What a Mess: Landscape Planning

When I say “what a mess” about our front yard, I think it’s an understatement. It’s definitely the reason I haven’t been really showing the front of the house-well that and it’s not nearly done, there is a lot of work to do there too. But I digress. Our front yard has never been my favorite. The previous owner, in addition to adding the secret garden, also put in two huge obnoxious planters in our small front yard. Not only did they overwhelm the yard but the odd shapes are/were hard to mow around and because of the two huge oak trees, we don’t get much sun in the front so grass has a tough time and so do most plants. So basically, unless I wanted to plant a ton of hostas, it wasn’t going to be very green either.

Note the odd shapes and huge tree!

When we did the renovation, we had the contractor remove the brick from the front of the house, remove one of the planters (which was built up too high anyway), and balance the two windows so they were the same size. Previously the larger window was in the living room and the other was in a bedroom, now they are in the same large space.

Former layout of the house
Post-reno view of the first floor. This view is from the former master bedroom looking toward the former living room, hallway, bedroom and kitchen!
Construction phase, with the windows balanced and the planter demolition in progress.

Now that construction is done, we are left with this:

I know. It’s pretty bad. I was actually thankful for the snow because it kept the mud down in the house and hid the ugly, but now that spring is here, it’s time to get to work.

Down the road, we are definitely going to add a porch (I have something like this in mind), but for now, we are thinking about either getting a slab poured the size of the future porch (need to get quotes to see how realistic it would be) or building a temporary wood deck that sits on the ground. Maybe with a railing? Something to break it up and that people can stand on when they are at the front door. It would be the size of the future porch so we can really decide if that is what we really want. Right now we are thinking it would extend to between the first floor windows.

Next up is to pull apart the remaining planter and level the yard:

I’m hoping to reuse some of the bricks from the planter to build a new (much smaller) planter next to the deck/future porch area. I’ll just need to stop by a nursery to make sure I get plants that do well in shady places.

Stay tuned for the completed project! Anyone else taking on a big outdoor project this spring?

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