Need some ideas for this area please

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by alex516, Feb 4, 2006.

  1. alex516

    alex516 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 18

    Hi, I'll try and keep this somewhat brief.
    I think this would be the proper forum, although it's clearly not a 20 foot wall with grid...

    I've cut grass for 4 years, done plenty of land clearings, etc.. But never did any wall work or brick/ stone work.
    I've got friends who I can get help from, guys who do masonry, But I wanted to ask this question here, where I see lots of the members get creative with their designs.

    I'm looking for ideas on how to spruce the area behind hte rocks up, including either replacing the rocks OR adding to them, or??? I'd be willing to replace with block, ties, or xxxx...... This area is out of view from the house and back yard because an abive ground swimming pool which is almost 28 feet wide is hiding it.

    I have another pic of the back yard itself, if anyone is willing to look at it and give me some ideas on arborvitae or soemthing else along the permiter of the yard/ fence line...

    Just to clarify, I'm not joe Clueless here, I planned on sprucing up the rock wall some, but I think I'm Not thinking outside the box, and want to get some opinions from those of you out there who do design work.etc...

    I've got more, and can take any additional pictures as required. Feel free to email me. (Remove the % and replace with @ to send me the email)
  2. alex516

    alex516 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 18

    Here are the pictures, The site would not let me edit the post for some reason... I've drawn a line in orange to show the current direction of the rocks and elevated soil area.

    The difference between the area the rocks outline and the remaining area is about 12" The area surrounding the "rocked" area was very built up, but I recently did a rough re-grade to make mowing easier, to stop the horrible run off of water during heavy rain and whatnot...

    Sorry about being long winded.

    Anyone got comments?


  3. cedarcroft

    cedarcroft LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 442

    disregard the PM. you already have the dry stacked wall there. are you looking for ideas on planting or hardscapes? I would bring that wall out some and put a nice curve on it heading back to the fence and plant some shade tolerant perenials. maybe accent the wall stone with a few small boulders etc. as you said, the pool is hiding it, so go basic and easy. on LI you can use Hostas, Montauk daisy, shasta daisy, astilbe, maybe some phlox around the top as a border. bottom line is that a nice color garden could produce some seasonal beauty in a boring area.
  4. Grn Mtn

    Grn Mtn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 863

    Is it a shady zone? Looks like it too me. And you did say it is an area not highly visible. Plant Arborvitae along the fence mixed up with some Rhododendron, Mountain Laurel, Viburnum. Add Jacob's Ladder, Hosta, Astilbe, Coral bells, Fern and Sedge. Finally lay down large pine nuggets and plant Ajuga and Lily-of-the-Valley. Make a pathway with flagstone to a bird bath and highlight key plants with some landscape lighting. Oh yeah, partially bury a large boulder with lichen on it.
  5. alex516

    alex516 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 18

    Thanks for the replies so far...

    here are a few more pictures of the back yard area... I've shot in daylight to give a better view.

    I appreciate the replies so far, Just wanted to add these pictures to broaden your view of what I've got to work with...

    I'm going to replace all the fencing in the spring, or whenever it stays dry for a few weeks... I was thinking about a 3' bed area around the perimeter of the yard for some of the stuff you guys have mentioned in the replies.

    I just want to do it right the first time so I don't end up doing anything over.

    I've never done any work in the design end of things but I appreciate everyone's assistance.



  6. alex516

    alex516 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 18

    Forgot to reply, Yes, the area is on the shady side, it does get "some" sun, but it's shaded by the large tree in the corner and another larger one boxed in on our patio that also shadows the end of the house in afternoons.


  7. Grn Mtn

    Grn Mtn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 863

    You've got a fun one on your hands there. Just remember, as good as we think we are, some times some plants just don't like their little micro-climate. Its okay if one or two don't make it, just decide IF something should go back in its place and what would work better.

    Another good question is to ask the homeowner if they have any preferences or dislikes, are kids going to be running around kicking soccer balls, dogs digging, etc.

    Just putting a 3' planting bed around the fence is boring and not deep enough for most plants at maturity. Try leaving the fence section closest to the pool just grass. Than in the corner by the tall pine make it really deep like 15', this will give you room to layer different heights and you won't have to worry about the roots in the lawn.

    Around the pool I would suggest using a rock (NOT LAVA) and plant Sky Pencil Holly, Karl Foerster Grass, Rudbeckia Goldsturm and Autumn Joy Sedum.

    Oh I hope you plan on using sod.

    I spent quite a few summers vacationing in Belport and Fire Island.
  8. alex516

    alex516 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 18

    Wow, This is what I was hoping for, in means of feedback that is...

    I was not sure if seeding was a better alternative or not... Gonna have to get some pricing on sod. Not sure what it would cost. Any ideas?

    Most likely going to install a sprinkler system in the very near future so that would be a plus. Is there a specific reason you mentioned sod? Based on soil conditions in this picture or? Just wondering.

    What's my best bet for prepping this lawn for new grass? I was thinking about removing top few inches of soil currently and replacing with new top soil, mixing in some peat moss and re-seed.

    I'm not at that point yet with this project, but I hope feedback keeps coming. I appreciate everyone's so far- It's very much appreciated.
  9. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,496

    Make sure the design is adjustable in the event that above ground pool is moved or removed in the future. :)
  10. Grn Mtn

    Grn Mtn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 863

    I would put sod in (by the way I am no sod expert, I just started using it this past summer but I am hooked) because with all the shade it will take seed longer to fill in and the homeowners will never water that much grass seed correctly. At least with sod you not only have instant lawn but watering it in is much easier because you can soak it instead of just trying to keep it moist like seed. Get a sample of the soil tested to find where your PH is, my guess it will be a bit acidic, but I doubt you need to add peat, I would be generous with compost and till it in and maybe add some lime, but that is what the soil test is for.

    Honestly, the extra cost of sod is nothing when you start describing the routine the customers will have to go through to properly water, having to wait 3 weeks before they can use the yard....

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