A Traditional Garden Transforms a Historic Property
The historic nature of the original house should be preserved and enhanced. The railings and all built-out details need to be true to the late 1800s. There are many brick homes in the area that have been very successfully renovated from this era and these renovations area valued in the community. That will prove to strengthen this investment when remodeled. Though a very large expense, the adjoining garage could be remodeled to a matching roof pitch. All historic finishes need to match or enhance the original structure.
The garden could turn out to be the best part of the remodel. A corner lot always has the potential to be a showcase garden simply due to the vehicle and foot traffic. One's yard is largely public if it is on a corner. A traditional cottage garden plays up a perennial border with some structure from evergreens acting as the spine to some overgrown and welcome chaos from herbaceous perennials, vines, and annuals against a metal or white picket fence. It is worth your time to contact the power company or city utilities to ask what can be done with an eye-sore of a pole or utility box. Sometimes you will be allowed to paint it or build a screen. More often than not, you'll have to leave these intrusions as-is and draw the observer's eye away from them with other focal points.
Making room for a vegetable garden is 1.) historically accurate, 2.) a valued commodity in this area, and 3.) a draw for the demographic that would rent or buy this type of home.
Building a tidy-looking garden is necessary if it faces a sidewalk or road, but it is worth the time and investment. The picket fence may be expected, but interesting picket designs keep it from becoming a cliche. With the new garden design, the home's value increases by being true to its historic character and expanding the traditional theme across the property.