Thursday, February 26, 2009

2009 Landscape Plan...

Over the past several weeks, I've begun putting together a landscape plan for the 2009 season. Last year was a productive year, but this year it gets a little more complicated. In 2009, I need to install the framing so that in 2010 and beyond, I can layer on the finishing touches.

In 2007 when we purchased the house, I put together a rough landscape plan, and that effort has paid off. Working from the plan, I've been able to keep track of what's done, what needs to be done, and how everything ties together as a whole. The big project last year was the pond and pathing, which is now mostly complete.

This year we'll be installing the remaining irrigation water lines, hauling in approximately 30 cubic yards of dirt, bringing in additional basalt rock to begin forming the main landscaping areas, clearing the existing driveway of brick piles etc., removing approximately 1300 square feet of the existing driveway to make room for an orchard, and then installing the brick patio areas for the outdoor kitchen and dining areas. According to my project plan, we should be able to get all that done between February and June.

Knowing the appropriate order to bring in materials to frame in the structure is very important. Example: last weekend I finished installing the water lines for the drip irrigation system and had to tear out the paths I built in a couple of locations. Had I installed all the irrigation lines earlier in the plan, I would have simplified the process. That's okay, because as a first time homeowner, this is all relatively new.

I'm pretty excited to see the 2009 year unfold. I'm excited to finally get to lay the bones for Central Park, which is the largest landscaping area directly in the middle of our back yard. I have finalized a rough design for this area, which includes Japanese gardening principles, with a twist of Northwest design, focusing primarily on Pacific Northwest Washington native plants. To top it off, I'll be throwing in a small rain-garden/wetland, which will act as a water collector and land-based filtration system. I'll elaborate on that more in a subsequent blog entry. I'm also excited about ripping out 1300 square feet of our driveway, and unveiling the soil underneath. With this area, I'll be building a vegetable garden, a kitchen dining room, and a small berry/fruit orchard.

We've got our work cut out for us, but I'm confident it'll be a productive Spring and Summer. What's not complete by the end of June will have to wait till 2010, and that's just fine. July through August of this year is reserved for painting the house, and doing other major house projects, such as pulling the popcorn ceiling out of the living room.

Until next time, happy dreaming!

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