Learn how to create curb appeal with a really beautiful log house. P. Allen Smith shows how planting evergreens can create
balance in the landscape.
Tags:How to Create Balance in the Garden of a Cabin Log,curb appeal,evergreen,garden design advice,garden makeover,norway spruce,PAllenSmith,perennial bed,virtual garden makeover
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Welcome to my studio. This is the part of the show where I take photographs you send in and we take a look at ways to improve the landscape. Today, we got a very interesting property in Illinois. Pam, who has submitted the photographs said that she’d like some help with creating curb appeal with this house and by the way, it’s a really beautiful log house. It’s like a new construction and she wanted some help with balance. So, why don’t we get started?
One of the things that I first noticed about this is the lack of evergreens. Obviously, this is in the winter and I think that having some evergreen foliage would really help. I certainly know that you do well with spruce there in Illinois and Pam, I’m kind of wondering if to create balance, if we came in here and sort of frame the house with some spruce, maybe some Norway Spruce, I love their sort of lofty leaves, the dark green. It looks over here, we could even add a couple down this lower part to help sort of frame the property. It looks like you’ve got quite a bit of land here. Be careful with spruce. You don’t want to plant them too close to the house. That’s a common mistake but we have plenty of room here. You can see how these would frame this house.
Another thing, this looks like a front porch. You said that it faces east. Why don’t we place the seat in the summer, so we’re not having the sun shine right in your face in the afternoon but I might do this, think about this tree. It looks like it may be blocking the view and I wonder about this tree. The idea of maybe having a view from the porch where we might create a bed I would wrap around here and maybe that is planted with a yew hedge with a beak in it. This yew hedge would be an evergreen that could sweep around and on the backside of it, Pam you could do a mixture of perennials.
Let me say this. The yews and those spruces are certainly deer-resistant. You have a rural property. It looks like you may have problems with deer, so let’s think about plants that would not be attractive to the deer population.
What I’d like to see you do is behind here Pam; put it in the perennial bed where you can enjoy from the view from the house looking out, some summer color. Deer, if you go with a lot of the gray leaf plants deer don’t like, such as catnip. It has a beautiful lavender flower. Lavender itself, lambs ear, all of these are really great perennial plants.
The other thing you could add would be daylilies. Deer do like daylilies but you could also add some of the old fashion favorites like peonies. They’re not particularly attracted to peonies. Even when you get the idea, what we’re trying to create here is that charm factor; that curb appeal you're looking for. That looks like you could have an entrance her and perhaps we do a rustic gate that would go along with the style of the house. Maybe we’ll repeat that rustic gate here. I could even see a pair of stone piers with a gate on it, just made out of rough timber that would go with the log cabin motif.
The thing that I think you want to add for summer would be a lot of big blooms because this is a big space. You might do a big bunk running along this side of the drive. It’s a little hard to see how much room you have of hydrangeas. I love limelight hydrangea and late in the summer, they are fantastic.
In addition to that, think bold Pam. You want to make sure that these grasses, you got some here, you got some here and you got a little bit there. Think about grouping these things and use them in big, bold brushstrokes just like I did here with this big bunk of hydrangea that might run across here. Do your grasses in one big drift where you’re using maybe 10 to 15 plants at a time. You’ll make a really strong visual impact that way. Hope these suggestions are helpful to you. 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.