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View Full Version : I hate to ask..But I need some suggestions


davis45
08-30-2010, 09:31 PM
First off, I know I will get some harsh comments for asking for help, calling me lazy etc. etc. But anyways...I've been workin on this one for awhile. Everytime I get something together I feel I need to start over. I dont want you to make me designs, just helpful suggestions.

We are for sure going with rock over mulch, and the area is pretty much sun all day. Little shade in late evening. In the first photo I really want to do a Dwarf Burning Bush and line the walk with boxwoods. So there is still alot of area to fill. Since the Burning bush will have fall color I need something for spring or summer color, I was thinking some barberrys. Maybe some Arbs on the step sides to add some height in there. Im just stuck on this one, the bed in the first picture is an awkward shape with a large area, however I do have some decent ideas for the bed on the other side. I'm open for ideas or helpful critisism.

VO Landscape Design
08-31-2010, 12:06 AM
Off the top of my head a wildflower garden comes to mind with all the sun it will get.
VO

Buck_wheat
08-31-2010, 05:54 AM
Is that a stairway to heaven in the front or is that an architectural oops?

MarcSmith
08-31-2010, 06:40 AM
barberry. ugh...sharp, grabs debris/leaves/ect never really looks great.

perennial garden...daylillies, black eyed susan purple cone flowers...

lantana for an annual

Skip laurels for an evergreen presence...

arbs would get too big(wide)... if you really want vertical could go with an Italian cypress but i would not want to block the breeezeway

AI Inc
08-31-2010, 06:53 AM
Is that a stairway to heaven in the front or is that an architectural oops?

Stairway to heaven.

davis45
08-31-2010, 03:39 PM
Is that a stairway to heaven in the front or is that an architectural oops?

Haha, this house is still a work in progress. Its a very old house that resembles the look of a castle. This is actualy the side of the home. They had it moved from the original location to this spot a couple years ago.

I really appreciate the help so far, i'll work on some more ideas tonight.
The homeowners only requests...A tree, color in all seasons, and green shrubs.

davis45
08-31-2010, 03:44 PM
Also, for an idea on the size of the bed. It is about 27 feet wide and comes out 22 feet to the walkway at the furthest point. Its kinda of triangular shaped.

Escapes Landscape Design
09-23-2010, 06:58 PM
Cut in a nice bed. Get rid of the sod. Don't use rock...not in Illinois. You will not be helping the plants that you are planting there at all. Put in some pulverised topsoil and tine it in about 6". You are going to need some evergreen shrubs for color year round. Also, look at the height of the windows. You can put some larger plantings. Also, in a rural area large grasses and native flowers do well. Look at prairie dropseed, Karl Foerster, some nice boxwoods, some coneflower...etc, etc. You will do fine. The midwest has a great planting pallet. If you need help with descriptions of plants go to midwest groundcovers and order one of their plant catalogs. It is free and it is a designer's bible. Good luck and post finished pics when done. Can't wait to see it!

davis45
09-23-2010, 10:48 PM
Cut in a nice bed. Get rid of the sod. Don't use rock...not in Illinois. You will not be helping the plants that you are planting there at all. Put in some pulverised topsoil and tine it in about 6". You are going to need some evergreen shrubs for color year round. Also, look at the height of the windows. You can put some larger plantings. Also, in a rural area large grasses and native flowers do well. Look at prairie dropseed, Karl Foerster, some nice boxwoods, some coneflower...etc, etc. You will do fine. The midwest has a great planting pallet. If you need help with descriptions of plants go to midwest groundcovers and order one of their plant catalogs. It is free and it is a designer's bible. Good luck and post finished pics when done. Can't wait to see it!


Thanks I appreciate it! This may be on hold till spring, just graded and seeded the whole place so we'll see.

AGLA
09-24-2010, 06:50 AM
People tend to take pictures of landscapes the same way that they look at them. These pictures are of the areas between the walk and the building. That makes me think that you are looking at this from the perspective of filling those spaces rather than to address the overall landscape. Even if you only have those areas to work with, addressing the overall landscape through those spaces should really be considered.

The building is clearly the most dominant thing in this landscape. Whatever you do to fill that space is not going to become the dominant feature of the landscape because the building will still be stronger, so whatever you do has to enhance the building or use the building to enhance it. Step farther back and ask yourself what you can do to affect the appearance of the building in the overall landscape. Take some pictures from much farther back.

