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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    5

    Default landscape ideas?

    I am a landscape novice and need some ideas about what to do with our yard. the side yard (where the ac unit is in the picture) is about 30 feet wide and about 100 feet deep. we have considered putting a playset over there with either pea gravel or some other similar material. not sure what to do with the rest.

    thanks.




  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    7,084

    Default Re: landscape ideas?

    The first thing I'd want to do is fence and secure that area.

    That is a good sized area and I would landscape it to be suitable for the type of use that suits you. If it's a "kids only" area, then look into jungle gym structure, sand pits, and other safe play areas. If this is more of an adults area with kid friendly things, then I'd do a nice patio or deck with a shade/roof structure for the adult portion and then the play set/structure for the kids off to the side in clear view of the patio.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: landscape ideas?

    Thanks for the input.

    What type of fence were you thinking? As you can see from the picture my two neighbors each have a different type of fence. I have pictured in putting some type of garden archway leading to the sideyard with either a small fence or shrubs blocking the view to the sideyard. any thoughts on that idea? (i wasnt joking when I said I was a novice and my ideas often seem to turn out not so great.)

    Also, our house only has 2 doors, the front door and the door to the driveway that you can see in the picture. We have considered adding a door that goes to the backyard but weren't sure how difficult or expensive that would be.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    7,084

    Default Re: landscape ideas?

    Down and dirty would either be chain link (no privacy ) or a wood fence such as that facing the neighbors behind you. There is no limit to the styles and choices of fence you could do, the limit is the depth of your wallet. I personally would go for a wood privacy fence. It looks from the picture that the neighbors fence the pickets alternate sides, allowing quite a lot of viewing between the yards. If you or the neighbor has animals, a fence of this nature and kids don't mix! Go with a privacy fence, where the pickets butt against each other. A "good neighbor" fence would alternate panels (sections between posts ) between yourself and the neighbor.

    If you do fence this area securely, then I would absolutely install a door from the house to the yard as well as gated access to the street, the gate of course would remain locked when not in use. Adding a door isn't that big a deal if you use an existing window opening because it's already structurally supported. The most you might have to do is relocate a wire, but that's nothing. Even if you had to create an opening in a blank wall, it's not that bit a deal and we can walk you through the procedure if you're going to do it yourself.

    Back to the landscaping, because you've got kids, you'll want to have kid friendly surfaces where they play. Pea gravel and sand are good choices, but they tend to get tracked into the house which raises havoc with the floor coverings and the vacuum cleaner. I'm more partial to wood shavings (not bark ) because they're soft enough to prevent serious injury, easy on cleaning equipment and interior surfaces, and being natural, will biodegrade without problems later when the needs change. Please, whatever you do DO NOT use "recycled" rubber as a playground or landscape mulch. While the rubber doesn't degrade and will provide a softer surface for the kids, it's still rubber, a petroleum product and an environmental hazard that you won't be able to get rid of and not good if ingested. For areas not directly under play equipment, go with grass. If you want to minimize the grass area, install planter beds around the perimeter that are 3 feet to 10 feet deep. Use a scallop edge to make a more natural feeling environment. This is an excellent place for shrubs and flowers - just choose edible/non-toxic varieties because of the kids.

    Are you getting any pictures in your mind so far?
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Fairfax, VA
    Posts
    76

    Arrow Re: landscape ideas?

    I just read over some tips for landscaping that helps with budget and design which would include instead of buying plants, first check with friends, neighbors, or relatives to see what you can get a sprig from and use. These helps keep cost down.

    NOVA Pros

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: landscape ideas?

    If you want to do more than just that side yard, I would suggest lining the sidewalk and driveway with narrow beds planted with a nice edging plant and then putting in landscape lights. The solar ones work well if you don't want to go to the expense of running electricity out to the lights. You could also put in curved beds at some of the corners of the sidewalk and driveway to take away from the linear look and make it more eye pleasing. Also another good place to get plants is to get them at the end of season sale or off of discounted racks. Sometimes these can be given a little tender love and care and they will thrive well. This is a lot less expensive than buying them at full price during the season.
    M Shuman

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: landscape ideas?

    I agree that securing the area would be the first order, kids are so darn quick. Since you don't have a door to the back yard, my suggestion would be create a area outside of the side door that would be an area that leads to the back, with pathways lined with plants. Pathway could be as simple as large paving stones or as complicated as you want. I'm a big believer in "natural fences" like shrubs or privet. They encourage wildlife and are softer on the eye and the spirit. You definitely need a patio type area in the back to sit, relax, read & watch the birds. Again, as simple as a purchased gazebo from a box store to a pergola landscaped with ivy. A cool feature, espacially if you have kids, is a 1/2 whiskey barrel (pvc) buried in the ground surrounded by stones with ****fish and a pump. Can be purchased fairly reasonably at a box store.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: landscape ideas?

    a nice garden pergola will do it, with trailing vines for the roof, underneath it a swing for relaxing or outdoor dining set.. have a bush for fencing the place..

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: landscape ideas?

    I'd make a not high fence, plant bushes and make a small stone garden.. plus some toys and see-saws for kids!

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