Backyard Design - What would you do?
We purchased a fixer-upper with desperate landscaping nearly 3 years ago and are finally ready to turn our attentions to the backyard, only we aren't quite sure what to do or where to start. We made some improvements right after purchasing but haven't done much since. The space gets so hot & sunny in the summer, it becomes almost unusable. I'm an aspiring novice on a budget dreaming of a pretty, family-friendly, usable space & hoping for some help forming a plan. A little background info:
- Location: Memphis, TN. House faces North.
- Conditions: Main yard area gets full sun, almost all day. Bed along carport gets full morning sun & is shaded in afternoon. East side of house gets a little morning sun but is shaded for most of day. Very back of lot is heavily overgrown privet jungle; not really sure what all is in there...
1. SHADE - 1 year old little girl needs a place to play.
2. Visual Improvement - it's just so darn stark & boring!
3. Low(er) maintenance design.
- Existing Structures:
1. Small covered porch & concrete patio against house.
2. Bermuda lawn (pro help getting the weeds under control).
3. Bed 1: against carport - We removed 15' tall overgrown holly, added cobblestone border, gardenia (very happy), akebia growing up brick column, hydrangeas (should probably move - too much sun/heat in summer), acuba (definitely should move), zinnias in summer at far end. Full morning sun & mostly shaded by the carport in afternoon (except far end gets full sun all day).
4. Bed 2: in front of A/C near house - Added Chinese recurve privets to block A/C units but it's not providing as much coverage as we had hoped. Full sun all day.
5. Crepe myrtles - 1 established at edge of patio & 1 small new one at corner of house (full sun), 2 established along East side of house (shaded almost all day). All dark fuchsia flowers.
6. Privet hedge (filled with other junk) lining property. All terribly overgrown. East side just trimmed by nice neighbor.
7. Dog pen & dog house - pre-existing and not in use. Should probably be removed...
1. Sewer line running from house through middle of yard to very back of property (blue line in 1st pic).
2. Possible far future addition coming off back of east side of house (near trimmed privet hedge).
Our house is a 2 story brick Colonial and our style is more on the traditional side - nothing too wacky. I believe we need trees but don't know what kind or where to put them. I would love to grow some kind of vines or climbing plants on the back of the house - perhaps climbing roses? That's about as far as I've gotten. Thank you in advance; any and all suggestions will be greatly appreciated!
Survey with dimensions:
View toward back of property from patio:
View toward back east corner of property:
View of bed along carport:
View toward house:
View toward house and east side privet hedge: