Outdoor Refresher Needed

Dear Homework,

When our home was first built, the landscaping was wonderful. Fast forward 35 years, and it is now outdated, overgrown in spots and dying out in others. In addition, five big trees were uprooted in our front yard during spring rains last year. This all adds up to one thing—time to update our curb appeal! We would love your help bringing our home into the 21st century.

Thank you,
—Outdoor Refresher Needed

Dear Outdoor Refresher Needed,

Your home has an interesting composition of impressive length, and the paver driveway is also a plus. What you need your landscaping to do is frame the house, not hide it. Even with the loss of five trees, you still can’t actually see the front door.

I would remove all the existing bushes, which are far too overgrown. Once that is done, you will be able to see the front door and all the porch columns. The garage wing to the right also will be revealed. Next, I would create a low stone wall at the edge of the drive and finish it off with a low-growing juniper bush. Border the walk and porch with Liriope grass occasionally punctuated with taller ornamental grasses. New brick light piers create a frame for the entry steps.

I also would replant the burning bush hedge in front of the garage and keep it trimmed. Then, I would find some tall maple trees to place on the lawn near the driveway side. Trim them up to show off the house. As you can see, these additions basically leave the architecture alone but still give it a nice sense of polish.

Hope that helps,

Homework is penned by Paul Doerner, founding partner of The Lawrence Group. If you would like your home critiqued, contact us at homework@townandstyle.com.