Landscape Design forum: Front Yard Landscape Woes. Starting from Scratch

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Mar 27, 2016 6:58 PM CST
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.

Pictures can be seen here

Any insight would be much appreciated!

[Last edited by skelly - Mar 27, 2016 7:00 PM (+)]
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Name: Carol Sandt
Lancaster County, Pennsylvania (Zone 6b)
Peonies Butterflies Region: Mid-Atlantic Hibiscus Daylilies Xeriscape
Hostas Roses Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Mar 30, 2016 6:17 AM CST
There is a free app called PROLandHome that allows the use of photographs such as the ones you provided to try out all types of plants and hardscape from a $14.95 database compiled by the developer of the app. The images of plants are superimposed on the photograph you supply. I have enjoyed using it on my iPad. It is also available for Amazon's Kindle Fire tablet. It is easy and fun to use.

Are you able and willing to do the purchasing and planting yourself?

P.S. In my humble opinion, the tree you are considering removing should not be removed!

Carol Sandt

"Experience is the name we give to our mistakes.” - Oscar Wilde
Pennsylvania (Zone 6b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1
Apr 2, 2016 6:32 PM CST
It is hard to say.

l live in Pittsburgh and IMO the front of the house need evergreen bushes and trees. That is done for several reasons. Winter and summer interest, health of the house you need foundation planting to block the elements around the foundation of the house and energy saver. Evergreen trees block the winter cold winds and shades the house from brutal sun that deteriorate the house. There is nothing uglier than a wide open space in the winter with a house sitting out on baron land looking lonely.

I think it is hard to say what a homeowner should plant until the homeowner has an idea of what they like. Do you have color that you like? Have you seen a tree, bush that you like? That will help you decide what flowers and type of bushes you may want to plant.

You mentioned rows of plants.....what plants do you want to plant. Planting in the beds you will plant the tall plants in the back and plants that grow low in the front. You will have to do some homework and figure out what you want, and the mature size the plants will grow.

I do not know where in Pgh you are located but if you take you pictures to Penn Hills Lawn and Garden Nursery on Jefferson Rd, Pgh, PA 15235. They have knowledgeable people that can help you pick out some plants and give you a layout. I think they also can suggest some contractors that would plant the garden for you.

If that is too far do a search for a closer Nursery near you. Your local nursery is your friend and you can get a wealth of info and help.

Have you priced the cost of cutting down that tree? They are crazy out there these days to take down a tree.
Name: Julie James
Washington (Zone 8b)
May 21, 2016 3:59 PM CST
I don't know where you are in your implementation, but I thought I'd make a few suggestions. With all that grass and the slope, I'd look at a plan for raised beds and retaining walls - create different focal points. If you do the work yourselves, it can be done fairly economically (I speak from experience.) As for plants, I'd focus on some good layering of easy to care for shrubs, grasses, perennials and ground cover. A repeated use of the same plants can create harmony, while keeping the care manageable.
OH (Zone 5a)
May 21, 2016 9:40 PM CST
Beautiful house.

You've received good advice. If you have some time, drive around neighborhoods. Takes notes and or pictures of what strikes your eye. Try to see what you like about it. OR don't like. Maybe specific colors or shapes. Lots of color or just accents. Symmetry or not. Tall plants at ends or by door or in the middle. Mix leaf textures. Think of what will still be seen in winter.

Parade of Home tours are also good for landscape ideas as well as interior.

If you can get an app or landscaper help that is good. We had a landscaper draw up plans for $150 and bought most plants from them over 3 years, but did all the planting. Some garden centers will draw up quick sketches for free or nominal charge if you bring in pictures.

Good luck
If it sparkles - I'm there!
Region: North Carolina Bookworm
May 25, 2016 10:27 AM CST
Why do you want to cut the trees down? Look healthy,, great shape.

Nice house!

Look at landscape or shrubbery in neighborhood you admire and ask ..maybe allow photo to carry with you to nursery. Help you find your style..formal..informal.. Also what goes with your house.

Welcome! jules

Don't squat with yer spurs on!

People try to turn back their "odometers." Not me. I want people to know 'why' I look this way. I've traveled a long way and some of the roads weren't paved

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