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our front yard

Emily Oster

This past weekend my parents visited from Michigan and we were able to give them a taste of living in "the south". That is to say it was 60 degrees and sunny both Saturday and Sunday. And while we largely worked inside with the windows open, Jeff and my Dad did get outside for a little yard clean up.

Our house sits in the middle of our 1/3 acre lot giving us both a sizable front and back yard. The back is a huge mess with a jungle of bamboo so I am initially turning my focusing to the front which doesn't seem like as daunting of a task. Currently, the front yard is mostly grass with several large trees. I don't know what type of trees we have but I do know they are in need of some trimming - dead limbs and branches hanging too close to electrical wires. The front's main problem area is up near the house where there is a large bed of mixed vegetation (ivy, bushes, small trees etc.) that needs to be pulled away from the house.  Besides looking like crap, vegetation close to the foundation wall puts us at risk for termites so we definitely need to get on this task ASAP. At this point, its hard to know what we really have worth saving or what it will look like once we do a major clean up. So yet again I am turning my attention to an easier space to conceptualize - our property edge. Right now, there is nothing that defines our yard from our neighbors. Its very blah and in need some definition. So I would like to come up with a plan to create a hedgerow (not even sure if this is the right term). I know very little about gardening so I am not sure what will work the best for us but ideally it would be something fast growing and not too expensive to implement/maintain. Maybe something like these examples...???

limelight hydrangeas via  Proven Winners

limelight hydrangeas via Proven Winners

I love the softness of a row of hydrangeas although I think I want something with more variation. Although a row of lilacs is pretty spectacular....

lilac hedge source unknown

lilac hedge source unknown

This example has nice variation in plant species and height. Might be a bit formal and hard edged for us though...

Incorporating an edible plant maybe something like these raspberry bushes could be a cool idea. 

raspberry bushes via Martha Stewart

raspberry bushes via Martha Stewart

Clearly, I am rather unsure of what I might want/will work. I think probably a good next step is to go to my local nursery and get some much needed advice. Any readers have suggestions?