landscape makeover & house color suggestions

oliveoyl3April 30, 2013

I'm looking for suggestions for improvements to this overgrown western WA forest landscape in need of a makeover. I couldn't resize the photos small enough to upload here, but the link should take you to a few photos.

The wood foundation 1985 manufactured home front faces south with right front corner directly east & back left corner west. The lawn area is weedy, compacted, rocky, mossy, acidic, and poorly drained, so we will reduce it and improve what lawn area we retain. We will build up, but not close to the house to make sure there is an area planting free for maintenance access as well as keep the wood foundation dry.

We plan to keep enough lawn to enjoy croquet, bocce ball, & toss balls with a small child, but don't need a baseball field or a putting green. The foundation beds appear to contain better soil with less rocks, but lack mulch & organic matter.

My ideas so far:
-Remove tall trees & vegetation too close to structures.

We've already cut down dozens of saplings, dug out an English holly 12" from the downspout (& the stump) as well as a sickly cherry tree that was right next to the driveway casting lots of shade on the blueberries. More brush and weeds will be continue to be removed such as blackberry & stinging nettles. We've lived nearby for the past 25 years, so are familiar with the ways of the forest.

-Relocate mature shrubbery off to the west side at least 15' from the detached garage where the forest is now (keep some native like salal, fern, mahonia, vine maples). If they survive transplant we will attempt to renewal prune after 4 years of malpruning by a tenant. If rhododendrons bloom before we get them moved we will finish in the fall along with moving the blueberries that were topped at 3' by previous tenant. Shrubbery includes camellia, pyracantha, David's viburnum, dwarf Alberta spruce & a dwarf pine. If we can make them fit we'll keep the spruce & pine, but spider mites & shade have distorted their growth.

-Improve path to front door to be level, wider, & a curve from driveway to door following path worn in grass now

-Possibly include a paver patio between garage & front door to include seating area, pondless fountain, and walking room instead of merging paths (driveway, garage, front door). The garage casts enough shade that grassy paths aren't going to work, but paths & evergreen groundcovers would though I don't want to create cover for rodents.

-Create curved planting beds in scale with the house and allowing maintenance access to windows & gutters, so not planting so close to the house or front landing deck. I plan to anchor each end with a small tree 10' away from the corners surrounded by 3 medium mounding shrubs and 5-7 small evergreen shrubs less than 2'. Will attempt to create a balanced varied informal bed on each side including year round interest plants, but won't be identical. I plan to fill in with perennials & annuals the first few years then move them out as shrubs grow.

We've been anticipating this move for several years, so have quite a collection of plants ready for transplanting. Specific plant suggestions are welcomed especially if they've done well for you. Yes, we have deer, but are considering fencing options.

-repair front landing footings & steps as sinking to the left side & needs a handrail

-replace front windows with double pane vinyl (currently 2 have broken seals & 1 has a broken pane)

-repaint the metal front door a dark plum raisin (not purple or red) over our dry summer, eventually repaint house a light neutral green if I can't get used to the brown & brown look.

What else would you suggest?

Here is a link that might be useful: photos

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laurell(8 - Washington)

I'd make the album public.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2013 at 1:50PM
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I'm new at doing google plus, so hopefully this link will work:

Here is a link that might be useful: yard photos

    Bookmark   April 30, 2013 at 1:56PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

I went green with white trim - much better. Took some time to get just the right shade identified.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2013 at 2:19PM
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George Three LLC

i just had a house painted navy blue with white trim and i love it. might look a bit dated in 10 years... its a very 2010s color, but still. fresh looking. and very easy to contrast with plants.

i used a lot of yellow foliage plants along with bright greens along the foundation with some blues mixed in farther away to echo the house. came out well.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2013 at 11:29PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

That's great! Planned color harmonies and other associations offer so much more than random combinations - unless these happen to produce successful visual interactions, a phenomenon that has its own particular appeal.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2013 at 1:46PM
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Your link didn't work for me, but one suggestion I have, a lot of the paint manufacturers have an app on their site where you can try their different colors on a sample house and see how they look. For instance,,, etc. If they have a picture that is relatively similar to what you have, you can narrow it down to the color families you like.When you get it narrowed down, buy the sample containers of paint and try it on the wall. It's really difficult to pick a color successfully from a little chip.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2013 at 9:30PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

That's what we did, we painted sections of wall and let them dry for awhile. It took longer to identify just the right one than might be expected.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2013 at 12:08PM
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I've done a new post with photos since my son switched me back to regular google not google +. In case you're thinking of upgrading -- google + made it impossible to post photos on GW.

I appreciate all the suggestions for paint colors. After we get the front yard landscaped I'll ponder it again.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2013 at 2:34AM
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