After the hit-and-miss plantings of the last few years, Jen and I decided that this was the year to actually develop a plan for our backyard that would incorporate many of the the things both of us desire.
- space for a table / chairs
- vegetable garden
- herb garden
- raised planters
- gravel / porous paving areas
- solid paving from house to garage
- shade-friendly plants
- perennial plants
- firepit area
- compost area
- water efficiency (more rain barrels)
- And perhaps a bit of an oxymoron - low maintenance
After this initial step, we are now working through designing the hardscaping that needs to be done to accommodate all of these features. In addition to the soft lines of the gravel-based plan above, we came up with many other ideas for the space - rectangles, a diagonal patio, a circular theme. With the goal of trying to find a plan that best fit the small space, we have pretty much settled on the octagonal patio idea shown below.
This would ideally be pavers, but may be stamped / stained concrete too. We already need to have some concrete re-done in the left-side area of these plans. The steps leading down to the basement are crumbling, and the slab there is pitched towards the house. When coupled with a large downspout that sometimes overflows, that is a bad combination.
Also, Jennifer is a little concerned about the patio area being limiting - we like to have gatherings with friends when weather allows, and the backyard fills up fast - she's worried it will fill up even faster with a small defined patio space! So this may evolve ... we shall see.
But with a firm(ish) plan in place, we can start to look at how to go about implementing it - and what will fit within our budget.