Front yard fence and garden screen corner-lot

Two of my design clients in Austin’s Northwest Hills neighborhood have recently mentioned this front garden to me as one that inspires them, so I thought I’d feature it for a Drive-By post. Blessed (cursed?) with an enormous, corner-lot expanse of thirsty St. Augustine lawn and a location along a busy street, these homeowners clearly needed to cut down on the grass and give their home a sense of enclosure, privacy, and security.

Soon after they moved in, they put up new wooden fencing, which they stained an attractive butterscotch color, and planted a generous xeriscape garden on both sides of it. Strategically placed panels in the front yard create a sort of courtyard out of what used to be a very exposed front entry. Here’s the view from the driveway. The fence panels offer peek-a-boo glimpses of a semi-private space near the front door, and they make a neutral backdrop for the streetside garden. On this fall day, gold lantana and copper canyon daisy were in full bloom.

Panning right, you see a line of graceful bamboo muhly grasses in a raised bed along a stucco wall. Wouldn’t it be perfect to have a tiny courtyard garden behind the wall, with a spilling fountain of some sort, to create a view from inside the house?

Looking all the way to the right you see the back-yard fence and a garden bed of gold lantana, softleaf yucca, Mexican bush sage, and crepe myrtle that eliminates the need for mowing and adds beauty for passers-by.

But the real action is at the front corner, where the owners installed an L-shaped section of fence about halfway between the house and the street. Both sides are planted, creating pretty views for the owners and passers-by, and the bed width is appropriately scaled to the size of the lot and height of the fence — i.e., they avoided the common mistake of too-narrow beds that tightly hug a fence line.

At the hot, sunny, outer corner, lyme grass, also known as dune grass (probably Leymus arenarius) adds cool, blue color to a drought-tolerant planting of yucca, prickly pear, salvia, yellow bells, and ornamental grasses. A curving swath of St. Augustine lawn ties the design to that of neighboring homes and nicely frames the garden beds. Since this is a sunny location, if it were my garden I’d consider replacing the thirsty St. Augustine with Habiturf.

(A note on the lyme grass: Not being familiar with this plant, I asked my gardening and designing friends about their experiences with it in Austin. It got poor reviews: invasive, sprawly, not surviving tough drought and heat conditions. Still, it does look quite nice in this garden. Anyone else in central Texas growing it and wanting to share an opinion, please let me know in the comments.)


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Perhaps a garden center

In that case perhaps a garden center ( not a home improvement center ) could assist you.
It may be helpful and cost efficient if you take a series of photographs in a panoramic format and then request a consultation with one of the designers and or horticulturists at a reputable nursery such as Magic Gardens , Berkeley Hort or if you are in Marin the Sloats in Mill Valley has a design department that assists homeowners in this fashion.
Any preliminary work that you can do will make the process more time/cost efficient, such as measuring up your site and laying it out on scale on graph paper , noting existing shrubs and trees

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  • Avatar BC2000 Good Architect or Interior Designer in London Hackney for small garden and loft extension?
    Nov 04, 2012 by BC2000 | Posted in Decorating & Remodeling

    I am looking for a designer who can help us with our relatively small budget house extension project.
    I found RIBA Architect / company a bit too much for us, we will need a planning permission and would love to dev …We want to express our originality and personal touch in the project, not like those showroom looking...

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    • If I was you, I would contact and try to arrange a site meeting with several Architects/Designers who you think could work best for your project.

      I am also an Architectural Designer based in Hackney, deali … would also be very happy to meet and discuss your project (initial meeting free of charge)

      I hope yo find this helpful, I am also attaching some search web links below for you.

      All the best