January 19, 2010
SO HERE'S THE PLAN-YOU BE THE DESIGNER
These are the givens : A large, plain gray ( no fancy trim ) boxy 3-story Victorian house sits atop a hill and is completely enclosed with a black wrought iron fence. There's a concrete landing, stairs and walk on the lelft and a concrete driveway on the right. This is a double-wide lot about 60 ' wide and 30 ' long.
As indicated on the drawing there's a large weedy tree, a beautiful Japanese 'bloodgood ' Maple and a small Serviceberry in the terraced bed . The lawn is very large.
I haven't come up with a budget at this point since estimates of materials and labor will need to be made depending on the homeowner's decision. At this stage ideas are more important.
I've found that experienced gardeners are often as good or better than some landscape architects when it comes to selecting plant material. I once re-did a $40,000 landscape because the architect planted dogwood shrubs in a very sunny, hot exposure and rose shrubs in the shade. Needless to say the dogwoods burned and the roses didn't bloom, I've also seen some very beautiful drawings which had shrubs that would have reached 25 feet in width at maturity in an 8 foot space.
I'm a stickler for making sure the right plant is in the right place and has the room it needs at maturity. At the tree lot where I work part-time I am often amazed when I tell some designers that the tree they selected will get too large for the space they have and they retort, " Oh, I'll be dead by then, " . NOT if its a fast growing tree. A customer told me that her designer planted a tree too close to her house and when she complained was told that the garden center sold it to her as a dwarf. " What kind of tree ?", I asked. " A Bradford pear, " she replied. " Well that ends the passing of the buck right now, " I said, " because there is no dwarf version of that tree. "
So here's your chance to let your creative juices flow. I look forward to your ideas and comments.
Written by Carolyngail