Spring Project: A Neighbor Friendly Yard
Sunday mornings are my time to catch up with fun reading. One of my favorites is the weekly updates on Houzz. If you don’t know Houzz, then you should. It is a great place to get information and help on just about anything home and garden. Then when you find pictures you want to keep, start your own Ideabook. (You can check out my Ideabooks by clicking the button on the right side of this page.) Go on over there, and see what I am talking about.
This morning’s update included an article on creating a front yard that invites the neighbors in.
The article was very timely as I have started a plan for my own yard. My little 1960’s bungalow sits on a corner lot in a very quaint neighborhood. I was surprised to find out that very few of my neighbors really know one another. I can’t imagine that as I have always lived where neighbors get to know each other and look out for one another. So while working on a plan for my yard, I’ve decided to create a space that just might foster some neighborhood gatherings. Maybe something like this.
My yard is a blank canvas…a really, really blank canvas. A bit of an ugly blank canvas. But I like that because I don’t have to work around or rip out existing trees and shrubs. But, ugly never-the-less…especially in winter. So here is what I am starting with:
One of my first thoughts was to start with a white picket fence.
I really do love a white picket fence around bungalow-type houses, but after getting some bids, that cute picket fence didn’t seem so cute. Nor does a fence really say, “Come on in, neighbor!” The amount of money needed for that fence would certainly go a long way toward some great trees and shrubs.
I have several issues to address when creating a plan for my yard, one of which is privacy. The trick is to balance privacy with the idea of creating a neighbor friendly yard. I have decided to employee the age-old hedgerow with an urban twist. The idea is to use a wide variety of native and adaptive trees and shrubs planted very densely to create a boundary and some privacy. At the same time, it creates the edges for a beautiful, inviting garden for all kinds of wildlife…including the neighbors! Now don’t mistake this for the huge, overbearing, overgrown hedgerows of old.
Notice how it is densely planted with a wide variety of trees and shrubs. It creates a boundary and some privacy. And if the trees and shrubs are carefully selected, it will create year-round interest.
Let’s take a peek at how I am creating this plan on paper. If you have looked at the Design Services page of this website, you have a good understanding of the design process. The first thing I do is draw a base plan taken from measurements of the site. The base plan for my home looks like this:
A base plan is the designer’s foundational map. It is not included in the final set of design plans, but it is the essential starting place.
The next step is to create a Concept Plan. The Concept Plan shows the ideas that the designer has in mind for the site. Below I have started a Concept Plan to show the idea of a hedgerow.
Wow! Do you see how the hedgerow could really start to transform my ugly, blank slate into a garden of real interest? Just looking at this idea is exciting! But now the real work begins…researching and selecting the appropriate trees and shrubs and determining the best placement of each. Once this is done, it will be shown on a Planting Plan for some lucky person to install.
I will be posting every phase of the design plan for my home. If you would like to keep updated and see how things are progressing, please visit my blog often. The easiest way to do that is to Subscribe with your email. No, I don’t distribute your email address, but it is a great way to get new posts in your inbox.
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