowers).

    ontariomom thanked fernfarmer
  • ontariomom

    I am very grateful, daylily for these plant suggestions and alteration to the design. I will look up all the plants you have recommended -- they sound great. We will put in a conduit for an eventual install of a light. I will have to change the shape you show a bit as the armour stone and step before the flagstone is already installed as per my post 6 posts above this one. The armour stone is much straighter than you show, which will mean less plant material as we don't want to block the front door. The armour stone was installed as per that post (6 up from here) to retain the right grade for the front door steps and to keep the heavy rocks further away from the birch roots. I was told we did not have the option to curve the armour stone and step as much as many kind posters above have recommended.

    Thanks again! You are very generous with your time and assistance!

    Carol

  • ontariomom

    Fernfarmer,

    Oh those are beautiful, and do match my tastes and colour preferences! I look forward to plant shopping and am grateful to your suggestions as others above. You guys on this forum are so knowledgeable. Can't wait to show you the finished results. Thanks for your time and generous assistance!

    Carol

  • fernfarmer

    One other thought, I agree with daylily that ligularia would work very nicely here. They have yellow flowers, which you've said you're not keen on, but the foliage is wonderful and it's easy to cut off the flower stalks if you like the leaves enough (and dislike yellow enough) to take the time to do it (I have a couple of plants that I do this with since I don't like yellow either!).

  • daylily


    I guess I did suggest a number of items with yellow or yellowish foliage, which I know you don't like. However, the yellow, white and lime-green foliage is helpful when the garden is quite dark with shade (if it is dark - not sure if you garden is heavily shaded or not). In my garden in the picture, this area is quite shaded, but the yellow/lime-green of the Japanese Forest Grass really stands out, as does the white rim of the hosta on the left.

    Sometimes it is hard to get a shade garden with the exact colours that you like. And sometimes some of the colours don't show up well in the shade. I use a lot of pink/red/white begonias for annuals in the shadiest parts of my garden. The white ones really pop nicely.


  • ontariomom

    I will investigate ligularia among the other choices suggested (especially since you both like it for our area). I gues my dislike of yellow flowers was brought about by the dislike to dandilions LOL. Thanks, fernfarmer.

    Carol

  • ontariomom

    daylily,

    I don't dislike yellow foliage at all (just not fond of yellow flowers). The birch tree has yellow leaves in the fall too. I don't find that front garden that shaded as the birch offers filtered shade under it (but really not an expert at these things). However, it is north facing and a bit sheltered from the garage bump out. There are no big trees on either neighbour's properties. Does our front garden look shaded in our photos to you? I was going to take a photo at different times of day, but right now there is a huge backhoe on the front property that is throwing shadows of its own.

    BTW your garden is simply gorgeous!!

    Carol

  • daylily

    I guess I just assumed that it was quite shaded as I assumed that the sun for most of the day would be facing the back of your house with your house shading a large portion of the front garden. If however, the garden gets lots of sun, then the plantings can be quite different and you can probably ignore most of my suggestions. You can probably get a lot more of the colours that you like in your plantings. I think earlier I had made a comment about the sedum from your original plan being a poor choice, but if you get constant sun there, then the sedum is a fine choice (although there are better varieties other than "Autumn Joy" that don't tend to flop over as much). I think I had made a similar comment about the Burning Bush because I thought it would get too much shade (but I still think it is too large a plant to be at the front of the bed).

    In any case, you can decide on the actual plants later once you get your garden bed installed. So good luck on the work that you are doing.


  • ontariomom

    You are correct that the house is not at all in full sun given the orientation (house faces north) and how the garden is set further back than the garage (garage shades garden from full east sun). I am just not good at figuring these things out. I have seen gardens much more shaded than ours, so maybe ours is part sun???

    Perhaps when the backhoe is moved off our property and I post pictures at different times of day, folks hear will be able to help me determine if the plantings should be selected for partail sun or full shade.

    Carol

  • PRO
    Yardvaark

    FWIW, in my mind the only thing it means to say that something is "dated" is that the design was either flawed or not executed that well to begin with. If the design is good, it is timeless no matter what the style or materials. (Unless it is so prevalent that people just tire of seeing it!) In the case of the circular paving, I have nothing against it. If the entire paved area was the fish scale type pattern, I think it would would fine. Or if a single circle in the right place worked out with other materials seems like it has possibilities. There is just something unappealing about a single circle combined with loops that seems not quite on the money, therefore causing some to call it "dated." Make it right and it won't be dated anymore.

    ontariomom thanked Yardvaark
  • fernfarmer

    Carol, on the sun issue, if you stand in the dirt area between the steps and the birch and look up, can you ever see the sun itself (not just sunlight)? If so, for how many hours per day at this time of year?

    ontariomom thanked fernfarmer
  • emmarene9

    I don't understand the difficulty with the one big circle. I was not a fan of the big circle anyway. Does it need to be that large to hold patio chairs? I think it would look nice if you just repeated the medium circle. Would you consider that? I like the circle to stay away from the garage. I also think the paving should end at the Wiarton step.

