Some things I did right
We've done a lot in our yard in terms of hardscape and planting, sometimes having to rip things out after a few years if they aren't working, but the odd time something has worked out, sometimes due to good planning but other times almost serendipitously for reasons I didn't foresee. So I thought I would offer some of those up, in case they are helpful for others as spring begins to break and thoughts of landscaping begin to dance again in peoples' heads all over NA. My successes still stand in the midst of a whole bunch of mistakes and work in progress, so the whole is not yet delighting me, but some of the parts are already fun.
1 - overcoming the linear feel of a long narrow back yard:
Our lot is only 25 feet wide but seems long at some 50 feet. When we laid out places to "be" in the yard for sitting and relaxing, we put one spot at the side of the yard and made a pathway across the yard to get to it. Traveling and looking across the space really functions to counteract the relentless linearity of the yard (which seems relentless because it of course extends into the house!).
2 - placing winter fragrant plants where they can be enjoyed:
I'm currently enjoying two winter fragrant plants, Chimonanthus praecox (Wintersweet) near the front door, and Edgeworthia papyrifera in the back yard right along the path I take to bring out the garbage or compost. Since I don't go out much in the winter, putting them where they catch me unawares on utility outings means I do get to enjoy them.
3 - placing winter flowering plants where they can be enjoyed from inside:
Plants that bloom in late winter are similarly not going to provide much enjoyment placed, say, near the above-mentioned seating area, because I don't sit out (er, much) in January when Hamamelis "Diane" or Hellebores or very early Rhododendrons bloom. So putting these where they catch your eye as you open the curtains in the morning is a good thing. The additional bonus with the Hamamelis is that as it has grown tall enough, it catches the rays of the winter sun which otherwise rarely get into the yard because they are at such a slant. The red blooms just light up sometimes on a cold but sunny winter day. This was something I didn't foresee in advance.
I wonder if others have things they've done in their landscapes where they think once in a while "now there's something I definitely got right!"