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landscaping plans: side yard

February 6, 2008

zora naki

Side yard - 2007With a corner lot, there is frequently some confusion about which side of the house is the front. For our little house, what is technically the front of the house, really looks more like the side given the window and door placement.

The landscaping needs to have more presence to “announce” that this is the entrance, provide some privacy between the sidewalk and the house, maintain access to the sump pit which is located just in front of the fence in the picture, and survive in a fairly shaded area – there is a large maple tree on the boulevard to the right of the sidewalk in this photo.

Last summer’s failed experiment used some grasses – I was trying for a modern “swath” approach, but really, it wasn’t appropriate to the site, and you need to buy much more than 5 of any one thing to get the look I was after.

I do love the Japanese blood grass, and would reuse it in pots again – it looks absolutely beautiful with the sun shining through it. I think the snow this winter killed what is currently showing up as brown clumps in the photo.

side yard planThe revised plan plays to the rainforest shady element of our climate and reuses a number of the shrubs we already have scattered around. The plan is to plant an existing azalea and three skimmia (the bright green bush in the photo) along the house, with a Japanese maple centered between house and sidewalk. This would be underplanted with ferns.

It was also suggested that we reuse the pieris and a rhodo, underplanted with galium (woodruff) to the fence.

We also have a mature camellia (another one) in the back that I would like to move out of the garden and stick somewhere else, but I’m not really sure there is room for it along here. I’ve also given up the idea of planting edibles on this strip, as it is a favourite stopping point for the neighbourhood dogs…

Click here to see plans for the front yard. 

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One Comment

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  1. February 12, 2008

    Japanese blood grass is wonderful and I like the growing it in pots idea/

    I am getting ready to do the front yard too and this article helped me with a few ideas or starting points.

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