Here is my latest idea regarding what to do with that awful hole in my patio which resulted from taking down the (even-more-awful) "greenhouse" last year. It includes a tall, 3-panel lattice screen in front of the fence with a sitting-height frame all the way around the area, and benches on the front side for extra seating facing other parts of the garden. A small, half-octogon cobblestone patio is set at the back of the area to set a couple of chairs and pots on.
Orignally, I had wanted to build a pergola on top of a raised deck in this spot. I thought it would be a fun play space for the kids and I had the design all figured out! Then my husband recently announced that, well, he didn't really feel like building it this year. After my initial disappointment (and frustration, I admit), I decided to come up with a new plan. After doing some serious thinking, these were my main criteria for the design:
- Make the base different than the existing patio - I don't want to try to extend the existing patio into the hole because getting it to match (both the stones and the levelness) would be a nightmare if not impossible. (This was the reason for my original idea of putting a low deck over this spot.)
- Screen the fence and the view behind it - I want something taller than the fence to cover the view of my neighbour's house. (This was the reason for my original idea of the pergola. But since this spot is already relatively shady due to a large spruce tree on either side, I really don't need a roof on this structure.)
- Minimize the planting space - Yes, that's right, I said minimize it! Firstly, I already have a ridiculous amount of garden space in other areas of the yard. Secondly, since this spot is between two spruce trees, I will be limited in my choice of plants that I can grow here without too much coddling (can you say 'clematis macropetala', 'lamium' and 'epimedium'?)
- Design something that will be easier for my husband to build - I only really need help with the woodworking part and I admit, a pergola-covered deck would have been a behemoth of a job!
- Incorporate a focal point - This area can be seen from parts of the back yard as well as the dining room and sunroom inside the house. It has to look GOOD.
My new design meets all these criteria, don't you think? Unfortunately, the new concept won't really suffice as a playhouse for the kids which was an original criterion but hey, I'm willing to give up on that criterion to get something built sooner rather than later. Selfish me! An added bonus of the new design concept is that the lattice screen will provide a place to hang a wall fountain without the extra parts (tubes, wires) showing. I happen to already have electricity in this area thanks to the old greenhouse. I am pumped to get started! Bring on spring!
Here are a few more pictures to help you visualize what I'm talking about:
Above: here's a photo showing a free-standing lattice-screen wall of a similar style to what I want. photo taken from: http://www.tonbridgefencing.co.uk/wooden_fencing/trellis_fences.php
Above: And here's a photo showing kind of what I imagine the whole area will look like when it's done. A focal point on the wall and a beautiful place to sit softened by a few plants. photo scanned from a book by Canadian Gardening Magazine:
Liz Primeau (2004). city gardens, Creative Urban Gardens and Expert Design Ideas. Toronto: McArthur & Company.
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