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Have you removed all grass from your front yard & replaced with plants

KW PNW Z8
20 days ago
last modified: 16 days ago

5/2/24 Update: I don’t know why I didn’t include the conifer forum in my list for where to pose my question so I’m belatedly doing it now. I’m still in info gathering mode to be ready to articulate my ’vision’ to the Pro landscape designer who will come to our home on 8th for intial consult. I welcome ideas & input on things I should consider.


My home is in SW WA & we are considering removing our front yard turf & replacing with a designed scape of dwarf conifers, some native plants and hard scape - dry creek beds, rockery etc. Our reasons for this are around reducing usage of water, chemicals needed to maintain turf and a lot about ease of maintenance as we age in place in our single story home. We have previously reduced turf area by widening borders & adding dwarf confers to the borders but the yard is still mostly turf. We do have an upcoming in home consultation appointment with a professional landscape designer. In our neighborhood of 58 homes, at least 9 have either never had a turf front yard due to lack of space or never wanted turf so have had shrubs and ground covers. Several have removed their turf later and added plantings & rockery so neighborhood acceptance of no turf not an issue. Of course, no HOA either. Our lot is very wide so we do have a good stretch of grass in front - more than most homes in the neighborhood.

I’m looking for tips & suggestions for things we should consider. I also would love any sites you know about with pictures & examples of smaller yards with landscape without turf. I am making a list of site factors & challenges to consider - such as excessive fir needle drop from the old growth firs on properties behind us. When the big winds come from east our roof & even west facing front yard can be covered with fir needles & cones. I’m also listing existing established plants that must stay put & those that can be relocated as well as those I’d part with.

Do any of you have advice for me to think about? Thanks!


This pic below was taken from neighbor’s drive - the border is the brick - rocks are his.


Elfin Thyme along top of lawn


Comments (85)

  • Eileen
    15 days ago

    You definitely could use more height by way of trees and conifers. All of your shrubs are about the same height.

    KW PNW Z8 thanked Eileen
  • KW PNW Z8
    Original Author
    15 days ago

    Jj J - Your project sounds like a labor of love. What great satisfaction you must be getting from your work of clearing and giving beautiful form to your space. Thanks for the great plant suggestions! The Edgeworthia sounds like a treasure that I must figure out how to include. My home faces full on West so very hot sun in summer. Here in Vancouver just @ 2 hours south of you we do have more higher summer temps than Tacoma so my front yard might be too hot for it. The Fatsia - I think I have that here in back yard in shade of our shed. I have been cutting its longer limbs hard the last couple years to encourage fullness. It has lots of new top growth now.

    My front scape does have 2 Japanese Maples & 1 mid sized slow growing Hinoki. All are in wide borders. My vision for the front grassed area is a planting that’s more open with staggered heights of plants created by berms but overall no more trees in front of house. That’s another reason for seeking a pro landscape designer!



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  • KW PNW Z8
    Original Author
    15 days ago

    Eileen, point taken about height. The trees Jj J suggested are both smaller scale which would fit with the 2 trees already in front yard & my vision of ’open’ space. Will be interesting to hear if designer who will have advantage of seeing space IRL agrees.

  • Eileen
    15 days ago
    last modified: 15 days ago

    Probably the only place you could put a taller tree is in the garage-side bed. I think that would help anchor the tall garage to the landscape. I think that bed is going to be the most fun to landscape!

    I don't think I've ever seen edgeworthia in the PNW. Cool shrub! I've always liked witch hazel--the late winter flowers, the large summer leaves that remind me of Ripples potato chips, and the gorgeous fall color.

    Please let us know what the designer says.

    KW PNW Z8 thanked Eileen
  • KW PNW Z8
    Original Author
    15 days ago

    Eileen - I think you’re spot on about height on that side of yard! I do have a Yew that’s kept pruned to @ 8’ tall that’s in front of fence on that side. A slightly taller & narrow tree in center of grassed area might be just the thing. No maples as low maintenance doesn’t include deciduous trees & not anxious for fall leaf debris on either my drive or my neighbor’s on that side. I like Witch Hazel too for same reasons as you. I have a Mt. Airy Fothergilla in back that is a relative of WH. I will share designer input.

