Monday, February 21, 2011

The BIG Backyard Plan

As you can see from the wheelbarrow post that we have begun our backyard project!  Ok, so here is the BIG plan for our ultimate dream backyard oasis!
I apologize for not being able to read my text on this quick CAD drawing of our future backyard.  This drawing at least helps me get an idea of layout and allows me to get some dimensions.

I will point out the highlights here.  We are using 12" x 12" concrete pavers to create the 628 square foot (that is 628 pavers!!) paved area for our patio.  The pavers are nice because you can phase the project and buy a little at a time (we have 20 thus far) versus forking over all the cash at once, but they also provide a great module from which all the design can stem from.  If you can see on the drawing, the planter that runs along the back of the house is just a two foot wide gap in the paver stones.  This planter will run below the large windows in our living room as well as a window in our office. 

NOTE:  These are not our toys...previous owners' children's toys

In the 2ft wide planter along the back of the house, we are going to plant some horsetail reed.  We adore the look of the small bamboo like reeds and they can grow tall enough to come up to the bottom of the windows. 

Horsetail Reed
 We love the Italian Cypress that we see growing in our neighborhood, so we are going to plant a few of them along our west fence.  They are tall and sleek and do not occupy a huge footprint.  They will provide a nice mask along the west fence, especially from our bedroom balcony, where we can see into our neighbors yard.  They can actually grow to be 30ft high.  Awesome!

In the two north corners of the yard along the fence, we are planning on Japanese Yew.  They are an evergreen and can grow to be 30-50ft tall and 20ft wide!  Perfect for creating the screen we want along the back fence since we have apartments behind our house.

Japanese Yew

Our big decision was what tree to plant in the yard.  After visiting the fantastic Ted's Trees in east Austin, we settled on the Chinese Pistache.  It has a medium growth speed with a mature height at around 35 feet and the same spread.  It loves full sun and can withstand high heat (Austin is freaking hot) and drought conditions.  The Chinese Pistache is a deciduous species and in the fall the leaves will turn a bright orange.

Chinese Pistache
 I am also in love with these beautiful Foxtail Ferns, so I will be finding a place to put them as well. 

Foxtail Fern
 That sums up all the new stuff we are planning, but we will also be reusing some of our existing plants.  Two trees along the north fence will remain and we will transplant our two existing Crepe Myrtles to the east fence line adjacent to our future shed. 

In the mean time we will be making several trips to buy pavers and working on relocating sprinklers in preparation for the BIG plan!  Keep your fingers crossed!

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