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need design ideas (pic)

17 years ago


I'm in the process of getting some new beds shaped so that they are ready for planting in the Spring. I'd appreciate some ideas for the layout of the main bed.

The image below shows the "before" view of the backyard, next to the house, taken just after I moved in. Because that faces south, I've decided to put a sun garden there (which will include cherry tomatoes) and create a seating area in a shadier spot. (this pic was taken very early in the morning - after noon this area is in full sun.

I'm challenged by the need to build the soil up (I seem to be gardening in concrete here!), improve the grade, and plant around some less-than attractive utility pipes and meters.

The image below shows the current state. I moved the barbecue and some slabs next to the AC because there is no easy way to move that, so I might as well group that stuff in that corner. I plan to place a shrub (smoke bush) in front of the AC.

Then I put in a window well and had 3 yards of topsoil brought in and just piled it there for now. I had to level it out a bit since we expect a considerable amount of rain this evening (It's pretty fluffy - here's to hoping I won't end up with a layer of mud evenly spread out over the back lawn!)

So this is where things are now. The bed is basically a 6-foot shapeless pile. I think I'd like to extend it past the end of the house to the right and put the tomatoes there (leaving only a small path to get around the house). I expect it to settle over the winter so that I can add amendments.

I used some D-shaped blocks to create a little retaining wall and placed some flag stones on top to create a little bench or a place to put down a tray while barbecuing. Not sure how to finish the end piece, where the cactus is because the flat stone sticks out funny. I could plant something inside the block but it would bake in the summer and be too exposed in the winter. Would a peony look nice at the end of this little wall?

I'd appreciate any ideas, especially in terms of shaping and edging this bed. I'd post over in the landscape forum but I prefer the casual cottage look. I'm all about work-arounds and creative mis-use of things (which by-the-book landscapers seem to find horrid :)

I will continue to add beds along the drive and garage

Here is a link that might be useful: My smurf house

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