We are building 2-story home (~2300 sqft) in a neighborhood of mostly 1-story homes, and typically less square feet, and no large attached garage. Needless to say, with the extra square feet, and attached 2-car garage, the home appears a bit out of place for the neighborhood.

Our home is at the end of a culdesac and is at the highest point in the neighborhood, which does help somewhat with making it seem a bit separated from the rest of the homes, as it's not visible until you get to the top of the culdesac. However, I would still like to visually make the home appear smaller using various landscaping techniques.

As you drive up the road to the end of the culdesac, the first thing you see is the side of a deep garage. Before the garage was framed, the home did not seem too large. I would like to get some input on some landscaping techniques on how to make a home appear smaller.

I'm thinking some evergreens of some sorts, but I really have zero experience with choosing the right plants, and where to place them. We are located in CT.

Any thoughts?

  • 2
    a picture helps
    – kevinskio
    Aug 9, 2012 at 18:24
  • Are you wanting to make it look shorter, narrower, shallower, some combination thereof, or something else? Also, large trees and dense shrubs take time to grow; how long have you got?
    – Scivitri
    Aug 9, 2012 at 18:27
  • 1
    It would be helpful to mention the lot size, and post a sketch of the lot showing house, driveway, lot boundaries, and any other significant features (include dimensions, even if they're rough).
    – bstpierre
    Aug 9, 2012 at 19:10
  • 1
    Hire a professional landscape designer. Sounds like you're stuck with a generic big-garage-architecture style of house (not uncommon in the US, unfortunately) and that's quite the challenge.
    – DA.
    Aug 9, 2012 at 21:21
  • @DA This is the stock home, which we modified to expand the size 2 feet deeper, and added a bonus room. frankbetz.com/homeplans/plan_info.html?pn=821.
    – Steve
    Aug 10, 2012 at 1:45

1 Answer 1


Scale is your priority. Big house equals big tree.

In addition to a large tree and if your front yard is deep enough you might want to plant some shrubs which have showy seasonal interest, such as flowers, fall color or unusual form. Planting them closer to the road will make them appear larger. They will draw attention to themselves distracting attention from your large home.

If you are in a hurry be sure to choose a fast growing tree. I might suggest the Willow Oak "quercus phellos'. It's fast growing, grows to 80 to 90+ feet, is long lived, pest free and it has fine foliage which is easy to garden under. I believe you are in zone 6 which is in it's range. It has slender branches which withstand ice storms and wind extremely well and it has a very nice winter silhouette. This is my favorite so I had to give it a plug. If your heart is set on a conifer, you might want to check out Norway Spruce "picea abies' but be sure to ask about any pest or health issues they may have in your area.

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