July 18, 2012
Ground cover, larger porch, shutters add to home’s appeal
Vegetation (from left):
Syringa patula ‘Miss Kim’ (on stem, white, perfumed) Physocarpus opulifolius ‘Diabolo’ (shrub, dark burgundy, each side) Hosta ‘Sum and Substance’ (perennials, yellow green, walkway) Buxus ‘Green Velvet’ (shrub, persistent, hedge, hides pipe) Hydrangea annabelle (shrub, white clusters) Heuchera ‘Palace Purple’ (three or more perennials, burgundy) Picea glauca ‘Rainbow’s End’ (pyr. evergreen, yellow tips) Spiraea jap ‘White Gold’ (shrub, yellow, white blooms) Rhododendron ‘Northern Lights’ (three persistent shrubs, white) Lamium ‘White Nancy’ (perennials, border, silver, white) Catharanthus Vinca rosea (annuals, flow. containers)
Between two pencil strokes, I decided to allow myself a short but well deserved break on my sunny patio. Carefully sipping a drop of my hot cup of black tea, I noticed that I was being starred at by three impolite squirrels, which I already had generously fed peanuts to earlier. I then glanced at my next project that I brought outside with me, which was going to be this week’s featured home. The homeowner had already changed one window and was about to install one on the other side and replace the front door. The black shingles on the roof were recent and the khaki tint of the wooden siding was in good taste. This neutral colour could easily lend itself to contrasting black shutters as well as a happy burgundy colour for the door and its contour.
Three additional features also stood out; the electric blue recycling bin, which could be tucked away behind a bush, the white tube under the window on the left and a small porch surrounded by a low integrated flower box. An addition of railings for personal security ought to be a priority. An introduction of half of a ramp over the existing box will only look awkward. A more ample porch, wider stairs and a stained opaque white simple wood railing would be more functional and classic. To infuse some personality onto this sweet house, I could imagine a simple architectural detail stained opaque white and secured in the centre under the cornice. A couple of custom-made chunky black flower boxes measuring the same width as the windows would effectively dress up the sterile facade. They could cradle white annuals with red hearts as well as a few cascading vines. A big wall flower container and two big-scale lantern style black light fixtures will feel at home in the new porch area.
The foundation around the house ought to be painted with a specialized product for concrete in the same colour as the siding in a matte finish. All vertical gutters should also adopt the same khaki tone. To form the flower beds, some lawn will have to be removed on both sides of the actual walkway as well as at the base of the wall under the wider window and also in a three-quarter circle around the right outside corner of the porch. A divider between the grass and the new vegetation is required.
Persistent leafed boxwood along with three rhododendrons would camouflage the PVC white pipe on the left and the space on the right covered in lattice. The vegetation will consist of the interaction between green, burgundy and yellow foliage. The connecting elements will be the white blooms and the framing from the light coloured ground cover edges that will enlighten the relatively limited daylight exposure on this lot. My cup is empty, the sun is retiring behind some fluffy cotton ball clouds and my three furry friends; Beggar, Vagabond and Freeloader lost their interest in me. I guess I should go back to work now.
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