Good fences make good neighborsÂ -Â and private gardens, too!
Although blessed with a good amount of rain this past winter in San Diego, more and more people, in their desire to continue to conserve water, are deciding to retire the lawn in their front yard and are wondering how to landscape this area. (See also my post about lawn removalÂ atÂ The Lawn Needs to Go, But What Then?)Â
WhenÂ I am asked to help with this, I inquire about the basic purpose: Is this for security?Â Noise screening?Â Or is it for a use that the homeownerÂ until now didn’t have room for? I can think of many uses for this front yard:Â A play area with a tree-house or swing; a spaâ€“refuge; a plant collectorâ€™s garden; Â an outdoor breakfast nook; a quiet retreat for reading; a vegetable gardenâ€¦
Boundaries are very useful to denote the special character of this outdoor â€œroomâ€, and it can be achieved in different ways: Lacey shrubs like a sort of â€œsee-throughâ€ curtain are sometimes all thatâ€™s needed, or one or several trellis lattices, placed between the use area and the public. If more privacy and seclusion are preferred, I design a wall, a fence, or a hedge, or a combination of man-made and natural elements.
On the visits in my clientsâ€™ communities I started to notice quite a few imaginative enclosures that I recorded withÂ photos.Â Based either on the preference of privacy that in my case has its roots in the memory of a romantic, hedge-enclosed childhood garden, or on the need for greater safety as in some urban and suburban neighborhoods, more and more front yards are being enclosed, and people are investing their creativity, talent and playfulness into original and attractive fences and gates.Â
By now I have assembled a very nice collection of examples that Iâ€™d like to share here with you â€“ Â itâ€™s a cool reference library where you, too, will perhaps find ideas for your own project. In the next post,Â Iâ€™ll beÂ sharing more photos with you.Â Â