crowinghen

Curb appeal ideas

crowinghen
October 31, 2019

We are purchasing a 1970's rambler that could use some sprucing. I was thinking some pruning of the plants and tweaking the landscaping. I was also thinking of driveway pavers and a new garage door?Or just re-doing the concrete?

The left side is a covered patio area, the right side is where the front door is- you can't see it because of the hedge. BTW looks like we are in Zone 5 as far as plant hardiness. Thanks!

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Would appreciate any ideas!

Comments (31)

  • littlebug zone 5 Missouri

    You may not like my idea - chain saw. I know you said you were considering trimming the shrubs, but IMHO they need so much trimming that I’d just remove them. Don’t put anything back at the driveway entrance (unless its mature size is less than 12”). What you have now looks dangerous.


    Is this the only side of your house that passersby see? There’s no direct view of the front of the house? (I guess it’s not clear - IS this the front of the house? My first thought was that the front door is on the side of the house that faces right, but maybe that’s not correct . . . ) Your front door should be immediately and clearly visible, much more obvious than the garage door.

    crowinghen thanked littlebug zone 5 Missouri
  • crowinghen

    Yes this is the front of the house, LOL. The front door is obscured by the trees on the right hand side of the garage, on the side where the reddish shrub is.

    We plan on making the front door visible, first thing. I also think we will change the garage doors slightly. here's what I just came up with ., if I can get the picture to upload.


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  • WalnutCreek Zone 7b/8a

    IMO, all of those shrubs and way overgrown and just need to be dug up and done away with. Start with a clean slate.

    crowinghen thanked WalnutCreek Zone 7b/8a
  • colonel115

    Zone 5....snow? Concrete probably is easier to plow than pavers (although beautiful). I'd start by removing all the old shrubs and starting fresh. Bring the beds out in curves. Use plants that don't need shaping and stay shorter naturally. Get a good garden book for your area and locate a good independent nursery.

    crowinghen thanked colonel115
  • cd7733

    I also think the bushes flanking the entrance need to go and trim around front door.


  • latifolia

    You want the focus to be the entry/front door, not the garage. Do you have a picture of your front door? Unless the garage door has failed, focus your attention and budget on the entry. Make sure your lighting is functional and attractive - maybe a lamppost by the driveway. All those shrubs need to go.

    crowinghen thanked latifolia
  • decoenthusiaste

    The shrubs are eating your house and ruining any chance of curb appeal. It it going to rain soon? Do you have a pick-up truck or a car with a sturdy bumper? A length of chain and you may be able to pull some of them out yourself when the soil is wet, but the root systems on those may prohibit DIY. Once they're gone, post pix of the house and the two wings that flank the garage. We especially need to see the front door to make valid suggestions. Meanwhile, enlist a local nursery or landscape architect to plan what you can plant in the spring. Work it out over time, stick with dwarf plantings near the house, add a couple of small ornamental trees out in the lawn, hire a lawn maintenance company next year to get the lawn in shape over the summer.

    crowinghen thanked decoenthusiaste
  • Emily Richardson

    Large pavers would look great and I'd also go with more of a modern/midcentury garage. If you can manage it, a large tree on the left would really add a lot to the landscape!



    Clopay Garage Doors · More Info


    crowinghen thanked Emily Richardson
  • PRO
    Yardvaark

    Before cutting down any of the large shrubs near house, assess if any could possibly make good small trees. (This would primarily be based on their position.) Converting them into trees would not be difficult.

    For foundation planting, you need closer pictures. I would set up the camera for taking two separate scenes on account of the house being so wide with the drive at the center. Each scene would be comprised of slightly overlapping pictures. The camera location for a given scene would not change between pictures, but would merely pivot. Don't substitute a computer generated panorama as it would be too small. (The camera would be only 25' or 30' from the house wall.)


    crowinghen thanked Yardvaark
  • crowinghen

    I can get more pictures next week- Thanks!

  • comelyhomely

    Keep the garage door as-is for now. The fact that it's the same colour as the house allows it to blend in as much as possible.

    Echoing everyone's suggestions to severely prune the existing hedges or remove them altogether. Especially the ones at on the right since they obscure your view of the entrance and windows, and the one at the street since it obscures your view of traffic when exiting. The ones on the left may be beneficial in providing privacy when lounging on the patio, but I would defer to the landscaping experts on that front.

    A curved path from the driveway to the front door will guide the eye to it. A bright door and exterior lighting will help as well. Can't wait to see more pics!

    crowinghen thanked comelyhomely
  • Isaiah Hsu

    Two trees (maybe a tall blue spruce on left and a Japanese maple or other small to medium deciduous tree on right) would break up the lawn. Rose bushes (not tea hybrid) of the Old world kind would look good in front by the street. Consider an alpine rock garden on the left side of the driveway

  • J Williams

    I would for sure get rid of the most overgrown shrubs, evergreens are the most difficult to rejuvenate, the deciduous stuff, hard to say without knowing what they are.

