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Big Dreams for My Piece of Earth

Posted Jun 05 2009 5:07pm

Last week I posted on inspiration gleaned from a book. Who knew that even better inspiration would come in the form of a comment from a fellow garden blogger/landscape designer, Susan of Garden Chick's Design Tips? Susan suggested removing the railing from my cramped front porch and building stairs all along the front to create a veranda effect.

"Yeah, I really like that," I stated.
"Me too," replied hubby.
"Add it to the project list," we agreed.

That new idea triggered a return to the endlessly updated drawings of my big dreams for our yard. I drew the new front steps, the hardscaping in front of them and the way the beds would have to be adjusted. I went out in the backyard and measured where the trees were actually planted last fall so I could correctly plot them on the drawing (of course they didn't end up exactly where I had previously drawn them). I included our current ideas for what to do with the back patio - add a pergola overhead - and where I want the stone path to circle around the backyard. Here's the current drawing with trees and borders, but no plants drawn in. Click on the picture to see a bigger - and slightly easier to decipher - version.

I have plenty of ideas on which plants will go where, but I'm not ready to commit. The front yard is going toward a lavender-pink-apricot color scheme with plants that can handle the hot sun there on the southern exposure of our home. Pictured below are probable inclusions in the front.

The backyard will necessarily have plenty of shaded beds under the small forest of trees we planted. But the main sunny english-roses-and-perennials bed, with a color scheme of white, dark purple, lavender, crimson, deep pink and light pink, will be just above and to the left of the central lawn. It will be the focal point from the sitting area in our living room. Some likely plant choices are pictured below, though I couldn't find a good dark blue-violet picture to include.

The front yard project list includes building the aforementioned front steps and hardscaping, plus adjusting the sprinkler system, reshaping the beds and planting two more trees. Hubby is tenatively scheduled this weekend to rip out the stand of quaking aspens (not shown on the drawing, but they are on the right of the driveway). They're just too aggressive for our yard and will probably be replaced with a flowering cherry.
The backyard project list includes replacing the aluminum awning with a white vinyl pergola, adjusting the patio shape, removing LOTS of grass, adjusting the sprinkler system, and installing the stone path (my favorite part of the dream - the kids will love running around it, and I'll love sauntering through my gardens).
The soil needs to be amended everywhere, and I'll probably end up edging all the lawn areas with more concrete curbing. Yeah, I know some people think it's horridly ugly. It's not my favorite, but some of the new styles aren't so bad and it does keep the lawn in its place (not completely, but it helps).
And here's where patience is a virtue. It will probably take a decade for all of these projects to receive funding and be completed. But someday, it will be gorgeous. I'm envisioning a lovely garden wedding reception, or a place on the local garden tour (is that presumptious?). Here's to big dreams and the joy of the journey.
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