House & Home

Landscape Renovations—Keeping It All in Proportion

Tying the new design together is the landscape that can add drama and enhance the scale of any home. The best way to start a renovation is by “Removing the existing evergreens and anything overgrown. The paths might be outdated too.” But what if you love that old tree or would prefer to “think green” and recycle those plants that have served their original purpose? “Sometimes we can replant the trees and shrubs in another area for privacy to hide naked spaces like fences or property boundaries, and create a mixed border by transplanting what you already have in your existing landscape.”

After the area is clear of any construction debris, you’ve allowed the ground to settle a bit and transplanted everything that can be saved, you can “Start all over by the foundation with natural lines and curves which add more depth to the house. If you stretch the landscaping past the house, the overall result extends the eye making the house appear larger and more pleasant.” A basic rule of thumb is to mix evergreens for winter structure, tall and short shrubs like Boxwoods or Hydrangea, plenty of ground cover for transitions between areas like Hosta and ferns, and lots of perennials for color throughout the seasons.

A path to the front door might be a simple upgrade to any home, but if the path is only 3 feet wide and the last step to the front door is 5 feet wide, the eye is thrown out of balance—make sure they measure up. Think about the windows, consider the colors or materials, and when choosing the plants use groups of threes or fives while mixing color and texture on the property because repeating elements create consistence and more pleasing views.

In the end it all comes down to proportions—from the design of the façade, choice and layout of the building materials, and the landscaping elements. Just keep these tips in mind and any landscape renovation will come together nicely, so you’ll be pleased to come home over and over again.

Landscape Designer, Writer, and Lecturer Frederico Azevedo is the CEO of Unlimited Earth Care, Inc., providing landscape design and maintenance to the Hamptons for over 20 years. For more information, call 631-725-7551, or visit and like them on Facebook.

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