  • crowinghen

    I might have done the pics too close, but here are pics from today. The first one is the front door side, the front door is behind the massive green hedge. The second picture shows the covered carport area. and I reposted the first picture for reference



  • PRO
    Yardvaark

    The pictures confirm that there is something wrong with all the shrubs. They are either too large or in the wrong place. I suggest a complete redo. Also, I would recommend not creating a bed running along the drive edges.

    If you cut down/remove the shrubs, take new pictures. While keeping the camera in the same location, pivot it and capture also what is left of the left side of house and right of the right side. (The camera is not at all too far away, but you could position it off of the driveway to be more centrally located with each view.) You could start a new thread if you like.

    crowinghen thanked Yardvaark
  • Denita

    Agree with Yardvaark above. Those shrubs are acting as barricades to the house both visually and physically. First thing to do is remove all of them so you can actually see the home. Then take your pics as Yardvaark states above and start a new thread. If I were the buyer, I would discount the house price due to the expense of removal and replanting. JMO.

    crowinghen thanked Denita
  • J Williams

    Well I’ve see far worse, you can tell someone was trying to maintain them, and it is a very common problem with yews, it is usual to see an older home with massively oversized yews. The ones by the patio aren’t so bad as they are serving a purpose and are not blocking the front door. They are pretty easy to remove if need be, just a single trunk to cut down.

    crowinghen thanked J Williams
  • crowinghen

    Looks like the hedges are not yews, but maybe Leyland cyprus. We trimmed them back a little and removed a few that were too tight on the driveway . We will definitely remove the ones that are blocking the entryway , we just ran out of time!

  • PRO
    Yardvaark

    Leyland Cypress? Not likely. Can the house be seen yet?

  • crowinghen

    They do not seem to be yews, if they aren't Leland cypress maybe they are some kind of cedar?- we're going to take a cutting to the nursery to get it identified.I'm not very knowledgeable about plants. They are really shallow rooted, super easy to dig out.

    We took a couple plants out from the hedge on the side yard so we could drive down the drive to the shop in the back, and just trimmed the front hedges to shape them up , so no the house isn't much more visible- YET!

  • PRO
    Yardvaark

    Puzzled why you even care about identifying them. It wouldn't matter what they are. In terms of landscape, they are obviously not helping, but hurting. They are obscuring important views, impeding pedestrian and/or automotive circulation, and causing high maintenance. They are so visually obstructive that the only advice you've been able to get so far is to get rid of them, and no one has been able to help you beyond that.

  • crowinghen

    Not in the picture are two more of the same kind of hedges between the neighbors and us. these actually look okay and serve as a windbreak and privacy screen and are maintained jointly with the neighbors,. There is an empty spot that could use another plant, thus the reason to id the plant.



  • Denita

    Use the PlantSnap app if all you want to do is ID the plant. It's free.

    crowinghen thanked Denita
  • PRO
    Yardvaark

    "Not in the picture are two more of the same kind of hedges ... There is an empty spot that could use another plant, thus the reason to id the plant." That's fine, but it's about something we can't see, don't know about and that doesn't concern us in this thread ... which is about "Curb Appeal Ideas." In regard to curb appeal, the ball is in your court and it seems you may not return it.

  • crowinghen

    I have taken the advice given to heart and will remove the shrubs. I will start a new thread or re-post here then. I apologize for rambling.

    I appreciate the input.

  • Denita

    Goodness! You haven't rambled at all. You should see some of these threads that go into the hundreds or even thousands of comments :)

    crowinghen thanked Denita
  • PRO
    Condovate Interiors Inc.

    Add tall trees on the right side to better frame the house to the background

  • suezbell

    Nice house and lot.


    Would not replace driveway unless it is damaged but you might consider outlining it with a 2' planting area between the driveway and a sidewalk on the entry door side of the driveway to lead guests to your door from the roadway and to get you to your mailbox.


    Would definitely remove the two shrubs at the end of the driveway --safety hazard. Would likely remove/move all of the large shrubs.


    During winter when they're dormant, you might be able to whack them down to withing six or eight inches of the ground and then dig up and move the root ball so you can have bushes where you want them -- such as to help define the four corners of your lot with three shrubs creating the corner or create a green fence from one front corner of the home to the far side of the yard for privacy -- separating the front yard from the side and back.

  • suezbell

    Rather than redoing the driveway itself, if it is undamaged, consider using that budget to add a double parking/turning around slab on the left side of the house so it would not be necessary for you or guests to park or turn around backing over the grass. Make it at least a (long) car length back from the garage door. Would do that before adding landscaping.

    crowinghen thanked suezbell
  • PRO
    Yardvaark

    "I have taken the advice given to heart and will ..." Good to hear.

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