Need advice for softening corners

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by Humble Earth Mover, Aug 27, 2007.

  1. Humble Earth Mover

    Humble Earth Mover LawnSite Member
    Posts: 167

    I'm designing a landscape for the below property and I'm really running into some frustration because of the way the walkway was built. 90 degree corners everywhere creating nothing but squares and rectangles in the negative space. The other side of the walk has about 6 feet before it drops off at a 45 degree angle. I'm looking for suggestions regarding placement and bed shape to soften the sharp angles and optimize planting space. It would be easy for me to just follow what's there and do a linear planting, but I really want to add some depth and interest to this home. Just wondering if anyone with more experience (*cough* Jim Lewis *cough*) has any creative suggestions..... My budget is 10K and everything is coming out but the weeping hemlock.

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  2. forestfireguy

    forestfireguy LawnSite Senior Member
    from nj
    Posts: 601

    How new is the walkway? How much do they like the current flow of the walk? If you have a "free run" on this one, I'd change the layout of those turns, if you pull pavers from the outsides and move them to the inside to add a radius it would look a whole lot better, obviuosly easier said than done, but likely the best route long term, if this is a curb appreal kinda deal, maybe some overhanging plantings that encroach the walkway a "little" to take the eye away from the 90 degree turns. This method is cheaper, easier and not so great, but if you're on a budget and need to do something it's an option. To go with the re-layout of the walk would take one of my crews a half day or so. This is also a possible t&m job since it's kinda hard to figure, if hardscapes aren't your thing go t & m or sub it out. Also I'd be leary of bringing the beds too far out and losing mulch down the hill in a good rain. I just looked back and saw your 10 k budget. I'd definitely redo the walk, also who did the walk???? I assume not you, looks like they did a poor job of matching the heights of the driveway, or maybe thats the picture. I would also end the walk on a radius(into the driveway) , instead of the way it is now.
     
  3. Dreams To Designs

    Dreams To Designs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,406

    The house itself is very horizontal and flat. You need vertical elements, but not cone shaped at corners that will create negative space. Definitely layering. The straight lines of the walk are very fitting of the home style, not everything should be curved. Curves look good on a woman, but arcs are better suited for a landscape. The size of the beds created by the sidewalk are another matter, so go on the other side of the walk as well. I'd like a courtyard feel at the front door, enlarging or creating the illusion of a larger area. I would also attempt to "ground" the house or bring it "down" from the hill. It's quite an imposing structure on that mound.

    Kirk
     
  4. Humble Earth Mover

    Humble Earth Mover LawnSite Member
    Posts: 167

    I don't think altering the walk is an option. I'm going to end up using all of the budget on cleanup, plants, mulch, soil, etc. The previous owner of the house did the walk.

    Kirk,

    How do you suggest grounding the house? I've never come across that term.
     
  5. Dreams To Designs

    Dreams To Designs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,406

    It appears the first photo is taken from the road. The house appears to tower or loom over the observer. The house needs to look like it belongs, not just sprouted from a mound of soil. This maybe an unnatural view, as most landscapes are not seen from a 90 degree angle, so placement of larger & taller plants suits the intended view.

    Because there are so many low windows, relatively tall or large plants will be difficult to place against the house. They can be brought out farther in the yard, perhaps the hillside can be layered toward the road and have a lower growing courtyard at the entry with punctuations of height.

    I think you also need a small ornamental tree on one side of the door or the other. The siding between the windows on the two floors is too obvious. Something upright that will naturally draw the viewers eyes up.

    Kirk
     
  6. PaperCutter

    PaperCutter LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,954

    I'm with Kirk, and his courtyard idea is spot on. You could define that area with some boxwoods, and that would allow you to fix the way you're "falling off a cliff" along the front walk, and you could put in some great ornamentals on the house side of the hedge, maybe some daylilies along the outside...

    I think the shape of the walk suits the house (you can see the really formal elements they're bringing forth in the trim details over the windows and doors), so go with it, by doing some really formal plantings up against the house and allowing things to get a little more natural (but not wild) towards the edges.
     
  7. forestfireguy

    forestfireguy LawnSite Senior Member
    from nj
    Posts: 601

    Guys you're right, I am a little curve happy........
     
  8. mdlwn1

    mdlwn1 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,443

    Linear is kinda the way to go there...tough to compete with that house.
     
  9. mdlwn1

    mdlwn1 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,443

  10. Dreams To Designs

    Dreams To Designs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,406

    Dave, that's why they pay me to design.

    FFG, curves are good, just not everywhere and sometimes a straight line works. If this were a new client requiring a complete design, we could have some fun with this. The walkway definitely lacks interest and the positioning is way to close to the house. Looks to also be only 4' wide and with the front door being hidden, the walk should be much larger with a gathering area at the entry, but not in the budget!!!

    Kirk
     

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