Ranch Style Home in Desperate Need of a Facelift in Landscaping

by Anita
(Clanton, Alabama)




I have a Ranch style home on 2 acres of basically flat land with absolutely no landscaping whatsoever. The front of the house is flat, drab and very plain. I want to put something in front of the house to give it some pizazz but I have a "black" thumb and therefore need something with little maintenance.

ANSWER

Hi Anita,
Since you didn't submit a photo, I can only provide generic information...

Evergreen shrubs are a nice choice. You'll have to look up your planting zone. Each plant has a plant zone range that it will grow in, so you need to know that to select plants that will survive where you live.

You also should observe your sun and shade conditions. Watch your yard and see how much sun you get...none, a half a day, all day, etc. When you go to a plant nursery (or if you buy online), each plant will have a specification as to what conditions they like. Choose those that match the conditions in your own yard.

Deer are another consideration. If you don't have deer, great! If you do, select deer resistant plants. Here is a site that will help with that.

http://njaes.rutgers.edu/deerresistance/default.asp?search=ilex+meservae&submit=Search

It's nice to layer a planting design if you have the room along your house. The taller plants should be placed in the back. In front of those you can use lower evergreen shrubs, deciduous shrubs, and or perennials.

Visit my page on Plants For Landscaping. Once there, it will lead you to pages on types of specific plants. You also might enjoy my ebook Designing With Evergreen Shrubs.

Use tall plants also. Otherwise there is not excitement. I like to place trees at house corners, perhaps near the front walk and even out in the lawn. When placing them near the house, be aware of how large they get and use this as a guide to position the trees so that they don't hit the house.

Also think about textures. Try to place plants with different textures, and even heights, next to each other for interest.

And if all of that is too overwhelming for you, you can hire a landscape designer! Search for one in your area or contact me as I provide online designs.

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"Susan,  what a pleasure it was to work with you.  You made me feel like I was your only client - responding late at night and always so quickly!  Your design is amazing and we only hope we can do justice to it when we plant.  You have such fantastic ideas and you are so open to suggestions and changes.  Loved working with you - now if you could only come to Canada and plant it!!!"
Helen, Ontario-Canada 

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