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Beaumont Bungalow gets Front Entry Hardscape Makeover

Hardscape Landscaping Design creates attractive easy access in Beaumont neighborhood

New Hardscape creates fresh entry for Beaumont neighborhood bungalow

Portland Hardscape Landscaping Makeover in Beaumont Neighborhood

In May, I met with Pam and David to collaborate on their front yard design. They knew they wanted a new approach to the front door; the existing access up the driveway was not what they wanted but didn’t know where to start with style or material. They wanted relatively easy, drought tolerant plantings and ample space for bulbs. They love how neighbors always stop to chat when the bulbs are in full bloom.

Before: Beamont home has no front walk and a difficult landscape to maintain

BEFORE: The front garden in May, filled with weeds. The pink blooming rhododendron was kept in our new entry hardscape landscaping design.

Hardscape Landscaping installed in Beaumont Neighborhood

DURING: In August, D & J Landscape Contractors completed concrete forms and an intense weed removal.

Designers Perspective

The house is truly charming but no one could tell with the existing wild landscape.  Everyone had to walk up the driveway to get to the front door and so the house was cut off from the neighborhood sidewalk.  I wanted to showcase the charm of the house and the interesting texture of the old brick on their front entry archway.  So we opted to replace the skinny straight entry stairs with an oversized landing that extended out beyond the overhang and generous steps. As you walk up to the front door, you can enjoy the texture of the brick instead of staring at your feet trying to navigate the skinny old steps.

Existing brick surround was important to highlight in hardscape landscaping update.

Close-up of brick surrounding front door, a feature that we wanted to highlight with the new landscape.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The rest of the hardscape landscaping design came together beautifully, creating smooth comfortable access from the driveway as well as the sidewalk.

Updated hardscape walkway in Portland landscaping.

Concrete walkway from driveway to front door.

Planning for a Low Maintenance Landscape

Managing the weeds was a topic I brought up early and often, as I could see the seed bank was very robust in this front yard. In fact, for this garden, D&J Landscape Contractors did two rounds of weed removal! The plant choices and thick application of mulch are also weed-mitigation strategies (more about that below).

Hardscape Landscaping Materials

The poured concrete is acid etched, which adds some texture and a hint of warmth. Poured concrete can look so bright when it’s first poured and will age and settle over time.  The acid etch helps it blend into its surroundings earlier in the process.

Flagstone is used in the parking strip for the walkway as well as strategically placed spots for people to get out of their cars without stepping on plants. We opted for a warm mix of colors that echoes both the peach of the siding and the reds of the brick.

Hardscape Landscaping in Beaumont neighborhood of Portland Oregon

Parking strip flagstone artistically laid by D&J Landscape Contractors

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Affordable Landscape Design

For a budget friendly solution to the front slope, we opted for basalt boulders. This works especially well around the stairs. Eventually the plants will fill in to soften this area. To see some similar front landscapes after the plants have had a chance to grow in, check out Montavilla Bungalow and Collaborative Design.

Hardscape landscaping helps retain soil next to steps in freshly planted Portland landscape

Boulders against stairs to help with the slope. Plants will also help hold the slope once their roots get a year or two to grow in.

Plant Selection for Planting Plan

In Portland, you can successfully plant any month of the year. The hardscape was completed in mid-August at the peak of heat. However, for this full sun, sloping garden with a DIY irrigation system, we all agreed that waiting for the fall would be better timing to get these plants in the ground. Luckily, Pam and David are patient – they had a bare landscape for a couple months. In the end, they are happy with the decision, knowing that hand watering at least once a day to overcome the 100 degree days was not their idea of a good time.

The drought-tolerant structural plants include Cistus, Carex grass and Creeping Thyme. See the full list below:

Plant list for Portland landscaping update in Beaumont.

We purposefully did not fill every last inch of the garden with plants. Pam and David want to add their own unique and colorful plants over time. They love iris as well as all bulbs. We talked about focusing on spring-blooming bulbs because this garden will not be heavily watered in summer. Spring bulbs will get all the water they need from the winter and then go dormant after their big show, before the summer drought sets in.  They dug and stored the bulbs and then replanted them after the installation of hardscape landscaping was done!

Purple and gold iris brighten Beaumont front yard in Portland Oregon

Purple Iris, one of the many bulbs the homeowners dug up from the old front yard.

Deep but mellow colored yellow Peony in Beaumont entry landscape

A yellow Peony, a special plant for the homeowners will be transplanted from the back yard.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“We are very happy to have found Landscape Design in a Day. We had been struggling for years to ‘do something’ with our front yard and entry. Finally, the experts came in and saved the day. Alana presented three draft designs. Her vision of extending our front porch and making a more dramatic entry and walkway to the house is brilliant. Her expertise provided a list of plants to choose from, based on our preferences, and then filled in the plan with our choices. We highly recommend Landscape Design in a Day.”

Ready for a beautiful and welcoming front landscape? Contact us today!

Bulbs: Low Maintenance Beauty

Bulbs can be the ultimate low maintenance plant, just pick the right ones and get them out of the garage. (Yes thousands of bulbs selected with great anticipation live and die in the garage.) Please don’t feel bad and give up on bulbs. Everyone has done this. Garden Coach makes the time and sets up the structure to get the right bulbs planted in the right place in your garden. We are placing orders now. Read on for a few quick picks of my favorite bulbs.

Here is my list of easy to find bulbs with graceful demise.

  1. Alliums, lots can and is written about the good ones, (yes there are bad ones, avoid anything that says naturalizes). My top 3: Spring Allium Karativiense ‘Ivory Queen’, Early Summer Allium Cernuum; and Summer. Allium ‘Globemaster’.  Mix ’em up with daisy headed flowers for great contrast.
  2. Species Tulips – my favorite is the Greigii Tulips because their foliage is attractive with purple splotches. They are shorter at about 10 inches tall and so less likely to fall over with heavy rains. My personal Greigii favs are Oratoria or hot colored Toronto. Other more delicate looking types such as T. Clusiana Cynthia spice up the garden (reds) and open and close, showing off bright yellow and intricate interiors.
  3. Camassia – awesome blue flower, a native plant that can handle clay or heavy
    soils and then goes dormant and needs no additional water in the summer. This is my idea of low maintenance. There are many varieties but check out Camassia quamash ‘Orion’ for a seriously blue hit of heaven. Plant them behind a group of Black Eyed Susan (Rudebeckia) or Asters or Sedum ‘Xenox’, cousin to S. ‘Autumn Joy’.
  4. Dwarf Daffodils – go for the shorties and plant these with other “require good
    drainage” kinds of plants like the heathers, or dwarf conifers, or even good old common Candy Tuft. This is a great way to get an easy burst of color – no muss, no fuss and no rubber bands on the dying foliage please. All these plants have the same needs, low water, good drainage and SUN.
  5. Fritilarria – very unusual looking, graceful, everything to gain and nothing to lose but only if you plant them right away. If you leave these in the garage even one day, it’s all over. Plant immediately upon receipt in filtered light. Underneath the edges of a large shrub or small tree would be good.
  6. Lastly, a warning………Scilla is a BAD bluebell bulb that spreads.  There are some trustworthy types of Scilla but too few for the risk………. No Scilla! Getting rid of it is a nightmare, (although I accomplished complete annihilation of it once). The NW has Scilla Hispanica in nearly all areas. It is kinda sweet (cute bluebell flower) but it is a Trojan horse. The seed can easily blow out of your yard to your neighbors yard. It takes both cutting off the flowers before they seed and digging the bulbs up over and over for years to get rid of it.

Read more about it? Click here for The Oregonian blog by Kym Pokorny on Bluebells