Now that the snow has now melted from our backyard (yes, shockingly), it's time to plan the backyard overhaul that we didn't get to last summer.
So my musts are:
1. Privacy from kids, dogs, cats and neighbours who can see into our backyard if they are outside on their decks. We are surrounded, and I can't stand it. Ever since our crappy cabana blew down during one particularly nasty summer storm in July 2011, we haven't bothered to put up a new one. So we are done with that nonsense, and I have to now find a way to create 'visually appealing' privacy around the hot tub without resorting to severe tactics.
2. Minimal maintenance. No mowing the lawn as the backyard has been a breeding ground for weeds in the past. We are done with that too. I need easy to maintain plants, perennials and trees that won't shed and won't damage the fence. (I live in a Zone 2B). Our yard gets mostly full sun during the day.
3. Use our planters for growing vegetables and herbs. Easy enough.
4. Get rid of the grass and perhaps use concrete blocks for a path and use something else for ground cover.
5. Have built-in seating installed on our deck or find furniture that can hold up to severe climate changes (we are talking hot summers to hail to snow and -40C in winter, wind, etc) as we don't have room in the garage to store bulky patio furniture.
6. Find a good stain for our deck that we don't have to reapply every year!
7. Implement some nooks and crannies to make the yard interesting and inviting.
8. Nothing fussy or cutesy.
Our backyard isn't that big, most of the space is taken up with the higher/lower deck/hot-tub. One of my co-workers suggested going to Dutch Growers (a local gardening centre here) to see if they will draw up a plan for the yard and make suggestions. My sister, who is more gardening-inclined than I am (and who is also planning to establish her backyard this year) suggested installing grape vines, which are apparently quite hardy and will stand up to severe varying weather conditions.
Pinterest has some good finds, I like these ideas:
Any yard & gardening successes for you?