  • ontariomom

    Thanks ferfarmer. I will do that when the rain stops (hopefully tomorrow). Thanks.

    Carol

    All,

    Here is a picture showing how the armour stone and single step were installed. DH is re-working the shape of the pavers best he can. I was able to take an overhead pic of the armour stone from the garage deck. It was raining when I took the picture -- everything is wet. Sorry for posting the near same picture twice. I could not figure out how to delete the second picture. You will see there will be limited space for the plantings assuming we go with the updated plan to have nothing on the street side of the circle pavers. You will need to imagine the flagstone pieces starting after the single step, going past the birch tree and to side. We bought the flagstone today and it looks just like the dark grey armour stone. You can also see the boulder than needs final placement. If we put it to the right of the birch, it will be right against the flagstone. Is that good.

    .


    Yes, I know the curved sides of the driveway is not at all a popular idea. DH and contractor are very firm that they want it kept. I probably never told you the house is on a cul-de-sac so the bottom of the driveway is also curved. Here shows a first draft plan of the hardscape put together by the LA. He was the one who suggested the waves on the garage side, right side to go with the curve and flare out at bottom. Perhaps showing the whole length of the driveway will make the plan to keep the curved borders seem more logical? If not we only have ourselves (and the LA) to blame.



  • ontariomom

    emmarene,

    Thanks for your comment on the pavers. Yes we are going to end the pavers at the Wiarton step. There will be no planting material after the step as well and the curve of the pavers will meet with grass on the street side. DH is playing some more with the shape of the landing area. He might very well be able to do two medium circles as you suggested, and perhaps if neither circle is too big they might not cross over into the garage line. That is a good point. I don't imagine we will have patio chairs on this circle landing. We never did before, when we had the circle landing before renos/addition.

    Carol

  • ontariomom

    That boulder seems to have no practical home. We are worried about stressing the birch tree by putting it too close to the birch. With the overhead picture I posted above, can anyone explain a safe spot for it in the garden area. Otherwise, should I be moving it to the right of the Wiarton step or to back yard beside back steps? Yardvaark, you said move it to the right of the birch. Can you possibly pinpoint that for me on the picture I posted?

  • PRO
    Yardvaark

    Maybe some of these thoughts on mods will be useful. Maybe not.


    With that boulder, the easiest thing to do is try a placement, step back and appraise it. It's not going to look natural until it's half covered up with soil and plants and as it's not that big, it can be moved to try elsewhere if it doesn't seem to work out. I wouldn't worry about getting it too close to the birch as long as the tree can grow. To it, it's nothing.

  • ontariomom

    Thanks you again for all your help, Yardvaark. I will show the modifications to DH. He is microplanning out the pavers. I certainly like the smaller garden, so glad you and others above convinced us to reduce the plantings (esp in front of door). I also think DH is going to have trouble doing the side curves along driveway anyway. Yes, I guess the boulder might have to move around a bit until it finds a home. I was hoping we could just get it over with, but I am just not sure where it will land. Glad to know it won't harm the birch if it ends up going close to it.

    Carol

  • emmarene9

    Yardvaarks straightened out drive way is vastly superior to the one in these plans.

    Since the boulder is already in that general location I think you should dig a whole and put it in the ground. See how it looks.

    You are almost finished with your landscaping and I hope I am not speaking too soon but I want to commend you for not adding any silly wormy outlines.

    Im glad you finally got some realistic plant ideas from fellow Canadians. Daylily your garden is stunning.

  • ontariomom

    Thanks emmarene. Perhaps I missed something, but as per the hardscape plan, I think Yarvaark only took out one slight curve near the street from the paper LA plan I photographed. (He did simplify the garden plantings too). Glad you think that lead to a vast improvement in the driveway plan. Looks like the LA that did the hardscape plan and the plantings was not that skilled. I have no idea what you are referencing with those silly wormy outlines. What is that?

    Carol

  • ontariomom

    DH has been hand washing each of our old bricks. (PITA) We still need to order some more and will sub in new bricks here and there with old ones to sprinkle the darker coloured bricks in the layout. Today, I will make a list of all the plantings suggested above, and start reading up about them, searching photos, etc. Hopefully, later I will be able to draw up a new an improved plant plan for your approval.

    Does anyone know what emmarence meant by "silly wormy outlines". Emmarence are you there?

