Thursday, September 2, 2010

The New Yard

As I write this I'm busy freaking out over the landscapers. They are digging in the front yard and using the forklift attachment on their Bobcat to poke into the soil and break it up. Our front yard has a water tank/leach field for the roof drainage. The tank is only a foot under the ground (or so I've been told by the builder). I really shouldn't be here when they do this. They don't seem to be breaking anything, just raising my blood pressure. My doctor wouldn't appreciate it.

But it is starting to come together very slowly. They have been here for a week and this is what the back yard looks like. They have spent most of the time playing with string and levels making sure it all drains properly and is flat across the yard in the other direction.

You can just see the semicircular patio section that will go in. The pathway goes right in front of the bulkheads. Between the bulkheads I intend to have raspberries. They will be enclosed by four sides so I shouldn't have much of a spreading issue. On either side of the semicircle will be a dwarf apple tree. I'm thinking Honey Crisp and Ginger Gold. The far corner will have a hot tub with a roof over it (eventually). My townhouse mates love their hot tub. I'll be using it occasionally too I'm sure.

The other side of the back yard and side yard (which you can't see) will have my vegetable beds and compost area. You can probably just make out where the path will go. Right now they taken most of my compost area apart and shoved it back against the fence. I'll have to get it cleaned up for hurricane Earl. We ought to just get a glancing blow here. The Cape and the islands will get hit big, but we are just under a tropical storm watch, not a hurricane watch. I expect I won't see many of those leaves by the time the storm ends though. I think they will be gone.

Copyright 2010 by Sally Naish, my landscape designer

These are the plans for the yard. I'm really glad I'm not the one doing the work for all this. The temps have been in the 90s all week long. I really feel sorry for them. But after the hurricane passes it will be much cooler. In fact very nice weather. I suppose I ought to get my derriere in gear though. I haven't really made plans for the raised beds. I would love to get part of them in this fall, but it might be a little while. I might live with the majority of them as ground level beds for a while and just mound up the soil to make them slightly raised. The two beds in front of the back door I want done pretty quickly though with real sides.


  1. I'm sure the underground tank thing will be fine :-) The plans for your garden look fabulous, and I bet you can't wait for it all to be up and running... but I suppose the slow creation process is exciting too!

  2. Looks great! You will love having the garden and all the hardscaping. Nothing like sitting on the patio, drinking your fav beverage, and planning dinner from the garden (or munching on new peas, tomatoes, etc.) We totally love our potager and are planning on converting more of the yard to this kind of space. Take lots of photos, cuz it changes FAST.


  3. I can imagine the tense, when the Bobcat is playing with the soil close to the water tank.... ~bangchik

  4. Very cool, Daphne. I can't wait to see how the beds come together. I'm assuming you're gonna have much more growing space than your old garden? Do you know the approx. total square footage you will have?

  5. Great design, Daphne! Looks like it's starting to come together. I understand your anxiety...I can't be around when workers are at my's too much for me. I'm looking forward to your progress!

  6. How exciting. I love watching construction projects unfold and guessing what it will all look like when it's done. Keep taking pictures!

  7. Nerve racking for sure! I'm sure the finished product will be very functional! Would be very interested to see pics as the construction goes on.....

  8. I love the design layout! What a great space you are going to have when this is completed. It will be fun to watch this project progress over time. Please do regular updates!

  9. Oh gosh, I bet that's going to be gorgeous when finished! Don't get too bent out of shape over the guys playing with strings and levels - that's the most important part...

  10. Exciting, exciting! It looks like you'll get a lot of garden beds, how wonderful. I am looking forward to seeing through your photos how it all turned out. Good luck with the buried tank.

  11. I can't wait to see what the yard looks like when it's done!

  12. Wonderful Daphne more, beds, more gorgeous locally grown food. Very exiting.

  13. Jan, I so wish it were just done. It would be so much easier. I have to make sure they do things right. For instance all the planting beds and lawn area are supposed to have at least 6" of top soil, but they guys weren't removing any subsoil before they brought in top soil to make sure it was deep enough. Well that is fixed.

    ALAN! you are back and blogging again. I thought we had lost you forever. We will love having it all done. I cringe at the price tag to get it done for us. Your potager was probably a lot cheaper since you did the work yourself.

    Bangchik, and close to the house. It is disconcerting when you see the bucket rise up right next to the window.

    Thomas, I will have a lot more growing space. I will have 10 4'x16' beds (a couple of them will be a bit smaller). So there will be over 600sqft in the raised bed section. This will be my vegetable area I'm thinking. The rock wall garden is about 200 sqft. Half will be in asparagus. The other half probably some espaliered trees and maybe strawberries. I keep changing my mind. The back area near the patio has three beds, two on each side of the bulkheads and one in the middle. The middle will be raspberries and the other I'm not sure. I'd love to grow some cranberries, but have to figure out what is required. I don't know their square footage, but not big. My old garden had about 240sqft in the vegetable area and another strip by the driveway for fruit. My fruit will be all over the yard. I think the front yard will have a peach tree and some blueberry bushes. I might put in some gooseberries too if it is legal here. But all in all it will be a lot bigger for growing then my old yard. Which is weird since we have a 9000sqft lot for two families here and I had a half an acre in the burbs to myself before.

    Kimberly, I know I have to be there to make sure it is done right, but I really don't want to be.

    Ribbit, I will.

    RandomGardener, I'm hoping it will be pretty and functional. Who knows though.

    kitsapFG, I will try to do regular updates.

    EG, Oh I know. It is time consuming but very important to make sure it all drains.

    Angela, the tank seemed to be fine (though no rain yet to be sure, Earl will give us some tonight). Now it has nice top soil in it.

    meemsnyc, me either. I can kind of visualize it from the plans, but not really.

    Tyra, Thanks.

  14. Daphne - that's awesome! It just does to show that you don't need a lot of land to grow a decent amount of food. All you need is a lot of sun! I have a half acre as well but 70% is covered in part-shade.