Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Curb appeal?

When we first moved in here 14 months ago, the front area looked a bit bare and unwelcoming.  Not at all what I wanted

The shadecloth provided quite a bit of shade, but what I wanted was a more tropical green area to provide privacy and create a welcoming garden type atmosphere. I extended the mondo grass line to create a tropical garden.  I want guests to get a sense already in the front, of the tropical paradise that lies beyond. Hubby liked the idea of having a privacy screen, so that you couldnt look right into the house from the road. As it started to take hold I realised I didn't want the golden cane there, which could become huge and then very difficult to remove.   All the other plants seemed very happy there and have filled right out - maybe too much?  I might need to thin some out.
Over the weekend I decided to take down the shade cloth.  We do not use that as a car port unless visitors park there, and it was looking a bit "daggy" (dont you love that Aussie word? - it doesnt need explaining I am sure).  I have a smaller triangular shade cloth that I tried, and it didnt look right, but the morning sun can be quite intense as it shines onto the front verandah, but there is no need for such a big shadecloth.  I need to make sure these plants get enough water too as it might be a shock now that their shade is removed.

What should I do to make this look more like a welcoming entrance and less like a line of plants?  Some people tend to try and walk through next to the car, whereas to the left of these plants is clearer access, but maybe not as visible. That is what I would like to be the "entrance" as it leads straight to the wooden door with a welcome to my garden sign, and the front door. I dont want to lose the "privacy hedge" that this creates.  To the left of this photo is a wooden fence and I want that to also be green.  I am thinking of a vine called chinese lanterns which looks like bouganvilla, but without the nasty thorns.
The funny thing is that for my gardening group, everyone came through the plant entrance, and the car wasnt even there!
After these photos were taken I tied the costus up to to a stake and that opened up the area a bit better.  I think non-gardeners dont like to brush against plants - isnt that strange?  The weeping tea tree at the back hangs over a bit, and I always reach out a hand and "stroke" the lovely silvery leaves as I pass it.  Hubby suggested cutting them back.  Maybe someone should do a poll.....


  1. That is a dramatic change from the first picture. Looks great.

  2. It really looks beautiful; but, judging just from the photo, I can see why some people might not realize there is an entrance over there. Is there something you could add right at the entrance (some kind of gate, or pergola, or even just a big container) that is visible from the driveway and says to people, "come this way"? -Jean

  3. Wow, quite a transformation from the before to after pictures. It appears that you have created a natural path over the rocks and away from your carport.

  4. Thanks for the comments, we are going shopping this weekend and will look around for something. Hubby likes the idea of some sort of arbour, and I was also thinking of a standing type solar lamp. Since we are so rural I get quite excited about going shopping and always have a long list.....

  5. That is an amazing transformation in such a short time! Very tropical and inviting. I was thinking maybe giant flagstones or stepping stones would look more enticing. I've noticed that humans (and dogs) are always tempted to walk on stepping stones. Or maybe just be bold and put an artistically created arrow pointing the way. But you never know. I thought it was funny that the gardeners always got it right.

  6. You've certainly made a huge difference to this area ... and it definitely has curb appeal now. I think I'd probably go for huge flagstones too ... but an arbour would look fabulous.

  7. Thanks Floridagirl and Bernie,
    Yes flagstones might just be the answer, I like that idea. mmm cant wait to go shopping..

  8. Wow what a huge difference. I love all the tropical plants you can use - many of which are houseplants only here!

    Thanks for stopping by my blog - I'm so glad I could remind you of your home in La Conner :)


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