Even with a limited amount of space between house and road, there are many ways to create an attractive first impression. Obviously the house itself is a good starting point. Does it need a fresh coat of paint? Are structural changes required to make the house look more appealing?
Once you are satisfied with the way the house looks from the road, consider the complete view, i.e. the house and the way it relates to the immediate surroundings. Do they belong together? Or are they two separate entities? Are they in harmony and do they complement each other? Or does each have its own distinct flavour?
The brief for this scene is to improve the view from the street by integrating the house better with the surrounding space. Suggestions are also required for the garden along the driveway which runs along the left-hand side of the house. Currently that garden has become a haven for weeds apart from a couple of camellias, winter-sweet and a magnolia.
The Japanese flowering cherry tree on the lawn helps to break up the area in the front which is currently dominated by the house. Planting in a small garden against the house that loosely follows the shape of the building will further soften the look. Buxus sempervirens (English box) or Ligustrum japonicum 'Rotundifolium' can be used to create a low hedge on the right. The garden bed on the left of this hedge is a little bit wider and is planted with shrubs that will tolerate partial shade. Two Daphne odora shrubs are positioned near the left corner of the house, evergreen azaleas in the center, a camellia with a narrow growth habit such as 'Spring festival' near the hedge, and Liriope muscari (lily turf) is included as ground cover.
The existing camellias along the driveway could be under-planted with an evergreen azalea such as 'Alaska' with white flowers to brighten up this area. Using one and the same type of plant for under-growth will make it look tidier and easier to look after than a mixed border. Azaleas and camellias are acid-lovers and as such benefit from the same fertiliser.