Front Yard Rennovation Nearby

The front yard of this nearby property was renovated this summer.  
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The driveway was tiled with stone and the front of the home was resurfaced with stone.  The stepped pathway to the front door is all new:
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One mature (planted circa 1980) Agonis flexuosa was removed, but another was preserved and lightly trimmed.  This was a significant improvement, as the two Agonis planted closely together rather overwhelmed the area.  The beauty of the single Agonis is now easier to appreciate.
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The fence was repaired, and a hedge of 'Icee Blue' Podocarpus was installed along it--too close, I think.  Why do so many designers scrimp on the size of the planting bed?  That Podocarpus can easily get 10' wide (for starters).  Why plant a hedge of beautiful, not cheap plants too close to a fence?Photobucket
Phormiums under the Olive tree.  I believe the Olive was once in the lawn.  The new stepped pathway separated the Olive from the lawn. 
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A beautiful large pot in front of the large window, sitting in a mass planting of a shrubby Vitex.  The pot is planted with 'Flamingo Glow' Beschornereia, Helichrysum, Sedum, Aeonium, and Coprosma. Much variation in color, but it all coordinates and compliments the colors of the home.
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Shrub Vitex, I think.  Correct me please.  I remember seeing it at a garden center somewhere.  There are 250 species of Vitex, and interspecies hybrids besides.
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A pair of other pots by the stairway with simple contents, Aeonium, Senecio, Helichrysum. Two Pittosporum on either side of the entrance to the front door.  Dianella on either side of the walkway to the front door.
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A blue Dianella planted by the stepped path.  Dymondia margaretae has been planted as a ground cover in the Podocarpus bed and in this Dianella bed;  I wonder if the designer had tried to get the homeowner to abandon all lawn in favor of the Dymondia, failed in that effort but  was allowed to plant it in the beds as a consolation prize.  Dymondia or even just decomposed granite rather than lawn would have looked fine, and the homeowner could have saved on the water bill.  I've noticed that serveral times:  low-water shrubs and plants paired with a big lawn.  They removed the old lawn to put in brand new sod. 
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Tastefully done with professional skill, I think, bringing the home well out of the 80's (except for the lawn).  The stone tiled driveway might be a bit much, though the craftsmanship looks to be of good quality.  All viewed on another gorgeous sunny day.  A few houses down, a Liquidambar now totally defoliated for winter, but the decorative seed balls remain...
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I paused to look at another nearby house, this one with the original circa-1980 plants--a big Eyrithrina that lost a huge branch recently (red circled), with the slope in front of the house covered with the Agapanthus/Dietes/Hedera/Ligustrum so popular back then.
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Here, the stone is early 80's/late 70's style, as is the coral tree, but I like the two curving stairways up around the big cylindrical planter.  A little updating would be fabulous here.  What tree would you plant?  How about a big Aloe barbarae or Aloe 'Hercules', or a trio of Yucca rostrata and a slope full of Aloe dortheae or Agave 'Blue Flame'?  This particular tract seems to update quite well--the homes themselves are generic enough on the outside to take new trends easily.  

Around the corner, the view towards the increasingly green hills:
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However did I end up living in such a beautiful neighborhood?  What a mystery life is.



 

Comments

  1. Funny I sometimes ask myself the opposite question! (how did I end up living in such an ugly neighborhood)

    Beautiful container plantings in the renovated yard, but I don't like the driveway. Just a personal opinion probably based on all the cheap (which this one obviously wasn't) reno's I see around here where someone thinks it's a great idea to glue slate tiles on the front porch for an updated look.

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    1. But all the yards on your tours are so charming!

      I don't like the driveway either...seems out of balance in some way. An edge of the stone around the driveway perimeter seems like it would have been better.

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  2. Oh that my neighbors would plant such interesting things, even if they are too close to the fence.

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    1. Very good point, those Podocarpus are so cool!

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  3. The Agonis is a stunning tree and definitely deserves to be the sole focal point. It's wonderful to see such attractive and apparently sensible plant choices being made. Reading a post like this makes me realize all over again how very different our growing conditions are: I would adore to have a mature olive in my garden.

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  4. I really like the stone paving they chose on the first photo!

    Merry Christmas and have a wonderful time :)

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  5. What I find valuable is the opportunity to analyze landscape choices from another's perspective; I always learn so, "more, more, more."

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  6. I love that Agonis flexuosa, and the huge coppery pot is fantastic!

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