Craig Donley. Landscape Designer.

When Hicks designer Craig Donley first met with the homeowners the existing front yard of this home left much to be desired. To get to the front door you needed to find the narrow, awkward steps from the driveway that were hidden by overgrown junipers, then proceed across the sloped lawn, around the bend to the dilapidated front steps and landing to the front door.

The goals of the project were to make the front door more inviting and accessible, provide better parking and turn-around space in the driveway, while providing plantings to compliment the home. To facilitate this, the old junipers, steps, and timber retaining by the garage were removed and the grade was cut approximately five feet to accommodate a new parking spur closer to the front door. New colonial bluestone walls retain the slope and create terraces for gardens. A new concrete paver walk provides a more direct route to the front door from the driveway. Steps with bluestone treads and stone risers are integrated in the walls creating a comfortable cadence to the front entry.  

Before: The existing front yard of this home left much to be desired.

Along the road, the large yew hedge was removed and replaced with a decorative rail fence that is surrounded by plantings to compliment the ranch style home, and make for a more neighborly connection to the road. From the street approach a concrete paver landing at the gate ties in visually with the front walk and serves as a gathering point.

The new asphalt driveway with cobblestone edging was designed to provide better parking and turn-around space.

After: Hicks Landscapes won a gold award for their design of this project from the Long Island Nursery & Landscape Association.

Hicks Landscapes planted a large holly to block the view of the garage door and direct attention to the front walk instead. Strategically placed evergreens such as Ilex, Rhododendron, Euonymus, Prunus ‘Otto Luyken’ and Taxus are just enough to anchor the property in winter, while varieties of hydrangea, carpet roses, and a Magnolia ‘Butterfly’, along with an abundance of perennials, provide a succession of blooms from spring through fall. Reliable perennials such as Hemerocallis ‘Stella d’oro’, Geranium ‘Rozanne’, Nepeta ‘Walker’s Low’, Echinacea ‘Magnus’, and Perovskia soften the fence and walls. A climbing Hydrangea vine was planted at the base of the chimney to mask the dominant feature as it matures.

Hicks Landscapes has changed this from an un-inviting entry to a scene out of the countryside, with gardens welcoming guests into the home.


Learn more about Hicks Landscapes award winning landscape design services here