Where would you put an archway in this yard?

trovesoftrilliums(5)June 4, 2011

Last year DH surprised me with a garden by tilling up a big rectangle in our yard. I did promptly fill it up, but it looks like a mini-field plopped down in our yard. This year I wanted to try out a lot of plants (new to zone 5) and I hope to get the garden looking a bit more ah, integrated into our yard next year. An archway/arbor is on my wish list (purely so I can grow climbers up each side) with short fence portions or just shrubs on each side, but I cannot decide where it would fit in nicely.

My first thought was off the corner of the garage, perpendicular to the house. We could have a small curved path way from the edge of the driveway that leads under the archway. But, this would create more shade right up against the house, and I was thinking of putting some hardy kiwis up that side of the house (it is the east side of our house). Also, the flower bed to the east of the house comes toward the road quite a bit, so an archway so far back might seem odd.

DH does not want an archway parallel to the driveway unless there is a good three feet between the edge of the driveway and the archway. He wants us to be able to park in the driveway and not have to worry about plants right next to the driveway. He knows this because last year I planted a patch of cosmos next to the driveway. :) Anyways, here are some pictures of the side of our house. You are looking north into a small shady area. The front is all sunny.

I do have this idea of a clematis covered archway fairly close to the driveway, but I wonder if instead I should try to work in an archway leading into the garden. Then I'd want some kind of seating area, and more shrubs. Or go back to having it perpendicular to the house, and then have a semi-circle of shrubs, etc, to tie into the existing rectangle of flowers.

Or, I am thinking of having something at an angle. Too many options!

Any thoughts on what you would do?

By the way, for the long term, we figure the leaning box elders will be taken out. Also, I planted some small shrubs in front of the trees to help give the garden a more gradual transition from woods to flowers.

Also you can see my erratic grass fertilizing. >.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'd definitely put it on an angle kind of partway between the house and garden. Then bring the bed in to meet it and add a bed between the arch and the house....LOL

    Bookmark   June 4, 2011 at 9:32PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The first thing I see in your pictures is the utility box and
the poles. The reason I see this is that we have a subdivision under development (we're still developers even
though our own building business is gone) My husband mows
the still for sale part of the subdivision and there are
utility boxes and connection pipes that make mowing close
very difficult. We are making plantings at each one using
ornamental grasses, dwarf evergreens and groundcover we bought at Lowe's ridiculously low sale last Oct. Is there some way you could have a path to the garden incorporating some kind of softening planting around the utility box?

I wrote all this before I saw your mention of the utility box in your very last sentence!!

When we've finished the utility islands I hope to have either an evergreen or a large ornamental grass in each one
probably accompanied by a daylily, a tall sedum like Autumn
Joy or Munsted red and winter creeper ground cover that won't be damaged if mowed on the edge occasionally.
It looks as if you have a nice wide property with good
room for gardening.


    Bookmark   June 4, 2011 at 10:06PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Yea, the box does really stand out!

It doesn't seem so dominant normally. I was trying to get a picture from the sidewalk toward the area where I'd like the arbor. I do want to plant around it though, and you have good suggestions. I keep on trying to tell myself to get what I have under control before I go mulching/killing any more grass.

One of my big problems too is edging. Right now my edging is shovel edged. But, it doesn't seem to be going to well when we mow--the mulch tends to get scattered around, and often bits of cardboard sometimes get caught in the mower. For the beds DH tilled the areas, then we raked, but on the edges I put down cardboard and then we mulched over the edges. Well, I actually still have a lot of mulching to do. :)

I was just out there looking and thinking maybe diagonal IS the way to go! Well, for now I am waiting to stumble upon a great arch way, and then I figure I can drag it around the yard until it is in a spot where I like it. :)

    Bookmark   June 4, 2011 at 10:18PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Merilia(8 PNW)

I love the spikes of foxgloves you've got!

What if you put the arch at the west side of your mini-field, and built a somewhat winding path from the driveway to the archway? I'm thinking maybe stepping stones or a paved path, which you could optionally grow flowers along, as a way to make the garden seem less like an island. If you're feeling ambitious, you could put a fork in the path that also leads to the side entrance of your house.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2011 at 1:44AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
plantmaven(8b/9a TX)

Using the lasagna method, I made gardens and left a grass path wide enough to be easily mowed. If you would like a couple pictures let me know. You saw one where the arbor is located.

BTW... I posted pictures of the cardinal youngsters on that Arbor thread

    Bookmark   June 5, 2011 at 12:00PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I like the idea of a seating area! Either in a shady area or maybe under a small arbor. An arch would be beautiful, as you enter the garden...nice idea about a path from the driveway to the garden.

Is this your only garden area? Do you want to grow any edibles? Maybe incorporating some veggies and herbs in with the flowers? I get a little carried away with my garden spaces sometimes (LOL) but I'd be tempted to make the whole area a garden, with seating, arches, add some fruit and maybe enclose the whole thing with a small fence. Just an idea :)

    Bookmark   June 5, 2011 at 1:58PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I would put the archway as an entry to your flower garden (over the stone slab, in front of it or on either side of it) with fencing or shrubbery surrounding the garden, following the curves of the beds.

