Remember this lovely home?
That now looks a little more like this?
That will soon look something along the lines of this?
I thought I’d walk you through the elements of this design.
Because C&V’s house exterior is what’s called rough sawn barnwood, it has a lot of texture, giving it a more rustic look. You probably can’t see the texture in the pictures, so you’ll just have to trust me that it’s there. With a rustic exterior, I might normally pair it with a free-flowing curvilinear design. But C&V like a more refined look, so I landed on a circular design theme (which is more prominent in the backyard).
In the front yard, the first order of business was to add a front walk. The house is on a bit of a hill (which is probably one of the biggest in the flatlands of northwest Ohio!), so that walk incorporates a few steps (arrow 1). The front also incorporates some of C&V’s favorite plants – some weeping evergreens and an Eastern Redbud (arrow 2). And the side yard, to the south, is the only place they can grow an edible garden because it’s the only place that is allowed by their neighborhood CC&R’s that gets enough sun (arrow 3).
Off the back of the house, I created a large, brick landing pad (arrow 1) to match the brick barbecue pit next to it. Landing pads are great for creating the feeling that now that you’ve entered a new area, you are free to go wherever you’d like. They don’t direct your feet any particular direction, so you have a moment to pause, take in the beautiful view, and consider where you want to go next. Left of the landing pad is a Japanese Maple (arrow 2), which will be visible through C&V’s windowed back porch. Stunning. Continuing to the left, there’s a bench (arrow 3) for a sweet little resting spot in the shade with a backdrop of Carol Mackie Daphne (a shrub that has a jasmine-like fragrance). Back to the right of the landing pad, I surrounded the barbecue pit with flowering azaleas, evergreen cypress shrubs, and another daphne right near the door of the back porch, all being watched over by a sweet-scented Linden tree (arrow 4).
Beyond that, I took out the center island with it’s 100′ oak trees and other minor shrubs, but left one of the original-to-the-yard oaks that is off to the right of this island.
That left room in the center of the yard for a large open swath of grass in a circular design pattern. The brick walkway at arrow 1 is a continuation of the brick landing pad and leads to a fire pit and patio, surrounded by a 4′ privacy wall (arrow 2). [Just an aside here. I think it’s time we joined fire + pit into one word. Firepit. Like backyard. Or fireplace. Let’s just do that. From now on – firepit.] Behind the wall there are some pine trees for a little taller privacy and a Weeping Cherry tree that’ll brush the patio and be a gorgeous background.
From the walkway there’s a mulched path that leads to a bench swing… or a swing bench, as I wrote it in the design… oops. The bench swing (arrow 3) is under the canopy of an existing oak and a new Purple Robe Locust and skirted by soft evergreen yews. And the large evergreen in the corner is a Weeping Alaskan Cedar. C&V, like most people I’d say, love weeping and flowering and fragrant plants, so I made sure to include a healthy dose of all three in their design.
I can’t wait to see the changes unfold!