Hi folks Some of you all may know that this past summer, we moved into an old VIctorian house, and have spent most of 2002 fixing up the structure. Now that spring is coming, it is time to think about working on the outside. The ladies who owned the house before us (now all deceased) supposedly had the place as a showcase of the town, but in their old age, let everything go to ruin. The town we live in was an old mining town, (all the mines now are closed), and this was one of the company's managers houses, one of four, and in their day were obviously the best in town. Of the four, two on either side of us are still elegant, ours is getting that way, and the fourth is in sad shape, but it was just sold to folks who will be restoring it as we have done. We live in horticultural zone 6. We have a quarter acre town lot, about 1/2 of which is taken up by the house, a smoke house, and drive way. The house has an east-west orientation, with the west face on main street. The soils are a bit alkaline, but that can be amended and fixed. Features of the landscape that probably would be best left alone are three large red dogwoods (25-30 feet tall -- really big dogwoods) on the southside of the house. These trees keep most of this side of the house shady most of the time, so need to have shade tolerant plants on this side. On the north side of the house there is a large maple (in sad shape, and it may have to come down for safety reasons), a flowering crab apple, and a smokehouse (being used as a storage shed). On the east there is nothing of importance, except the drive way. On the west there is grass, and a sad looking grape vine, which got chopped way back when I rebuilt the porch. The question, however, is this. What suggestions would you make for plantings to bring the old place back to its former glory? I have a green thumb (most of the time), just trying to get some ideas. Jeff.