October 27, 2011

Before and After: A Brand New Front Landscape

Posted by Kristin

Despite a very dreary, rainy, cold day my thoughts have been wandering towards gardening and prepping for next spring. My new apartment has much to desire in the way of landscaping and gardening. One of my major goals for next spring is to install a few raised beds so I can plant my own vegetable garden.  But to satisfy my need today to see green and flowers, I thought I would share a landscape design I did for my business, Taking Root Design, in May that is still offering many blooms this time of year.

The property has magnificent views of Mt. Tom and a beautiful, newly constructed, single family home. The site was literally empty, had a good six inches of new top soil put down, and was begging for some greenery.

The home features a paved walkway up to a open front porch.

Just remove the construction equipment and you've got a great view of the surrounding mountains.

The design goals for this project were fairly simple, particularly because the house had not been sold yet (its been sold now!) so I didn't have a specific client in mind that I was designing for.

Design Goals:
1. Design for year round interest and in such a way as to appeal to a wide range of people.
2. Offer some privacy for the front porch but still allow for clear views from the porch out to the yard.
3. Disguise the well head with plantings (you can see it's orange head to the left of the real estate sign in the first photo).

After many hours of design and lots of trace paper being thrown on the floor, I went to a local nursery, Class Grass, armed with my plant list and ideas of possible substitutes. Its always good to have some other choices in mind because chances are a nursery will not have every single plant on your list. That was certainly the case and I probably had to substitute 25% of the original plants I had selected.

After marking the beds, laying out the plants, and helping with the install, the landscape turned out great and completely transformed the front yard.

New shrubs, perennials, and grass give the home a finished look and also
greatly reduce the storm water run off that was sheeting off of the bare top soil.

Variegated grasses, maroon foliage, and a Star Magnolia offer a contrast in texture and color.

The garage is flanked with bright yellow Rudbeckia (black eyed susans), variegated
Nishiki Willows, and additional Echinacea (coneflower) which ties into the front garden.

Rudbeckia = very happy flower.

What well head? There was a well head there?

Echinacea is another happy flower with medicinal qualities to boot.

And to end, not too shabby of a view from the front walk.

I hope this brought some inspiration and greenery to your day!

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