A Modern outdoor project
Our backyard looking west toward the pond and woods
A top view of the area just below our deck and to the west of our patio
Our backyard looking west from our side yard
A shot of pipe our friend recycled from a commercial construction site to use as our firepit
Today’s entry is going to be the first a series tracking the process and progress of my backyard landscape. Three years ago my wife and I built a modern, green friendly home on the edge of St. Paul’s east side. The following year we did what landscape work our budget would afford but that still left several areas unaddressed, especially along the back and side of our lot. The lot itself is an oddly shaped triangular piece boarded on the north by a hill and another neighborhood and on the east and south by pond and wetland preserve. Because of city setbacks our house is only a about 15 to 20 feet from the back of the lot where the hillside slopes up creating a long corridor along the back of the entire house and into our side yard that tucks neatly behind the pond. During the summer months when the surrounding trees are covered in leaves it’s hard to recognize that we’re located in the heart of a major metropolitan neighborhood. This sense of privacy is wonderful but right now the yard itself doesn’t feel as inviting as some of the other spaces around our home so we don’t utilize it as much we would like to. Additionally, because our house sits below the neighborhood to our north an most the land slopes towards the pond near our hose this often means there are drainage issues along the back of our yard—an issue we’d like to reconcile.
The Goal for our project will be to convert this long skinny corridor into a series of integrated, functioning yet private spaces. We’ll try and utilize a combination of traditional and non-traditional materials and solutions and integrate recycled materials like the steel pipe that a friend of ours rescued from the waste of a commercial job site to convert into a firepit for our home. Over the next few weeks we’ll track the project as explore sources of inspiration and then translate those into a concept and eventually a functioning space that we can enjoy for years to come (or at least until the mosquitos get really bad). We welcome readers comments questions and and feedback as we try and complete our modern landscape design project on a modest budget.