Landscape Design forum: Help fixing front yard design!!!

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Sep 15, 2016 11:16 AM CST
Hi, so while I was away from college, my mom decided to remove our front dead yard grass(in the cali drought) and hire a "professional" to redesign the front yard into a rock/landscape design. I came back home and really dislike how everything looks the same color, and want to fix it.
First off, if you look closely at the pictures there are 3 different types of rocks.
One type is the obvious different colored large rocks that are separating the other two types of rocks. The second type is a sort of sand texture rock that acts as the "pathway" and the last is a semi small pebble rock near the center where I circled it in RED.
So the part that is circled in RED is where I want to mix another colored rock with the sand pebble rocks so that there is more dimension and color in the whole design. I was thinking of mixing it with a light colored rock(whitish color) so we can clearly differentiate between the sand pathway and the pebble rocks.

But honestly I'm not that great at determining these front yard designs and would appreciate anyone's input!

Please help!!
thank you!!! (:
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Name: Rosie
If it sparkles - I'm there!
Garden Art Region: North Carolina Bookworm Plays in the sandbox Deer Dragonflies
Sep 19, 2016 2:13 PM CST
Hi and Welcome! Welcome!

I would not add another color rock or pebble or a different surface since you already have three "surfaces ".. The flat stone..the tiny path /sand, and the pebbles like the ones you circled. More would make the eye jump around and lose the point of the path which is to lead the eye to the entrance door as well as be functional for the feet!

Instead, since the eye is being led.....give it something along the way to admire. What about s bench in the area you circled? Curved to follow the shape of the pebbled area. A pretty browned red to match the earth colors you already have or a dark dark blue...perhaps a birdbath..or a pot here and there andyou can hang out what is planted .Let the hardscape be what it is and add interest.
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
[Last edited by MISSINGROSIE - Sep 19, 2016 2:15 PM (+)]
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Region: Texas Butterflies Native Plants and Wildflowers
Oct 22, 2016 9:46 AM CST
Well, I don't blame you for being upset. But, let's just consider it lemonade as there is still some work to do before you are finished.

First, I'm so sorry to be watching the drought that you are in. I relate as I'm here in Central Texas and ours is yearly. Last year, we didn't have much of a winter because that has typically been our rainy season.

1. I would definite the walkway and put in a row of bricks to separate it from the larger stone beds. What I'd do would be to select a terra cotta colored brick that would pull in the shutters. A good way to add some color. Two ideas:
A. I'd consider your pathway just as if it were a concrete sidewalk. Then, take the terra-cotta brick and line the path. I'd put them at 90ยบ angles to the 'concrete sidewalk' just like if you were edging the sidewalk.
B. The only problem is the larger rock beds. They will eventually move over the bricks. So, I'd consider something slightly larger to edge those rock beds. Maybe they've all settled in their forever spot, I don't know. If you edged it with larger rocks, you could bring in some more and make a larger 'raised' bed. Everything looks flat at the moment.

2. Your flat concrete flagstone is all wrong. Not enough. I'd pull them back and save them to be used later. Plus the gray concrete doesn't add anything to what you are doing. You don't want a hop scotch design. It needs to flow. I'd give you that idea later. But for the moment, I'd stack them beside the house.

3. Did that company set the 3 larger rocks? Really? And those guys are professional. No ma'am. The 3 rocks need to be a grouping together. Like this, they are lost and you don't have a coordinated landscape.

4. Look at picture 1. Middle to the right. That's a great stone. I think you need at least one, two, maybe 3 of those to the left and set the 3 gray rocks around them. Make a good grouping.

5. I think you could add the other colored stone that you want. But, I'd do these first.

6. Lastly, I'm on a compact gravel parking lot. I'm having to make beds. I'm using wood chips. They are decomposing so nicely after a year+. Roots of plants LOVE the mycorrhizal fungi and their roots are just eating it up. I brought in some gray rocks to line my butterfly bed. But, I know that butterflies are nearsighted and not drawn to the color 'gray'. Upon studying it a little bit more, I decided I needed to stain those gray rocks. Went to look up concrete stain. Big box stores came up and so did their prices. Being very conservative with my money, I looked farther down to "Homemade concrete stain". It cost me $6 at the feed store to buy some "Copperas". I stained them all to a gorgeous rusty orange color... the exact color that would bring the butterflies in. Eventually, I pushed my perfect vertical bed back so it leaned in and was backing the soil at an angle. Otherwise, with rain and time, it would have blown out that short perfectly vertical wall. Then, I worked with the rocks to make what will be a Fairy Garden. I'll attach a photo. Please bear in mind that it's FAR from being finished. In another month, I'll be transplanting - bringing the largest plant off that raised bed and 5' in front. There will be another raised bed considerably shorter. But, roots will find their way down through the cardboard. Interesting thing. I did pull up one of the Copperas painted rocks to move. When I turned it over, I could see the outside of where roots were holding on it. Do some homework on Copperas. I'll be adding a smidgen to my water when I make up the next gallon with Epsom salt in it to. (We need the magnesium here.)

So, think about adding some height to your rock beds. Of course, this conversation could continue. At the moment, I need to get out and plant some things. But, it gives you some ideas to work with. Don't rush it. Just take one area at a time. If you are calling the gravel walkway as one of the textures of the rocks you have... don't. It's not. It's flat, with no texture. So, just ignore that, and consider making 3 textures using the other rock you have. That is just the paper on which you are drawing your landscape.

I think once you define your beds, you could eventually plan to plant something xeric. I'd probably need to pick axe down to see what your dirt in the original yard looks like. If you've got some, then roots will find a way.

I do like the beds of rocks that you have. They are large enough to be defined as rocks and they do have some color to them. What you add next will start giving them even more color.

Good luck with your yard. We both have our own crossed to bear in our separate yards. Just my suggestions. if they spur some thought, then all the better.

Found this on the web.... cool idea.

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Future butterfly bed. This was taken when the rocks were vertical. The ones you see laying around, were all used to lay the bed back and prevent the soil from blowing out.

Thumb of 2016-10-22/CrystalIvy/28c69b

Hope this helps you.

Oct 28, 2016 4:53 AM CST
I have collected some landscapes which could interest you. You could mix and make your own design. A flagstone path is also eye catching.
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Name: Rosie
If it sparkles - I'm there!
Garden Art Region: North Carolina Bookworm Plays in the sandbox Deer Dragonflies
Oct 28, 2016 12:19 PM CST
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
Name: Teresa
South central KY (Zone 6b)
Consider the lilies of the field
Seller of Garden Stuff Irises Hostas Region: Kentucky Lilies Peonies
Region: United States of America Garden Photography Vegetable Grower Hummingbirder Cat Lover Heucheras
Oct 30, 2016 7:51 AM CST
Thanks, I really like that stone path.

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