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Old 09-22-2008, 08:01 PM
 
628 posts, read 1,835,604 times
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Just wondering if any of you have turned an area that was just lawn into more of a natural look with mounds of shrubs, trees, flowers...and not regreted it.

I have an acre and most of the area is in the front of my house in full sun without trees. I am surrounded by pines and maples all around the house but I was hoping to create more interest in the front without having a large space of just lawn...and I am tired of trying to grow lawn in NC where my lawns have never had much success. I will keep a big area of grass for my kids to play but just trying to do something with other half of the yard that creates interest. I LOVE LOVE LOVE gardening and triming and weeding and all the creative stuff just wanted to find out if there is anyone out there who has done something similiar.
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Old 09-23-2008, 12:51 AM
 
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I have toyed with the idea at my house.

I live on a corner lot and right now I had some leftover rock from a clients project and am doing the corner as a rock garden. Russian Sage and I am thinking some sort of ornamental grass.

I am thinking of expanding the concept to the back yard, odd layout and nothing growing there now. My plan is for turf area for dogs to play and plantings along fence and something to fill the line from the spruce trees down to my patio.
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Old 09-23-2008, 05:02 PM
 
Location: somewhere close to Tampa, but closer to the beach
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Default kwalk65

there are endless ideas as to what to do with such an area..

..from your basic description, it sounds as though you would want to create beds, as well as plant a couple more trees to provide additional shade to the lawn area...

..the one thing ive enjoyed is using spring flowering trees/shrubs like dogwoods or
crape myrtles under planted with red/orange,yellow or pink azaleas,as well as different spring and summer flowering perennials,as well as some low growing grasses just for an accent..this is definately an attention grabbing landscape design...and of course, there are many others out there...

...also using large stones,dry creek beds and perhaps some statuary(if you like using em') will create a natural effect..

..the one thing to keep in mind when planning out this sort of project is to use curves when
bordering the lawn area...this also creates a more natural effect
..and looks alot better then a landscape using alot of sharp angles....
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Old 09-23-2008, 10:54 PM
 
Location: Mishawaka, IN
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I did on a smaller scale. We have about 250 sq feet(~6'x42') on the north side of our driveway next to our neighbor's yard. In my case I just got tired of maintaining that strip of grass. If I didn't water there it dried out and looked trashy but it was a hassle to drag a hose 40 feet from our spigot to that spot then fiddle with a sprinkler so most of the water didn't end up in said driveway.

Dug up all the grass(Which my neighbor used for some bad spots in his yard.) then mulched and planted an assortment of junipers, evergreens, perennials, small shrubs and some sedum. In my case it was a double positive: Lower maintenance and it looks much better. People in our area walk by all the time and compliment me on it. No regrets at all.

I've been gradually reducing our lawn area in front for several years now. Not counting the above undertaking I've probably created another 250 feet in planting beds. Our front was nothing but grass with eight evergreen shrubs along the foundation and one big rectangular yew in the front.
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Old 09-24-2008, 06:15 AM
 
628 posts, read 1,835,604 times
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Thank you for sharing your ideas and experiences with me from your yards --- rep points coming your way!!!
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Old 09-24-2008, 06:44 AM
 
Location: Home is where the heart is
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If you build a mound, try to give it a curve or make it long. Otherwise, it could end up looking like a burial mound.

I kid you not--one of my neighbors did this, and the whole neighborhood now calls her yard the "Elephant Graveyard." It's strange but true, that's what you think when you see it. Next year she's going to extend it and make it curve--I think that will make a big difference.
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Old 09-24-2008, 07:54 AM
 
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Normie - thanks for posting that "heads up" thought. I came across a website that talked about the same thing. I think the trick is the transition between the existing grass area and the slope of the berm being gradual to keep away from the "burial" mound look. I, too have seen so many that appear as abrupt bumps in a landscape rather than something that appears natural. I definately will soften the tops so as to not have peaks. I hope to begin this weekend. Thank you again for your thoughts.
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