July 19, 2010

Final Front Garden Design - Planting Trees

To recap: a few months ago, we tore out a very ugly metal fence from around our tiny front yard and asked for help from an ACTUAL. LIVE. Landscape Architect! Nancy Howard documented our current conditions and we told her our landscape goals. Then from all that, she created a garden design.  Looking at the plan below I feel grateful, inspired, and totally overwhelmed. Wow. I want to thank Nancy Howard Landscape and Garden Design for her thoughtful re-design of our little front garden. 
As we expected and wanted, the plan includes lots of  trees. She picked tree species for their summer shade, winter sun (we want winter heat on the south facing side of the row house in the winter), year round visual interest (handsome bark, or spring flowers, or fall color, etc.) size friendliness (we don't want 50 foot tall trees)  and 'next to house' appropriateness (tree species without a tendency for surface roots.)

The goal of all these trees is to execute the before and after below:The largest tree in the image above is a Yellowwood. Related to black locust and redbud trees, Yellowwoods feature beautiful bundles of white pea-like flowers in the spring.  Though it will be awhile before ours look like this, there is a possibility it will happen. Photo courtesy of Tom Gill 

Nancy also suggests a Shadblow next to the Yellowwood. Shadblow is also known as Serviceberry. Shadblow are very early to bloom, and their nectar attracts polinators. It also has beautiful fall color. I can't find any pictures online that are available for download. Damn you copyright protection!

On the other side of the big Yellowwood, Nancy suggests one or two smaller red Witch Hazels. Witch Hazels flower EARLY, in late winter. And the foliage turns warm shades of yellow and red in the fall.

Last, our street is lined with Bradford Pear trees. Despite pretty white spring flowers, and fall berries for birds, the trees are not great street trees. Due to their combination of vigorous growth, weak wood, and poor branch structure, more often then not, they split and fall apart after only 20 years.  So Nancy also suggests planting a few Red Maples on the street apron to grow alongside the Bradford Pears.

I am so excited to get started!


  1. Me too!

    Tons of photos of shadblow here http://gullucan.seesaa.net/article/143212217.html?googlesorgu=gullu shadblow serviceberry

  2. The plans look amazing!

  3. Wow! Your place is really going to be the gem of the neighborhood. Great curb appeal.

  4. Oh, I love that tree! Our dogwood out front is dying, so I've got a tree project, too. The object is to have the dogwood removed, and a weeping cherry transplanted from elsewhere in the yard. Don't know if it will work, but wish me luck!

  5. Beautiful. It will look fantastic. Congrats on finding someone who made your dreams come true.


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  7. Wow that plan looks amazing! I bet you cannot wait to get started!

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  9. Beautiful and looks amazing. Proper selection of plants and area could bring a nice improvement in the beauty of garden landscape. Thanks for this nice post.
    garden design sydney


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