Oh Aretha. P&T Hinman are diy’ing their design, but they’re no fools like the song in this post title might suggest. Doing it yourself means you’re saving about 50% of the cost of installing a new yard, and usually more than 50% since a lot of times people use things they already have or find sweet deals on materials. The only draw-backs are on your back (literally – your muscles will be sore) and your time because diy usually means one or two people working on it whenever they have a free Saturday, instead of a whole landscaping crew busting it out in a few weeks. P&T wisely worked with their neighbors as some of them were also doing major yard overhauls. The first big change was at the back. Those neighbors were removing their concrete block retaining wall, so P&T used the blocks for their terracing.
Around the same time, as they were digging and unearthing, they discovered a need for a small retaining wall on the north of the backyard. Enter stage right: first change to the preliminary design. That’s what you see taking shape in the picture above. Fortunately, the terracing concept wasn’t affected by the change, so it went in too.
After living with the design for a while, they realized they also wanted enough grass to play volleyball. We also moved the vegetable garden area to the north, put in concrete on the upper level of the backyard for phase 1 (phase 2 will be something fancier, like flagstone), removed the concrete patio on the lower level, moved the front yard tree to be more centered on the house, and added plantings – including a Utah pomegranate tree they want to try – along the south side of the house. Changes 2, 3, 4, 5, & 6. Whew! Some might think that clients changing their minds would bother a designer, but I actually love it! It’s exciting to encounter a challenge or change and do some problem-solving. It means I get to be creative again! Here’s the preliminary, for comparison’s sake.
And this is where the design stands now.
I’m not sure I’d exactly call this a master plan, but for now it’s acting as the ad hoc master plan. We’ll call it a premaster plan. Not pre-master, but premaster. Get it? Oh good. And for the fun of it, here’s the plant list.
I also like to give my clients a picture of what those plants look like, as I mentioned in the design process. So here’s what their yard will someday look like, sort of.
And now for some in-progress shots. The upper level concrete going in:
And the lower level concrete removed:
The front yard looked similar, with all the grass and shrubs removed and just dirt and stone remaining. But word on the street is P&T recently hydroseeded. And not long ago they had a company put in curbing. So things are taking shape even more. It’s so exciting! Now I need to go snap some pho-tos for your viewing pleasure.