olivia_schlichting11

Help! Fix my front garden landscape mistakes!

Olivia 7a
last year

I believe I made some basic mistakes when we first moved into our house 10 years ago. The house is so tall, that I thought it needed something that would grow big to balance the tall house, but the trees we planted (a snowbell, a Japanese maple and a flowering cherry) now obstruct the attached garage on the left side of the house which just makes the main house more noticeably tall! We recently replaced the long, straight, steep front stairs with a 2 level landing staircase to break up the front of the house a bit and give it more of a southern style, and will need to put in a walkway across the front of the house for access both from the driveway on the left, and to the in-law apartment on the right side. We are in Virginia in zone 7A, the front of the house faces southeast (essentially full sun after high noon, summers are brutal with heat and humidity) and our "soil" is dense clay. We have ferocious deer that eat everything, even right up to the house itself. I don't have time for a lot of gardening, so I need to choose a design and plants that are low maintenance. The large garden to the left of the staircase is grown over with vinca ground cover, which does hold down the weeds quite a bit, and I am reluctant to replace it with mulch, which was allowing native morning glory vines to cover everything - I am only starting to get it under control after 10 years! However, the vinca does better in the shadier side of the garden under the trees, and I still get weeds closer to the stairs. The backyard gardens have stone pebbles over garden plastic, and it has been much easier to maintain than any of the other gardens, so I am considering that as well.


I was thinking of doing a pea gravel walkway as it would be inexpensive and easy to maintain, and we could put it in ourselves. (I would love brick or slate, but it is not in the budget). There is no street view of the house, so the first impression of it is from the driveway which comes up the left side of the house. I would like to leave the flowering cherry on the left, and the 2 crape myrtles on the right, but if the general consensus is that the other 2 trees on the left side need to go, I will be ruthless and chop them down, if I can get good ideas for better plants for that site that have low maintenance and won't be eaten by the deer!

Front of house · More Info


Front of house · More Info


Front of house · More Info


Front of house · More Info



Front of house · More Info

(The boxwoods to either side of the steps are now gone)



Front of house · More Info



Front of house · More Info

(this photo is from before the new front steps were installed, but it shows the lay of the land where the walkway has to go around the front to the basement entrance.)

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