A collection of great landscaping articles and favorite links that cover various topics from principles of design to landscape design gurus.
It takes a little imagination to get a feel of what this corner lot will look like on the ground. It is different and abstract. And for some it may take seeing it finished to appreciate the added curb appeal.
For us, the clients requests and a site analysis generally lay down our initial guidelines for a design. In this corner lot design, the clients requests were simple and dealt mainly with economics and price.
For our analysis, we had to address a slope in the front yard, a wind tunnel in the backyard, and water drainage away from the home. Then it was a simple matter of creating a unique shape for curb appeal.
Unique shape is quite an issue with me. Because we create so many designs, it's easy to get stuck in a cookie cutter mode where all of our designs start to look alike. This one was especially important because we have done several in this neighborhood.
The abstract shape isn't designed around any necessary element. It's simply a matter of creating something unique and out of the ordinary. I tired a few different applications using landscaping software until I came up with this one that I like. Sometimes it's just helpful to doodle with different shapes.
The Plant selection for this corner lot is generic. The clients will do their own planting scheme using pre-planned gardens so I just placed a few specimens for the sake of the design. I would suggest looking into preplanned garden ideas if you're challenged in plant selection or color coordinating.
We addressed the slope in the front yard in an economical practical way by using pre-fab concrete retaining wall blocks. The top of the retaining wall is set four inches below the foundation of the home to allow for drainage away from the foundation and for a better view of the landscape from the street.
The rest of the slope is a gradual decline from the base of the wall to the street curb.
The groundcover is one inch crushed limestone which is still the most economical choice without sacrificing curb appeal. And of course and always, the groundcover is under lain with our absolute best landscape fabric to separate the surface and ground cover and to prevent weeds.
The lawn area is a hybrid Fescue sod that is adapted to our area. It's one thing that if the client can afford to include, I recommend be part of the plan. While a little more expensive, sod is generally a lot less hassle than starting a lawn from seed. And it's instant gratification.
Of course and always, if we install a lawn, sod or seed, we install an automated drip or sprinkler system. We can't guarantee the survival of the lawn without it.
In the backyard, we had to address the problem of a wind tunnel created by the space between two neighboring homes. For this we used Italian Cypress closely spaced to create a wind block. The curved bed area isn't necessary but did add some focal quality and appeal to the backyard. This also created a nice frame for a birdbath and small shrubs. All in all and with all elements in place the landscape for this corner lot front yard turned out ot be really nice with a lot of curb appeal in all directions.