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Curb Appeal - Landscaping Update

4 days ago

I'm looking for some ideas for an update to my front yard that might help the house look a bit less stark (especially on the side by the driveway). It's pretty much a blank slate at this point and I'm not sure where to start, other than that I am not loving the lawn. Does anyone have suggestions? I'm in the Pacific Northwest (Zone 8) and the house faces West. Is hiring a landscape designer worth it?

Comments (9)

  • PRO
    creations landscape designs

    Personally I think it is totally worth it to hire a designer. You can meet with a designer and get some ideas without actually hiring a designer. Perhaps meet with a few.

    In regards to the house, I would suggest having a path that goes from the front door to the street. It might look nice to have a curved path or a path that is not in a straight line.

    Breanna thanked creations landscape designs
  • Embothrium

    Is hiring a landscape designer worth it?

    Since you've already come to Houzz click on FIND PROFESSIONALS above and look at pages of participating designers serving your area, see if that seems like something you might want to pursue.

  • PRO
    Flo Mangan
    First, remove overgrown bush in front of small window. Get a can of spray paint for marking flower beds. Start with the thin trees on the leafy and create a rounded area around them and curve that line around left front and half way down sidewalk. If budget allows, replace this sidewalk with pavers and come off front door and curve around to driveway. In doing this make a bed to the right side for planting 2-3 layers of plant material. Place 3-4 medium to large pots on the porch along with a couple of chairs painted red like your front door. Plant some red and silver flowers in and brighter colors in the pots. Plant annuals for color in front beds. Check on line for fertilization schedule for your area. Fertilize grass, mow and water as needed. Should be like a new house in a few months!
    Breanna thanked Flo Mangan
  • PRO
    Flo Mangan
    Once you have marked the beds, remove any grass. Amend the soil and plant hardy perennials for your area closer to house and porch and annuals in front of them for color. Mulch to prevent weeds and keep moisture on new plantings. Water in new plants so root balls stay moist for a couple weeks and they get started. Then move to watering as needed in your zone. Good luck. Have fun! Purchase plants from good nursery and ask their advice. I always but good plants for best results. You don’t have that much yard so pretty easy project. Might need help cutting edge for beds and getting that old shrub out. Etc.
    Breanna thanked Flo Mangan
  • gardengal48 (PNW Z8/9)

    It is totally worth it to hire a designer!! That can make the difference between a very ho-hum garden/landscape and one that sparks and adds to the value of your property and compliments your home. The dollar investment in hiring a designer is a modest one.....it is the cost of implementing the design that can get pricey but if you can DIY most of it or phase it in, that does not need to be a budget breaker either.

    A couple of notes about PNW landscapes: this is a year round gardening paradise so it is easy to plan for a colorful garden in every month of the year. Do not rely on just perennials or annuals that ony shine for a few short months but focus on plants that will provide year round color and interest. And there are lots to choose from! "Not loving the lawn" is a uniquely northwest issue and many homeowners opt to eliminate a small, irrelevant, excessively thirsty front lawn in favor of other, less needy plants and groundcovers. This is often something homeowners have trouble visualizing and implementing but a skilled designer can help.

    I would pay particular attention to the entry and the walkway leading up to it. On such a small lot so close to the street, this is the first thing visitors see and it needs to be open, welcoming and attractive. Replacing, enlarging and possibly reconfiguring the walkway would be of primary concern.

    Breanna thanked gardengal48 (PNW Z8/9)
  • PRO

    "Is hiring a landscape designer worth it?" Yes and no. There's got to be a certain level of landscape expenditure that a plan directs, or it's not going to be worth it. Your yard is small. Do you plan on DIYing the work, or paying someone to install it? How much $ is planned for making improvements? If you're going to spend only a few hundred dollars on plants, it's not likely going to be worth it to spend 2 or 3-hundred dollars on a planting plan. If DIY, I'd milk this thread and possibly other forums for what you can get out of them, wade through the advice, and put it together to the best of your ability. You can get advice on making the plan as well as advice on landscape design itself. If you're going to hire out the installation, whoever installs the plants can possibly do the design work for you as part of the installation fee.

    Insofar as what to do in the yard, I'd begin with an improved walkway system. It can make a huge difference in a small yard like this. It should start with a landing that is the full width of the stoop. The other suggestions that follow are about general shapes, sizes and layout. Not about specific colors or plants. (The small tree at foreground would be made from a large shrub.)

    What's up with what look to be 2 new trees that are only 3 or 4 feet apart, at the left side? It seems like one must go away. The tree immediately left of the front door must definitely go away as it's far too close to the house.

    Breanna thanked Yardvaark
  • Breanna

    Thank you for the feedback - love the look of the curved path. Such a small change adds so much more visual interest.

  • judy1740
    Yardvaarks idea looks great. Make sure bushes you purchase will remain that size and whatever is on the right won’t block your view when backing out.
    Breanna thanked judy1740
  • Breanna thanked celerygirl

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