We recently bought an urban-plot house on a piece of land that's 50' x 100'. The house is about 25'x50' and is offcenter left, near the front of the property, so we have a long stretch of uninterrupted lawn to the right of the house (house faces north) and then a section of front yard that's about 15' deep, plus the back yard which is a mostly uninterrupted rectangle probably 30' deep or so. There is one tree on the property -- a tall bald cypress in the northeat corner. Otherwise it was grass and weeds when we bought it.
In the back yard, we built a 7 x 8' storage shed, because there's not much storage in the house, and this being Houston, the attic space is not somewhere you want to spend much time or put many things.
I've got a good idea of how I want the front yard set up, and have that pretty much where I want it. It's the side yard and back yard that are still pretty much blank slates.
Most LIKELY we will build/add a garage/carport with a deck on top (to eventually add a second story to the house) off to the side, which will take up most of the side yard, so I'm not going to put flower beds there -- maybe one of the two crape myrtles I bought, near the front of the driveway by the fence.. they are still potted, so we'll see.
That leaves the back yard wide open.
Elements I would LIKE to incorporate include a patio, an area with a fountain/pond/waterfall (corner of the property), a pergola for some coverage -- part of the yard is shaded by a tree in the back neighbor's yard and a banana plant to the east, but otherwise the yard is bare to the sun most of the day. I also want some raised flowerbeds (using those concrete paver kind of things) where I can swap out various-seasoned annuals or die-backs like tulips and daffodils.
In the ground NOW are a Meyer lemon (with pavers around it near the fence in the back yard) a satsuma (with pavers around it near the back corner of the house), a limequat (near the shed, with pavers) and two hydrangeas (no pavers, far back southwest corner). In pots (ie: moveable) are two small crape myrtles, a good-sized 4-trunk pygmy date palm and a 2year-old japanese maple. Everything in the pots is movable, but they've stayed put since being put there in August... to get an idea of where the ideal spot for them to grow in the ground would be.
So... ideas? Below are links to some photos I took of the yard. If anyone wants to browser, the directory is http://www.theduttonfamily.com/yardpix (files ending in "25" are 25% the size of the original file -- for faster loading).
The area where a driveway/garage would go is kinda lumpy/uneven under the turf, but the back yard is relatively even.
View of southwest corner, back against the house. Maybe a pergola to the right of the shed? You can see the hydrangeas in the ground to the right, and the planted limequat at the far left corner.
View of the long side yard (likely where a garage will be built):
View from sw corner up through the driveway to front of property. Shows back of the house, along with the Meyer lemon (left) and satsuma (right):
Another view from the SW corner, showing more of the back yard, including the shed:
View from SW corner, showing shed, along with the limequat and edges of the palm and maple:
I'm going to fiddle around some with Sketchup to make some mock structural models for superimposing on these images, but in the meantime, comments are welcome. I am not opposed at all to reducing the amount of turf in the yard (to make way for flagstone or pathways... or a patio or any other elements mentioned above).
The shed is on a skiff so can be moved, but I think my husband would consider killing me if I asked him to do that :)