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Landscaping Plants For Front Of House

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Landscaping Plants For Front Of House

Creating an Attractive Front Every house facade and site have visual assets and liabilities. The well-done front yard highlights the pleasing points and masks the poor ones. All the elements of good design come into play as you arrange your component parts for the ideal front yard. But don’t be put off by the aesthetic terms — balance, scale, unity, and the like — used by designers. All are largely a matter of common sense. If a scene pleases your eye, then it’s probably well designed. If your house needs or will adapt to your desire for a special theme garden like colonial, cottage, Oriental, or Spanish, the look must begin in the front yard. Themes are successful only if you unify all the garden aspects carefully. You’ll also need to determine if your preference is for, and your site demands, a formal or informal landscape. Formal settings include strong geometric lines and architectural features, clipped hedges, and uniformly shaped plants and beds. Informal designs are marked by free-flowing, natural-looking elements. Generally, informal home styles and sloping land require less rigid landscapes. Formal houses and flat land can be treated either way. To achieve balance in a landscape, try to position elements so they give equal weight — through size, color, texture, or other aspects — to each side of a scene. How formal this weighting should be again is dictated by style of house and personal preference. Symmetrical houses often look best when each feature and plant is duplicated on the opposite side of a front walk (as long as the walk isn’t too long or too narrow). Most houses, though, are asymmetrical, since they have only one garage or drive. In this case, balance is more subtle. Perhaps a tall tree belongs on the side opposite the driveway. Achieving pleasant scale — or, keeping elements in proportion to each other — is also subtle, since plants must grow before you can be sure. Choose plants that will complement your home’s size at maturity, as well as some plants that will grow fast enough to quickly make a mark. Don’t let anything dwarf your house. The design principles of unity and simplicity often go together. Several plants of the same color and kind have more effect and give greater pleasure in a landscape than one each of several types. Use only enough variety for sustaining bloom and adding visual interest. If you want more types of plants, say for continual harvests of many kinds of fruit, try combining plants with similar or at least compatible shapes, textures, and foliage or bloom colors.
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Landscaping Plants For Front Of House

In the past, plants were set where house meets ground to hide foundations and first-floor basements. Today, these so-called foundation plantings are often inappropriate and widely abused. Builders put in plants with enough size but little character, and they can soon outgrow their usefulness. Many houses come with a surrounding cloud or a border of stiffly spotted evergreens that destroy a house’s style.Plants near the house are essential only to soften its angles and help it blend in with its surroundings. Concentrate on the complete setting, not just the foundation line. Your plantings here should be simple and dignified. They should be in careful scale so they enhance rather than hide the house. You won’t see these plants from inside except for perhaps a little by the windowsill, so don’t waste your beauties here.
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Landscaping Plants For Front Of House

Plants and Structures The architectural features of your yard will be the most expensive and permanent. You may want to plan them in stages: the driveway first, good steps and walks next, porch or fence the next year. Select materials that will add to your landscape, not ruin its harmony. Plantings are easier to install and change, but you’ll want to be sure to put them in the right places so they can quickly play a role. Trees, shrubs, and ground covers are permanent purchases that increase in size and value and take little maintenance. You can even use many edible plants in place of or along with ornamentals. They present little extra work except for harvesting. Flowers take care and often require replanting, but they can fill in the gaps until your woody plants gain enough size to stand alone. Annuals — like kochia, four-o’clock, strawflower, impatiens, datura, and angel’s-trumpet — and perennials — like peony, bee balm, and hosta — can substitute for shrubs the first year or two. Lawns take the most resources, work, and equipment of any aspect of landscaping. To conserve both fossil and human energy, consider alternatives to lawn, especially in regions where rainfall is inadequate. If your front yard is too large for constant mowing and watering, use mulch or ground covers for islands around trees and shrubs. Fence or mark off an area for turf and use the rest for meadow, pasture, or woodland. Don’t let your front yard make you a slave to more work than you enjoy.
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Landscaping Plants For Front Of House

House Huggers There is something unsettlingly stark about the intersection where house meets land—it begs to be softened with greenery. But just hiding that juncture with a tight fringe of evergreens isn’t the answer. Neither is a one-scheme-fits-all formula. “Two conical things on either side of the front door with two tall things on either end of the house with lower things in the middle—that’s a dated approach,” says Anne F. Walters, a landscape architect in West Chester, Pennsylvania. “The right foundation planting for most houses is a nice mix of evergreen and deciduous material, with dwarf varieties in order to keep window views open, some repetition of plants for a unified look, and an overall casual, naturalistic feeling.” Shown: Curved, asymmetrical beds hide open space under the porch and provide color and interest with a mix of flowering and evergreen plants. A mophead hydrangea greets visitors at the stairway with big orbs of color in the summer, while a blue juniper and a fine-leaved azalea anchor the bed in every season. Hanging baskets with trailing ivy soften the porch posts and frame the entry. Red flowers in the baskets echo the foundation planting’s blooms.
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Landscaping Plants For Front Of House

Trees for Impact Here, the tree in front frames rather than interrupts the scene, is in better scale, and makes the house seem farther from the street. Trees (and larger shrubs) are the first components to consider in front-yard design.Because a framed view often is much more attractive than a completely revealed view, give serious thought to planting taller trees on either side of your house and at least one behind it. Trees here give the yard and house a look of permanence, and soften the second story or roofline against the sky. If you can afford only one or two more-mature trees, than plant them here.Besides providing framing, trees and larger shrubs, along with the buildings, make up the masses in the landscape. Choose and place them for interest of outline, texture, and color in all seasons and for shade and energy control. Harmonize the shapes of the plants — round, pyramidal, weeping — with each other and the structures. Give visual relief by judiciously varying leaf size and shape and the textures of structural materials.Trees and shrubs also are good for marking boundaries and separating functional areas.
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Landscaping Plants For Front Of House

There is something unsettlingly stark about the intersection where house meets land—it begs to be softened with greenery. But just hiding that juncture with a tight fringe of evergreens isn’t the answer. Neither is a one-scheme-fits-all formula. “Two conical things on either side of the front door with two tall things on either end of the house with lower things in the middle—that’s a dated approach,” says Anne F. Walters, a landscape architect in West Chester, Pennsylvania. “The right foundation planting for most houses is a nice mix of evergreen and deciduous material, with dwarf varieties in order to keep window views open, some repetition of plants for a unified look, and an overall casual, naturalistic feeling.” Shown: Curved, asymmetrical beds hide open space under the porch and provide color and interest with a mix of flowering and evergreen plants. A mophead hydrangea greets visitors at the stairway with big orbs of color in the summer, while a blue juniper and a fine-leaved azalea anchor the bed in every season. Hanging baskets with trailing ivy soften the porch posts and frame the entry. Red flowers in the baskets echo the foundation planting’s blooms.
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Landscaping Plants For Front Of House

Assess Your House from the Outside Standard plantings fora one-story house oftenlack design. Here thesmall shrubs make the houselook drab and out of place. The builder’s bit of lawn, two trees, and few foundation shrubs fall far short of the existing possibilities. Streetscaping is an excellent investment in both present enjoyment and future value. A pleasant view from the street gives a sense of individual pride and accomplishment. And it adds greatly to your property’s value by setting the yard apart and making it beautiful. The first thing to do when planning a new front yard is to recognize your bias. The satisfaction of returning home and that you see your front yard from inside the house can skew your feelings about how your yard looks to the public. For a more honest assessment, walk down the street, then turn back. Do the same from the other direction. Also, get in your car and approach your house slowly from each direction.

Landscaping Plants For Front Of House

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