    Pics are fothergilla a couple falls ago & the flowers this year



  • Ontario_Canada5a_USDA4b
    15 days ago
    last modified: 15 days ago

    A couple of inspirations.

    Garden of Chrissie D'Esopo, purportedly an all Iselin garden, promulgated by the said nursery itself several times in the past.


    I created the concept garden below with AI, mostly showing conifers, but also using a broad deciduous canopy, hedges for creating garden rooms, a dry river that multitasks as access for maintenance, etc.


    Edit: Not that I myself would design my front and backyard like that, I myself like spaciousness / minimalistic designs. But others may like the full look of gardens, to each his/her own.

    KW PNW Z8 thanked Ontario_Canada5a_USDA4b
  • KW PNW Z8
    Original Author
    14 days ago

    @Ontario_Canada5a_USDA4b Holy Cow! What a jaw dropping fabulous garden the D’Esopo estate has! I’d not heard of it so looked it up & it has quite an interesting story. It’s in Avon,CT - here’’s a link to a piece about it Christie D’Esopos Flower House The writer states that Chrissie works 12-15 hours a day in garden & it’s obvious why. All of that time could be spent doing deadheading & light pruning! Thanks so much for sharing that photo!

    Your AI garden is pretty neat too - looks like a fairy garden in Ireland - or, I guess that would be leprechaun garden? The pic gave me an idea. See the round rock with the hole / depression in it at bottom of pic? What about one of those basalt bowls which are polished in center & used as a natural water collection for a bird / animal bath placed in a dry creek bed? I also like spaciousness - or open space & while maybe not minimilistic designs, I don’t like too busy & fussy things either interior or exterior. I’ve learned that gardens look best with some negative space. I’ve also learned that where bare soil exists, weeds will come. So, a happy medium is good.

  • KW PNW Z8
    Original Author
    14 days ago

    Still reading, researching, pondering my project. Here’s 2 pics of nearby neighborhood yards where grass taken out a couple years ago for one & a few months ago for another. There are points I both like & dislike about each for my yard but they give me points to consider. The ground cover pics are already in my front yard, are both slow growing & evergreen. I’m wondering about using more of these same instead of large swaths of mulch between conifers.

    The neighbors:

    This is a 2 story & front yard not as deep or wide as mine.


    This is also a 2 story & a corner house so front yard goes past front of house on this one side & then along front entry to drive. Yard isn’t as wide as mine. This one has more large plantings behind the hinoki on left. Public sidewalk runs along front & side.

    Ground-covers I have already




  • gardengal48 (PNW Z8/9)
    14 days ago

    I much prefer the second garden. It's a nice balance of hardscape, negative space and statement plants. The first appears as more of a collector's hodge-podge - too many different plants, no focal point, no negative space. Looks cluttered and messy......and undesigned.

    KW PNW Z8 thanked gardengal48 (PNW Z8/9)
  • Eileen
    14 days ago

    I agree with gardengal.

    Does the landscaper you're meeting with have expertise in designing dry creek beds?

    KW PNW Z8 thanked Eileen
  • Kitch4me
    14 days ago
    last modified: 14 days ago

    @Eileen,

    kw, I hope you dont mind me asking Eileen a question. Eileen, I would like to do paths such as yours in my backyard. The typical instructions im finding says to add a border to contain the gravel, add weed barrier and 4” gravel. I like the way yours look. More of a natural transition between plants and gravel. How was this achieved? Thank you!

  • KW PNW Z8
    Original Author
    14 days ago

    Kitch4me, I don’t mind at all as the answer might help me too.

