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2013 #5: Planning Ideas, Take II or 200...

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Blog entry by MsDebbieP posted 01-06-2013 04:33 AM 4366 reads 0 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 4: Grey Water -- planning ahead Part 5 of 2013 series Part 6: Planning: The Cottage Garden »

Jan. 6/12

Inspired by Mark's blog on landscaping software I decided to once again try out a program to help create a vision for my property.

I had purchased a program years ago but, whether it was me or the program, it just wasn’t working as I had hoped. But, being a visual person, I thought I’d give it another try and headed to the Apple site to see what available. I ended up investing in the Landscape Design program and have been having fun (and getting frustrated by) the possibilities.

If I was a perfectionist I would start over and get the specific measurements for my property and my house. Fortunately I can deal with the inaccuracies and the adjustments needed to make things “fit”.

Here is an aerial view of the property “as it is” except with some areas filled in with plants, envisioning the possibilities.

At the bottom is the “Carolinian Forest” in the making. Although I could have made the trees full-size in the program, it was hard to see what was lying underneath so I’ve kept them mid-size.

My long-term goal has always been to reduce the amount of grass to just pathways. As you can see in the image I have a long way to go. Some of the garden plots shown here have not been created yet and most are not as wide or as filled in as the vision. I have a lot of work to do and a lot of plants to grow!

Doesn’t this look lovely?
Here is the area in front of the house—the grape arbor on the left and my “outside the box” window and wisteria arbor. Maybe some day it will actually look like this!

Benefits of the Program
1. Inspiration. Often, when I look out at my yard I see chaos and clutter and sometimes even think about turning it all back into a blank slate of green grass. By seeing the possibilities I am inspired to continue on with my vision. I just have to be patient.
2. Clarifying my likes/dislikes. I think I’ve said this before but I have a vision, I just don’t know what it is! I just keep planting stuff here and there and hoping that it turns out right in the end. Although at times it seems completely random I also know that I “know” when something isn’t what/where I want it. So there is a vision inside this head somewhere. The landscaping program is helping to draw it out. For example, I love the grape arbor area and the little arbor Rick and I made last year. Now I want to add more structures to the yard, turning the area into something beyond an orchard.
Click for details

You can see the new arbor here on the right (image below), fitting in nicely and visually connecting with the grape arbor. Of course, this is more of an areal view and not one that you’d see from walking level. But I think the connectedness is still felt even if you can’t see the bigger picture at one time.

What I also see in the above picture is the raised bed that I wanted and now seems, well, out of place. Perhaps I’ll remove the boards, spread out the soil and plant another cluster of dwarf fruit trees.

Do you see any other improvements I can make? Suggestions? Options? Devil’s Advocate comments? I’d love your input.

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)



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MsDebbieP

14694 posts in 3880 days
hardiness zone 5b

gardening is a journey, a journey of learning how to connect with and support Mother Nature

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14 comments so far

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MsDebbieP

14694 posts in 3880 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 01-06-2013 06:17 AM

here is the view WITHOUT the raised bed …

And here is another view of my front yard… the first arbor is where my “outside the box” window is located

Click for details

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

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Iris43

3811 posts in 3510 days
hardiness zone 5a

posted 01-06-2013 07:11 AM

You have a vision worth working for, MsDeb. I’ve enjoyed following your journey to this point. :)

-- 'To plant a Garden is to believe in Tomorrow'

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MsDebbieP

14694 posts in 3880 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 01-06-2013 07:12 AM

just imagine … a GT Get-together and the lawn did indeed look like this!! oh how proud I’d be :D

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

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MsDebbieP

14694 posts in 3880 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 01-06-2013 07:34 AM

Now that I have this visual for me to work with, I now have a place (or two or three) to start.
One goal is to continue building my Carolinian Forest. The top-story trees are there as well as some of the understory trees. I’m going to do a little research to see what other “understory” trees I can include that hopefully will produce fruit or nuts. .. and are native to the area. That’s not asking much, is it???
Then I will have to find where they can be planted that will work within the plan, ensuring I have room for the paths.

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

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Mark

28 posts in 2481 days
hardiness zone 7a

posted 01-06-2013 11:21 AM

Debbie -

Wow—This is AWESOME!!

+ First off, I absolutely LOVE your property – so much going on there, and the 3D renderings, to me, are the most critical – as I, like yourself, am a visual person by nature. When I look at the pictures above, one of my first thoughts was just how great everything must smell in the spring!

