Help with flower garden / landscape design?
This is my front yard.
(click to enlarge photos)
I'm looking for suggestions to make it a prettier place. (Of course, if you saw the pictures of my backyard, you're probably thinking this looks pretty good...)
Here's what I'm thinking. I want to put some small/medium sized shrubs in front of the porch. Something that only grows to about the bottom of the white railing (around 3 or 3 1/2 feet tall), so when we sit on the porch with the dogs, they can still see out.
In front of the shrubs would be a path leading to the right, and around the corner of the house. My veggie garden is back there behind the retaining wall. I am considering possibly putting some dwarf apple trees to the right of the house as well. In front of the pathway, I want to put in a perennial garden, in a somewhat horseshoe shape. I want to border the upper part of the retaining wall with ground cover or short plants (it requires too much weed-eating), and I want to border the lower portion with medium sized perennials as well. There is also a small picket fence below the wall, behind the little oak tree now that screens my veggie garden from view of the street somewhat.
I may also plant a shade tree (a young maple perhaps) sort of near the tree creating the shadow on the left of the last photo. The neighbor's trees (the taller ones) are all austrees that are probably 10 years old (the rock is the property line). I've read they live about 20 years, and if that's the case, we'll be needing a replacement tree down the road.
One of my concerns with so much area is good use of color. I'm thinking the perennials in front of the house would need to be a limited number of colors, but I'm having trouble envisioning which colors to use. I'm thinking blues/purples with some orange and yellows. I just don't know.
Anyone have any suggestions? I can water there, but I'd prefer more water-wise plants. I want to reduce the amount of grass b/c I don't want to use all that water.
Oh, I almost forgot, the house faces west.