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Landscape Design Made Simple: Stage 2- Analyzing Details and Putting Ideas on Paper

It’s December 3rd, 2012 and it’s time to continue on with our Landscape Design Series.

We made the decision to take a part of our back yard and turn it into a fire pit/outdoor entertaining type area.  That’s correct, I am taking you into my own back yard.

To summarize, Stage 1 of my design process dealt with analyzing the proposed work area, taking measurements, photos and a sit down interview( my wife and I in this case) to determine the homeowners vision for the project.

Since I posted Stage 1 of my design process, I have analyzed all aspects of my project and came up with the following design criteria…

-Fire Pit needs to be large enough to be the focal point of this project

-Materials to be natural stone to blend in with the surrounding woods and overall theme

-Flag Stone Patio to be constructed of large jaggged pieces of flag stone with grass in between. Pieces need to be large enough for adirondack chairs

-Project area to be partially surrounded by a privacy planting

-Entrance to project area to be framed by wood arbor and Flag Stone Walkway

-Hammock Pergola to be constructed to match entrance arbor

-Trampoline to be relocated to edge of project area so that it can be viewed from fire pit area but not the focal point

-Project to connect with raised planter area with more raised planters to be added

Below is a series of pictures with a brief explanation of my thought process as I view the individual photos.

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This picture represents the entrance to the project area.  The Vitex(multi stem tree on the left side) will be relocated to another area.  The Japanese Holly(small round evergreens) will be replaced with Privet maintained at a height of 4 feet.  Privet will provide a rapid growing privacy hedge but will be transparent in winter as leaves drop off in early winter.  Emerald Green Arborvitae(upright evergreen shown on left edge of picture) will continue to wrap around the outside edge of the project area to provide privacy from the neighboring house.  The arbor will be centered in this opening with flag stone walkway leading into the fire pit area.

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This view represents the view from the edge of our driveway.  We spend a lot of time in this area growing vegetables in the raised planter and watching the kids on the trampoline..  My design will move the trampoline out of direct sight, add at least 2 more raised planters and section off the two areas with the hammock pergola and additional plantings.  This view also represents the need for a privacy hedge as the neighboring house and living room are immediately adjacent.  When the trampoline is relocated, it will be anchored with a system that is much more attractive than cinder block and have measures taken to keep grass from growing underneath.

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This view shows the woods in the back ground.  My vision is to keep a portion of that view in tact.  This view also shows the need to keep firewood neat and organized

A few other logistical items that I need to factor in are running electric to the hammock/pergola area for Christmas lights, a garden hose connection(s), landscape lighting and speaker wire for outdoor speakers with volume control.  Even if I don’t plan to install my speakers or landscape lighting at this point, I suggest running the wire while the project site is torn apart.  The landscape lighting and outside speakers are expensive but the wiring is relatively cheap.

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This is what I call my “Blank Slate”.  My drawing shown above is a scale drawing showing my exact work area and all of the items that I plan to leave in place.  If you look closely on the bottom right hand corner, you will notice that my scale is 1 inch equals 5 feet.  That simply means that 1 inch on paper represents 5 feet of actual land.  Drawing things to scale helps me arrange all of my components so that everything fits and is appropriately spaced.  Once my design is complete and drawn out, I will use this as a working drawing and use these scale measurements when laying out my actual work area.

In the next stage, I will walk you through how I put my ideas and measurements into an actual working drawing and tie it all together with sample photos.  This is where it gets good!

Rather than wait to see when my blogs are posted, feel free to join over 500 others who receive my posts directly to their email inbox.  It’s as easy as clicking on the link to the right titled “Landscaping Tips Delivered” and follow the tips for signing up.  I will never send any spam or junk emails.

Have a question???  Comment???  Feel free to post at the bottom of this blog.  If you need a landscape design and or installation, please don’t hesitate to contact me in any of the following ways…

Rob Lundholm

Lundholm Landscaping, LLC

P.O. Box 1066

Cape May, New Jersey 08204

Office Phone 609-898-9136

Cell/Text 609-722-1814

Fax 609-770-3035

email rob@lundholmlandscaping.com

Make it a great day!

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