We wanted a fresh set of eyes. And, the three things we asked: 1) shade and 2) a place we never want to leave and 3) no lawn. The first part, shade, is a requirement in the summer months here. We're normally well into the 90's F during the summer with many days above 100 F. In the past, we've spent the morning hours outside, vanish inside for the middle six hours of the day, and return for the evening where we normally eat dinner on the back patio. Our back patio, where we spend the vast majority of our time, is south facing, so the sun is relentless. Second, a place we never want to leave is just how it sounds, a place that feels like we're on vacation. Lastly, no lawn. Nothing further needed there.
Here's what we've got:
Do you know how hard it is to take a picture of a three by three foot piece of paper? This was snapped on the bathroom floor. I had to crop out my toes from the bottom. Anyway, the front of the house is at the bottom of the picture and the back of the house at the top. The big white blob in the middle is the footprint of the house and the smaller white blob in the upper right is an existing swing set that will be staying for the foreseeable future.
Start at the bottom. Lower right is the olive tree that was just trimmed a while back. Middle is the driveway which I've never taken a picture of because it's ugly. Lower left is the front entrance. Coming up from the street, there is about a four foot elevation change to the front door. That will all be at the sidewalk with steps that lead into a courtyard.
Moving to the right side of the house, the side patio coming off the house will be a sitting area covered by a pergola. We can get to it through a french door we had put in a few months back.
Just above that on the right is the vegetable garden (directly below the small white blob in the upper right). We won't get into that, as that's another project that's stalled. Future post, as there is a reason. In the upper right, the orange colored trees will be fruit bearing. Our own little orchard.
Just to the top of the house (above the big white blob) will be our main patio with a cover to end all covers. We'll also have above that a fire pit.
The upper left will be a sea of trees and a decomposed granite path that leads to a back gate. That gate will exit to a path that is maintained by the City. We back up to a green belt and have no one behind us and currently have access to that path on the other side of the yard that we use all the time.
Lastly, to the left of the house is the existing shed, which stays. Why? Because, it freaking rocks.
That's that. In the next few parts, we'll go through some mock ups of the plan, as well as, the types of plants we'll be including. Stay tuned.