best-laid plans

The post-junk-removal planning period has required a lot of thinking and not a lot of doing. Nevertheless, there has been some progress: we have chosen a loose design, worked out some construction issues, and decided on a plan of action. Last weekend, we went to the Home Depot to check out decking materials - more on that later.

Tonight, I donned an old hat and toyed around in Photoshop. You see, I was an architecture student once upon a time. Those three semesters were pretty hellish, but I emerged with a working knowledge of the Adobe Suite and a couple rendering programs. What I threw together in the last 30 minutes is a testament to how much concern for detail I have lost in the past six years - and the fact that I had a very important beer softball event to attend earlier tonight. In fact, it is one of the silliest planning diagrams I have ever put together. Scale? Psh. Perspective? Optional. And you know what? I don't care. My days of torturous image manipulation are over.* These days, I aim for interpretative. Oh, but magnetic lasso? Still gives me major eyelid twitch.

So, here is what my backyard looked like yesterday afternoon.

You think it looks messy now, but consider yourself lucky that I didn't think to take a photograph from this angle before the junk men came. Somehow, we are still using the grill(s) and my housemate and some friends even managed to dine out there a few nights ago. At least I know the space will be used when all this is said and done.

And, here is what the plan is (click to enlarge - my layout won't allow anything bigger):

The green will be 12" raised beds, built with (hopefully cedar) 2"x4"s and topped with something wide enough to serve as a bench for entertaining and/or weeding. The brown will be decking, elevated 6-8" above the level of the existing dirt.

Originally, I had wanted to install raised beds in a U-shape covering three sides of the yard space. However, the yard is just under 14'x14', and I think that might be too much usable space gone. Dropping the beds from the left side of the photo will improve the movement flow, give us a little extra space, and allow for better flexibility in terms of where everything goes. At the moment, we will have a big grill, a big-ass rain barrel, a cafe table or two, chairs, and a number of potted plants to deal with.

As the construction gets going, I am sure there will be adjustments to this setup. Much of what we construct over the next few weeks will be determined by how usable the existing structural grid proves to be.

Anyway, coming up in the next post: ivy! Wha-at is it good for? Absolutely nothing!


*At least until the next time I decide to write an image-based research paper and try to format it in Microsoft Word. Shoot me.

No comments:

Post a Comment