  • KW PNW Z8
    Original Author
    14 days ago

    @gardengal48 (PNW Z8/9) - I do like how the 2nd garden looks better than the 1st one too - for now. I think it’s the plant choice that makes me pause & for me it’s overplanted. The small yellow plants next to the dry creek bed are a Cistus rock rose ”Mickie”- info says 18” x 36”. I had 5 lining a path in back yard & after some years took them out last year as I couldn’t prune fast enough to keep them anywhere near the stated size! There’s another plant that’s several places in her scape that can’t be seen in picture -Goshinki False Holly. I have 3 of them in a border - they’re easier to keep to size but do require pruning after a few years. The neighbor who has this yard shared info with me on who designed & installed & cost. It was a larger landscape company. She also said she swapped out many of the plant choices in design & I don’t know what the original plan called for. She loves to snip away at her plants so this may be the perfect yard for her. I love that she freely shared info with me and gave me so much to think about! The first yard is across the street from that second one. It actually has a dry creek bisecting it but it ends at driveway & probably should have gone towards sidewalk - the front so it can be seen & ’invites’ you into yard.


    Eileen - (can’t tag you!) Yes, she does have expertise in dry creek beds & hardscape design per the pics in her portfolio. She also has a strong design education & background in exterior & interior design & photography. She does have her own company. She doesn’t employ landscape staff to do installation but does recommend different companies. They bid & negotiate independent of her. She will project manage & does the plant & hardscape placement if the customer is working with any of those contractors.

  • Eileen
    14 days ago
    last modified: 14 days ago

    We have clay soil so the dirt doesn't erode or shift. We'd have to level the border material and we weren't up to that so we skipped it. All we did was dig down about 4" to remove the sod, line it with landscaping fabric and fill with 1/4 minus crushed gravel. The gravel does decompose into soil and become very compact. We did this in 2016 and need to add an inch of new gravel this year.

    This is freshly-dug and is just the bare soil.


    Photo taken a few days ago. Still adding and subtracting plants. I try to select plants that soften the edges.


  • Kitch4me
    14 days ago

    so helpful, thank you!

  • Eileen
    14 days ago

    You're welcome. Start a thread or message me if you need more information.

  • Eileen
    14 days ago

    Back to the dry creek bed....I haven't found them appealing and I think I've figured out why. The rocks are too big and uniform. You can tell Nature didn't deposit them-- the stone yard did.

    Sunset Magazine's photo with fewer large stones and smaller pebbles looks more natural to me. We talk about using negative space in gardens to rest the eye. I think you need that in the creek bed too, which small pebbles provide. I feel that your neighbor's bed would look better with smaller pebbles. That bed is too chunky and therefore very busy.


    KW PNW Z8 thanked Eileen
  • KW PNW Z8
    Original Author
    13 days ago

    Eileen, I see just what you mean! Thinking about what you’ve said & I don’t think I’ve ever seen a manufactured dry bed like you show. Seems like the size of the bed & of the landscape being done might determine size of rock that looks best. Is this picture in a recent edition of Sunset Magazine? I’d be interested in reading the piece with this pic & my local library might be a source for it. I’ll definitly put this on my list of things to talk about with designer.

  • Eileen
    13 days ago
    last modified: 13 days ago

    I'm glad you see what I mean. I'm so detail-oriented! Most people would look at a dry creek bed and say "Rocks! Cool!" I'd be forever rearranging the rocks.

    This is the only link I can find associated with the photo. It's not the full article. Sunset probably has other articles that would be helpful.

    https://www.sunset.com/garden/backyard-projects/build-dry-creek-bed

    KW PNW Z8 thanked Eileen
  • Eileen
    13 days ago

    Compare the Sunset photo to this photo that looks like the stone yard truck pulled up and dumped them.



    KW PNW Z8 thanked Eileen
  • KW PNW Z8
    Original Author
    13 days ago

    Eileen, I’ve just done a search on dry creek beds & disappeared down that rabbit hole for awhile - sooo many varying ideas & pics! Thank you for bringing this important point up. I’ve added it to my list for discussion. Another point I’m adding is possibility of a dwarf Gingko shrub. I love Gingko trees which leaf images are used in many Arts & Crafts style settings. Arts & Crafts era is my fave with Art Nouveau a close second. Gingko is a conifer & a prehistoric one at that. A few years ago I learned about the newer dwarf variety - deciduous of course but very slow grower & amenable to pruning if ever needed. That would be a statement plant & focal point for sure!

