So my brother finished removing all the grass from his front yard last week-end. We're ready for step 2 - the overall layout. Here's what it looked like before and here's my rough plan:
Normally I would do a scale drawing for a client but this is just my brother (!), so I'm being a little less accurate than I normally would since I will be working with him throughout the whole makeover (and he's not paying me!)
A few details about the sketch:
- they want super low maintenance so I didn't want to design a large area to plant. The gravel area will not be planted at all and the surrounding areas will be planted and mulched with bark. There are some existing shrubs I haven't shown here that will be worked into the design;
- the X marks the existing tree. It's in an awkward place and I'd never put one there if I was doing a design from scratch, but we can work with it;
- the gravel area is meant to add a nice diagonal through an otherwise very square layout and to provide some negative space;
- the stepping stones and the gravel areas will provide several ways to travel through the yard and several circular routes - which is fun for kids!
- the gravel area will need to be dug out a little so that once we put down landscape fabric and 2 inches of gravel, the rocks will not be higher than the existing concrete. The soil that is dug out can be used to make the berm;
- I have a few ideas for plants so more detail coming soon... but we will definitely use the Karl Foerster grasses to provide a privacy screen around the patio.
So what is the next step in replacing a front lawn with a low-maintenance garden? We'll use spray paint to finalize the edge between the gravel and garden areas, then start digging out the gravel area. Stay tuned...