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Landscaping ideas????
Carrie Christiansen
January 16, 2013 in Design Dilemma
We need to do something to our front yard! We want to stick to native Northern Colorado plants. Open to making our lawn really small. The tree in the lawn is a Linden, and it's not growing well in our terrible clay and shale soil.
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decoenthusiaste
You need a larger curvy bed and I'd arrange it so the downspout can water the plants - low to the ground with holes in it maybe. Check at local nursery centers for plants appropriate to the area.
2 Likes   January 16, 2013 at 8:53PM
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Ross NW Watergardens
Lawns should serve a purpose. If you are going to make the grass really small- just eliminate it. A dry creek or a couple boulder groupings can provide a new focal point for the yard.
3 Likes   January 16, 2013 at 9:20PM
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Stone & Land, LLC
I wish I could help more, but I'm not too familiar which plants do great in Colorado and your soils. I like your front porch. I like the things you have in your ideabook, prairie type perennials. A couple of non prairie plants I can't kill are Perovskia- russian sage and Nepeta - catmint, they have a nice long bloom time. It looks like maybe you have some catmint up near the steps, but I'm not sure because its dormant. Too bad your Linden isn't doing well. If you want to change it up a little, a Prairie fire crabapple might fit nicely, take the conditions, and the flowers will show nicely against the colors of the house. I'm a big fan of Serviceberry too, but the light bark and white flowers might not show as well. Its hard to do stuff off of just one picture but have your local designer give you an idea of what the landscape would be like while looking out from your front window's too. I looks like your house would be a good candidate for a little white picket fence and an english border garden. Do try to keep a little sod between the fence and the sidewalk. It'll give it a manicured look. Good luck.
[houzz=Traditional Perennial]
[houzz=Family Pool]
4 Likes   January 16, 2013 at 9:22PM
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jannielee
I agree with a larger curved bed. Mixing some evergreens that won't get too big at the corner of the deck and beside the deck will anchor your plantings and provide more "life" to your curb appeal in winter months will go along way. Take your photo to your local nursery for their suggestions on what will do well in your local. Be sure you can tell them your exposure as shrubs can be quite picky about sun and shade just as plants can be.

Perhaps the evergreens and something for summer color like an endless summer hydrangea would be good closer to the porch and pull the smaller plants that you'd like to keep forward in the enlarged bed.

Your porch would look great with a couple of high backed wicker rockers to add some warmth.

Your garage doors are nice, but large so that side of your house needs something to soften it up. I would get a pyramidal evergreen to plant at that outside corner. If you are able to add the architectural component, I love the idea of a pergola above the large garage door with something to climb it like wisteria or roses. If adding that structure isn't possible. Invest in a couple of good sized weatherproof planters by those big doors and add either skyrocket junipers. You could also place an obelisk in them or place a trellis behind them and have something climb them. Once again, have your local nursery help you with your selections. They will be knowledgeable about their stock and there will normally be someone with a good eye to make suggestions. Your photos will be a big help to them.

It's going to look great. Good luck!
1 Like   January 16, 2013 at 9:26PM
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Stone & Land, LLC
hey that comment by Ross NW Watergardens and the Urn in the picture with the fence gave me another idea. Maybe have a sculptural recirculating waterfeaure up near the front steps to welcome your guests. It doesn't have to be oversized either.
1 Like   January 16, 2013 at 9:31PM
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houssaon
I would relocate the plantings you have in front of the porch to an island bed anchored by the tree. It seems a shame to cover up the stone feature and an island bed would be very attractive to you when you're sitting on the porch as well as passers by. Plant in odd numbers, 1 of something for a special specimen, three of others, five for mass effect.

Double check to see that the Linden root ball was properly unwrapped when it was planted. I had one tree planted with a plastic cover still intact around the root ball. Needless to say, it didn't do well. Even a burlap wrap should be loosen.

