Dear Homework,
We recently lost a large tree in our front yard, and I now find the exterior lacks something. You always have such clever solutions. Do you have any ideas to add some charm to my lengthy Colonial?
—Feeling Exposed

Homework-existingDear Feeling Exposed,
Your submission allows me to make what I think is an important point about the relationship between cars and houses: Cars parked close to houses often can overwhelm the effect of the architecture and landscape. Most suburban residences are reached by automobile, but we often neglect to deal with them aesthetically once they arrive. They can co-exist handsomely, but it takes some planning.

You will note that I fill the street-side edge of the driveway with formal and informal landscaping. The formal section of clipped evergreens aligns with the two-story portion of the façade. An area of informal azaleas and low grasses borders the hedge. As you can see, the new plantings (grown to car fender height) keep the cars from dominating the presentation of the house. This tactic of penning-in the cars can help the look of many driveways.

With your house, these landscape additions bring a second layer of architectural depth (because the plants are clipped formally), which is aesthetically helpful to such a long façade.

I also show a new tall evergreen on the left side of the elevation, which helps hide the basketball hoop and lower-level parking from street view; the new tall shade tree at the street helps frame the whole composition.
Good luck with the changes,