  • Little Bird
    12 days ago

    Here’s another nice one

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  • KW PNW Z8
    Original Author
    12 days ago

    @Little Bird That’s a very pretty scape LB. Puts me in mind of a cottage garden. I like the pathway in it. My thought is I would want a ’quieter’ space in terms of flowers just bc of maintenance needed. But, some color & softness will be needed so I’m thinking about small azalea shrubs and my fave planting - Coral Bells / Heuchera. I have day lilies out there & would want them to stay or be reused somewhere.

    It’s another very wet & cool day here in my hood - 53 & 100% precip & tomorrow as well 😒 But, Wednesday’s forecast is only 10% precip & 68 degrees!! Good omen I think as Wednesday is design appointment & it would be nice to not be wearing rain gear while outside looking at the area! Thursday’s forecast is low 80’s - typical PNW - feast or famine. Watching national weather today with floods & pending tornadoes in south & midwest keeps me from whining much about our wet. We do have some flooded roads since storm drains can’t keep up but that’s small potatoes compared to what’s going on elsewhere!

  • prairiemoon2 z6b MA
    12 days ago
    last modified: 12 days ago

    My suggestion would be to start small. Either come up with an overall plan that will eventually be no lawn, but break it down in parts and do one part at a time, in case once you start taking care of more garden, you wish you had more lawn back. [g] Or just choose the plants you love the best and just add another bed to the area of lawn and plant those. And keep adding more beds, so you get used to maintaining more garden and used to not looking at lawn.

    KW PNW Z8 thanked prairiemoon2 z6b MA
  • Little Bird
    12 days ago

    KW, I can’t wait to see your design! Are you planning to install it all at once? Or a little bit every year?

    KW PNW Z8 thanked Little Bird
  • KW PNW Z8
    Original Author
    12 days ago
    last modified: 12 days ago

    @Little Bird We think once we’ve made the decision we’ll just go for it! There’s no guarantees for tomorrow & if we have the resources, why not? I also think the resulting design will be more cohesive & unified done all at the same time. I think this is more important for a front & public facing area. Maybe I’d take a slower approach with a backyard. We will take all the time we feel like we need to arrive at a design decision though. I’m hopeful I’ll have both paper & electronic copies for that.

    @prairiemoon2 z6b MA Your suggestion to start small is very sound & well taken. By way of my history, I think I can say we have sort of done that part. In 2019 we had work done to add a spigot on the far side of yard - something we missed in our build in 2012. We also had new sod installed (again) and we reduced the footprint of the lawn a bit. The border with the path & Elfin Thyme was all lawn & the far border in my first pic was also all lawn - that granite pagoda house was way back in the narrow border between us & neighbors. So much farther back I realized it was difficult to know which yard it belonged to! 😱 So, that was a baby step towards lawn reduction but it was a start. Increasing the planting border gave me the opportunity to install mini & dwarf conifers & I’ve had lots of fun with that & it’s why the idea of a small scale conifer garden is so appealing to me. This would be a low maintenance landscape - not nearly the work required for lots of flowering shrubs and flowers. The catalyst for this current conversation about removing lawn began with my husband bemoaning all the undesirable grasses popping up. He does all the lawn maintenance- setting irrigation, applying pre-emergents & fertilizers, mowing, edging etc. It’s impossible to keep weedy grasses out of the turf unless birds, squirels & wind disappear. We also both understand the environmental issues with maintaining turf. We looked around our neighborhood and realized several neighbors have already gone down the path of no lawn landscapes & so here we are today, taking our first step meeting with a Pro who does landscape design as their primary work.

  • KW PNW Z8
    Original Author
    12 days ago
    last modified: 12 days ago

    @Little Bird I absolutely will come back with info on how this appointment turns out. It’s a consult so next step would be drawing up design. I have my list printed out so I won’t struggle to remember all the points I want to ask / address. My Project Manager background coming back to me 😆 I know just what you mean about leaving space for growth. I have done exactly that - overplanted for a lush & full look. I have since learned about the value of ”negative space”. But, this is why I need a designer - I do recognize my limitations!

  • Eileen
    12 days ago

    Do you have conifers in the backyard that get part sun? I'd love to add a conifer to my yard but I have only one area where it gets some morning sun and a few hours of hot afternoon sun. We had a large Japanese umbrella pine but had to take it out because one side was shaded and it was full of bare branches.

