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Help me plan my back yard...please


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Need help with my backyard design. Any of yall have any good ideas? on what to get/placement etc?

Few items we want:

1) Seating area - Deck or pavers

2) Trees (what are some good low maintenance trees?)

3) Area for a jungle gym/sand box

Maybe some flower beds or water feature. We want something low maintenance and a place my daughter can play.

Here's a picture of my backyard. Thanks!!!

BackyardDefault1.jpg

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Happy to help, few questions first:

Where is this? The answer for Conroe will be much different than Friendswood or Galveston.

In what direction is everything oriented (does the back of the house face north or south?

What's behind the back fence and the longer side (left side of your picture)?

Is it entirely grass or is it mostly grass and dirt or are there any shrubs or trees at all?

Do your neighbors have trees? How tall? What kind of sun and shade does the yard get during the day and different times of the year? How tall is your house?

What are the drainage patterns? Towards the back? Towards the one side or the other? French drains under the driveway to the curb?

That's probably enough to get started!

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Answers below:

Where is this? The answer for Conroe will be much different than Friendswood or Galveston.

Pearland (right behind the new town center)

In what direction is everything oriented (does the back of the house face north or south?

Back of the house faces North.

What's behind the back fence and the longer side (left side of your picture)?

Behind the back fence is my neighbor's back yard.

My house is a corner lot, so the left side fence backs into about 12 feet of front/side yard, then the street.

Is it entirely grass or is it mostly grass and dirt or are there any shrubs or trees at all?

Back yard is entirely grass now.

Do your neighbors have trees? How tall? What kind of sun and shade does the yard get during the day and different times of the year? How tall is your house?

Neighbor has a small tree in the middle of his yard. His yard is half the size of mine. It gets lots of sun and not much shade. Only spot that gets some shade is the L corner between the bedroom and living room. Its a 2 story house. Not sure how tall.

What are the drainage patterns? Towards the back? Towards the one side or the other? French drains under the driveway to the curb?

Not sure what the drainage patterns are...dont have any drainage done.

thanks

franklin

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Just how much maintenance are you willing to perform each year on the greenery? Usually, even "low maintenance" plants require a decent deal of pruning and shaping each year, unless you're really into the "wild look".

From my personal experience and observations, I can give you the following when it comes to good plants for your situation:

-Vitex/Chaste Tree: Requires minimal pruning; just a bit of shaping in the first couple of years, has beautiful blooms several times each year. Fast growth rate, suitable for xeriscaping, attracts butterflies and hummingbirds.

-Southern Waxmyrtle: Native to the region, pleasing growth habit; best left un-pruned save for some shaping at the bottom as it gets taller. Fast growth rate, tolerant of some shade.

Bottlebrush: Fast growing, blooms many times each year. Requires minimal pruning, and is an excellent hedge plant. Drought tolerant, as it is an Australian native. Attracts hummingbirds en masse.

Pomegranate: Does quite well in this region, if fruits are not a main concern. Grows quickly, has beautiful blooms now and then. May require some shaping at first, but it can make a nice hedging plant. Drought tolerant.

Yellow Esperanza: Requires a nice pruning at the start of each year for optimal blooming; however, it will be worth it, as it will be profusely covered in yellow blooms all year from May til frost. Drought tolerant, attracts butterflies and hummingbirds.

Red Knock-Out Rose: Requires only occasional pruning to maintain a dense growth habit. Nearly nonstop blooming, and invincible when it comes to rose related diseases. One of my personal faves.

For additional resources, contact your local extension office, or visit the following links:

http://www.plantsfortexas.com/plantlist.html

http://texassuperstar.com/plants.html

http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/ornamen...ndexcommon.html

I hope this helps, and happy gardening!

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Just how much maintenance are you willing to perform each year on the greenery? Usually, even "low maintenance" plants require a decent deal of pruning and shaping each year, unless you're really into the "wild look".

From my personal experience and observations, I can give you the following when it comes to good plants for your situation:

-Vitex/Chaste Tree: Requires minimal pruning; just a bit of shaping in the first couple of years, has beautiful blooms several times each year. Fast growth rate, suitable for xeriscaping, attracts butterflies and hummingbirds.

-Southern Waxmyrtle: Native to the region, pleasing growth habit; best left un-pruned save for some shaping at the bottom as it gets taller. Fast growth rate, tolerant of some shade.

Bottlebrush: Fast growing, blooms many times each year. Requires minimal pruning, and is an excellent hedge plant. Drought tolerant, as it is an Australian native. Attracts hummingbirds en masse.

Pomegranate: Does quite well in this region, if fruits are not a main concern. Grows quickly, has beautiful blooms now and then. May require some shaping at first, but it can make a nice hedging plant. Drought tolerant.

Yellow Esperanza: Requires a nice pruning at the start of each year for optimal blooming; however, it will be worth it, as it will be profusely covered in yellow blooms all year from May til frost. Drought tolerant, attracts butterflies and hummingbirds.

Red Knock-Out Rose: Requires only occasional pruning to maintain a dense growth habit. Nearly nonstop blooming, and invincible when it comes to rose related diseases. One of my personal faves.

For additional resources, contact your local extension office, or visit the following links:

http://www.plantsfortexas.com/plantlist.html

http://texassuperstar.com/plants.html

http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/ornamen...ndexcommon.html

I hope this helps, and happy gardening!

Thanks for the links...will go over them later tonite in more detail.

As for maintenance, doing work couple times a year is fine. I just dont want to be working every month on it.

Thanks

Franklin

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Fun project! Extend your concrete patio so it stretches across the back of the house. Maybe stamped concrete to look nicer? Makes for a great play area for the kiddo. You might not need to cover it if you're facing north; I assume the house shades the back yard, in part? You can think of it like two "rooms," where your living room would open on to one part, with a table and chairs, and the kidstuff: toys, sandbox, trucks, etc., but your bedroom would open out to a section of patio with a couple of padded chairs and a little table... romantic lighting... glass of wine...

Put your money into the patio for now, and maybe line the yard with some ligustrum. They thrive on neglect and grow quite large, and will give your yard a cozy, landscaped feeling with very little effort. Putting them all around the edge will cost a little but they are seriously reliable. Prune them twice a year, maybe. We didn't even have a sprinkler system or anything and ours grew nicely.

Third priority is probably a tree or two.

Fourth priority, down the road, start putting in some flower or vegetable beds. Fun for you and the offspring to work on.

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