Show the Way. Are people confused about which door to use or how to get to the main entrance of your house? Create a path that makes it obvious where people should go. In older homes it's not uncommon for the front walk to lead from the front door directly to the road, which might not be a comfortable or safe place for people to park and get out of the car. Create a flare at the bottom so people have room to disembark. If you have a front driveway, redirect the path so it connects with that.
Roll Out the Welcome Mat. Create visual interest and make the main entrance more inviting by gently flaring the front walk where it meets the porch. Make the landing wide enough5 or 6 feetto accommodate built-in planters, pedestal urns or a symmetrical element that complements the architecture of your house and landscape.
Soften edges with herbaceous borders in which drifts of flowers are planted so that one group segues into another, either with complementary or contrasting colors and textures. Punctuate with the occasional vertical or flowering shrub.
Tune Up the Hardscape. "Narrow, sinking or cracked walkways and poorly kept entrance steps create a bad first impression," says Robert Schucker, president of R&S Landscaping in Midland Park, N.J. "Uneven or mildewed brick pavers, for example, can be reset and cleaned quickly and at minimal cost."
Replace any rotted wood such as edging battens or raised bed frames. For porches, decks and raised beds, consider composite materials that resist rot. To articulate beds, retain mulch with edging made of cement, plastic or metal or outline the bed with small boulders over mulch.
Beautify a Builder's Landscape. A common problem with newly constructed houses is that the builder-issue landscape is skimpy or non-existent. The good news is that you have a blank slate (or nearly blank) to do what you want. However, it's not enough to simply add a bunch of plants to fill in the blanks. They need to be arranged according to solid design principles of unity, scale, balance and mass for a sophisticated effect.
Hide the Mess. Sometimes the problem isn't your yard, it's the neighbor's. A hedge or fence not only screens a multitude of distractions, but also nicely frames your property. Many towns have height restrictions for fences that are seen from the street, so be sure to check local zoning ordinances and get the proper permits before installing a fence. Also check your property line and understand what the height and width of plantings will be at maturity to make sure they do not eventually encroach on the neighbor's property.
From a picket fence to a lattice screen, try these strategies to create more privacy in your yard.
Consider these factors when planning a landscape that meets your needs and fills your dreams
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