  • Eileen
    12 days ago

    I posted this photo in another thread where her creek bed runs between two lawns. If you did want to keep some lawn, this is the way to design it so that there's a natural transition from lawn to creek bed. Note that they used smaller pebbles. Don't you think smaller pebbles would be easier to install than the river rock that everyone uses?The plantings are really nice here too.


    KW PNW Z8 thanked Eileen
  • KW PNW Z8
    Original Author
    11 days ago
    last modified: 11 days ago

    Eileen - I had to look your tree up to remind myself what it was. We do have conifers in back that receive part sun but none are of the pine family - i..e. Picea, abies. You’ll see in my 1st pic those old growth Douglas Firs on property behind me & that gives me enough of that ilk! I do have 3 extremely tall weeping Alaskan Cedars on north side of house - you can pick them out in my 1st pic at top left. They went in after 2 story house built too close next to us. I also have Yews - Taxus Fastigate Standishii - narrow, upright & yellow. They are next to fence with backs facing the big firs / east with their fronts facing house / west. Everything in that bed that runs from north to south & faces west, tends to have growth leaning towards the sun they receive all afternoon. Plants with growth taller than fence receive dappled morning light so they are thinner in back - just like your Umbrella Pine. I have the same challenge you face with your yard! I also have a couple Japanese maples along the fence line & they do better on the shaded side because they have more open branching & so get better light. Maybe that’s an option for a tree instead of a conifer.

    I love the creek bed you posted & have saved in my folder for discussion. Thank you! It appeals to me because the smaller rock & pebbles look more natural & it seems to me this kind of bed could do double duty as a path to use for access to plants to work on them. The larger rock creek beds are really ankle breakers if one is trying to walk in them for any reason. I’ve no idea if smaller rock is easier to install but I wondered if it would be less costly. It struck me though that the newer yard in my neighborhood - the pic I posted - with the larger rock - would’ve benefitted from use of smaller rock. That yard isn’t very wide across the front - it’s deeper along the side as shown in pic. Smaller size rock might’ve been a better scale for it.

  • plantkiller_il_5
    11 days ago

    I've killed off more than 7000 sq.ft of grass . But with a 100 X 485 yard , lots left....proceed slow but sure

    ron



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  • KW PNW Z8
    Original Author
    11 days ago

    @plantkiller_il_5 Hi Ron, what a beautiful landscape you’ve created with great placement & use of islands of conifers accented by colorful grasses and sage. I’m thinking that’s Russian Sage & Blood Grass in the mix? I know you have many grand conifers around your home - I guess that’s what’s taken the place of your 7K sq ft of grass. I have only 10K sq ft & quite a bit of that is taken up with a smaller home & big garage. So, not too much left for green things! I think I need to proceed slowly with design but maybe not so much with installation. 😊 I’m thinking the back bone of my plantings will be mini & dwarf conifers with some smaller hinoki shrub sizes in & some azaleas for color. The scale of the dwarf & mini conifers might be a good balance. I love my purple stonecrop that I’ve been cultivating to spread in the current border so maybe more of plants like that too. We’ll see what the pro designer thinks. Thanks for weighing in & especially for sharing your photo.

  • artinnature
    11 days ago

    "Have you removed all grass from your front yard..."


    So many times, in my own gardens and clients gardens, that I've lost count, and I'm in the process of doing it again at our latest place. I have not read this very long thread but here are my $.02.


    I create rooms in gardens, and the front garden should be another room, with walls. A room you can walk through, admire the art on the walls, the patterns of the floor & ceiling, the chandeliers. A room you can even sit in for a spell, if the environs encourage that, and in my opinion, they should. That means furniture. Flat top boulders, or a sitting wall, if you're afraid of theft.


    I also encourage as many patios as are necessary, and in as many places as necessary, to find a comfortable spot to hang out (or garden!) as the weather conditions change throughout the day, and throughout the year. My front garden is unbearable at 4pm in August, (but I'm doing everything I can to change that!) but often delightful in February, while the back garden and patio are just the opposite.


