clueless and lifeless (photos)

poliApril 22, 2010

I thought giving birth to two babies & learning how to breast feed was challenging... behold LANDSCAPING & GARDENING!

My beautiful Mediterranean-style home sits in the middle of 1.25 acres. Unfortunately, nothing but sand and a little bit of what I refer to as "our green rug" (grass, 4000 sq. ft of it) surrounds it; front and back. My home resides in the good 'ole SUNSHINE STATE- Florida, NW Florida, most of which is humid-HOT but, we still get four seasons here.

I would like to make friends with the neighbors again. They have been waiting well over one year for us to do a major landscape overhaul. My home is one of those newly constructed homes in which the contractor spit only a few bushes around the yard (I refer to those bushes as "rubbish").

None-the-less, it would be a great blessing to have wonderful creative minds help me gather ideas for a Mediterranean-style landscape design. Fountains, waterfalls, courtyard, outside rooms with fire pit and colorful Italian inspired gardens are all welcomed in the design.

Below you will find a few photos of front, side & back yards to my above described home. If you have any questions or need more information to help with a design, please feel free to reply to my post. Thank you in advance for all your help :D

''We take a handful of sand from the endless landscape around us and call that handful of sand the world''-Robert M. Pirsig From Recently Updated From Recently Updated From Recently Updated From Recently Updated From Recently Updated From Recently Updated From Recently Updated From Recently Updated

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bahia(SF Bay Area)

A bit open ended at the moment, as you haven't given some information that a landscape designer would need to know before generating some suggestions on an approach. First off, do you actually have a budget figure in mind, have any idea of what landscape installation costs are in your area, and are intending to contract this out as one installation or phase it over time to work within a budget?

Have you spent any time gathering info from books, visiting botanical gardens in your area, checking out landscapes locally that you like, talking to neighbors who have already installed landscaping to get their feedback, etc?

You're unlikely to get someone on this forum to come up with a design for you based purely on the photos you've provided. This forum tends to work better as a sounding board/critique of a design or design program you provide, soliciting feedback.

You may not be comfortable discussing your intended budget for landscaping on-line, but the wish list of items you suggest for a new garden will not be cheap, especially if you are not providing any sweat equity to get it installed.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2010 at 12:12PM
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karinl(BC Z8)

I'm going to discuss process, rather than design... or rather, process related to both design and installation.

If someone did *poof* hand you a complete design of the type it sounds like you are envisioning, you would still not be exciting your neighbours with the result any time soon. The installation process would have them still looking at a construction site for... oh, maybe a year? OK, six months if you contract it all out and all contractors are ready when you want them.

If you add the design process, described above by Bahia, to that, you're looking at not making friends for quite some time.

If, in contrast, you integrated the two processes, you can have things looking pretty good most of the time from the outset. Plus, life with children being what it is (assuming your experience is recent!), sometimes things get held up, and that way if they do, they get held up in a state that is not complete disarray, unusable, and horrendous looking. It means you start off with a general sketch (so you don't plant a tree where you're going to want a patio) and fill in the pieces gradually, Plan an element, install an element, more or less. You can do this on a space-by-space basis, or an item by item basis. From the pots of trees parked by the driveway, I'm guessing this is sort of what you're doing anyway - trees first, fences, patios, then pathways...

What I'm getting to here is sort of the difference between how things work if you hire design and installation services vs. how homeowners work when they DIY. So what your neighbours are going to be looking at kind of depends on the process you choose.


    Bookmark   April 23, 2010 at 1:13PM
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I appreciate your feedback, your suggestions were very helpful. Yesterday, I scrolled through a few books & websites. I also went to Lowes Home Improvement to take a look at what is available.

Regarding our budget, I think it's decent for what we would like to accomplish. We know that the materials needed will cost us quite a bit, and with that mentioned, my husband and I plan to do most of the work ourselves; hiring a contractor only for the absolute "can't do", such as the in ground hot tub & fireplace(backyard).

For now, we will be starting in the front yard. We came up with an idea (I will try to upload a photo/sketch reflecting our idea)for the front yard; a good start if you ask me! We plan to make an island consisting of two palm trees, shrubs, colorful plants, a couple of boulders, & *maybe a little pathway in the middle of the island that leads to a bench & bird bath. For the rest of the front, closer to the home, we are going to clean it up and add only a few plants, spiral- shaped bushes, & a fountain on the right side of the entrance.

We decided to make the front yard simple yet pretty for the sake of our time & money. We prefer to put most of our landscaping dedication into the backyard. I'm in hopes that it will take us, realistically, about three weeks to complete the front yard (fingers crossed).

Below are a couple of photos, if you click on them they will enlarge. Not sure how well the sketch will come up, but hopefully you'll be able see it.

Let me know what you think of above described idea! Thanks again... ~Poli From Recently Updated From Recently Updated

    Bookmark   April 24, 2010 at 11:53AM
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karinl(BC Z8)

Now that I see the style you're after, it strikes me that you might enjoy some pictures from someone from Florida who used to post here, now she's sometimes to be found on Home Dec. I've linked below to a GW thread in which she links to her home page.

As for feedback on your plan, I have to say the style is so foreign to my climate (Pacific Northwest) that I am not your best commentator, other than that I hope you won't block the view of your house to the extent done in the photo above.


Here is a link that might be useful: Punamytsike's house

    Bookmark   April 24, 2010 at 2:01PM
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Thank you Karin for the link connected to "Punamytsike's house." She has provided a wealth of information and I plan to utilize some of it.

She has a gorgeous house!

    Bookmark   April 29, 2010 at 9:25AM
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