Hello everyone! I'd like to thank you all in advance for whatever help you can offer me. I'm completely new to planning a garden and I'm a little overwhelmed with my awkward lot. I live in Zone 5, by the way.
I moved to my home 2 years ago and I am more than ready to start landscaping my rather awkward corner lot. However, I seem to have absolutely no talent when it comes to planning out a garden.
The previous owners seemed to love green. So much so that my house is literally covered in it! I have vines all over my house, which I've grown to like, as well as shrubs everywhere. I'm more the type that prefers flowering plants and deciduous trees instead of evergreens. So step 1 for me is clearing out some of the shrubs. But then what?
These are the shrubs lining part of the front of my house. The line of shrubs continues all the way around the side and to the back. My mother has been pushing me to not remove them, as they're mature plants and she thinks the neighbors might miss them, but I have a hard time managing them. I can't quite reach the tops of the trees on my ladder, so most have overgrown areas sticking out, and they look so...I guess plain, to me. I'd like to remove them and put in flowers, (small) flowering bushes and perhaps a flowering almond tree at the far end as well as some decorative greenery like grasses and leafy plants.
This is one corner of my house. As you can see, one tree is in horrible shape and the others are overgrown. I'd like to replace these with just a short (maybe 6-8') tree of some sort and maybe a few flowers. This spot gets a little more sunlight than the front, but not much. Any suggestions?
This is just to show how much room I have to work with. From the edge of these shrubs to the sidewalk is only about 12-15'. We're going to be fencing in our lot (which does stretch wider near the corner in a triangle shape), so that also needs to be taken into consideration. The fence can go practically right up to the sidewalk so we won't lose too much space.
In all, there are probably around 40 or 50 individual shrubs surrounding my home. Around 15 or so are melded together into a sort of privacy wall, but the rest are free-standing. I'm only working on the front of the house for now, since I'm trying to start small, so I would really appreciate any suggestions regarding plants that grow well in that front area and that also are a little easier for a beginner to manage.
To sum up:
1) What plants would work well in that shaded area?
2) Any advice on planting flowers up against the house?
3) Any ideas regarding which flowers should be planted where? (Do some do better when paired with certain others, etc?)
(On a side note: Am I crazy for wanting to take out some of these shrubs? I know a lot of people like the look of trimmed shrubs. Should I just leave them alone?)
Edit - Not sure why links showed up instead of actual images, but if you copy + paste the links then you should be able to get to them. Sorry!
Edit #2 - Thank you, Rainbowgardener, for showing me how to get the pictures to show.