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Posted Jan 22 2009 6:25pm

Gina's Blank Canvas
( Viewed from the House )
Click on to enlarge

A conceptual drawing of my plan for Gina's Back 40
Click to enlarge

Gina at Myskinnygarden is seeking design advice for her backyard. She indicates that she likes a cottage-style garden. She says that she won't move her raised veggie garden containers unless I go there and do it myself. SO, I've left them in place and worked around them.

I've sketched the blank canvas of her yard from photos so obviously it is not to scale but it gives an idea of what the configuration is.

Details of my plan: A pergola stretches across the walkway to the other side of the patio. Some roses may need to be moved since the posts for the structure are to be dug in that bed. An alternative is to have the shade structure attached to the house.

There's an A/C unit next to the patio. In my experience it doesn't cost much to have this moved to a new location, an ideal spot which I've indicated on the drawing. A decorative open trellis enclosure for the a/c will conceal it without obstructing air flow.

Moving the A/C allows room for a BBQ area next to the patio. An easy DIY project : 1 Sq. ft. wood patio blocks ( Home Depot or Lowe's ) can be laid on a bed of pea gravel and sand and surrounded by 2 x 4 's to stablize. A built-in bench ( or an option is a free standing one ) will provide extra seating.

A natural compressed granite path allows traffic to all areas of the garden and a shortcut to the garage. Two ornamental shrubs near the patio provide a sense of mystery as it prevents the eye from seeing all the garden at once.

A large concrete pad adjacent to the garage is used for storage of compost bins and garbage cans. To screen the area, tall shrubs or trees can be used, or another option would be a free standing trellis or screen.

The existing raised veggie garden containers can be enhanced with large containers of flowers nearby.

I've added one ornamental tree since they seem to be sorely missing in the yard. One fairly good sized tree would make a big impact.

For added interest, a bird bath or water feature in the cottage style garden bed is attractive. All existing plants are to be incorporated into the plan, along with evergreen shrubs for year-round interest and cottage garden plants of Gina's choosing.

The narrow walkway and concrete pad could be stained brown with a concrete stain which would soften it and make it look more natural.

This plan can be implemented in stages as time and budget allow.

SO, Gina, hope you like it. I haven't copyrighted it : ) and you can use it as you see fit. Any questions ?

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