The Front of the House

Hubby and I have been wanting to get a flag up and Friday night, he made it happen.

I thought it looked nice.

The grass is gradually coming at the front of the house where he seeded it down.  It’s truly making me happy to see it grow.  Of course it’s very patchy yet but it’s progress and I’ll take it.


If you scroll back to the picture at the top, you can see the kids’ ride on toys there on the front porch.  I hate them there.  I love providing childcare but I hate that my home screams childcare.  I’d like the toys hidden.  Hubby and I were talking about getting some patio cement squares and putting the blocks behind the air conditioner unit.  Then the kids could park the toys there but that has to wait until the grass is more hardy and able to handle some kid traffic. Our house is fairly close to the neighboring house to the south so I really don’t think the toys will easily be seen.

The plan is to move my big old fashion rose bush from the farm and transplant it here at the house in front of the air conditioner unit.  That will help camouflage the toys too.

We are really having a big debate on what to do for landscaping a the front of the house.  We don’t want anything modern looking…no landscaping brick, hosta, day lilies or anything that are the go to modern landscaping options.  We want the house to look like it’s actually old in the outside landscaping too.

On the north side we are planting old fashion plants….bleeding hearts, ferns and a plant my parents always had at their farm.

We aren’t putting a railing around the porch and that makes decisions for plants harder.  Do we want low profile plants?  Do we just want grass right up to the porch?  I have perrenials at the farm I could dig up and transplant but would shrubs or just plain grass look better?

We are starting to lean towards grass right up to the front and just have hanging baskets…then the new debate starts.  How many hanging baskets and where to position them?

I’d love for you to chime in and help with all of this…We want to do it once and want to do it right!

17 thoughts on “The Front of the House”

  1. Janinne Garrett

    One thing to think about with hanging baskets. In the heat of summer, they need to be watered really often. My plants in pots always die when I go away in the summer. I hate that!

  2. I’m not sure how they would fit in the area you have but my grandmother had a spirea bush and peonies in front of her house and I always thought they looked wonderfully old fashioned.
    We have two peonies in front of our driveway and I love them even though I’ve been told that they are out of date.

  3. How can peonies be out of date? I guess my main concern would be, the hanging baskets would be nice in the summer, but what about winter? Wouldn’t Rose of Sharon, lilac be with age of the house? Of course I don’t know what zone you are in. Best of luck with decisions, love the flag!

  4. a few things to consider would be:
    1. what plant hardiness zone you live in
    2. child-friendly plants
    3. sun versus shade zones

  5. I see clusters of spring blooming old fashioned iris or daylilies( classic orange not the ugly modern yellows) , with bulbs like daffodils and hyacinth. mixed with summer blooming black eyed susans or cone flowers.

  6. I am surprised building code doesn’t require a railing for safety? It’s more than 1 step.

    I say plants. Roses? Peonies? Day Lilies and Sedum Autumn Joy interspersed?

    I love hanging baskets and have those also. I would be concerned about water runoff ruining your new porch.

    Do whatever makes your heart sing :-)

  7. Totally up to you and what will survive in your climate. I would hesitate on the hanging baskets. I too have a porch and couldn’t wait to have hanging baskets. Ours is a wind tunnel and the heat and wind fry them pretty fast even if you water twice a day. When we did a makeover on ours I took the hook out for baskets so I wouldn’t be tempted to keep trying. Spirea, peonies, roses, daylilies and daisies are good options.

  8. pam in illinois

    Bridal vale spirea. My grandma had these all along her garage when I was growing up. I have some on the side of my house.

  9. after looking at lots of old house pics earlier this evening, what struck me was that very few of those old houses back in the 1800’s had landscaping up to the house like we do today. my guess is that they did that either for ease in firefighting or to show off the house itself.
    In the pictures of the few houses that did have landscaping next to the house itself, the landscaping almost always consisted of either shaped holly, boxwood, or juniper bushes planted at the corners of the house, and to accent the entrance way. Most all the rest had just grass up to the foundations, with possibly a brush border and trees in the yard.
    That trend seemed to change with the romantic cottage bungalow style of house, which was surrounded by gardens, picket fences, garden gates, and meandering pathways. The popular plants included peonies, iris, love-lies-bleeding, pansies and violets, ferns, Spring bulbs, etc.

  10. With children a part of your household you need to think about bees. All the landscaping that have flowers will attract them. Flowers were a lot of the time in beds away from the house and bushes were by the front walk, but not up against the foundation of the house. Many times fences framed a yard and shrubs and roses were along the fences.

    If you have eve spouts they can cause ruts in the yard with run off and with all the rain we have had lately it can make flowers lay over.

    Flocks, snapdragons,hollyhocks are all old fashioned flowers but were up against fences or the side of a garage. Lots to think about.

  11. my grandparents had bridal wreath bushes on the front of the house, one on either side of the porch door. the old house was a stage stop, many many years ago. On another side was some type of blue low flower with orange lilies mixed in. A large bleeding heart was also there More flowers were along the fenceline with the neighbors and a lilac was in the yard as well

  12. Well I don’t think Hostas are a new thing, I’ve had mine over 20 yrs! I also like Bleeding hearts, Lilacs, Iris, daisy’s, Cone Flowers. Delphiniums, Ihave tons of Iris if you want some let me know I’ll mailthem to you.

  13. When we moved into our old house( built around 1906) it had a spirea bush in the front—I still have that- and I added a couple more bushes–I just cut them way off once in a while…from what others have written , I have all old fashioned plants….I live in Central Minnesota and it seems to do well in this climate…

  14. Your house looks great! I love the style and the big porch. I’m a big fan of perennials. I have them in front of the house with shrubs and all over the yard in beds. I have plants that bloom at different seasons so I always have color which I love. My favorites are phlox (low growing), dianthus, cone flowers. black eyed susans, purple dome asters, columbine, and mums etc. I’m in SE WI so I’m guessing we have similar climates. Also as far as shrubs, I would stay away from boxwoods anywhere close to the house. They smell really bad (like cat urine) and seem to get worse in the summer heat. We had them at our front porch and I remember thinking it was the homeowner who smelled so bad when we had looked at our house. It was the bushes. I knew another person who bought a house and was furious thinking the previous owners left her a house filled with cat urine because it smelled so bad in the house. Well it was warm and the windows were open and sure enough there were boxwoods near the front door. I told her it was her bushes and she laughed until she went out and smelled them. Needless to say they were gone the next day! Good luck with your planting!

  15. Susan the Farm Quilter

    I would also be careful with the junipers…spiders LOVE them and junipers LOVE sewage and water pipes. Just ask me how I know that!!! Awfully expensive to replace a sewage pipe they have gotten their roots into it, especially when it extends out into the street and you have to have the street dug up and repaired to code! Your porch looks fabulous, but I would be worried about one of your “day kids” falling off and you get sued…just something to think about. Hubby got that flag up just in time for Independence Day – well done!! A porch like yours was MADE for a flag to be flying!

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