Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Updated site plan and latest patio designs

Site Plan

A good friend and colleague, Britton Jones (a local landscape architect) helped us out with a design for the rear patio. He gave us a few different designs (which are all great and are posted below) to review along with a great reference book called Small Garden by John Brookes. If you have a small patio and are looking to do something very cool, you should definitely check it out. It has tons of great ideas. He was also able to recommend various types of durable, drought tolerant plants that we should use.

So after going over the various options with our friend and discussing the pros and cons of different elements and layouts, we decided on a plan that took what we feel are the best ideas from a couple of different designs. The patio portion of the site plan to the left incorporates the resultant plan (see enlarged plan to the right). One major change from our original idea was to move the rain garden from up against the house (under the kitchen window) to along the wall that divides our patio from the neighbors. This came from our desire to keep that water away from the foundation of the house and for the garden to be tied more directly to the rain barrel. The shade tree on axis with the back door and the main interior circulation path of the house is going to be very nice. Also, we have decided to use all the salvaged brick we have to pave the alley-way from the back patio to the front sidewalk (dirt, right now) instead of using it for the patio itself. The patio will instead have large concrete pavers that will be sand set on gravel with an "open joint" laid in a running bond pattern. The concrete pattern will begin to "break up" as it approaches the rear wall, allowing for greenery to emerge and help with water absorption. Thanks again, Britton, for your wonderful design ideas and suggestions.

The site plan also shows the extent of the green roof and design of the deck. The staggered edges of the wood deck reach out into the greenery and allow the boards to form a closer relationship between the two surfaces - blurring the edge between them as the plants mature. You can also see the location of the storm water planter at the edge of the front sidewalk where it meets the street. The purpose of the planter is explained in an earlier post.

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