Check out neighbors landscapes. If you see one that you like, see if they will share information about their plantings, tips and what to avoid.
2 Likes   January 16, 2013 at 9:42PM
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Stone & Land, LLC
houssaon is right about investigating the tree. I've also seen nylon twine that was used to wrap the burlap and it also was wrapped around the base of the trunk, it started to girdle a nice Japanese maple at my aunt's house, a year removing it, the tree really thrived. I suspect that your tree is just planted too deep, a common mistake, especially detrimental in clay soil. The root flare should probably be a few inches above the surrounding soil. In the forest, Lindens seem to like some shade and north facing slopes.
2 Likes   January 16, 2013 at 9:55PM
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Carrie Christiansen
Thanks!
1 Like   January 17, 2013 at 4:11PM
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Sweet Caroline Garden Design
Lovely craftman style home that would look more like one if painted in greens and browns with maybe a third color such as mustard. Do you have a better picture that shows the house in the center? I think its great that you're considering native plants and getting rid of the lawn is a splendid idea. To solve the clay problem I would make a raised bed with a foot or more of good rock garden soil for drainage. Lots of splendid ornamental grasses, succulents, drought-tolerant perennials and annuals and perhaps a small ornamental tree . The Linden tree is not properly placed and I would move it to the side of the house that gets the most sun - make sure its far enough away from the house because they do get big and their roots could be a problem for your home's foundation or underground pipes/sewer.
1 Like   January 18, 2013 at 9:55AM
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Sweet Caroline Garden Design
Here's a rough draft of my idea - not sure how your plot is configured so its just tentative now.
0 Likes   January 18, 2013 at 10:23AM
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Stone & Land, LLC
Sweet Caroline, I'd never heard of Lindens interfering with sewers or foundations. Is that a problem where your from?
0 Likes   January 18, 2013 at 8:22PM
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Sweet Caroline Garden Design
0 Likes   January 19, 2013 at 4:57AM
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Ingrained woodworking Inc
I'm not very versed at all in landscaping but I love reading all of the posts. I like berms in general(small though, I've seen it over done). The stone walkway is nice too. Adding smaller round river rock as a border I've seen work well. Not being much of an expert here I'll stop now but I will keep reading this thread for it is quite interesting.
0 Likes   January 19, 2013 at 5:17AM
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Stone & Land, LLC
Sweet Caroline, I guess I'm used to Tilia cordata - Littleleaf Linden varieties we use around here. They don't get as big and we probably have deeper sewers than N.C. for frost protection. They use Littleleaf Lindens quite a bit for street trees, but they do better on residential streets because they're not very tolerant of road salt. Its hard to find a good tree. Sometimes I wish they were like furniture and we could just manufacture one that would fit the situation.
1 Like   January 19, 2013 at 8:20AM
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Jayme H.
I like these kinds of looks. Not sure about all of these plants for your area. I would not use any evergreens that are of a variety (up close the house) that get quite large-not sure how large ones in pic get.
2 Likes   January 19, 2013 at 8:31AM
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Stone & Land, LLC
Nice Jayme, I always like to see some natural stone and outcrops in landscapes like the picture on the right. I tend to like a few larger pieces and not too much gravel, especially when its used like mulch. It can look commercial and harsh, especially if plants don't fill in and soften it. Pulling out weeds from gravel seems harder to me than from a mulched bed. I've had some bad experiences with removing tons of gravel to redo a suffering landscapes. That's probably where my reluctance to use it comes from.
1 Like   January 19, 2013 at 9:07AM
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Jayme H.
Thx Stone & Land LLC...I use mulch..did the entire front/sides of a large/deep lot with a massive 4-Square I used to own/and it looked good. It was very low maintenance and filled in nicely.
0 Likes   January 19, 2013 at 9:23AM
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Carrie Christiansen
Thanks again, to all, for the suggestions. I found this pic that I really like. I came from Seattle, so I do love to see some nice green lawn, but after 4 years in No. CO, I realize it's pretty much high desert and it seems ridiculous that every house has so much lawn! That's a struggle for me. Also, with our poorly draining soil, I'm sure the Linden is getting waterlogged. And with it being right in the middle of the lawn, that makes things a little more difficult for me to visualize.
1 Like   January 21, 2013 at 8:21PM
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Sweet Caroline Garden Design
that is lovely Carrie and you could substitute the lawn by planting ground covers such as low-growing drought-tolerant grasses in a mass, or rock garden juniper that creeps on the ground and stays green all season.
0 Likes   January 22, 2013 at 4:39AM
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