When we were looking for a house on an acreage, it seemed that all our searches led to either renovations needed in the house or landscaping needed on the property (or both). When we opted for the Hellicar house, we chose a long-term landscaping project.
The first thing that we did upon moving in was consult a landscape designer. Cassandra from Paradise Plants came for an hour walk-around, listening to our wish-list and giving her first impressions. Our main wish is to have a big deer-fenced area for all our vegetable beds and fruit trees. We voiced our concerns about the drainage issues on the front of the property. We are also keen on letting most of the acreage go back to nature – with tall trees giving canopy to thick undergrowth.
A few weeks later, she gave us her landscape drawings. She warned that these plans are long-term, as in a 5-year plan in order to plant it all, but at least it is a starting point for us.
PROPERTY OVERVIEW – This shows mostly the big trees that we will plant in the naked front area to give some privacy to the house. Once we have some canopy, the undergrowth will be encouraged to go back to natural rainforest, with huckleberries, salal, mahonia, and whatever else chooses to grow here. We are not keen on the hedging she proposes on either side of the driveway but we are super keen to plant a bunch of giant sequoias and weeping willows!
HOUSE AREA – This area will hopefully give me my fill of flower beds and weeding. There is quite a complex legend that goes with this (let me know if you want the list) but mostly it consists of shade trees and deer-resistant shrubs and perennials. One change we will make to this drawing is the proposed car port. We will eventually build a car port/garage but it will be attached to the workshop instead. In that place, I am keen to build a small fenced area to hide the compost bin, the yard bags and extra patio chairs. We also want to make some small garden beds on either side of the entrance steps.
VEGGIE GARDEN – This area is on the sunny south side of the workshop which we will protect from deer with 9 ft fencing. Hopefully, it will grow enough beans, peas, kale, chard, broccoli, tomatoes, etc. to keep us fed. There is a greenhouse (P) and some fruit trees too.
Cassandra left us with the name of a company who can help us solve the drainage issues, re-grading and excavation. We contacted Dallas at Oasis Hydroseeding and he was super keen on redesigning the land. Once he heard that we didn’t want 5 acres of golf-course grass, he was full of ideas on how to make the land usable and beautiful. His plans are much more vague than Cassandra’s since he uses a lot of terminology that we don’t yet understand but it is obvious that he has done this before and knows what he is doing.
During his two scouting visits, the land was super wet and soggy. He figured that he won’t be able to bring his large machinery in until late June, since they will just get bogged down in the muck.
His main proposal is to (1) install drainage under the garden area (2) re-grade the area around the house and add 4″ of topsoil (3) hydro-seed the area immediately around the house with grass (4) install drainage from the driveway to the pond and re-grade part of the front area.
I feel much better about this project now that it has been cut into workable chunks.