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Landscaping Videos

Front Yard Landscape Design

See how this front yard was designed to include a new entryway, small lawn and a front patio.

A video transcript featuring Ive Haugeland, Shades of Green Landscape Architecture

This project was a typical front yard in a typical, suburban neighborhood. There was a lot of lawn, and it was not being used at all. The clients asked us to really highlight the entrance to the front door, which was not very easy to find. The new front entrance is defined by a generous concrete stairs, which is flanked by two straight concrete walls. The walls help terrace the slope, and it also draws more attention to the entrance. In addition to the walls and the lights embedded in the steps, tall, yellow kangaroo paws in front of the walls make a really nice color splash.

Tree-shaded patio
Several existing mature trees were kept, as they created a green and mature framework around the house. One of the nicest, on the corner, was this big plane tree. We made this circle patio with concrete walls and decomposed granite paving. This is now a favorite gathering spot for the family's teenagers and the grown-ups. It's a wonderful semi-private seating area, and with the tree, provides a nice dappled shade.

Pathway and ornamental grasses
To connect the driveway, the new patio, and the main entrance a series of concrete bands are playfully zigzagging their way through the garden. They are wide enough for a comfortable walk.

We used all these grasses to make a different kind of front yard, which uses way less water but it's also really pretty and you get a seasonality that you don't get with lawn.

Making it all fit
I think the most important things we, as landscape architects, can bring to the table when we are hired for a project is to start to think out of the box, think about things that the homeowner hadn't necessarily thought about. We also, of course, have to be thinking about what the client is asking us for, what they want. We have to look at the style of their house, their neighborhood, and also to make all that fit together.

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