    KW PNW Z8 thanked artinnature
  • KW PNW Z8
    Original Author
    11 days ago
    last modified: 11 days ago

    @artinnature Thanks so much for chiming in & sharing your $.02! Your philosphy on gardens resonates with me. I’m not sure how the idea of ’rooms’ would work in my front yard but certainly it can be a place to wander through rather than one to walk around. It can’t be seen in my first picture but my front entry is a sitting porch. It has 2 comfy rockers, pillows, tables, art on walls & even a hidden shade that comes down to shade seating from afternoon sun. It’s a great place for morning coffee or evening wine. Your front garden must face west as mine does. Unbearable in August is the clue!

  • plantkiller_il_5
    11 days ago

    Yes, KW , blood grass & Russian sage which I can't do without,,they say , plant it in rocks & it will live forever... & I have like 35 grasses scattered about .

    ron


    KW PNW Z8 thanked plantkiller_il_5
  • Eileen
    11 days ago

    Today's the big day! Woohoo!!

    KW PNW Z8 thanked Eileen
  • KW PNW Z8
    Original Author
    10 days ago

    Eileen, indeed it is a big day! Appointment with designer confirmed. Have another smaller project going on in backyard too. Our water feature is being ’remodeled’ also for easier maintenance under the big fir trees. Swapping out the flat bubbler rock for basalt colums & reusing the flat rock over the small rocky rocks in the basin. New pump needs install for more water lift. 2 goals - give the feature more height for more prominence in yard & make the surface easier to blow off fir tree debris from above. Here’s the before




  • Eileen
    10 days ago

    That's very nice! I can see where basalt columns will improve it.

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  • KW PNW Z8
    Original Author
    10 days ago
    last modified: 10 days ago

    Thanks Eileen! We’d been thinking about doing this piece since last fall so we took our time with it. Or, it took time for weather to be good enough to be working in water. We picked 3 basalt columns with lots of orange in them to go with the flat rock that’s already there & will be reused. Also setting a rock water catch basin for bird bath. The grass next to water feature - thinking of removing too if we go forward with front yard redo. We removed @ 1/3 of it few years ago as slope made it too hard to mow. You can see the division in my 2nd pic by the bird bath. That is Brass Buttons / Leptinella. It’s on the other side of back yard too & has done really well. A nice soft walk on ground cover that doggies like too.

  • Eileen
    10 days ago

    I'd probably put a tree there if not the lawn. I think there's enough going on that you don't need to add more color, texture, etc. Or an herb garden, but that might be too messy for your manicured yard.

    KW PNW Z8 thanked Eileen
  • KW PNW Z8
    Original Author
    10 days ago

    Okay all Houzz friends - as promised, here’s my update on the consult appointment I had today with a pro. She gave me lots to think about & some feedback. She wasn’t too interested (my reaction) in my vision of a garden with mostly mini & dwarf conifers explaining that plant selection is the last step. Who knew? Next step is a concept drawing & we talk about that & tweak etc. Then comes measuring the space - a very technical process. A layout created & approved. Plant selection last. Then comes lining up contractors. If her preferred contractors are used she will oversee the plant placement on site. She also would select all the plants. She did like many of the plants I already have & some she hadn’t seen in a garden setting before. She did say that a vertical element would be a really good thing - like a tree. Eileen - she’s talking your language! 😊 I asked about a Yew like one that I have & she said no, not columnar but vertical & some width. Okay, okay everyone! One thing she said is that my front yard is ”very tight” & ”very round” - all the shapes are round. 😆 Well, yes, okay I see that. I got out my cutters after she left. I don’t shear anything, I prune by the cut & snip method - more natural. But, regardless of what happens going forward on this project, some of my round plants that aren’t conifers are being taken out.

    Here’s an update on my water feature bubbler project - they’ll be back at 7:30 tomorrow. The 3 columns laying there are basalt. We chose them with the orangey color because they go with the flat rock that was layered in the bubbler & that will be reused on top of the loose rock. The smaller piece in foreground is the bowl that will catch water from the columns & be a bird bath.



