Skelly
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Front Yard Landscape Woes. Starting from Scratch

Hello all! Hoping to get some ideas for landscape in my front yard. I have reach out locally for someone to come look at my layout and I will order the plants from them, but I have been unable to get anyone interested in the job.

A few highlights:

-Location: Pittsburgh PA

-Front of house faces East (Sun in the AM).

-Left tree has been cut down in front yard(Furthest from driveway), have not cut down the left tree yet. Should I?

-I do not want high maintenance shrubs. I want low maintenance, but if low maintenance = boring plants, I'm OK with moderate maintenance to get nicer looking plants.

-Budget = $1500

-If I cut down the other Maple in the front yard, I would like to plant some sort of tree in the rounded portion of the mulch bed.

-I'm ok with watering plants every other day or so.

-For now I'm only looking to put plants up to the orange mesh fence. I will work on the side of the house once the front is done. Baby steps.

-Really having issues tackling the deep mulch bed on the left. Unsure how to tackle multiple rows of plants and make it look nice.

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Skelly
Newly Registered
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Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2016 12:28 am

Re: Front Yard Landscape Woes. Starting from Scratch

Pictures can be seen here. Unsure why I cant hotlink them ?

https://imgur.com/a/qypww

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Front Yard Landscape Woes. Starting from Scratch

Very nice house and yard!

You have a large imposing two story house and plenty of yard room. The chief mistake almost everyone makes is to go way too small with foundation plantings, making one row of small plants in a straight line across. All out of scale with the large house, unnatural looking, boring, adds nothing to the looks of the house.

All your foundation planting areas are too small and too rectangular. Your house is a big box. You want to soften that with curves. Extend your beds out every where you can and give them curved front edges.

Here's a couple of previous posts on front yard landscaping I did, with inspiration pictures. Look for more inspiration pictures. You can just do a search on "front yard landscaping images."

https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/vi ... 12&t=57400

https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/vi ... 12&t=56975

Just had to throw a picture in, because the post looks so boring without it.

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You want your front door to stand out and be welcoming. I'd paint your front steps a contrasting color and put white banisters/stair railings on them to match the porch railings. Then make a curving path from the steps to midway down the driveway, where guests would park.

Put in all your hardscaping (paths etc) first and then trees and shrubbery. Worry about filling in with flowers later.

When you plan your plantings, think about having something interesting going on in four seasons. Here's a couple threads I did about four season gardens and winter interest:

Here's a couple threads I did about four season gardening and how to have winter interest in your garden:

https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/vi ... hp?t=35084
https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/vi ... st#p326770[/quote]

So evergreens, things with colorful fall foliage, things with colorful foliage period, things with winter berries, etc.

Some shrub suggestions include: serviceberry, purple ninebark, viburnum, yew, vaccinium (high bush blueberry). All of these should be good in your morning sun location and cold hardy for you.
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

imafan26
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Re: Front Yard Landscape Woes. Starting from Scratch

I think no one wants to take the job because the budget is probably not enough for what you have in mind. Here taking down one tree costs $1000 for a 30 ft tree, bigger trees cost more. My sprinkler system cost $1400 in 1992. Every year, the tree trimmer would remind me it was time to prune my tree. I used to do it myself until it got too tall for me to reach from the ground. Because I was a regular customer he only charged me $250 every year. Finally the tree got too sick and the roots were reaching out toward the house so I had to cut it down and it cost $450 for that and that was cheap. I put in my own plants and propagated what I needed. I did all the tilling and amending, planting, weeding, fertilizing, and pest control. Sodding the front yard which is only 19 ft x20 cost over $380 just for the sod. I suggest if your budget is limited is that you come up with a master plan and install it in sections. I would spend time checking out the plants you want and look at mature specimens when possible. I would price everything, I think you will find that your budget probably won't even cover the plants you would consider. Draw everything out on paper and to scale. When you finally do plant it will look empty but you will save money if you only buy the plants you need and not have to take them out later. You can fill in the spaces with mulch or annuals until the landscape matures. I would hire out only the jobs that would be beyond your abilities. I agree with Rainbow that your beds need to be expanded out and not follow the foundation so closely. I would also avoid planting anything within two feet of the foundation. That three foot section between the house and driveway, I would cement it in and put a storage closet there. It might be big enough for a bicycle or for trash bins, or to store a BBQ grill, or car care supplies. It makes maintenance on the landscaping in the back and maintenance on the house like painting and washing lower windows a lot easier if you have a maintenance path there instead. You really don't want roots and water up against the foundation. Planting needs to be in scale with the house. You will need taller shrubs and annuals can be planted in front of them. You will a tall plant to anchor and soften the corner. Bigger plants will cost a lot more than you think. If you are willing to wait for the effect smaller plants that grow fast will be cheaper and spend the big money on larger plants that don't grow as fast. What are you going to do with the stumps in the yard. It will cost money to have them ground but it is the fastest way to eliminate them. The ground will sink when the roots decay in a couple of years so you will have to be prepared to fill when that happens. If you leave the stumps in place it will take longer but as long as they don't grow back, you might consider island beds of perennnials and annuals around the stumps and hide them in plain site. Actually, I like the trees where they are.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

HoneyBerry
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Re: Front Yard Landscape Woes. Starting from Scratch

You wrote: ". . . have not cut down the left tree yet. Should I?"

I like the tree. I would keep it if I were you.
ISFP "The Artist"

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