My front yard looks like a parking lot


Old 09-16-00, 11:04 PM
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I love my new house except for the front yard. It was covered with concrete and looks like a parking lot. NO SHADE! I need cost efficient ideas to make it into my own private oasis. HELP!
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Old 09-17-00, 07:33 AM
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A challenge and an "opportunity"! I know it may look like it's impossible but hang in there.

Go to your local library and check out a book called "Sunset Western Landscaping" published by Sunset Books. If they don't have it put in an 'interlibrary loan request'. (I know it says 'western' but ignore that.) The ideas in this book are applicable wherever you live. Just adjust the type of plants you use to those that will grow in your zone.

If you live in snow country keep snow load in mind for any overhead structures such as arbors, trellises, etc. by using material that is strong enough to stand up to load.

When you have the book in hand take a look at the entire book for ideas but particularly the section beginning on p. 136. Also, p.322 (bottom left).

Page 340 shows a complete landscape based on the problem of a lot of concrete. This alone should get the old creative juices flowing.

Think outside the box for arbor materials. Peeled saplings, branches, etc. make great coverings. Also overhead wire with vines covering them. Wire is cheap which saves your dollars for the posts and beams alone. Plus, it won't snow load.

Do try to come up with a plan, break it down in steps, and do what you can when you can. Set a budget per year and do a section per year. Go for the area that bugs you the most first.

For any raised beds don't forget to insert drainage pipes in the bottom. Simple cheap pvc plastic pipe with 1/4" holes you drill in it laid on the concrete, covered with some gravel, then landscape fabric, then soil will provide inexpensive drainage. Simply make sure the pipes extend to the outside of your bed wall whether laid up bricks, rock, etc.

That's just a start. Measure the area and sketch it on 1/4" graph paper (1/4" equals 1' for your scale) and include the measurement for the front of the house. Note location and measurements of windows, doors, jogs, etc. and include these on your plan. Spend a little time making up your "plan of attack" and go for it.

Actually, this sounds like fun. Best - Ladybug

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