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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    3

    Default Country living in the City

    Hello TOH!!!
    My husband and I recently bought a beautiful 1920s Colonial home in the city of Cleveland, Ohio. Unlike other homes in this area it came with a huge backyard, grass as far as one can see. My dream of county living in the city will become a reality someday. How should I begin taking on the process of transforming such a space? I constantly read the suggestion of taking it one small space at a time, but I feel confounded by not knowing what the bigger goal and picture is. Then, when factoring in the many considerations and options, I am frozen regarding making the smaller choices. The considerations faced include: 1. keeping it low maintenance regarding time, energy, and water needs, 2. considering how the space will grow and transform with us over time, 3. wanting to use native species, 4. creating space for our children to run and play and also quieter spaces to explore, 5. creating an adult haven for myself, 6. creating a water basin (we live in a water shed area,) and 7. attracting butterflies and other animals. In a time of great consciousness regarding the environment and our impact on it, I had thought that resources would be easier to find to fit my needs. I am still looking for this support, any ideas??? Thanks!!

    Cindy in Cleveland

    ps- Please see more below from me!
    Last edited by CindyR; 11-08-2007 at 05:07 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    6,481

    Default Re: Country living in the City

    I would suggest one of two things to help.

    1 - Get some landscape design software to help you lay out and plan the space.

    2 - Hire a landscape designer to help you.

    Once you have an overall plan, then you can go about implementing the design components over a period of time as your time and budget allow.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Country living in the City

    Congrats!

    Could you fill us in a little more on what is on the lot right now? Is it wooded? If so, why kind of trees do you think you have, and how large?

    If it were me, I would inventory specimen trees and begin planning from there. They need to be treated as true assets on your lot.
    The Weekend Arborist
    Hidden Content

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    35

    Default Re: Country living in the City

    ***, my first impulse would be thinking about which vegetables to plant and where. But that's just me. Partly because I don't care to run to the store every other day for one fresh vegetable or another that doesn't keep well in the fridge, and more so because most farm soils are magnesium-deficient hence so is our food, but it's simple enough to feed a home garden with magnesium-bearing fertilzer, which commercial farmers do not.

    Of course, flowers attract not only butteflies but also hummingbirds, which are also a joy to behold. They LOVE fuschias, which can be in a hanging pot(s) near a north or shaded window or under the eave of a porch, out of the direct sun. I used to watch the male chase the female back to the nest so he could take a drink. (Then I moved.)

    Anyway, that's my two cents on a hundred thousand dollar question.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Country living in the City... more info

    Thank you for all of the ideas!
    I would love help from a professional, and better yet, a soon-to-be professional designer. I will be sure to contact OSU since they have a landscape design program. Any suggestions on landscape software? Also, a trip down to Wooster will be planned.

    As for more information regarding our space: Our backyard is about 50 feet by 150 feet deep. There is one very tall cottonwood tree in the back corner, probably 100 feet tall, maybe more. There is one other tree half it's height farther into the back corner. The previous owners put up a fence along the back of the property, and it is my understanding that we own 10 feet behind it. This area is full of overgrown trees, all much smaller than the cottonwood. At some point I would like to drop the fence back to the property line.
    Along the side of our house is a patio with an open air arbor over it with a large tree next to this (I don't know what kind). Under the tree and around the perimeter of the patio are ivy and a small garden of hostas, a rose bush, and a few other bushes. Also, a neglected peach tree resides near this.
    The back of our home faces west. Along the entire south side of our property is a 10 foot high brick wall which I think is beautiful. Beyond this, is open space and then cityscape. I am realizing that we get a lot of wind and rain at the back of our home. The yard is flat and a bit angled towards our home, yes towards.
    I did put in a small vegetable garden last spring in a different area of our yard (the other side of our driveway, tucked away but in the sun). The tomatoes and herbs were a treat!
    Otherwise, it is all grass, crabgrass and weeds of various varieties. Oh, and a plastic little tikes climbing thing is a must for us.
    We did stop cutting the 20 feet of grass behind the cottonwood up to the fence, and are affectionately calling it the "Meadow".
    Any other suggestions and ideas?
    Thank you thank you thank you for your time!
    Last edited by CindyR; 11-08-2007 at 05:05 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: Country living in the City... more info

    Hi Cindy,
    It sounds like you have alot of fun in your future! Congrats on the new old home! If I may, a couple of things come to mind as I read your post.

    In regards to the fence, you may want to reconsider moving the fence back to the property line. We did that at our old place, talked to all the neighbors, got everyones ok, then one neighbor suddenly sold and down came our fence. The new neighbors took it down as they started to build, we could say nothing because it was considered their fence too as it was right on the line. So depending on what could go on behind that fence in the future (new homes, a field of corn, someone with dogs moves in etc.) you may want that 10 foot buffer.

    And if you plan on planting new trees, involve the kids and if you can, get everyone a tree. My dad did that for us and we loved having trees of our own. They grew as we grew, for me that tree of mine was special and I have fond memories because of it.

    Quote Originally Posted by CindyR View Post
    Thank you for all of the ideas!
    I would love help from a professional, and better yet, a soon-to-be professional designer. I will be sure to contact OSU since they have a landscape design program. Any suggestions on landscape software? Also, a trip down to Wooster will be planned.

    As for more information regarding our space: Our backyard is about 50 feet by 150 feet deep. There is one very tall cottonwood tree in the back corner, probably 100 feet tall, maybe more. There is one other tree half it's height farther into the back corner. The previous owners put up a fence along the back of the property, and it is my understanding that we own 10 feet behind it. This area is full of overgrown trees, all much smaller than the cottonwood. At some point I would like to drop the fence back to the property line.
    Along the side of our house is a patio with an open air arbor over it with a large tree next to this (I don't know what kind). Under the tree and around the perimeter of the patio are ivy and a small garden of hostas, a rose bush, and a few other bushes. Also, a neglected peach tree resides near this.
    The back of our home faces west. Along the entire south side of our property is a 10 foot high brick wall which I think is beautiful. Beyond this, is open space and then cityscape. I am realizing that we get a lot of wind and rain at the back of our home. The yard is flat and a bit angled towards our home, yes towards.
    I did put in a small vegetable garden last spring in a different area of our yard (the other side of our driveway, tucked away but in the sun). The tomatoes and herbs were a treat!
    Otherwise, it is all grass, crabgrass and weeds of various varieties. Oh, and a plastic little tikes climbing thing is a must for us.
    We did stop cutting the 20 feet of grass behind the cottonwood up to the fence, and are affectionately calling it the "Meadow".
    Any other suggestions and ideas?
    Thank you thank you thank you for your time!

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