front yard plantings - looks boring

Our front yard has 2 big oak trees, weeds, moss, and overgrown plants.

We do not know if we need to cut the trees down because we want to put new sod but lack of sun would kill it again... or we should leave trees and work around them creating big beds?

I sent you 2 photos. One is of our house and on the picture the are no bushes around the house. But in the real world they are there and would stay there...we just wanted to see how the house will look without bushes and it changed our mind for now....

We like formal and green front yard plantings. Our landscapers are saying different things about everything. We live in GA Augusta.
Thank you very much for your advice!!!!!

I would prefer to place large trees in beds rather than taking them down. Large trees are a present if they are nice ones!

I can't quite see how close they are to the front planting bed or walkway of your home. If they are some distance away, you can dig a large circular bed around them, about 5 feet in diameter. Lawn would surround the beds.

On the other hand if the trees are close to your foundation walkway, you might create a bed going along the walk, incorporating the tree in it.

As far as the lawn goes, overseed it with grass seed made specifically for shady conditions. Also, make sure the lawn is irrigated well (ouch, those Georgia droughts!). Another ideas is to make the beds quite large and add drought tolerant plants such as Sedums, Russian Sage, Caryopteris, etc. (all these plants will provide nice color). Or you might use Ajuga as a groundcover for low maintenance.


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Landscape Design For BIG Yard

by Jo
(Sagle, id.)

So I love to landscape but I have a huge yard that needs constant care, which I can not provide for the whole lawn. Its a great view-in the middle of no-where. I just want to somehow close a place in to make a really relaxing-secure area where I can pamper the yard. How do you suggest closing it in without making it look too awkward?

Hi Jo,
Let's first discuss where this relaxing peace of heaven will be!

You could either choose an area that is close to the house or one that is further away. The advantage to haveing a garden close is that it will be easier to take care of in regards to watering the plants.

However, depending on your property, it might also be nice to meander to another place and make use of your large yard.

Close Gardens
Try to make it an extension of your house. You can surround it with shrubs for a feeling of enclosure. You could also put up a charming, low fence with some plants in front that would give you a similar feeling.

Add a nice sitting area with a bench, lounge chairs, etc. How about a pretty fountain? An arbor to enter through. A pergola for some shade and for a horizontal garden element?

A Garden Further Away
These same features can be used if you choose to have an area further away on your property. Try and have something leading to it like a winding path to make it look like it's a destination. If you don't want to create a walkway, try to plant groups of trees and/or shrubs to outline a pathway, but in a natural, free form way.

It would help if this area could be anchored by something... a large tree, a property border, or woods.


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Plants that complement an English tudor home in Sacramento, California area

by harji
(fair oaks ,ca.95628)

I would appreciate some suggestions to landscape a beautiful English tudor home in Sacramento california area.
Need color, hardy (mostly evergreen) plants.
please also include some tree selections including a specimen tree in a focal point.

I am going to refer this to some other landscape designers in the California area who have great knowledge of southern plants.


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cheap but nice front yard

by andrew
(new jersey)

My family is putting my house up for sale. we want to make the yard nice but we need to do it cheap. We have a black top drive way, a stone walkway, and 3 huge trees. We have about 1/2 of an acre to work with. What do you recommend we do that is cheap-under $150?

Hi Andrew,
There's not a lot you can do with $150. However, you can get quite a bit of mileage out of perennials and I would put them along the front foundation of your home if there is nothing there.

Choose those that bloom on and off all season so you will always have color, such as Stella D'Oro Daylily, Scabiosa, and even some carefree shrub roses (shrubs, not perennials). Coneflower is another good one but it blooms a little later. This is assuming the area is sunny. If not, let me know. You can add annuals to this also, such as Begonias.

Plant each variety in groups for a big splash of color.

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Front Yard Landscape Ideas With Large Shade Trees

I have a 12x12 area in my front yard that I would like to landscape. There are two large maple trees in this area with exposed roots. I currently have flowers planted and it has become quite a chore keeping it weeded. I would like to maybe plant some shrubs and maybe a pond. Do you have any suggestions or ideas?

If you add some shrubs, they should be drought tolerant because the tree roots are always going to be in competition with them for water...and the trees will win! You might also consider some perennials that take dry conditions. Sedum, Russian Sage and even Lavender would do fine.

By the way, adding a 3" layer of hardwood shredded bark mulch will help tremendously with both weed prevention and water conservation.

It will probably be tough to dig down far enough for a pond in an area where mature trees have a lot of roots. However, why don't you consider a free standing fountain? You could even put a bench nearby to sit and enjoy looking at and hearing the flowing water. Here is a page about them: Bird Bath Fountains

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