Let the architectural lines and features of a Tudor-style house inspire your plant selection and layout when you landscape the surrounding yard. Known for its half-timbered accents on white stucco, reminiscent of medieval English buildings, many Tudor houses also have decorative brickwork. Smaller homes built in the American Tudor revival period of the early 20th century share the architectural features of a gabled entryway, steep roofs, arched front door and elaborate windows. Keep the landscape design at the front of the house simple to accent the features, giving your home distinct curb appeal.
Plant columnar evergreen shrubs near the front door to accent the entryway's pointed gable and frame the door's rounded top. Select shrubs that remain narrow as they mature so the foliage does not obscure the house's design lines. Emerald Green Arborvitae, Thuja occidentalis "Smaragd," for example, grows 3 feet wide and may be pruned to an even thinner profile.
Position shade trees at the side of the house where the trees won't block the Tudor-style front facade. For shade at the front of the house, plant large-sized trees, such as red maple "Acer rubrum," near the sidewalk where their shadow falls on the house and won't obscure the view from street level. Situate tall evergreens behind the house as an attractive backdrop to your home.
Select low-growing foundation plants for the front of a Tudor house with decorative brickwork as one of its design elements. Accent the color and texture of the building material with dwarf varieties of Norway Spruce, Picea abies, and small-leaved cotoneaster, Cotoneaster microphyllus, which has both early-summer flowers and evergreen leaves.
Create ornamental topiary at the end of the sidewalk and driveway to reference the historic design roots of your Tudor-style house. Shape and prune evergreen or small-leaf deciduous plants on wire frames to create simple forms like spheres, boxes and pyramids. Use clipped boxwood and yew shrubs for a delicate appearance and shiny-leaf holly for a bolder visual impact.
Grow a knot garden, a style that originated in Tudor England, in the side yard where it can be easily seen though the windows from inside the house. Lay out geometric, intertwining shapes in flowing, circular patterns. Plant fragrant herbs or small flowering shrubs to outline the pattern. Fill in the open spaces with culinary herbs, colorful annuals and attractive vegetables such as cabbage, chard and lettuce.
Tips & Warnings
- Contact your city or municipality planning office before making major landscaping changes to your home. In some areas, Tudor-style houses have been given historic status and your plans may need approval by a historic review board.
- University of Vermont Landscape Change Program: Tudor Revival
- "Classic Houses of Seattle: High Style to Vernacular, 1870 to 1950"; Caroline T. Swope; 2005
- "Cincinnati Magazine"; Era Environments; Jessica R. Brown; May 2008
- Ohio State University: Thuja Occidentalis
- Virginia Cooperative Extension; Selecting Landscape Plants: Shade Trees; Diane Relf, et al.; May 2009
- Cornell Cooperative Extension: List of Dwarf Shrubs and Low-Growing Plants Suitable for Foundation Plantings
- Photo Credit Kim Steele/Photodisc/Getty Images
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