  • Eileen
    10 days ago
    last modified: 10 days ago

    It sounds like it's going to be a long process. Does that mean that you won't plant until fall? That makes sense since you plan on conifers, shrubs and perhaps a tree.

    It sounds like she's got an aversion to what is called "meatball" shrubs and pruning method. Most evergreens do have a rounded habit so what would she replace them with? How far will she stray from the more manicured style that has been the base of your landscaping, and is that what you want?

    KW PNW Z8 thanked Eileen
  • KW PNW Z8
    Original Author
    8 days ago

    Hi Eileen - agree it’s going to be a longer process & we assumed that based on scheduling for the skills needed. Summer is very busy time! And, yes, fall is for planting, right? I don’t know if the designer has an aversion to round shrubs & conifers or if it’s her design eye wanting the contrasts of shapes & heights. As she explained, plant selection is last so I’ve no idea what she’d use. She did comment I have no grasses & that she liked the day lillies in that small border in my 2nd pic because they flower & are ’grass like’.. I’m sure it’s the movement of grasses she likes. In the meantime, here’s our finished water feature - we love it! I’d taken out the smaller plants behind it so I’m now working on what to do there.



  • Sarah B.
    3 days ago

    "The larger rock creek beds are really ankle breakers if one is trying to walk in them for any reason."


    You mentioned aging in place in your original post.


    I'm an RN with a few years home care experience; part of my job was looking for potential safety concerns in the home. I do think you're right that the small stones would be easier to navigate than all those big round stones. And it looks good like that. But even with mostly gravel, maintaining and weeding a dry creek bed might become hazardous - a fall risk - BEFORE mowing the flat grassy yard would have been difficult. Please only include the creek bed if you are willing to outsource the maintenance of it as soon as there is any mobility/vision concern.


    This concludes my safety lecture. All the best with your yard renovation! You have a beautiful home and yard, and lots of good ideas here.

    KW PNW Z8 thanked Sarah B.
  • Eileen
    3 days ago

    I would nix any deciduous trees. I have to lightly rake my gravel path several times a week just from the debris that falls out of a 60' tree that shades most of my backyard. In fall it's a nightmare to clean up the leaves, especially in the PNW where leaves may fall well into our rainy season. Often I'm cleaning up leaves in spring. Was glad we got such nice weather last month so that we could mulch-mow them and dress our beds with them.

    KW PNW Z8 thanked Eileen
  • KW PNW Z8
    Original Author
    3 days ago

    Sarah B. - I appreciate your good advice on hazards of dry creek beds with regard to fall risks. I absolutely plan to hire able bodied people to do home maintenance things we should not be doing because of personal risk hazard and not wait until the day we cannot be doing the task because we’re not physically able. We already have a guy who cleans our roof & gutters ( we live under fir trees) and another who cleans our windows. I have a strongly ingrained fear of falling, breaking something & winding up either immobile or having to use mobility aids to get around. Caring for my extremely mobile mom who lived in an independent living retirement community is what opened my eyes. Though my mom, in her early 90’s then, didn’t need even a cane or walker, I saw all those in both independent living and the assisted living community side, who needed them and badly. Getting to that point of need due to simple body failure or illness is quite different than having an injury caused by something avoidable. So, I do appreciate your reinforcement to my plan!

    Kathy

  • KW PNW Z8
    Original Author
    3 days ago

    Eileen, That’s exactly what I told the designer - If it’s critical for design that a tree be placed okay, but no deciduous trees! There are already 2 maples in front yard borders & 6 - yes SIX maples in back yard planting beds. Add to that the 3 giant Douglas Firs on the property behind us & it’s clear that we’re well acquainted with clean up required for trees, deciduous or not.

  • Eileen
    3 days ago

    I'm not against trees and even recommended them to you, but not near gravel and rocks!

  • KW PNW Z8
    Original Author
    3 days ago

    Eileen, anyone living in PNW as you & I do is well acquainted with the concern for protectction & expansion of our regional tree canopy! But, for sure, the hardscape that should be a piece of my conifir garden vision does not lend itself to being compatible with lots of leaf fall! I’m hoping I do receive a concept design in @ a week. I think the purpose is to give us something specific to talk about for an actual design.