The second strongest influence on this site, from what wecan see of it, is the pedestrian circulation. The walks are done and you are most likely stuck with them, so you have to find a way to make their layout seem to make sense. Its best to layout walkways that respond to the logical path someone would comfortably follow from point A to point B. Sometimes there are other influences that don't allow that layout or you get stuck with one that you can't change. When that happens, you need to build context around it in order to create the sense that the walkway makes sense.

I see cars parked and a walk going away from them. I see that a retaining wall might have something to do with that. I have to guess that there is a back walk that is being used by those people who are parked all together and far from the end of the walk. Maybe the walk goes out to the street or connects to something other than the parking?

Don't look at landscapes as areas to fill with plants. TTry to work from the biggest context to the smallest. Make the details fit the bigger picture. Many people jump right to details and ignore the bigger picture. The small composition might be really well done, but when you look at the bigger picture it does nothing or negatively impacts it.

White Gardens
09-24-2010, 11:03 AM
Good Post AGLA and I totally agree with looking at things at a whole. The bigger the area, the farther back I start and then move towards the structure.

White Gardens
09-24-2010, 11:05 AM
Cut in a nice bed. Get rid of the sod. Don't use rock...not in Illinois. You will not be helping the plants that you are planting there at all. Put in some pulverised topsoil and tine it in about 6". You are going to need some evergreen shrubs for color year round. Also, look at the height of the windows. You can put some larger plantings. Also, in a rural area large grasses and native flowers do well. Look at prairie dropseed, Karl Foerster, some nice boxwoods, some coneflower...etc, etc. You will do fine. The midwest has a great planting pallet. If you need help with descriptions of plants go to midwest groundcovers and order one of their plant catalogs. It is free and it is a designer's bible. Good luck and post finished pics when done. Can't wait to see it!

Why no rock?? I'm not trying to argue, I tend to steer towards mulch over rock any day, but I didn't know what your thinking was in this instance.

davis45
09-25-2010, 05:26 PM
People tend to take pictures of landscapes the same way that they look at them. These pictures are of the areas between the walk and the building. That makes me think that you are looking at this from the perspective of filling those spaces rather than to address the overall landscape. Even if you only have those areas to work with, addressing the overall landscape through those spaces should really be considered.

The building is clearly the most dominant thing in this landscape. Whatever you do to fill that space is not going to become the dominant feature of the landscape because the building will still be stronger, so whatever you do has to enhance the building or use the building to enhance it. Step farther back and ask yourself what you can do to affect the appearance of the building in the overall landscape. Take some pictures from much farther back.

The second strongest influence on this site, from what wecan see of it, is the pedestrian circulation. The walks are done and you are most likely stuck with them, so you have to find a way to make their layout seem to make sense. Its best to layout walkways that respond to the logical path someone would comfortably follow from point A to point B. Sometimes there are other influences that don't allow that layout or you get stuck with one that you can't change. When that happens, you need to build context around it in order to create the sense that the walkway makes sense.

I see cars parked and a walk going away from them. I see that a retaining wall might have something to do with that. I have to guess that there is a back walk that is being used by those people who are parked all together and far from the end of the walk. Maybe the walk goes out to the street or connects to something other than the parking?

Don't look at landscapes as areas to fill with plants. TTry to work from the biggest context to the smallest. Make the details fit the bigger picture. Many people jump right to details and ignore the bigger picture. The small composition might be really well done, but when you look at the bigger picture it does nothing or negatively impacts it.


Awesome post and great advice. As for the walk..it connects to nothing, it just stops in the yard. Like I said, there are more than a couple things that have me stumped on this one. The back does not have a walk, it has a pool with pavers and a mud path to get to it. The pavers are no where near level, foot tall weeds growing through them. They we're only layed about 4 or 5 years ago. This place needs ALOT of work and I think I may pass on the whole thing. They spent alot of cash moving this house so budget is limited, I don't want to half a$$ it. I'll keep ya updated, and thanks.

Lawnut101
09-26-2010, 12:57 AM
What is their budget on the project? If they could spend about $5-10k you could do some real nice stuff there.