Also called the colonial split or junior colonial, the bilevel house has two distinct levels. The front door landing is located halfway between the two levels. The bilevel house also has two levels of windows, the first set at hip level when viewed from the street. To jazz up the landscape surrounding the bilevel and accentuate the large bay windows, bring in flowers. Flowers ensure long-lasting color and texture and can accentuate a front walkway or backyard patio.
Typically a bilevel house has a pathway or staircase leading up to the front door and down to the driveway. Some bilevel homes have concrete paths, while others are made from slate, bricks or flagstone. Planting perennial bulbs flanking the path instantly jazzes up the space. Along the walkway, plant spring flowering bulbs like daffodils and tulips; their colorful blooms add bright bursts of beauty to the space. Smaller bulbs like crocus and hyacinth look lovely lining the path and placed between the larger bulbs to help fill in small spaces along the walkway. Summer blooms like day lilies and black-eyed Susans are ideal to line the front walkway and, as perennials, will come back each year. For extra bursts of color, plant containers with annuals like petunias along the path and on the front porch.
Many bilevel homes have windows on the lower level that you don’t want to completely cover up. Instead of growing compact low-growing shrubs that cover up the lower level windows, opt for more open perennial shrubs whose branches have a draping or cascading effect. Perennial shrubs like forsythia are hardy growers with beautiful yellow foliage. They instantly update the look of the house but don’t completely cover the windows of the bilevel.
Prominent first-level windows of the bilevel also benefit from a low-growing hydrangea bush. Hydrangea bushes are wider than they are tall and have stunning snowball-like blooms that bring color and texture to the landscaping. Grow hydrangeas along the first-level windows to help revitalize the space and draw your eye up to the picture windows on the second level of the home.
Use the driveway leading up to the bilevel house as the focal point. Line the driveway with flowering trees like autumn-blooming cherry and ornamental pear. The cherry tree begins blooming in the fall and has a moderate to rapid growth rate. The cherry tree grows taller and fuller each year. The delicate blooms open up to a soft pink color that eventually fades to white. Use these flowering trees on either side of the driveway for a grand entrance to the bilevel house. Remember to space them out enough to allow adequate room for growth over the years.
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