Below is an email sent from the client which describes his ideal design:
The stone piers in front of the driveway will be connected with wrought iron fence to form a courtyard to hide part of the driveway and create a little sense of privacy for the porch. We plan to have low berms on the front corners of lot and right of the driveway. Minimal lawn in front yard and no lawn abutting concrete (eliminates the problem of turf building up over time and being too high for the sidewalk).
Desire a rose garden south of the house in the indented area. Desire to use the south sideyard for "dog lawn" for our 2 standard poodles. Due to coyotes in the area behind us, we want to fence that south side so dogs can go no further east than the back corner of the house. Dogs exit and enter house at laundry door (20 feet back from front southwest corner of house) and basement exit at southeast corner). However, we also want to fence entire rear yard with 3 rail fencing and wire mesh so that dogs can roam when we are in back yard. Forget invisible fencing - poodles will make the calculation of pain vs. reward and go right through it. We also want to put stone patio (stone is stacked on south side of house - its random-sized sandstone that will be fitted together on bed of gravel and sand with "stepable" plants in margins) behind house on south indent next to basement exit. Desire large vegetable garden in rearmost yard . Fruit trees and grape plants north of that garden would be good. Grapes must be inside yard (not on fence line) so we can protect grapes from
marauding skunks and raccoons.
Problems to solve: Drainage swale needs to allow stormwater overflow from cul-de-sac north of house next door to flow to lake south of our house. Need way to make it look nice. Retaining wall is desired on northeast corner of house to protect house from that water and allow for large elevation change. Steps could be incorporated into that wall. How do you allow water to flow through fence without blocking flow while still keeping dogs contained? How to plant north side of north garage (no access/pathway is needed)? How to use north sideyard? How to plant south side next to fence because it is shaded? How to keep south neighbors from backing cars into our fence outside laundry/ garden shed area yet still maintain enough room to access shed?
Other desires: water feature (one or more), perhaps in front courtyard and near rear patio. All plantings except veggie garden low maintenance. Everything will be either spray or drip-irrigated. Blocking northwest wind in winter. Blocking east sun in summer, but allowing maximum solar gain in winter on south and east sides. Perhaps an arbor could be used to shade basement windows on south of sunroom in summer, but still allow solar gain in winter. (Roof overhangs block summer sun for most other south windows).
Photos of the residence:
|Back of residence|
|Front of residence|
|Swell in backyard|
The main problem I came across in this design was the large swell that runs right through the middle of their yard as you can see in the photo above. I saw this as an opportunity to come up with something new and I enjoyed the time I spent thinking up ways to design this area. I really wanted to design some sort of rain garden into the swell but with Colorado's weather you really cant have a practical rain garden design. Therefore I decided to put a big dry river bed going all the way across the property, which helped define two different spaces within the back yard.Here is what I came up with:
|This is a quick sketch from the east side of the raised bed gardens looking west toward the house.|
|Here is the final rendered planting plan. This plan is purely for presentation use only when one on one with the customer.|