But as soon as I saw your first photo showing the side of the house, I thought of a pergola there.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2011 at 4:26PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

What about a path meadering around the house, from the driveway, with a path with a trellis/arbor at the start, going to you nice bed and a little sitting area in between, but closer to the house(going towards the back of the house). And maybe a 4ft trellis (feature) facing the yard,behing the utility box, so you don't have to see it when you are sitting and enjoying your yard. I made a homemade arbor for my yard, it is 4ft x5ftx6ft tall, I have enought room to plant a nice climbing rose and clematis. It was cheaper than buying a small new one, and I think it might be the way for you to go as you have a nice big house, and it would ty in nice.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2011 at 4:33PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I had forgotten that in one of my garden musings I thought how nice a pergola would be behind the garage. That window is to a little used office room. I'd love to put in double doors there so I have easier access to the side yard. Then a small patio with a pergola would be perfect! I guess that's all part of the long term plan though. :D Then I'd have room for TWO arches! Actually, it is sooo bizarrely windy here I am worried about an arbor. We'd probably have to set it in cement...which means no changing my mind once it is in place...something I am well known for doing.

I do like to put in edibles too. The flower garden area has a tart cherry (the tree closest to the house) a carmine jewel cherry shrub, a quince, gooseberry, 3 aronias, 4 blueberries, some chard, lettuce, eggplant and a tomato for good measure. And some beans. I helped out at a local garden this morning where they are putting in an mini-orchard and I was thinking how it was about the same area as our front yard...hmmmm...I could do the same thing in our yard! But I do love flowers too, so I'd have to definitely make room for plenty of color. Also my son has an herb garden right next to the house--chives, parsley, oregano and sage. Looks like some dill is sprouting too from last year.

Calmity, what did you make your arbor out of?

Thanks for all the comments. I love hearing ideas. :)

    Bookmark   June 5, 2011 at 5:48PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hey! I am a real scrounger and scrounged a bunch of 2x4's/2x3's(fir) and had a bit of scrap cedar that was here when we bought the place so I built this trellis for a rose and clematis(with sign), and the "Secret Garden" Entrance, which is a trellis with built in GOG window and some scrounged lattice I spraypainted green,and the arbor in the middle(pic does not show the other side of on the right) but I have 6 clematises and 2 climbing roses on this(all together it is about 22ft long. Just gotta add a few finishing touches(birdhouse and wood toppers and one final pc of plastic lattice and it will be done. Simple design , cheap to make, and actually easy to make too! Plain Jane and it suits me!ha!

    Bookmark   June 5, 2011 at 6:56PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks so much for posting the pictures. Very striking contrast between the pile of wood and your finished project. WEll done!

Beautiful background scenery in your pictures too. just looks heavenly.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2011 at 12:16PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Great yard! Lots of potential. The new bed you added last year looks great.

I'm not sure I'd start with planning where to put the arch. Maybe you've already done this....but I'd start with considering where people walk to get places in the yard, and how you want to use the space.

Do you or others walk from your driveway to the door in the picture? Is that your backdoor? If so you might consider a path there. Do you want any kind of sitting area, or maybe a little kichen/herb garden outside that door?

Everyone has different priorities, but I'd be interested in creating some privacy between the street and your nice backyard. I'd want to add some trees and shrubs to create a sense of enclosure (and disguise the utilities). Are there any views from inside the house to want to block or maximize?

Once you get your yard mentally (or better yet on paper) divided into "zones" a logical or desirable place for the arbor will likely suggest itself.

My inclination would be to put a small ornamental tree or shrub near the corner of your garage (anchoring the bed you've place there) with a curving path leading around it to the back door. YOu could continue sweeping that bed in curve toward the street that encompasses the utility box and then goes across the front of your lot.

Just some ideas!


    Bookmark   June 6, 2011 at 2:22PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Forum changed ALOT
OMGosh, this whole forum completely changed! WHen did...
Early rose-Gingersnap
I was trying to post this a couple of weeks ago but...
Hard Pruning Tree Wisteria
I need some advice about hard pruning from the knowledgeable...
Weekend Trivia - Saturday
Good Saturday morning, Cottagers! Spring is definitely...
midnightsmum (Z4, ON)
Hardiness zone
How do I place my hardiness zone next to my name? ...
Sponsored Products
Handmade Tamales - ASSORTED
$92.00 | Horchow
Area Rug: Giant Fern Espresso 3' 3" x 5' 3"
Home Depot
Mini Halo Ice Pendant by Quorum International
$73.00 | Lumens
Dyson DC56 Wood Nourish Wipes
Radius Single WiFi Pendant
70" x 42" Red Cedar Traditional Picnic Table with (2) 70" Backed Benches
Toilet Supply Kit
Signature Hardware
Indoor Purple Shag Area Rug
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™