FYI, I asked these same questions in the Flower Gardening & Design forum, but I notice this forum is more appropriate for my yard questions. Sorry guys!
I am new to gardening but would love it put a flower/herb garden in my front yard. There is one very old and lonely Norway Spruce in the front yard and brush along the north side of our property line and that's it.
The yard is (roughly) a 35 ft square with an incline up to the road, a raised driveway off to the left, the neighbors property on the right, and a raised front porch in the front. Here are some pictures.
Yard in front of house.
Pine tree, up to street.
View from south end of porch.
View from north end of porch.
I don't even know where to start. I know I live in zone 6b in MD. The yard gets partial shade (~4-5 hours good evening sun) near the house, and full sun near the road. The spruce is far enough off the ground to plant under it. My long front porch is perched up enough (and the yard is lowered into the ground) so as to be able to look slightly down into the yard, however, due to the house layout in my area, we still get good drainage.
Someone had suggested a redbud and/or small dogwood, which would be nice, and we are installing a short iron railing next to the road to grow some vining plants to sort of hide the road way and keep road dust to a minimum.
Other than that, any advice or design ideas? I would love to grow local medicinal herbs (I use a lot right now) but, again, I have the passion but not the knowledge. If you can't help with a design or ideas, does anyone recommend any reading for me?