I have an update on the changes we have slowly been making to the front exterior of our house. Remember when Ed removed the holly in the front of the house in the fall? This week, he removed the two holly bushes on the sides of the steps going to our front door?
These hollies were healthy and would be pretty somewhere else in the yard, but by the steps and driveway they are dangerous since the leaves are like sharp knives. We get pricked or cut every time we walk by them, plus when I back up my car, the side of it gets scratched since both the shrubs were planted away from the porch and right against the edge of the driveway.
You can’t see it in this old photo I took when we first bought the house, but the hollies were bare in the back. Another reason we didn’t like them. They have probably grown like this since they have been pruned for years to keep the full globe shape you see in the front. Ed has trimmed them, but there is not much we could do about the bare backs that looked really bad when you looked at them when you stood on the porch. I also didn’t like the empty space by the one on the left, so it was time for them to go.
For the inside of my house, I am full of ideas…on the outside…not so much and that is where I would love to find out what you would do and/or plant in this area? I would love to be able to afford a real Fixer Upper style makeover, but I have to do this on a small DIY budget. I know I want to add color and have it be low maintenance.
Now that the clouds of spring pollen are gone, I can now proceed with painting the green trim on the front of the house a neutral tan color to coordinate with the brick facade. I plan to start next week. Once I get going, it should not take long.
I found a lot of doable outdoor DIY inspiration in this book, Outdoor DIY Projects, but nothing that would work for the areas by the front steps.
Seeing many stone projects in the book, though got me to thinking I could create a low stacked stone wall on each side of the steps like I did around flower beds in the yard at my previous house, but not with grey stones…
…but with stones that are similar to the brick facade of the house.
I could do this pretty easily and have already been to the stone yard to find the best color stones to use.
I really like this look of the stacked wood retaining wall, and the modern vibe this exterior has, but Ed is not sure he wants to remove the brick steps. One reader mentioned to just build over the existing steps. I like this idea and then building a stacked wall of wood or stone across the entire front of the house once the rest of the shrubs are removed.
I could also do something really simple like this.
We also have to keep in mind that we really don’t want to cover the air-vents that provide airflow under the house.
Once I get the green trim painted neutral, I may get more ideas and will probably remove the rest of the low hedge in front of the house,but in the meantime, if you have any, please tell me about them in the comments. I really would appreciate reading them. My brain needs some exterior landscaping brainstorming. :-) If it helps, my house faces north and is in Hardiness Zone 8a.