Family Needs a Private Backyard Landscaped in Portland
Kristen and Rob have lived in their home long enough to remember when privacy fences did not exist between the backyards. Rob specifically remembers the days when he felt like their backyard was much bigger because there were no definitive boundaries from tall wooden fences. Fast forward a couple decades and the situation has changed – it’s time to create a backyard that is a more private family hangout space.
Instantly Hide an Eyesore with a Landscape Privacy Screen
Goal number one is to create a privacy screen without the cost of replacing the entire fence. The neighbors window had a direct view into the family backyard and, more importantly, a new flood light that the neighbor installed was beaming into their backyard at all hours of the day and night.
Sometimes the solution to a privacy problem can be solved with plant material alone, but this one needed a quicker resolution. The client sketched out the tall wooden privacy screen that I happily incorporated into the design. See the photo below to see how much that helps! That is only the beginning of the solution, however. In order to truly feel like a private space, we must create layers.
Vines and Trees create Privacy and Shade
To create layers, we use plant material. This not only adds to the screening but it also creates something more beautiful for the eye to concentrate on instead of seeing the house. Look how the Japanese Maple in the foreground adds to the privacy and the layered plantings create a wonderful distraction.
The Japanese Maple, Acer palmatum, had to be just the right shape for the space. We purchased the tree as a single trunk with a high canopy. Over time, the tree will spread out to create a natural shade from the blasting afternoon sun. We discussed attaching a permanent structure to the garage to create that instant shade, but all parties agreed that in this case, the shade of a tree creates the type of atmosphere they want, even if they have to wait a couple years for it to bulk up.
Three climbing hydrangeas, Schizophragma hydrangeoides, will scramble up the back trellis. This is a dappled shade area, which is ideal for this plant. Unfortunately, climbing hydrangeas are not the fastest grower, but if you’ve ever seen a full grown one, you know it is worth the wait, and the clients thought so too.
Hardscapes create different “Garden Rooms”
This family backyard features two seating areas, aka “Garden Rooms”. The main dining area is poured concrete with a flagstone-style stamped pattern. The secondary seating area is crushed rock, installed to allow drainage. The secondary area is designed as the tween hangout – slightly set apart from the main area.
Drainage Solutions including a Rain Garden
As usual in Portland backyards, drainage is an important consideration. Luckily, the clients hired one of the best contractors for attention to detail – Donna Burdick of D&J Landscape Contractors. One disconnected downspout had to be moved, the crushed rock had to be installed correctly for extra drainage, and the poured concrete had to slope in just the right way to ensure the winter water moved away from the house.
Additionally, a small rain garden with a dry well captures the water from a small portion of the roof gutters.
Contact Us to Create Your Private Backyard Hangout
Are you ready to tackle your backyard to create privacy and a hangout for the whole family? Contact us today!