Prospective clients call us all the time because they are not happy with their current landscape. When I show up to analyze the landscape they are currently living with, one of the problems I often see is usually a lack of plant layering. To me, it often seems like garden and garden beds are an afterthought to what is typically a large, 2 story house. A sliver or small ribbon of plantings, made up with plants all of a similar size., is not sufficient to seat the architecture within the landscape.
Hence, the landscape and architecture usually ends up looking ridiculous. Neither house or landscape is working together as one. The solution is to pull the garden beds out, away from the house, and create a garden that is an appropriate size for the house. Widening the garden beds will also give you the opportunity to create some plant layering or hierarchy. Lining the house with evergreen and deciduous shrubs is a good start towards creating a garden but take the garden to the next level. Adding various sub shrubs, perennials and groundcovers will create a garden that is multidimensional as well as multiseasonal. To see some gardens where laying occurs visit the portfolio at www.designingeden.com