Getting ready for my first real request here...

BritCvS(7a)April 15, 2013

We want to start with the back yard as the priority as it is most likely to be used by us to "contain" the 3 1/2 year old boy while we can.
Our priorities or goals
1. Safe Play (there is currently a semi-functional pond)
2. A "nice-looking" place (yes, deliberately vague)
3. Do something about the silly drop off to the fence
4. Entertaining/cooking sitting outside
5. Grow some vegetables

I'll take a lot of pictures, and somewhere I may even have a fair sketch from a designer... Of course I'll do all that when I am not uprooting the ivy, vinca, and pachysandra ;)

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yardvaark

There isn't much anyone can help you with until you provide the pictures that explain the spaces. I would do it before you do too much uprooting since you may be working against your own best interest. Since you'll likely upload several pictures, it might be easier if you upload them first to a photo-hosting site, where you can obtain the html code for each picture, which you can copy and paste into your message. That way you can display multiple images in a single post. (If you do it correctly, they'll show up in the message preview.)

    Bookmark   April 18, 2013 at 9:21AM
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BritCvS(7a)

Thanks Yaardvark. I have done almost zero uprooting and purchasing. The pictures are all now uploaded to flickr. With a bit of luck I'll be able to pull off the HTML embeds, or whatever they might be here...
In the meantime here is a link to many not superb iPhone pics.

Here is a link that might be useful: photostream at flickr

This post was edited by BritCvS on Fri, Apr 19, 13 at 22:29

    Bookmark   April 19, 2013 at 10:19PM
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yardvaark

I took a quick look at the pictures. You should add one that shows the back yard overall but is not an assembled panorama. Those distort too much so don't give an accurate idea of the space. Place the pertinent pictures here as otherwise it's cumbersome to view them relative to what people are talking about here. To get the code at flicker, first click the "share" button (while you're viewing the picture) then click "Grab the HTML/BBCode." Select "HTML" and select the size option you wish. (You might try "medium 800" so the picture is not too small.) Copy the code and paste it into your message. For multiple pictures, it may be easiest to open a Notepad window and do all your pasting in it. After all the codes are obtained you can copy all of them at once (from the Notepad page) for pasting into your message.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2013 at 8:50AM
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BritCvS(7a)

Thanks Yaardvark. Yes those panoramas only really work on a huge monitor, and with the original file... I'll take the overall back yard pictures tomorrow after work.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2013 at 9:33PM
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BritCvS(7a)

OK, so the pictures are all updated at the original size on flickr, and I also scanned the plat of our property. I think I'm ready to go :)
Posting tonight or tomorrow after 8 pm when hopefully the 3 year old boy is asleep.

Here is a link that might be useful: flickr set

    Bookmark   May 4, 2013 at 9:18AM
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yardvaark

It does not work well to view photos on Flickr as it's too much back and forth and one cannot write a response while viewing the photo. Also, it's time consuming to view through many photos that are not applicable. You should weed through and pick out the PERTINENT photos (ones that show overall spaces relative to your concerns, not close-ups) and use the method I describe above to place the photos into this thread.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2013 at 10:45AM
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catkim(San Diego 10/24)

Hi. I looked at all your photos.

#1: You seem to understand the conflict between the pond and safe play. Children are magnetically attracted to water. Can you let the pond go dry? Maybe you love it, but it's not easily containable for safe play. Also, maybe you love it, but it's in an awkward location. If you are serious about improving the usable area of the yard, maybe it's time for the pond to go; create a more cohesive design with provision to include a water feature in a better location in the future, when the boy is older. the area directly fronting the "sitting pergola" seems a good area for installation of a small play structure that may be underlaid with rubber padding.
#2 "Nice looking" -- from what the photos reveal, this will not be difficult for you.
#3 The silly drop in the fence doesn't need remediation for safety or use of the garden. Maybe it's not the best feature of your garden, but it's not harmful, nor is it unsightly.
#4 Entertaining, sitting, cooking outside. I see a covered BBQ and I see a deck with a (non-operable?) hot tub. If you can part with it, be rid of the hot tub in favor of using the lovely deck for dining. Or, expand the brick area near the BBQ to cover the pond and improve that region for seating.
#5 Select the sunniest part of the yard and build a couple of raised beds for your veggies.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2013 at 12:16AM
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