Thursday, 23 May 2013

curb appeal in the city: mostly planters

last summer while taking long walks with lucy and onni (where lucy often napped), i had a chance to scope out the neighbourhood and see what others are doing to add curb appeal to their own homes.

it's fun looking in my own neighbourhood for ideas and inspiration because houses in the same area of course are similar in style and time period to our own - for the most part. i absolutely love the area where we live... but it got me thinking: what if i didn't live here... what if i lived in a small town or suburb where everyone's yards are identical... where would i get ideas to work off of?...

so here i am posting some idea of yards i've seen and the details i appreciate about them. these photos were taken last year and i think it's appropriate to post them now as many of us are starting to work on our yards as the weather is finally warming up.

this first post of 'curb appeal in the city' will mostly focus on planters... that's what we started working on last fall in our own yard.

i absolutely love the following planter: it's simple... dark... wooden... has bright green ornamental grass... aged cedar mulch... and even spot lights. it's built perfectly along the sidewalk and divides the owner's property from the public.

another favourite in our area is this yard with corten steel planters. love them. i just love how they've aged so beautifully against the stone pathways. i also love the placement of the large bolder stones at corners... low profile trees... juniper ground cover... black eyed susans... and simple path lights.

i've only seen this at one home in our neighbourhood, but i think it's a fantastic idea: in order to be granted permission to add a legal parking pad to your front yard, a certain percentage of the yard has to be considered 'green space'... most people include their 'green space' right in front of their decks or on the side separating them from the neighbours. in this case, they've built their walkway landing in front of the porch and they've included a nice and deep planter between the walkway and driveway. clearly their yard is deep enough to do so and not everyone's is... but it's nice because they're able to see the planter from their window and  deck - it isn't hidden right in front of the deck. it also creates a nice separation between their private space and the driveway. since the stairs are directed onto their property (as opposed to straight outward to the street), it also makes their property look separate from the one they're attached to as a semi.

i knew from the beginning when we were figuring our own planter that i wanted a wooden one as opposed to stone - i of course would have loooved corten steel, but figured it was out of our budget... so here's a few design ideas for wooden planters:

layering thin and thick planks

two 'levels' of planters... painted a dark charcoal grey

mixing a wooden planter and stone steps

incorporating wooden steps into the planter

a huge 'leveled' planter a long driveway

a few more ideas:

layering different shades of green, grasses, evergreens and leafy bushes

tucking small succulents and alpine plants into cracks of stone planters

stone to create borders

do you have 'planters' on your mind lately? 
what kind do you have or are you planning on doing something new in your yard this year?

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