Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Curb Appeal in Hiding

From the moment I stepped into this charming renovated cabin, I was in love with the natural colors, cozy feel to the rooms, the warm kitchen, and the gorgeous woodland views out of each and every window. As I walked through the owner's impressive raised bed vegetable gardens and viewed their other perennial beds I knew that this project would not only be great fun, but also require the same level of design consideration I give my own personal gardens.  This homeowner had a knack for plant combinations and an eye for design which was evident from the care put into their house and other gardens.  Still, there was the issue of the front of the house.  

This home is set almost a mile off a main road on a private drive.  Although privacy is one thing, this large spruce entirely obscures the curb appeal, blocking the view from inside and out.  The couple also wanted to create distinction to the front door and install a path leading from the garage to the house.  

Nope, fooled you. This isn't the front door. . .
 Front entry 

After several meetings a preliminary sketch and a complete formal design. . .

Courtney's initial design

We began by trimming up the large but lovely blue spruce that blocked the front view of the house and hid the front door. We are always hesitant to cut down healthy trees.  The clients loved the tree and once it was not blocking the view of the house, it worked well in the space. 

A new crushed limestone path from the garage clearly defines the front entry 

This garden is a shade loving delight proving that shade does not need to be boring and 
colorless. The earliest blossoms will be of the Amelanchier "Service Berry" followed by rhododendron and azalea. Pulminaria (lung wort) with its distinctive spotted leaves will flower in May followed by a burst of early summer color of mini stella daylily. Other daylily will soon catch up as well as a Lobelia Cardinalis, Astilbe, and Ligularia "Little Rocket". Hosta and shade tolerant grasses and sedges (Carex Morrowii) fill in with texture and shape rounding of this sun challenged spot.

Also included in the plan was a lovely new flagstone stoop that replaced a weathered wood step, eliminated a spring mud issue and defined the front door.  

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