Curb Appeal!

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TrustDale Tip of the Day: *Landscaping basics DO's and DON'Ts

Take some landscaping concepts and incorporate them into the surroundings. Landscaping concepts aren't hard and fast rules. Think of them as partially set concrete: there is some foundation, but still some give and take. Below are some of the common rules, and some of the common mistakes. Take no offense if you are "breaking" one of the following rules. Keep an open mind and consider the reasoning and alternatives.
  1. Pyramidal forms (junipers, pines, firs, spruces and some yews) have strong vertical lines. When the goal is to soften the corners of the house with rounded forms, why would you use a pyramidal shape? A better choice would be to go with a small rounded tree such as a crabapple or a large rounded shrub such as a viburnum at the corner of the house. Of course this requires you to... Consider the "front door - eaves" rule. Find the bottom center of the front door. Draw an imaginary line two-thirds to three-quarters up the side of the house to the eaves.

When plants are mature, they shouldn't be above this imaginary line. For trees, we view the center of the crown, canopy or limbs as the top part, not really the top branch. For shrubs, we consider the top of them. This doesn't prevent you from using "setters." It allows you to vary the heights of the plants. You can use some yews as hedges, but can add other plants as well.

  1. Keep it as natural looking as possible. The landscape shouldn't call dramatic attention to itself. The land, house and plantings should appear as one. This is difficult to comprehend at times. Extend some plantings out from the corners. You might put some groundcovers or low growing shrubs under a tree or stemmy shrub at the corner of the house. The object is to keep the eye moving around or away from the house. Extending a row of yews past the corner softens the edges. There is no written law that evergreens have to be used in the front. We tend to choose them because they provide some greenery throughout the year. Consider incorporating some small deciduous shrubs for variety.

*Source: http://www.lib.niu.edu/1996/ic960408.html

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