Seeking advice for landscaping my first house...

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by ocelot_ark, Mar 19, 2008.

  1. ocelot_ark

    ocelot_ark LawnSite Member
    Posts: 2

    I posted this on ******** as well, so many of you might have seen this before. I'm just looking for additional input from other sources.

    Hello everyone! Hope this finds you well. I'm new to all of this landscaping/decorating business and it's not my forte, to say the least. I was hoping some people here might give me some fresh ideas for my front yard.

    When I bought the house last May, there was hardly in grass in the front yard. So last summer I spent most of my time trying to repair the yard and getting some desperately needed water to the Texas soil which had been neglected by the previous owners who preferred to PARK on the area directly in front of the right picture window. Additionally, I had a MASSIVE pine tree removed about 3 months ago which still needs to be fully repaired (pictures below).

    The property itself is fairly level for a bit but then begins to slope pretty badly when approaching the street, making it hard to properly irrigate. My initial thought was to create a massive rock garden along that slope, limiting maintenance for me, as I travel pretty frequently. Does this seem like a good idea or would that look bad?

    Main thing I'm here for is a few fresh ideas - maybe even links to some other yards that might act as inspiration for my modest place. I want to do as much of this as possible on my own, so please keep that in mind. Now here are some pictures:

    Here are some pictures for reference:

    From the street:
    [​IMG]

    Diagonal View:
    [​IMG]

    Opposite Diagonal:
    [​IMG]

    Pine Tree Damage:
    [​IMG]

    Right of Driveway:
    [​IMG]

    Path:
    [​IMG]

    Left of house:
    [​IMG]

    Where they used to park!:
    [​IMG]
     
  2. ffemt1271

    ffemt1271 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,285

    i would dig as many of the chips out where the stump was ground out, replace with top soil and cover with sod, chop out those exposed roots too. i would then make a small bed on each side of the entrance walkway and put shrubs along the rest of the front of the house and a bigger one to hide the a/c unit from the street.
     
  3. Critical Care

    Critical Care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,654

    As you mentioned, the sloping front of the property can cause problems. The incorporation of bark mulched areas featuring shrubs, perennials, large landscape boulders and art can add interest, texture, and vertical dimension to an otherwise boring green patch of grass. Bark however can be washed down slopes that are too excessive, though it is hard to tell if that would be a problem with your place. Your idea of using rock on the slope is surely an idea, however just be aware that by throwing down a lot of rocks on the ground doesn’t mean that the area will be maintenance free. Weeds can be tenacious plants. With that said, I installed a tiered rock front to my own property where plants can grow among the rocks and cascade over them. The weed problem is kept to a minimum because I also use bark mulch and irrigate the area with drip and microspray emitters. Whatever you use along the slope, you probably want to match with other areas, such as along the walkway and in front of the house.

    Finally, removing the pine tree surely opens the front up, but doesn’t it seem empty now? You’re only limited by your imagination, but plan wisely. Think about installing an irrigation system, visualize how your place would look if you tore out some lawn and replaced it with other things. Imagine walking up to the front door, passing by a small pond and waterfall bordered by fragrant flowers and shrubs…
     
  4. ocelot_ark

    ocelot_ark LawnSite Member
    Posts: 2

    Just an update:

    Started on friday breaking up the old walkway. By Saturday night this is what I had, starting with before and ending with after:
    BEFORE
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    AFTER
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Now I know this isn't nearly as nice as any of you could have done it, but I feel like it came out pretty well for a first try. Obviously it will look better when the garden beds are finished and planted, which I hope to start on in a couple of weeks - after I've had time to prepare the dirt.
     
  5. Critical Care

    Critical Care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,654

    Well, you read my mind about digging out that cement walkway and angling a stone pathway out away from the window. Good job. I would be tempted to plant a very low groundcover like a variety of thyme in between the stones. It would fill in and look nice, not to mention the nice smell when stepped upon.

    Don't forget to put pre emergent down or you'll likely have weeds sprouting up in your walkway.
     
  6. Marcos

    Marcos LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,720

    What's with your driveway, man ?
    It looks like a flippin' ski jump !!

    Could this be something a 'slab jacking' concrete repair company could fix w/o breaking your bankroll (?)

    Once that work's done, maybe you could make some mulched ground cover beds out around the front part of your driveway...especially the steeper parts...to make your mowing out front alot easier.
    This kind of thing also looks good for down the road, come the day when you might want to sell the place.
    It'll improve your house's "look" from the road in the eyes of real estate agent's pictures, as long as you keep the beds looking pretty decent.
     
  7. mooseseven

    mooseseven LawnSite Member
    Posts: 4

    I think the walkway looks really cool, I don't know how it would look on your lawn, but on mine I dug up my grass near the curb and started a really nice plant bed, used some top soil to spread on it then planted a lot of perennials, it didn't look to good the first year but has started to look really great.
     

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