new house, blank slate

chris_ont(5a Ont)May 19, 2006


I just bought a cute little bungalow that has exactly zero plants. The grass is in good shape all around and there are no invasive weeds anywhere.

The front of the house faces north and, judging by the sparseness of the grass, doesn't get much direct sun.

I'm looking for ideas, both for plants (want something tall in the back - monkshood? solomon seal? and of course must have hosta) but also for hardscape ideas to raise things up a bit.

The stoop (see below) is cement and in good shape. I could easily wrap a bed around that. There is a cement walkway of sorts to the street.

Anything goes! I prefer funky and stylin' over cute and homey, but cottage gardens are super. I'm not married to that hedge next to the house and am thinking of removing it, or at least giving it a good haircut.

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janetr(Ottawa USDA 4a)

Oh fun! A garden makeover!

I see a meter on the front. You're probably going to have to leave it accessible which is going to cut down on the possibilities a fair bit. Although if it can be read from the porch...

If you prefer funky over cottage, go for a very limited colour palette. A lot of black and white contrasts would be neat. Heuchera 'Obsidian' and Brunnera 'Jack Frost immediately spring to mind. And then a single pot or plant of bright red impatiens somewhere (or brilliant colour of your choice) would have enormous visual impact.

As for hardscaping, leave room to expand the walkwayif you can't redo it now. Raised beds seem an obvious choice for your wrap-around bed. I'd suggest using concrete blocks, painting them white and capping them with black tiles. If you check the Small Spaces forum, somebody had something similar with terra cotta tiles on top. It looked really good.

I can't quite make out in the picture whether the house is black and white or brown and white. If you go the tile route, you'd want to coordinate everything.

I've got a bathroom I had done all in black and white and then I hung bright red curtains. It just sizzles. Wonderful space.

Hope this helps a bit.

Janet's Garden

    Bookmark   May 20, 2006 at 12:29AM
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chris_ont(5a Ont)

Wow, Janet, cool ideas.
The bottom part of the house is dark brown, as are the shutters. I like the idea of a limited color palette. The backyard is full blast sun for the most part so that's where I can do the cottage garden thing.
I could go here with cool-color hostas that bloom white, the solomon seal which is very 'architectural'. The dark heuchera also makes sense.
Man, I can't wait for moving day (unpacking can wait - let me at the garden!)

    Bookmark   May 20, 2006 at 11:28AM
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