New Yard Plan

cherylebApril 20, 2014

Hi. It has been a while since I planned a new yard and I could use a critical eye. The yard is 46' wide by 25' deep and has west exposure. There are garden doors from the house to the area that has a deck/gazebo on the drawing (the gazebo is the white square).

The plan is to have the 12' x 20' deck along the side off the patio door. The path to the back yard will be on the other side. We intend to have large pavers in random pattern in the circle and patio with a brick trim. We intend to use stone in the planting areas and anywhere that there is no patio or step. There are two steps down to the deck from the house (6' x 3' top layer) which would put the deck at about 7-8" above the patio level.

Since it is a new build and just graded, if we have 5" of base material and then the pavers, that would raise the yard to the right level for the deck. We are assuming that we would not need any excavation done since we would have added 4" of topsoil and then sod had we been putting in grass so it comes out about the same. Is this correct?

Our thoughts are that the gazebo (white on diagram) would be the dining area, the open deck off the kitchen would be the outdoor kitchen with BBQ, the patio area between the deck/gazebo would be the seating area and the circle would be a small secluded area for a private lounging/reading space perhaps with a small fountain. We would use tall shrubs/small trees and planters to soften the edges and add privacy from neighbors.

The deck is 12 x 20, the circular patio is 12' diameter inside the edging and is 3' from the fence on either side with about 6.5' to the corner. There is about 5' between the gazebo/patio and the back fence.

I am attaching the plan (sorry the software didn't have scale) and would appreciate suggestions/opinions.


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It would be nice to see more space devoted to planting since it has potential to make the overall space seem extra special. It would be an improvement if the looping, skinny planting bed between the circle and walkway were minimized so that the patio was a simpler shape. I'd also rework the walk so it was a little farther from the building (allowing for more planting space.) The gazebo looks like it is about 3' from the property line so, hopefully, you've checked that building code allows for placing it that close.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2014 at 12:23AM
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I know you want more privacy, but in this space maybe a SMALL tree or undercut bushes may give you that feeling instead of trying to move the whole patio as far away as possible. Even if you don't like the mark-ups, I had fun doing it!

    Bookmark   April 21, 2014 at 5:55PM
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Thanks Yardvaark. The zoning allows external buildings in the back yard to be within 2' of the property line. We looked at it again and are considering just putting the same patio stone on the entire area instead of having a deck and patio on two levels. We would need to have a stone step from the house though. If we do this, we would have about 5' between the patio and the side yard where the deck and gazebo are now and would use either bark mulch or something similar since it would be too much stone if we had the patio and stones mulch I think.

Thank you Dani. I really like your drawing. My concern is that without using shrubs zoned for our area we would lose that oasis feeling of being in a small garden because our growing season is so short. I also started changing out the straight back line for a curved line for the same reason. I would like to add a small tree in one of the corners - likely the circle side since it has more area. Perhaps a small hawthorne. Your rendering of the circle area is much like what I wanted so it is nice to see it come to life - almost. :)

    Bookmark   April 21, 2014 at 7:29PM
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