+ Secondly – to your points above, and as I mention in my post and video as well – it’s absolutely about the inspiration and the “dry run” potential for me too. Planting an 8-foot red maple to see if I like how it looks is much more work that popping one into a ‘software rendering’ of my backyard.

+ And the third use I’ve found over and over again – this gives me financial “insurance” as well. Some of the costs associated with major construction projects are insane, of course. Modeling those first in software gives me much, much more confidence that I’m doing the right thing. One specific example – I designed my entire backyard deck with the help of such software before even speaking to one contractor. I don’t want them to tell me what they’re going to do – I much prefer showing them exactly what I want!

And I have to say – it never explicitly occurred to me how good the software renderings make my lawn look. But yes—that’s another very nice “feature” of such applications… ;-)

Here’s another article I wrote on visualization of home and landscape design projects – just a few additional tips some of you might find of interest. But since this is an entire design community, very likely nothing you don’t already all know and do all the time.

It is so cool that you knocked this right out – looks fantastic!!

-- Mark, Jersey Shore, http://www.all-about-the-house.com

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MsDebbieP

14694 posts in 3880 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 01-06-2013 02:04 PM

Thanks, Mark.

I hope that some day the property actually looks like that. The fruit trees are planted, the arbors are up…. but it certainly doesn’t look like the pictures – yet.
Crossing my fingers. and “not so green thumbs”.

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

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sharad

1671 posts in 3097 days
hardiness zone 11

posted 01-06-2013 04:43 PM

You have a very ambicious plan. Wish you a good success.

Sharad

-- Bagwan-- “If someone feels that they had never made a mistake in their life, then it means they have never tried a new thing in their life”.-Albert Einstein

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MsDebbieP

14694 posts in 3880 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 01-06-2013 05:02 PM

thanks.
Much of it is done already; just need to let it grow. .. and fill in the empty spaces

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

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OttoH

140 posts in 2919 days
hardiness zone 9

posted 01-07-2013 06:10 PM

Wow Debbie, that is a great plan. I have been pondering a software package to help in designing my lot and I think you have convinced me to do so.

-- My green thumb came only as a result of the mistakes I made while learning to see things from the plant's point of view. ~H. Fred Ale

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MsDebbieP

14694 posts in 3880 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 01-07-2013 06:13 PM

if yo do, I’d love to see your plans … I’m always looking for ideas :)

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

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Radicalfarmergal

4312 posts in 3143 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 01-10-2013 06:12 AM

I too like the side garden without the raised bed too. It makes a more gradual edge, going from low to high, in a way that seems much more natural.

Was it a lot of work to enter all your plants? Did you have to do lots of measuring or did you just estimate distances? Did you have any plants that the software didn’t recognize? I am just a little curious about how the program works….whether the result is worth the time and energy you needed to put all the data into the program in the first place. I have well over 100 kinds of different plants and the idea of entering it all into a program seems overwhelming.

-- "...I have nothing against authorities as such; I am only in favor of putting a question mark after just about everything they say." Ruth Stout

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MsDebbieP

14694 posts in 3880 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 01-10-2013 07:47 AM

For the “rough version” I just created the garden plots and then filled them with plants, dragging items onto the grip by visual choice. Because at this point I’m really looking at “vision” and not specifics I wasn’t concerned about the types of plants. My goal was to “see” the layout of my property, placement of pathways, garden plots, arbors etc.

In the picture above: I can do a search of specific items and then slot them in wherever I want to put them. Again, if there are multiples of the same plant, it’s just a matter of creating a garden plot, inserting one of the plants and then choose “fill”. When you fill, you can choose how far apart the plants are spaced.

Hope that helps.

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

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Radicalfarmergal

4312 posts in 3143 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 01-10-2013 08:20 AM

That does make it a little clearer, Debbie, thank you. How many hours do you estimate you needed to lay out all the beds and fill them in with your existing plants? I have all my gardens drawn on paper so that I can see how everything fits together. The problem is that when I make major changes, I need to redraw my plans. I find drawing relaxing and pleasant, so I don’t really mind, but with a computer, changes might be easier and faster to make and visualize…. food for thought.

-- "...I have nothing against authorities as such; I am only in favor of putting a question mark after just about everything they say." Ruth Stout

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MsDebbieP

14694 posts in 3880 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 01-10-2013 08:23 AM

I think I had the rough draft done Saturday morning but played with it throughout the day.

I, too, love the paper and pen method but it sure is nice to go digital.

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

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