Welcome to the C&V Hinman residence!
Doesn’t look like it needs much help, huh? Well, that’s what it looked like in it’s glory days. Tall oak trees in the front and back, a beautiful salmon-flowering dogwood tree centered on the front door, azaleas under the front window, and a mature evergreen (a cypress, I think) on the corner of the house.
But the picture below is pretty much what the landscaping looks like right now.
It’s bedraggled-looking state isn’t only due to the cold and snow in the picture. You may notice the corner evergreen is missing. It died, so they had it removed. Also, the azaleas along the front window took too hard a hit one winter (even though they survived for years before), and one substantial branch of the dogwood died too, making it look a little sparse and sad.
Time to call in the professionals! (That’s me, naturally.)
This is my first out-of-state design. Way across the country, in Ohio, lives a couple I know well, and for whose relatives I had done a design here in Utah (P&T Hinman – designs found here, and here.) Luckily, Ohio has a similar climate zone to Utah – zone 5 – so most plants that work here also work there. There are a few differences, though. Utah is very dry, while Ohio gets much more rain. Utah has alkaline soil, while Ohio has a better pH balance, leaning slightly acidic. The region of Utah I’m in typically has rocky, clay soil, while Ohio, generally-speaking, has sandy loam soil (which is great for growing plants). That all boils down to having a slightly wider range of plants, some of which are a bit tender for Utah (like the above azaleas), but grow just fine in Ohio. Which is exciting to me. !!
The backyard is large and open with a generous tree-island and several oaks. Some of the oaks have had health problems, including – but not limited to – being struck by lightning and losing limbs in storms. So a few are slated for removal. Just past the island is their property line, and as you can see in the picture below, the sides of their yard are completely open because of a no-fence policy (part of the CC&R’s) throughout the neighborhood. (A totally foreign concept in Utah where EVERY yard is fenced.)
Although both sides are open, the back is bordered by a mini forest (a “designated green space”) that divides their house from a condominium neighborhood. (FYI – that big lump along the back is a wood pile covered by a tarp.)
Near the house is a sunken, brick patio and a few planting areas. Here’s another glory-days picture! Beautiful rhododendrons and azaleas.
By the way, rhododendrons and azaleas have varieties suited to a zone 5 climate, which most of Utah is. But they both prefer acidic soil and more water than Utah can usually provide. And despite being evergreen, they are slightly tender, which makes Utah’s harsh winters, and in some places strong winds, less than ideal for these beauties. Sad face.
Here’s a current view in the corner of that brick patio.
Not doing so hot. All these things added up, and it was time for a new design. A circular design, to be exact!