Need ideas for back yard

uniquetanner(7)June 23, 2012

I would like some ideas for my backyard. I have just recently got into gardening, and can't figure out what to do.. I would love some type of butterfly or stone garden, but don't know how it would look just dropping it in the middle of the yard. I have pics from different angles, and our neighbor is my mother in law. Any ideas truly appreciated. I am in NC zone 7b, and most of the yard is partly shaded except for the area in front of the pool leading up to the mobile home. Thanks

well, it lets me post one pic, but not any more, if you can tell me how, I have other angles

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1st pic is from deck on mobile home.
2nd photo is view from pool

    Bookmark   June 23, 2012 at 1:02PM
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3rd photo from patio on side

    Bookmark   June 23, 2012 at 1:03PM
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4th photo showing side patio, which is off to far left of deck

    Bookmark   June 23, 2012 at 1:06PM
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karinl(BC Z8)

This is not so much landscaping as Decision-making 101. You have created a nice space there that looks like it meets your recreational and social needs beautifully. If you want to add a flower bed of some sort now, it is less an aesthetic decision as it is another one of supporting an activity that you want to do. It's not much different from placing the pool - you want certain light, heat, and viewing conditions.

It mostly depends on what kind of plants you want to grow. If you wanted to grow ferns and other shade plants, you would be looking at the treed area of the yard. As it sounds like you want sun plants, you should be looking at the sunnier areas. That can be more complicated than it sounds since the sun varies through the year and with whether your trees are leafed out. Spring-flowering plants enjoy sun in spring, and then can tolerate shade once the trees leaf out, for instance, and summer-flowering plants like it in summer so need to be out of the shade of the trees.

Read about the plants you like, in books or online, and about the conditions they need. Then see where in the yard you can provide them.

A basic gardening book will teach you a bit more about making beds and planting, pruning etc. It is getting a bit late to plant for this year unless you can regularly water and maybe keep roots of newly planted things cool with stones.

Karin L

    Bookmark   June 23, 2012 at 5:18PM
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What direction does the mobile home face?

Along the front of the mobile home, extending from your deck, woudl be where I would consider a garden. It could either extend along the length of the mobile home or be shaped as a thick "L" with part of the "L" along the front of the mobile home, and the other part of the "L" extending along the side of the deck. I would leave space directly against the mobile home for access, but then I think you could accommodate a garden bed of a several feet (if desired).

You might take a look over at the cottage garden forums on gardenweb. There are some gardeners from your zone who have recently posted some pictures and would give you lots of ideas for the types of plants you coudl grow in your area.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2012 at 10:44PM
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Thanks for the replies. Our mobile home faces East. The pics are of the backyard. I kinda want some kind of garden, (not really square) with maybe a stone path through it, just dont know if I should do it towards the pool or alongside the pool. Most of the plants I have and are liking a lot are sun loving plants and flowers. so most of them need to be in the sun, which the sun is in the area between the pool and the home. Guess I need to look at some pics to get an idea. Never thought it would be this hard to just come up with a design. I will probably also do some stuff against the mobile home later, but for now, I really want to get a plan together so when its time, I will know what to do.. Thank you all.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2012 at 11:01PM
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Don't attract bees to the pool! Plants that are loved by butterflies are usually also bee magnets!
My suggestion would be placing the garden between you and your MIL on the lot border, with a meandering stone path through it - so you two can "talk through flowers"!
(Which is what I do with my MIL, in quite a different way - oops, she accidentally pulled up that hosta! Grrr, why does she fill gaps with invasive plants? And she says things like: Did you really want that color, or was it an accident? Don't get me wrong, she's my favorite MIL most of the time!)

    Bookmark   June 24, 2012 at 4:14AM
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It sounds a bit as if you're wanting to develop more than just a garden... maybe a landscape that's installed over time. If that's the case you would need to commit the yard to paper in the form of a scale drawing. Show the permanent features in accurate locations and then begin exploring shapes and locations of landscape beds. When the explorations are on paper, it's easier to see how the geometry might be altered in order to have it be more pleasing and so that elements fit together well. You could get feedback to it here. You might consider some screening if there's something you don't want to see from a particular viewpoint. Where grass doesn't grow because of heavy shade you might consider a groundcover bed. Maybe between properties you might consider some widely spaced small flowering "trees" (15' ht) arranged as an arcade that would not separate the ground level, but give your yard a sense of semi-privacy and definition. Some plantings around the deck and home would be an asset.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2012 at 7:19AM
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A garden in the middle of the grass is a great possibility and doesn't have to look as though it was just plunked down. Search "island bed garden" or something similar and you will come up with many images of gardens surrounded by grass.

Perhaps a bean shaped bed in the sunny area roughly following the outer contour of the pool. Or, a bed that extends from teh tree on the right hand side in first photo, near the shed, in a comma shape, curving toward the pool. I do agree about keeping too many flowering plants from the pool area, but it looks as though you have enough space to provide distance.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2012 at 12:34PM
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