When the homeowners came to us, their home had a long front yard with a double lot’s worth of street frontage in a charming downtown neighborhood. However, their landscape was dated and lacking in character, and their enclosed entryway, dark and uninviting, prevented them from enjoying their front porch to the fullest . The homeowners instead wanted a manageable landscape that was unique and eclectic (befitting of their neighborhood), but still had traditional elements in its design (coordinating with the home’s architecture). Finally, although they were happy to reduce the amount of lawn, they also wanted to limit the amount of mulch and maintenance needed.
There were massive yews along the fence line to the left of the house, visually dominating the front. One of the yews bisected the yard, making part of their property look unconnected from the rest. The homeowners were somewhat reticent at first to remove the large yew despite its aesthetic drawbacks, because it provided screenage along their fenceline for their enthusiastic canine companions; however, after some discussion, they were convinced so long as screenage was a design element. Removing this yew would also open up space in the one sunny spot in their yard, which they hoped to use for growing herbs and a few veggies.
The resulting design is a traditional foundation landscape that incorporates a raised garden, ultimately transitioning to an asian inspired conifer and rock garden. Floral displays of pollinator friendly plants like catmint, coneflower, sedum, and lowscape aronia help achieve the goal of a low maintenance but stunning foundation planting . A limelight hydrangea tree is simultaneously whimsical and traditional. The prominent location of the veggie garden inspired a raised garden design that is as beautiful as it is functional. The bespoke beds are built high enough so the homeowners do not need to bend down. A mixed evergreen screen of hemlock, Serbian spruce and arborvitae along the fence line is carefully designed to take advantage of the remaining evergreens behind the fence, blocking views into the backyard for privacy. Winter interest is also evident in the asian garden, with a mix of specimen conifers like gold mop chamaecyparis and whipcord arborvitae and carefully placed decorative rocks. The semi-distinct spaces are connected via flowing bedlines and use of stone throughout. Crushed MI natural granite in the rock garden reduces the amount of mulch required, and also serves as a decorative element and pathway to the backyard. The final touch on the landscape was removing old screen windows on the porch, opening it up to the street and the beautiful new plantings.