  • ontariomom

    Always another question. On the photographed LA plan (or Yardvaark's alteration of it), it shows 3 rows of soldier course on either side and on the garage side too. After the soldier course on the garage side, there is to be a random pattern to fill in the remaining space (garage skirting). Currently, on the bottom (near the street) we have a random brick pattern (no soldier course on the flared bottom). Would you keep three sides with soldier course as shown on the the photographed LA plan? DH wondered if we should just do the soldier course on the two sides of the driveway. This is really hard for us to figure out and DIY as well.

  • PRO
    Yardvaark

    I suspect what Emmarene was referring to was the seemingly pointless curves at right side of driveway ... the ones I straightened out. Possibly she was lumping it all together with the excess amount of looping curves that showed up in the paving patterns of plans posted earlier. At any rate, I wouldn't take offense to it. We have to be able to say what we think doesn't look good in order to make our points.

    Insofar as your last question, I presume you're asking about the border pattern to the drive ...? I'm taking what's shown on the plan figuratively, not literally, thinking you'll work out details so it will look better. I would not make the border as 3 rows of running bond. Also, I interpreted the the end of drive (at street) as an entire field of border ... not asphalt separated by a single, narrow row of brick, which would look much too skimpy. Thinking more like this:


  • ontariomom

    Thanks Yardvaark. I was not upset by Emmarene comments, just confused about what she was referring to "silly wormy outlines". Maybe it was the curves along the driveway. We still will have lots of curves in the pavers -- it is curved pavers we have lots of on hand to re-use. Not sure if we are avoiding the silly worms or not.

    I like what you have drawn up. It looks so much nicer in colour! Thanks for you help once again. After seeing your photo, I think I do want the soldier course near the garage door. DH keeps telling me he has figured it out and it relates to the measurements of area, size of bricks, etc. I think he is trying to avoid cutting the stones. That makes sense too.

    Carol

  • daylily

    A belated thank-you to Emmarene and Ontariomom for the compliments on my garden picture. Ontariomom, looks like you are getting good assistance in the landscaping. The plan looks great! Good luck.

    ontariomom thanked daylily
  • PKponder TX Z7B

    When I hear silly wormy outline, I immediately think of DIY shows and commercials that tell homeowners to lay out the water hose to mark off their planting beds. There always seem to be exaggerated curves than snake around for no reason. A curved bed line looks nicer IMO when it has a simple flowing curve and no "S" or worm shaped outlines.


  • ontariomom

    Thanks for your comments, PKponder. I confess to having used garden hoses in the past to map out gardens LOL.

    Carol

  • PKponder TX Z7B

    I've done it too Carol :-) We all learn as we go.

    Pam


  • emmarene9

    This path will show you what I mean,


    I found this comic which I think is appropo

  • ontariomom

    LOL

    Carol

  • ontariomom

    I thought I would update this thread with some completed pictures. I so appreciated the helpful comments and thoughtful ideas posted here by you all. We have yet to plant the garden, but have finished the hardscape. And we did end up going with the curves and paver shapes that were designed by the landscape architect (a bit wormy too LOL). DH and teenage DS did all the work themselves. I figured if DH was putting that much effort into the project, he could have the curves he wanted LOL. He used a mixture of old pavers and new ones, and I think the combination is divine. The little girl in the Scottish Werewolf costume is DD on Halloween. The decorative bolder we referred to in the post, found a nice home in the backyard.

    Next spring we will finalize the planting choices and I may post again. I will review all the clever planting ideas on this thread first, as I think you helpful posters above gave me some excellent plan suggestions. We can see the sun overhead for part of the day, so I guess it is partial sun, even though the front is North facing. DH just put landscape fabric and mulch down on all the gardens so we won't have a weed garden in the meantime.

    Thanks for all your help on this project and for thinking this through with me!

    Carol

  • emmarene9

    Thank you for posting. I would like to see it after planting in Spring.

  • ontariomom

    No problem, emmarene. I will try to remember to post again after we do the plantings (or maybe to double check my planting plan first). For now, I am glad DH is turning his attention back to finishing the inside of the house, as we are no more than half done the interior.

  • PRO
    Yardvaark

    The new picture shows the astounding difference it makes to expand the entry courtyard/paving area. Much improved. Much more welcoming than the original picture at the top of the thread.

  • emmarene9

    Did you change your mind about the walk out over the garage?

  • ontariomom

    Thanks Yardvaark. The original pic at top of thread was in mid construction so of course it was not welcoming -- very ugly it was (or perhaps you were referring to the original house with white siding that had overgrown burning bush that obscured the circle pavers). Either way the result is an improvement for sure. I am very glad we decided from the good advice on this thread not to do plantings around the circle entry courtyard as I like how open it is now with just a garden around the birch (future garden that is).

    emmarene,

    We are definitely still doing the glass railing around the deck over the garage. We just have not got that done yet. That will really finish off the outside.

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