I mentioned last week that I have a really great project going on at my house. It involves…you guessed it…decks, pergolas, & trellises. And there is a storage building and carport involved, as well, for those of you who get really excited about loads and loads of lumber. I thought I would start out this mini-series with a tiny back story and back pictures (?).
I moved into my 1960’s brick bungalow last May. It sits on a corner lot in a really great neighborhood close to downtown. Now that I have had a year to get to know the lay of the land, I was ready to start the process of creating my garden. Keep in mind that I said “start the process” because that’s what designing, building, and planting your garden space is–a process that can take quite some time and often some trial and error. My gardens have been ever changing and evolving spaces that truly feed my soul, and although there are times when I wish I could wave a magic wand and make it all appear at once, the process is the reward.
Although my lot is a decent size, my house is positioned in the back corner so there is very little space to the rear of the house and a lot of space to the side of the house.
Ironically, it has virtually no landscaping, except some meatball bushes–that I have since set free–giving me a blank canvas. But along with the blank canvas comes one of the problems…no shade. The other pressing issue is privacy…or lack thereof.
The first step in the design process was to make a list of the things I like about the outside space, dislike about the space, the way I would like to use the space, and any issues that need to be addressed. My lists look something like this:
What I like about the outdoor space:
- it is a blank canvas
- it is large
- it is on a corner
What I dislike about the outdoor space:
- there is no shade
- there is too much impervious cover…too much concrete!
- there are no seating areas
- there is no privacy
- the storage unit is very ugly
How I would like to use the space:
- gathering with friends and neighbors
- gardening, gardening, gardening (did I mention gardening?)
What issues must be addressed:
How did I start?
I started with a plan–no surprise there!–a hardscaping plan. What is the hardscape? The hardscape of a landscaping plan is all of the inanimate or built objects. This includes patios, pathways, decks, pergolas, & trellises. (ponds, pools, water features, raised beds, etc.) The hardscaping is typically installed before plants are placed in the ground.
Although my plan is evolving (cause I can do that), I knew I wanted to create some spaces for gathering (see A Neighbor Friendly Yard), and I knew I had to find a way to shade the east side of the house (cause trees take a wee bit more time). I invite you to click on the plan above and take a close look at the projects that are underway. In the next few posts (remember it’s a mini-series) I’ll be sharing pictures of the (near-finished) projects.
What improvements or changes have you made to the hardscaping of your outdoor space?