Newbie needs Landscpae Ideas

ddc5151June 27, 2011

Looking for landscaping ideas for a house we are about to build.

Existing Lot doesn't have any trees and is fairly flat.

We will have a pool in the back at our walkout basement.

Also need an area for Trampoline and Playground set.

Fence: We plan on going from Corner of drive to Back Lot Line back to other Corner Drive.

Would like to cut down the mowing in the backyard. Also don't really know what to do with the yard outside of the fenced area.

Will need trees. Live in Alabama and really don't what trees and plants would work good.

Any help is greatly appreciated. Thank you all.

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designshare(z6)

1.Maybe need patio,trellis,fire fit area too.some curve walkway series connection them and pool,Trampoline and Playground set.
2.plant some trees for these area's shade.your front of house need curb appeal.then plant vine improve privacy.
3.plant different color evergreen shrub,form belt,improve tree ,vine curb appeal.
4.add flower plants.some flowers aren't evergreen,just pant a few.
5.You might go every greenhouse your place,feel some plants you like.but I don't agree nursery decide all.they just care for their products.you will find a greenhouse against other nursery's suggests.
6.a other designer(don't service some nursery) giving you visual design pics is important before project.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2011 at 8:31PM
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missingtheobvious(Blue Ridge 7a)

Congratulations on the house-to-be!

Fence: We plan on going from Corner of drive to Back Lot Line back to other Corner Drive. -- Is the "Corner of drive" the upper left corner of the driveway that leads to the garage? And which corner of the front driveway?

Would you consider moving the garage door to the right, i.e. facing the street? You could then a) save on paving costs with a smaller back driveway; b) run the fence much closer to the street, then along the driveway to the house, which would give you a much larger enclosed backyard; c) have a much neater-shaped backyard; d) avoid having an ugly driveway intruding into the backyard area; e) have much more of the area immediately adjacent to the house which is usable for recreation and garden.

How about a patio and/or deck somewhere? Would you want hardscape at the poolside? Considering the lack of trees, you might want some sort of roofed area.

Which side of the house is the walk-out basement (and pool)? Will there be a separate fence for the pool?

"Walk-out basement" and "fairly flat" usually don't go together. (I say this as the possessor of my own WOB.) Can you tell us where the high and low areas of the yard are located?

In planning the backyard, it would help to know where the outside doors are.

Speaking of outside doors, I think I see the "front" door over on the left side of the house. Is that narrow rectangle hugging the house a walkway or flight of stairs to the porch? When you add the fence, will there be a gate between arriving guests and the front door?

The front driveway adjoins the south side of the house. There's no place to plant shade trees on that side of the house (shade trees are best placed to the south and west), plus there will be extra heat coming off the pavement. The rooms on that side of the house are going to be HOT.

Where in Alabama are you located? Here's a map of the USDA zones in Alabama (7a to 8b). That will give people knowledgeable about the deep South a better idea of what you can grow there, and also how hot it will be.
http://www.outsidepride.com/resources/states/alabama.html

    Bookmark   June 28, 2011 at 1:46AM
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ddc5151

Thank you both for the comments.
Will go to a greenhouse sounds like a good idea.

missingtheobivious: I think you looking at my house backwards so adding more pics.
I will need a patio probably coming out of the walkout basement then probably lead to the pool.
I haven't decided about the extra fence for the pool.(I change my mind on that daily)
Should have stated rather flat from walkout basment to back lot line. Builder said it's almost perfect for walkout basment.
I'm located in Zone 7b


    Bookmark   June 28, 2011 at 8:23AM
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gardengal48

I would offer that you will only get some rather vague suggestions by using this venue. But very little of significant value that might help you properly develop a landscape for your new home.

The reasons for this are several: First, a small plan of the proposed construction with no scale revealed is not providing much information to go with. Where will the pool be located? How large? How much additional hardscape do you anticipate - pool decking, patio or terrace for outdoor entertaining, etc? Or is this part of your intended landscape plan? Pool design and landscape design are most often handled by separate entities. Impossible to even see clearly where the walkout basement is located on the plan.

Second, without visually seeing the property, it is very difficult to make any assumptions on if there are any views to be enhanced or screened so tree placement is at best a guess. Also, an onsite visit is pretty much a requirement to be able to understand the property and how you intend or want to use it and then to develop any sort of "actual" design plans and the layout of the proposed new landscape -- all of this is imperative before you get anywhere close to picking out specific plants.

It looks like you will be building a very attractive new residence. It seems foolish and a bit short-sighted to me not to invest some proper effort in developing an attractive and useful landscape to compliment it. And you are not going to get that by posting what are really some rather vague wishes here, as much as we would like to help :-) Developing a landscape design, especially for a new construction, is not quite that simple. Unfortunately, the design process is not necessarily something that folks new to landscape design understand very well and so results in a lot of posts similar to your own that the professionals here are not able to respond to with much in the way of meaningful advice.

The best advice I can offer is to suggest you find yourself a local design professional to give you the site-specific advice you need and will find the most helpful. Often, retail nurseries will have associated design services or can refer you to designers in your area. And there are other sources as well but may require some local research on your part to suss out. You can do this - develop a landscape design - on your own without professional assistance but if you have never done this sort of activity before, there is a pretty high learning curve and it is rather time-consuming. I think the advice/assistance of a local professional would be an enormous help to you and an extremely good investment.

There is really no point in visiting a nursery or garden center at this point other than to locate a designer. Sure, you can review some plants that you like and may want to include down the road but you are nowhere near the point where that is very relevant :-) Plant selection is the very last stage of a landscape plan development process. And a 'greenhouse' is only a structure to facilitate the growing of plants -- they may or may not be present at a retail nursery or garden center and certainly do not indicate a more desirable place to get help!

    Bookmark   June 28, 2011 at 12:04PM
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tanowicki

Since you are just about to begin building the house, you should have some time to figure out what you want to do with the yard. After you do this, it would be a good idea to meet with a local designer who can give you options about how to make your uses into a plan and what materials and plants are available in your area.

Are all the rest of the houses in the neighborhood new construction? Are you going to want to try and fit in with the prevailing aesthetic? Do you have a HOA?

From the plans shown, it appears the pool with its associated deck, etc. will be to the west side of the house. You will likely want a second fence around the pool since you have kids and I think home insurance companies want/demand a kid-proof pool fence.

Other areas to think about our the front door and the north (right) side of the house.

How will visitors get from the driveways to the front door? How will the mail man know where the front door is?

On the north side of the house, you're going to have a substantial yard (> 1/4 acre if I'm reading the plans right) which could be a great place to put the playset and trampoline except that you have only one window facing that direction. There is likely some slope on this portion of the yard which will have to be accounted for.

These are things that someone who can come to your house and see what the actual setting is can help you with. If you do want to do it yourself, you can but I have found that it takes years longer. It takes a lot more tinkering to get the beds, hardscape, etc to be shaped like you want and then a lot of fussing to get the right plants in the right place.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2011 at 1:42PM
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