front yard ideas
Hi all. Please see accompanying photo.
I moved to a new house in Southern California couple months ago and the front yard needs updating and sprucing up badly. I would like to plant some interesting foundation plants/bushes/ flowering or foliage only. However, I want plants that will always have some greenery. i.e. I wouldn't want anything that sort of dries up and becomes leafless and withered. Don't like to see bare branches and twiggy plants in front yard.
I would like a good mixture of flowering plants and foliage. Also, any flowering plants that after they finish blooming, will still hold interest with greenery.
I have a front porch with 3 columns that would look lovely with some sort of trailing vine like flowering creepers. Basically there are 5 separate areas of beds with ground cover/foundation plants. I would like some harmony and commonality amongst all the beds.
The 2 beds I want to address immediately are the one by the upside down smile window and by the porch/railing. The bed along the porch extends along the side all the way to the wall that you see separating my home from the neighbors.
The third "bed" that needs attention is along the sidewalk wayyyy out in front of the porch. Yes, there is a bed there separated from the lawn and covered with ground cover.
The entire look of the beds is very messy. I would like 80% structural/ linear/ architectural plants and maybe 20% free flowing. My examples of structural would be canna, horse reed, yucca, philodendron, etc. Free form would be bougainvillea, honeysuckle or some such.
I would like some variety in texture and form, variations in leaf color and shapes. I would also like at least some color blooming/showy year round. Of course, the flowers would have to complement/contrast the colors of the garage and roof.
I know it's a tall order, but any ideas are welcome.
I am in Southern California USDA zone 9 0r 10(not sure) and sunset zone 18 or 19.
I was a Michigander for 23 years so have no idea about California horticulture.
Thank you for any ideas/suggestions .