Friday, June 27, 2008

I Have A(nother) Plan.

I'm not sure if it is a good plan: but it is a plan.*

Let me walk you through it.

My front steps are six feet wide, so I used modules in multiples of three to come up with this plan.

The property extends six feet from the east side of the house (right) and nine feet from the west (left). That's where I want to put in a four or five foot picket fence to enclose the area. The fence will continue across the front--set back from the city's sidewalk by six feet.

Immediately inside the fence is a six foot area for shrubs. Possible candidates include Dogwood, Ninebark, and a species of Honeysuckle hardy in my zone (there's only one).

Then, we have a lawn twelve feet deep on either side. The west side looks a little barren--but that's where the neighbour's Birch is--and she often floods that part of the lawn when she waters it. On the east side I may plant a few tall columnar conifers (only 12 ft high) or I may not. I'm not sure I really want that much more shade. The little circle in the lower left hand corner is the flag pole. It needs something to balance it--and we need a focal point at each end of these stretches of lawn. A birdbath, for sure, but I'm not sure what else.

Bordering these lawns is another 6 foot planting bed.

Then, we have the paths leading to the sides of the house. We have to have the one on the west side for the meter reader and we cut across the lawn, now, to get to the backyard. So, we would use the one on the east! I wanted to hide the paths, that's why there's a bed in front of them. I was thinking of putting a few grasses in this.

Behind the beds and in front of the windows is a bed nine feet deep. Nine feet! I've read that the first 18" around the house is a "no plant" zone to ensure proper drainage. This area is for perrenials.

The question is: if I go with this plan (and I may not, depends what you all think) what to do first? There's 122 feet of fence on that plan. It'll take a miracle (and those trees coming down) before it gets done. Notice, too, I've realigned the walk. Assume that doesn't get done until next year, too--and what's left?

Breaking up concrete and preparing the soil. This year, we could break up the little walk already on the east side. Could we lay the gravel for the east-west paths before taking down the trees--or would it just get messed up? Then I could get the beds on either side ready. Actually taking a year or so to remove the grass and amend the soil isn't such a bad idea...but which area should I do first? The most important (to me) is the one by the house: but that needs the trees gone. The second most important would be the ones out by the "new" fence--and I can do them without the fence being installed (but I should wait to plant anything). That'll be hard work. There are rail road ties in there (or something similiar) which need to be dug out--and all the plants in it re-located. I have plants in there I've never seen before! Have I shown you this? It's odd. It goes the full length of the property to the west, but there's just a little stump of it to the east where the tulips came up. This was taken last month. I'd post one more recent, but it's dark outside. (I may update it tomorrow).

Is it OK?
I do not have the ability to "see" this in perspective. I'm afraid that the bed in front of the east-west path will just look weird--from both sides.

oh--and to refresh your memory: we're still living with this:

*I tried putting in a circle where the paths met, but it wound up "taking over." As well, the centre line of the house is the left hand edge of the pathway. Making a "curve" or side stepping the path to "line up" also went wonky on me, but I may be still willing to try it.


drwende said...

Like the layout and the logic of 3' units... too ignorant on all other issues to comment intelligently.

lorijo said...

how high is that fence you are planning? We are putting in the last part of our privacy fence soon- it's less expensive than you might think. If my husband can constuct one- anyone can. I would think that yours would be cheaper because it's shorter and not as tight (less wood)

The railroad ties should be removed asap. Just take a sledgehammer to them. If you remove them first then the soil can start to move on it's own (flatten out) and you can work on fixing the beds and moving the flowers either in the fall or the spring depending on when the species can be transplanted.

I am having trouble imagining the rest of the plan- but will think about it later today. I like the idea of a fence and (short) shrubs with your house type alot.

Alana in Canada said...

Thank you Wende. (Bows)

Thanks for your input Lorijo. I'm not sure how tall to make the fence: 4 or 5 feet? Maybe even 3 1/2? I suppose they come in pre-finished lengths. It won't be hard to make, or build, just costly and time consuming. I;ll start looking into it.

As for the railroad ties, they have been there forever. I'm not even sure they are RR ties --They are much longer.

scb said...

Hi, Alana! I've been pondering emailing you (through flickr) with the street address of that house my uncle & aunt used to live in, in case you'd like to check out what it's like now. Shall I or shall'nt I? (Yes, I know shall'nt isn't a word...) They haven't lived there since the early 70s and I'm sure it has changed quite a bit.

Anne (in Reno) said...

Hmm, your fence is not for privacy at all, correct? I would think something waist-height would look good, delineating the space well while the shrubs could be higher or lower and it would look fine either way. SO from my perspective, you could get away with 3 - 31/2 feet high no problem.

Also, this is random, but have you ever considered a white picket fence? I just think it would go well with the style of your house (but I guess I'm a bit traditional that way).

Anne (in Reno) said...

Maybe not even white, I just think something wood would fit better than metal would. Also I would think it'd be a bit cheaper (but I haven't priced it so that's a slightly wild surmise).

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