Please Help Me Design My Front Lawn?

Discussion in 'Garden Design and Plant Suggestions' started by lily, Aug 6, 2009.

  1. lily

    lily Active Member 10 Years

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    I have 4 rhododenrons planted down the side of my front lawn. I don't like the (crop) circles at the base of them. It looks odd to me. I would like to open this area up perhaps with other plants? What would it look like if I cut out some sort of shape around them all? What kind of shape? I'm really lost and am open to all suggestions. What other plants can I plant with these. The rhododendrons are called (Honorable Jean Marie Montague) The have bright red trusses. It's on the north west side of my home.
     

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  2. Katalina25

    Katalina25 New Member

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    You might choose a geometric shape, rectangle shape.

    Shapes bring a strong sense of order, control, and formality.

    Open or free-flowing shapes are more playful, relaxed, and natural.
    Good luck Lily!
     
  3. lily

    lily Active Member 10 Years

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    Katalina ~ Thank you for your quick reply and suggestion. Do you have any ideas for what I can plant with the rhodies for a nice show?
     
  4. Katalina25

    Katalina25 New Member

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    I think this site Lily will be of enormous help.

    http://www.rhodyman.net/rahome.html

    Also grab a couple of ideas from this site:

    http://www.gardenarena.co.uk/s_central.htm
     
  5. lily

    lily Active Member 10 Years

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    Thank you Katalina. These are great links. I think I've been to these sites before. I really need some help in 'designing' my front lawn. I'm really open to all kinds of ideas. Thanks again for all your help.
     
  6. Liz

    Liz Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    You could also make it into one long bed and fill it with what ever grows well there as long as they don't swamp the rhodos. Maybe the drive edge could stay straight and the lawn side meander. Either use edging or spade an edge. This looks like a nice sunny area to mix herbs flowers and even picking lettuce

    Liz
     
  7. lily

    lily Active Member 10 Years

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    Hi Liz,
    The long bed sounds nice, since my preference is a more formal look. Yes, it is sunny there for a good part of the day. I'm not sure about growing lettuce on my front lawn but I love your ideas for flowers. I wonder what would work nicely with red rhododendrons? Not quite sure what you mean by 'meander'? It sounds interesting though. Thanks Liz.
     
  8. Katalina25

    Katalina25 New Member

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    Wiki

    May be a help Lily on meander.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meander

    Where is the front door. What grows well in your area?

    Have you a back lawn?

    Certainly the edges need squaring off (tidying up) Create some nice border, and put in plants that attract wildlife, you have a ton of wildlife. You could have a tree (Rowan) berries in winter white flowers in spring. Here I found visable way to make shapes. I like the ring of plants.

    You could have a specimen standard rose as a center piece inside that ring of flowers..

    http://www.lawnedging.net/

    And before I forget..a water feature, a statue or something.
     
  9. Mary B

    Mary B Member

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    Hi Lily
    My mother has the same set up - we put in an 'L' shaped bed - across the front of the house and down the side bordering the neighbor's driveway - it seemed to anchor the house and set up a distinctive border.
    Mom chose a color palette for the bed then we chose plants to match - flowering and shrubs. It looks great.
    Hope this helps - good luck!
     
  10. lily

    lily Active Member 10 Years

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    Hi Mary, thanks for your reply. I would love to see photos of your mom's garden. I'm thinking I would like to plant an L-shape around the edge as well but I'm thinking of a low boxwood. I really like a formal design. I'm still kind of stuck as what to do with my red rhodies? I think perhaps I should cut out a 'meandering' shape around them and plant some perennials. I don't want to overpower my front lawn though. I like simplicity. Any ideas on what would look nice with red rhododendrons and of course they would have to like the sun. I should mention that my husband is going to design a nice flower bed using (allenblock) to be placed below my LR window across the front of the house.
     
  11. lily

    lily Active Member 10 Years

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    Katalina,
    Thanks again for your help. Yes, I do have a back lawn. I'm currently installing a round patio with a pond. And we just finished installing a lovely long trellis. My doors are on the side of the house. Thanks so much for those links. They were most helpful to me.
     
  12. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    The lawn is OK, problem is disruptive row of "color clots". Next fall or winter lift the rhodies and put them to the side, cut some beds out of the grass. Shrubs may need to be heeled in while you make the new beds. A good design would be beds on the sides, with lawn in the middle. Bed on the left might come somewhat less than half way down the drive, one on the right maybe two thirds of the way to the street. Use sweeping informal shapes, so that the grass appears to flow up to the house and then around behind it, like a lake being fed by a river at the top. The grass is the water, the beds the forested hills. Have the lawn open out to the street in front, nearly close up at the back where it turns into a path that sneaks behind the house (and is flanked by shrubs and trees, to form a secret woodland garden).

    Squareness of house should not be emphasized with rectilinear garden design. Lawn and shrubs should flow up to house, then past it, with shrubs across the front of house helping to maintain flowing appearance and soften angles of house. One taller or more vertical deciduous shrub might accent the bed to the left, one small tree or tall shrub might be good softening the right corner of the house. A small tree would be desirable in the bed on the right, which should be the largest and most important section of planting. Three such vertical shrub/small tree accents arranged in a triangular manner would help unify the space without resorting to formality*. Each should be planted in or at the back of the widest part of each bed.

    See Grant/Grant, Garden Design Illustrated (Timber Press). Inexpensive, sold by used book dealers.

    *2. SKIP THE FORMALITY

    Not all formal effects create work; crisp areas of paving, simple water features, decorative walls, sheets of neat groundcovers are about as carefree as anything. But tightly sheared hedges, topiary shrubs, long soldier courses of identically shaped trees demand regular attention. Also, when any of your matching plant sculptures dies, it may be impossible to replace. A garden in a softer, more natural style will forgive lapses in maintenance


    http://www.colvoscreeknursery.com/plantnotes.html
     
  13. M. D. Vaden

    M. D. Vaden Active Member 10 Years

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    What do you think of inserting a really big boulder with some accent plants?
     
  14. lily

    lily Active Member 10 Years

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    Ron, thanks very much for your help. Your idea is awesome so that's exactly what I will do. I may need your help as I go along with this project ~ if that is okay with you? Thanks again Ron!
     
  15. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Do read the book I suggested, written and illustrated like a magazine article rather than a textbook so much of it should be fairly quickly and easily gotten the gist of. There's a sample layout in the back that has a lawn shape and beds that are what I was thinking of while posting here. House shape and front door access different but same general design could work for you. Street in front, drive to the left, neighbors to the right, house at top of lawn, with access to the back off to the side not an unusual combination. Might be why they chose that configuration for the sample layout, I suppose.
     
  16. Katalina25

    Katalina25 New Member

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