I've lived in eight states and three foreign countries. I've never lived anywhere in my life longer than eight years, and I generally enact my ideas for my homes just in time to sell them to someone else to enjoy. I've NEVER landscaped for myself. This first pic is what most of our drive entrances look like here. Natural.
When I moved here to Maine, I was traumatized, terrified and worn out. I bought my place in the woods on four acres, on a dirt road some 14 homeowners share the maintenance. I cannot see any of my neighbors from my home, and we each have 4 or more acres on this road. We all have wells, and septic systems. We aren't off the grid like Farm-Witch, but certainly a far cry from living in cities like Denver, SLC, OKC, Bombay, Alexandria (Egypt) and Buenos Aires (Argentina).
I've been here almost seven years now, almost a personal record for retention. Three years ago, I began having sections of landscaping done on the place. I moved in to the house brand new, without even tufts of grass growing. I found a landscaper with creativity, originality and an artisitic background. I told her I wanted a beautiful yard, but didn't want to be married to maintenance because of my work schedule. I didn't want to have to edge the lawn, I wanted perennials in at least one area, and I wanted the place to be welcoming to my family and to visitors.
The first section was all about foundation plantings on the public side of the structure, and about making the entrance welcoming. Here in Maine, we don't use front doors. Many houses here no longer even have steps to the front door. We use the mudroom entrance where snowy and muddy boots can be taken off before entering the house proper, and where there is usually some sort of heat transition into the home to keep those heating $ from flying out each time the door opens. In my home's case, many people couldn't even figure out where the door was, so I wanted to define that and make it welcoming. My landscaper added whimsy with awesome bird houses and even a fairy house with custom landscaping which mirrored that in my own yard.
The second section put in a pond with a super filtration system for the geese I used to own. Three weeks after the pond went in, my dogs did in the geese. I didn't replace the geese, but I kept the pond. It has a rock waterfall, a rock island, a bog area with logs and stumps (brought in for interest), and many rocks on the bottom (hides the lining). I have a rustic bench with an arbor over it which overlooks the pond. And I have a little gargoyle reading a book next to the rocks.
My latest section just got started, and completed, today. It was to spiff up the end of my driveway one sees driving up to the drive. It doesn't get direct sun ever. It is a LONG ways down my drive, so it needs to be zeroscaped to survive. And, I wanted a piece of sculpture that would go with one in the first section of landscaping - the shower Buddha.
Mo McGlinn (McGlinn's Wee Gardens, Brewer, ME) found a companion carved tree trunk statue for this greeting section - a Forest Spirit man. He is the centerpiece of this new section of my place - a landmark and greeter in a natural habitat. She put in ferns, shrubs, fall flowers, and rustic logs. Now, we have a landmark people can use to find us, and we've dressed up the road a bit, while we are at it without being over the top. I'll take more photos in daylight, but couldn't resist getting some tonight as I drove back in.