Making matters worse, the view out of the living room looked across the residence parking and directly into more of the neighbor's parked cars. To top it off there was only three feet of plantable space down the majority of one side.
I design on paper, but whenever possible, I prefer designing on the spot and usually follow the design school of "Form Follows Function." In this case the design was dictated by the required spaces of traffic flow, allotment of parking areas and connecting pathways. This landscape has a circle-linear line, not so geometric and straight-edged, that seemed pleasing.
I laid these beds out by simply using a garden hose, which is a good design tool as it allows changes to the spaces and curves easily. When a functional and aesthetically pleasing design line was achieved, I painted along the hose with marking spray paint.
Now with our parking and beds laid out we can get an estimate of our materials needed for the hardscape, in this case pavers.
Choosing a surface is important and you'll need to consider how the color complements the house. Remember that light -colored porous surfaces are more environmentally friendly and cooler, which in turn will make the space more usable and inviting. We took the opportunity while waiting for the paver installation to plant some larger specimen trees. Using a lot of imagination the goal was to create the feeling of a garden patio and thus, what was primarily a parking lot in the front yard has now become a garden oasis...
All images and text © Jesse Durko 2011