Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Best Dimensions for A Gravel Patio

Perhaps my little stories about gardening should be set within proper context, of their owners.  Every garden designed demands honoring its site, architecture of the home, and lives of the owners.  More than the mundane of plants liked, features wanted or where the main views from inside the house are, well designed gardens must travel with the owner's hopes & dreams, salve arrows & defeats, enrich beyond expectation.  And more.
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Last week, I went to an unexpected new client.  Friend of a client's garden I was at, she phoned & laughingly told my client she should bring me to her house when done, if I had time.  We did.
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Miss Unexpected owns an unexpected home.  Divorced/working, children, she rented a home as a base while looking for the 'perfect' new home.  Her landlord called, the rental house was being sold.  One child was very ill, she had zero time/energy to move again.  She bought the rental.
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Interiors mostly renovated, the landscape ripe for its turn.  A modest home, a covered/screened porch had been added at some point.  Not cheaply made, alas, poorly designed.  If a group of psychiatrists needs a setting to guarantee depression for all who enter, for purposes of testing new methods of healing, this is the space.
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Trying hard to salvage, at minimum, the roof, I could not.  Best plan for the existing screened porch, dumpster in the driveway, & hauled off.
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Once children are thru high-school Miss Unexpected will be moving to acreage she was raised on, and build a home.  Providing me a timeline & budget.  No matter the budget, one must live beautifully each day, life is not the end point, it's all the days leading there.    
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Gravel.  Beautiful, easy labor, cost effective.
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A kitchen door, solely, opens onto the new gravel terrace.  I added another door in her family room, now, a window.  Better flow, more use.  Game changer for how they live in the house, and entertain.

courtyard

Pic from here.

Miss Unexpected has a slight slope in her backyard, stones, as below, must be used to edge the gravel, and ease of leveling the space.
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Pinning purely for those egg chairs - I love them, althought hey would need a big squashy pillow inside..
Pic from here.
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Minimum size for a patio terrace, 12' x 18'.  Less than this, don't bother, it will hardly be used, too cramped.
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We measured & set flags for her new gravel terrace, and I added a metal shed roof over 1/2 of the new space.  Ceiling fans/chandeliers, of course.
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Cost.  Amazingly, with stones/gravel delivered, she can do the labor herself.  She plans to, not to save money, she grew up on a farm and thrives upon the activity.
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Further away from the house, I put in a gravel terrace with a stone fire ring, and Adirondack chairs. Mom, her kids, dogs, friends who come over and that hunk of a man she's dating, have a new playground.
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Garden design with life story included, Mary Poppins completed her mission, off to another home/garden.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO Tara

4 comments:

LPC said...

Wonderful thinking. I love that first photo.

penelopebianchi said...

This is brilliant beyond!!

What an amazing scheme! I hope you are writing a book!

And I hope you flew away with your umbrella!!

XXOO

You are so wonderful! What a delightful and informative post!!

Penelope

The Have-More Daughter said...

Beautiful resolution, MaryTara
"If a group of psychiatrists needs a setting to guarantee depression for all who enter, for purposes of testing new methods of healing, this is the space." Descriptive as Ms. O"Connor. This feels so voyeuristic, but I want to know what made it so. I learn best from visual opposites.

Tara Dillard said...

Have-More Daughter....the porch was terrible, I did not get a picture. I should be glad of that ugly porch, it led the homeowner to hire me ! She's already had a carpenter prepare a bid. XOT