Ugly backyard - need help

portland123May 23, 2013

We just moved into a home with a south facing backyard with an old underground pool. The pool needs help and since we have 4 kids we think we will keep it and pour money into it :)
But we need to update this yard. We will replace the fence and hoping to remove tired wooden patio that's at the far end of yard next to garage and put a little grass there and plants around it next to fence. Would love a small tree there maybe a flowering tree. Want to make an area for kids to play - fairy nook, a bench maybe with an arbor over? No play set something low key. And patios! We are thinking concrete or pavers - a big one next to house, right of pool and a skinnier one left of pool where the afternoon sun comes on. We have a neighbors pine tree right of garage that I'd like to leave green or brown maybe? Maybe plant something like hostas there? It's so darn ugly. Please any help with patio size, design suggestions and planting ideas would be great....thank you!!

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Suzi AKA DesertDance Zone 9b

Does that pool have a cover on it?

We can't see the rest of your yard. But kids do love to swim in pools! Good family time. Money well spent.

Not sure how in ground pools survive in cold Minnesota.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 4:06PM
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deviant-deziner(Oh zone)

If there was ever a project when hiring a local landscape designer would be highly beneficial, this would be the project.
You have a great wish list , a nice slice of property with all kinds of possibilities and like most everybody; budgetary limits. - best to speak with a local professional.

A local landscape designer can walk the site with you, see your viewing corridors, feel the wind direction , take a soil sample and knows your local building costs and building codes.

There is no harm in getting suggestions here , especially if you want something generic that includes a limbed up tree at the corner of the house that looks like a stump of brocolli, but hey , its free.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 4:16PM
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Our previous house had a pool and we have kids. So many birthday parties took place there. :)

Like your situation, our pool did not have much paved space around it. This was sometimes problematic. I would either make sure that strip of grass near the pool is well taken care of (avoid a muddy situation) or pave it somehow.

As you pick out plants, try to avoid ones that drop a lot of debris so as to minimize pool cleaning duties.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 6:21PM
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The pool fairly dominates the yard, which is fine ... lots of potential fun, as has been pointed out. But the decking is seriously inadequate. The vision that's popping into my head is a pool deck/patio that is good size--dominates the yard--with cut-outs in the paving for planting. But we can only see so much, so what your comprehensive needs are is anyone's guess. Pavers would be great, but if you DIY, do it same as pros if you want a satisfactory result. If you cut corners, then it would be better to have professionally installed concrete.

It won't do you any good to have a bunch of loose ideas-- tree, grass, hosta, arbor-- floating around. This is how people design hodge-podges. You need to commit all of the ideas to a pencil and paper plan that is drawn "to scale," in order to make sure that everything fits and works. It would be fairly easy to draw since everything is square and the overall space is not too large. You can work out the organization, shapes, and arrangement of elements yourself, if you have the capability, or you can get help from someone who does. Show your work here and you can get feedback on it, if you like.

But from the start, be realistic about the budget. Don't create a dream plan that can't possibly be implemented. If you are DIYers, then include your skills and capabilities in the budget. If you're reasonable about the plans, you can make something great happen here.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 10:15PM
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