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In the last article I showed a lawn in the process of becoming a garden room. What I left out was the design concept behind that approach. As you can see in this image (before1) the outdoor living area was fenced off


 Before - a fence separated the larger lawn area from the patio area.

from a large expanse of lawn and I had to wonder, why? Here was all this space devoted to lawn but hardly seen and not at all utilized and enjoyed. The patio area felt confined while just beyond was all this yard beckoning to be used and entered yet no access had been provided.


After - Openings in the fence unite the two areas.

I suggested we take out portions of the fence and open the patio area to the lawn to create a flow between the two, eliminating the sense of restriction and providing direct and easy access to all that wide open greenness. My friends brightened to the concept.

But this would not be enough because there was no privacy in the lawn area. It belonged as much to the neighborhood as to the property owners. I wanted to enclose it in a natural way, allowing glimpses in and out yet giving my friends the privacy and peacefulness that was rightfully theirs.


After connecting the patio area to the lawn area -  They created beds around the primary planting areas.

As the next images show, the lawn is now planted with all the trees and some of the shrubs it is to have. When the beds are made around the rest of the trees and the shrub planting is completed there will be complete privacy and an attractive, large lawn gracefully planted with a variety of trees, shrubs and perennials, visible to both my friends and the neighborhood. The result is that a large lawn remains, (beloved of many men), yet it is an attractive space with a lot of gardening potential as well.


 The beginning of a shrub and perennial grouping around the trees


 More shrubs to come on both sides of the tree groupings



 Shrub groupings between and around the trees
will complete the scene and provide complete privacy.


There are other ways of making large lawns into inviting and livable spaces, as this next landscape renovation demonstrates.


 Before - a large, downward sloping lawn.

This back yard property was sloped downward from the house, (the house is behind me in this picture), to the rear of the property in the distance where there was a small, unattractive pond. For me, all slopes except for those in rural landscapes or that aren't used, should always be terraced. Terracing makes them more serviceable, more attractive and has the effect of expanding the space. That was one of the techniques employed here, as you can just see in this after image.


 A low wall traverses the lawn in an arc, expanding the space.

In addition, the far pond was rebuilt, a patio was added nearby and another water feature and patio were created in the upper side area of the lawn.


 The upper side yard seen from the lower side, before the wall, patio and upper pond were built. Note the large Ash tree.


 The upper side yard seen from the lower middle. The wall winds through the garden and wraps around the Ash tree.

Many homeowners, particularly in suburban and rural areas seem not to realize that their properties contain immeasurable, undeveloped possibilities for visual beauty and for pleasurable outdoor living. If the yard is large enough, why not have a patio or two. How about a couple of ponds, maybe with a little bird pool and a tiny stream as well?

In this case, the lower pond was rebuilt and suitably planted to make it more inviting. As this area is a bit remote from the house, it becomes a destination area, so to accommodate longer visits to this lower portion of the property, a patio was also added here, expanding the possibilities for outdoor enjoyment.

 The lower pation and pond area becomes a destination, inviting outdoor exploration.

The upper area off the deck and the side yard adjacent to it were also developed in like fashion. A pond was built and off it another patio was added beneath the Ash tree. To further enhance the pleasures of this area, a bird pool was built with its own recirculating system and a stream created which flows from the bird pool to the lower pond.


 The upper pond with a patio behind and a stream to the upper left flowing from the bird pool


 A circular patio beneath the Ash


The bird pool flows into a stream, down to the pond. 



  The stream flowing from the bird pool


 Koi romp in the refreshing waters.


 A large lawn with a deck, two patios, two ponds, a bird pool and a stream

As these two landscape renovation projects demonstrate, a large lawn can be retained within a captivating and enjoyable landscape accommodating a variety of uses for pleasurable outdoor living. In the next issue we will explore other ways of overcoming limitations in the creation of beautiful landscapes.