Colorful Low Maintenance Landscape Update In St. Johns
Clients Wish List
Terry and Connie wanted a carefree front yard with nice curb appeal. After new construction finished next door, they felt motivated to update their mess of a front yard (their words, not mine!). One main objective for the project was to fix the transportation. Wobbly pavers and stairs that were too close to the driveway caused issues each time they parked in the driveway. No one wants dents on the driver side door!
As for the garden, he wanted a bit of grass while she wanted none. Both wanted a plant palette that is low on maintenance and high on color.
I helped the homeowners decide between lawn or no-lawn by discussing the “why”. He wanted lawn for ease of maintenance and to cut down on weeding. She wanted no lawn for the look of a colorful front garden. After collaborating and tweaking the design several times, we settled on no-lawn but with ample walking paths. This appeals to both parties because the paths are low maintenance and make it easy to reach from all sides of the bed for weeding. On top of that, I selected plants that are particularly good at suppressing weeds. More about the plants below.
I solved several issues through fencing in this design. The front fence provides a separation between road and home. It remains inviting and interesting because of the see-through slats and low 42″ height. A matching 6′ fence hides the garbage cans and shed in the side yard.
The disconnected downspout dumped directly into the yard, which caused too much water in the winter, a classic problem in Portland. The new rain garden provides the perfect solution for excess winter water and also creates a beautiful focal point which can be seen from the front porch.
The established Vine Maple (Acer circinatum) is a beautiful old tree and was able to stay with minimal pruning.
Other plants in good shape and able to stay were the Azalea, Rhododendron, and Fatsia.
The new tree is an Evergreen Magnolia.
Groundcovers are very integral to the continuity of this design. The gold highlights are Bleeding Heart (Dicentra spectabilis ‘Gold Heart’) and Sweet Flag (Acorus gramineus ‘Variegatus’). The purple contrast is Heuchera ‘Purple Petticoats’. The evergreens that ground the look are Inkberry (Ilex glabra) and Geranium (G. cantabrigiense ‘Crystal Rose’).
The new walkway is Variegated Bluestone, and the mossy boulders were brought in to give the garden a nice established feel.
Would you like to create a welcoming entry experience that makes your house look and feel it’s best? We would love to work with you. Call us at 503-223-2426 or use our contact form.