Patio Trees, An Expanded Patio, A Stream and a Pond - Backyard Dreaming

Welp, here we go with even more backyard planning and dreaming.  It was just a couple of days ago that I posted my 2020 to-do list with 25 things that I'd like to prioritize.  And then just yesterday, I went ahead and posted my initial findings about Japanese Maples - which weren't even on that list. 

In a few posts talking about the priority areas for the yard, I mentioned that the hardest part I have with gardening right now is STICKING WITH MY PLAN.  I'm like a bug drawn to the bright light of garden centers and see plants and trees that are NOT in my initial plan.  I have to remind myself:  prioritize and stick to the plan.  Once that is done, we can explore enhancements.

Welp...this post is all about what I'd call a major 'enhancement'. 

And how I got here was the whole research about Japanese Maples.  And thinking about their placement.  I started to think about our patio and the patio trees that I've been thinking about since we moved in.  Right now, all of the trees that we inherited and planted are on the perimeter of the property.  We have a totally 'open' yard from our patio all the way back to the yew hedge in the very back.  And that's nice for 'seeing' the open yard.  But, due to the size, we can do something else with some planting and (potentially) adding some trees that can help create the sense of 'space' on our patio. 

I've talked about the inclusion of a (future) sunken patio/pavilion on the north side of our property.  But, what about extending the patio to the south, too? 

And the water feature that I've lusted after? talking with the landscape designer, one of the key pieces of adding a water feature is that you want to ensure that you can see/enjoy most of it from where you sit.  Our property is sloped from south-to-north.  So, the natural low spot is on the north side.  That means that if we site'd a water feature down there, I'd have to add a seating area to actually be able to see it/enjoy it.  Remember this waterfall with stairs?  Loved this.  And still do.  But...the problem with it is that it sends the water AWAY from where we sit currently.  So, what would it mean to have the water be 'visible' from our current patio area along with thinking about an expanded patio area?  Also, what would we do with patio-trees?  Trees that we could plant soon as small trees that can both provide some shade, a sense of grounding the 'place' of our patio, enhance the look of the yard and give us some winter interest? 

Here's my first initial stab at sketching something out below.  This includes a linear water feature (gasp! a stream!), a couple of patio trees including a Japanese Maple tree, a couple of patio expansion pads and a pond. 

The most interesting thing to me on this right now is this notion of a 'stream'.  As I mentioned, our yard is graded from south-to-north.  Imagine creating a small(ish) berm on the south side to create a place for the water to fall from that leads to a stone-lined creek or stream that separates the patio from the rest of the yard.  We'd have to think about a bridge (which isn't in this back-of-the-napkin sketch), but, that's something that can be done. 

I've also called out a couple of patio trees:  Eastern Redbuds.  And a potential Japanese Maple.  I haven't talked about Redbuds (EVER), but I wonder if they might work in these locations - or something like this.  They'd provide some shade and those beautiful purple flowers in the Spring.  

Anything is possible, I suppose.  But, I have to remember to focus.  I needed to get this concept out of my head and into the garden diary here so I can reference it going forward as we think about future plans in the years ahead.  Not a 2020 project, but I also want to be thinking ahead for the future to not plant something/plan something that would make this project difficult to pull off.  In particular, the priority 1 project - that's adjacent to where I'd plant the 'berm' in this rendering.  Something to think about as I tackle THAT project this Spring/Summer.  

But for now, Jake:   remember.  Stick to the plan. 3 priority areas.  Then, attack the other 22 items on the current to-do list.  


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