Tuesday, April 12, 2011

need your help with landscape design!

greetings blogland! i call on you today for helping with a critical decision. you've seen the tiered garden here, here, and here. the original plans call for a bench in front of the box, but we can't get started on the bench until we figure out what we want to do with the patio area.

we'd like to extend the living space into the lawn, and just can't decide what types of pavers we want to use. the space in front of the tiered planter measures 12' across and we'd like to extend about 18' towards the back yard.

the upper patio is the old parking pad, thus concrete. it's been painted & we're currently pressure washing to remove the chipping paint. i'm thinking of staining it afterward. i tell you this because whatever we lay in the current grass area below will need to be cohesive with the upper patio and "flow" aesthetically.

from the original listing photo
then the lower area we're working on. the bench will go in front of the planter. the new patio area will extend from the base of the planter & stairs for about 15-18 feet, running along the house on the right and the fence on the left.

at the edge of the house, the backyard opens up like this:

we plan to put some beds around the edges of the yard, maybe a new [read: taller] privacy fence.

  1. provide extra seating/entertaining space for 2 club chairs, 1 chaise, and a side table (plus the bench). we've already bought the furniture.
  2. help with water run-off into the basement
  3. be a clean design
  4. use inexpensive materials that will live up to full afternoon sun elements & all-season weather (i knew folks once who used some fancy slate in their outdoor walkways THAT COULD NOT GET WET WITHOUT DISCOLORING. luckily, they had a staff who would literally wipe it down anytime it rained. did i mention this was on the gulf coast, ocean front? beautiful, yes. sensible, not so much.) i don't have a wipe-down staff, so this is not an option.

here are some ideas we like...


i like the larger square pavers, at least 20" square. i'm thinking of a tighter pattern nearest the bench, slowly expanding as the lawn opens up.

are we nuts to want grass between the pavers? is that a maintenance nightmare? anyone have any experience with this?

do you like tighter spaces, or larger spaces between the pavers?

also, what should we grow between the pavers? i've heard dwarf mondo grass as used here, but it seems kinda bushy.

or blue star creeper like this, which according to the Pike's Nursery sales flyer "spreads to form a low, dense mat. Tiny sky blue flowers emerge in late spring and last until early fall." that sounds nice, right?

or this scotch moss as suggested when i used the handy tool at stepables.com

or this miniature brass button groundcover from stepables.com?

decisions, decisions, decisions.

please help!!! 

we need to figure out the pattern AND the materials, so all input very very very welcomed.


  1. First off - can you please add photos of your backyard so we outtatowners can get a feel for the space? :)

    I have pavers with no grass between and I dislike it. Mainly, what grows between are weeds requiring constant maintenance. If you are able to get your grass or groundcover thick enough between the pavers, it would choke out most weeds.

    I'd say choose the larger flat pavers over the <8" rounded ones, just a personal choice. I have the small ones, and they are pretty but if they were separated they'd be hard to walk over.

    Watch for the groundcover like clover that produces little burrs, we have it in TX and our pup is covered in them during most seasons, so avoid that for sure.

    You guys get a lot of rain, so I'm thinking grass would stay pretty without watering too much, right? If not, you may want to opt for a groundcover that needs less watering for both economic and eco-friendly reasons.

    Skies the limit, can't wait to see what you come up with!

  2. thanks cara. i posted some pics of the yard as-is. not great photos since there hasn't been much to take photos of...YET!

  3. increasing the impervious surfaces in your yard reduces groundwater recharge. it probably leads to puddles and flooding too, but that's just a guess.
    be sure to use pavers that permit water to move through them get to the soil.

  4. I LOVE the look of the large pavers. Where can you find them???

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