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A charming American farmhouse is not symmetrical. P. Allen Smith shows us how to fix that.
Tags:How to Create Balance for a New York Farm House,add shutters,american farmhouse,garden design advice,garden makeover,PAllenSmith,Stone wall,virtual garden makeover
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During the show, we try to spend a little time here in my design studio. It’s a part of the show I really enjoy because when you send in photographs of your gardens where you’re looking for a little bit of help, a little inspiration to help you maybe get over a hump.
Today, we have a beautiful little house in New York. Christine says, “Allen, I love my house but I don’t like the fact that it’s not symmetrical.” Well, you know Christine, I think it’s a charming American farmhouse and there’s a difference between a place being symmetrical which in this case, the porch would come all the way across and the door would be centered and it being balanced. You can change the porch if you want.
One of the complaints that Christine has is that the door is not centered directly on the steps but what we can do is we can explore ways to maybe bring more balance to the property rather than you rework in the entire front and replacing the porch and so forth. So, why don’t we think about some things that we do to restore some balance? Let’s get started.
One thing that we might look at would be just to add some shutters here and here. That would really bump up the charm factor. I like the fact that you’ve got a simple green and white theme going. You can put the shutters on the underside of the porch like that. Carry the green over here. I like your moon gate that you have over here but you might think about taking that really dark green and painting this dark greens that recedes a little bit further back to the back.
What you might do with the steps themselves, you can place a container right here on this side and not this side and this could be filled with annuals. It could be a classic urn, filling it with something like diamond frost, euphorbia, some really beautiful annual and then on this side back in the corner, you might place another chair or some object that kind of throws the alp and says, “Hey, you know this thing really isn’t asymmetrical, it feels more balanced.”
I’ve also looked at the trees. Let’s talk just a moment about some of the planting. This tree if you’ll notice has some damage. I can't tell exactly what variety that is. You just planted this little pair you indicated the city had. If you like to pair; you might take this tree out and just put another pair in here. Remember, these flowering pairs don’t live a long time. They could be very brittle. The limbs can break in high winds, so just think about that.
One thought, you said you didn’t like the slope of the lawn. You could do take up your boxwoods and just do a low stonewall across your property like this, right at the edge of the sidewall and the same here. Pull the little boxwoods back here and here and then make the inside of that garden, not lawn but just as I said, garden. It would be a great place to fill in with cosmos, all sorts of annuals. You can have a cosmos here but you could even grow roses on top of this fence which would be beautiful.
I’m not so sure about this juniper on the corner. We might go with something that has a flowering quality to it. I could see a yoshino cherry would be gorgeous in the spring. Right here, which we create more of a canopy, you need to think about that. You look under the canopy, across the stone wall and see your moon gate. I would not try to creating a gate here, just the stonewall will be a nice way to balance it out and then have a path that comes off, just the step here and it comes around the side of the house and around here with the inside of being all garden. Those are just some ideas. I hope they help. Good luck with your project.
Would you like to see your home featured in a makeover like you just saw in the last segment? If so, just go to pallensmith.com/virtualmakeover and send me a photograph of your house. If your house I selected, it will be featured in the future episode of the Public Television Series, P. Allen Smith's Garden Home, distributed by American Public Television. Also, on my website, you’ll find great tips on gardening, recipes and videos. Just check out pallensmith.com.