ecolguin
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Help with landscape design for the front of a ranch style

I just purchased my ranch style home and would like ideas as to what to with the landscaping. I really don't have the knack for this and have no clue what to do. I know there are some creative people out there that can come up with ideas by just looking at a picture, so I'd really appreciate the help. Thanks! Below is the link to the picture.

https://img408.imageshack.us/img408/1381/15362080370000ab.jpg

ecolguin
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Thank you. yes, i don't like those two evergreens. Good idea about making the area under the trees a shade garden. I was just going to put grass but I really like the idea of making it a shade garden. i like your suggestions of flowers. The house is facing east.

Since this is a long ranch house, not sure if i should put flower beds or shrubs up against the house all the way to the gate? or maybe put flower beds next to the entry way and then put a bench and then more flower beds all the way to the gate.

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rainbowgardener
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Like MG said, what direction does the house face AND where are you? Can't make any plant suggestions without knowing what zone you are in or what your climate is like...
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

ecolguin
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The house is facing east and we're in Zone 5.

bullthistle
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A shade garden may be a good idea based upon the roots of the trees but why not start a bed around the corner where the end window is and plant with low growing woody plants that would give you some texture when there isn't snow, like euonymous "emerald gaiety" or even juniper or cotonester, with their red berries. Nothing more boring in winter then a blank bed.

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tomf
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The first thing I would do is to trim up the trees, I think they are to low to the ground.

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rainbowgardener
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I agree with all the suggestions. Your house is a little lost in the forest right now and does not look very welcoming, since you can't even see where the front door is.

If the big trees could be trimmed up a little that would help and get rid of the small evergreens. Then plant the shade garden not only around the golden maple but along the driveway (which is also the walkway to your door?) and in the space where the small evergreens are now. Most people when the put in plantings/beds make them too small. Then they are out of scale with the house and look like little dots here and there and the plants have no room to grow. Make a good sized bed, at least 3' wide through that whole area and don't try to fill it with plants, let there be areas of just woodchip mulch for awhile. The plants will fill themselves in, in a couple of seasons and look much more natural.

Along with the shade plants already mentioned, some other nice ones are ferns (lots of different varieties and sizes), bleeding heart, epimedium, hellebores, lady's mantle, lily of the valley, toad lily. Also spring ephemerals like mayapple, jack in the pulpit, trillium, virginia bluebells

If you want to put some areas in ground cover - there's ajuga it's grown mostly for foliage and the foliage comes in fabulous variegated purples and bronzes, does put up blue flower spikes in spring, or foam flower is a ground cover that also comes in variegated foliage and makes pretty flower spikes in spring, wild ginger which has very inconspicuous flowers, but fills in well to make a dense carpet.

I do always like to think about winter interest, but that doesn't have to be conifers. There are broadleaf evergreen shrubs, like azalea, moutain laurel (kalmia), pieris, daphne that come in very dwarf sizes. And there are flowering plants that keep their leaves all winter, like bergenia (pigsqueak), the hellebores (& lenten roses) and epimedium already mentioned, some wild gingers, candytuft, creeping wintergreen (if your soil is acid)

Then it looks like the side of your garage might be a nice sunny south facing spot, great to put in a cottage garden full of summer flowers or a veggie/herb garden. You can pick veggies and herbs to be very ornamental.

Have fun... endless possibilities!
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

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tomf
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Looking at the trees you have I can tell you that you can easily trim up all the trees in your yard by your self. What you want to do would be; using a tree-trimming saw cut about 6 inches out from the trunk under the limb from the bottom and cut ¼ of the way through a branch, this prevents it from pulling and spitting the bark when you cut it from the top. Then just slightly further out on the branch from the lower cut you made (about ¼ “) cut the branch off from the top. After that trim the branch to an inch or even less within the tree trunk, making sure not to cut into the tree. You can use pruning spray if you wish, I would say as winter is coming and the tree will not have the sap to cover the wounds it would be a good thing to do. If you use a ladder make sure the branch will not fall on you and if it does not feel steady tie it to the tree. Put the ladder up on the trunk at 90 degrees from the branch.
I have trimmed many hundreds of trees myself if done right it is not that hard.

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