Sunday, September 30, 2012

Terrace Space Planning

Today I will show the class how I designed my little pocket terrace, and transformed a sad small space into a cozy retreat for doing
 nothin'.
When I first bought my condo, this is what the terrace looked like.....
This is the view from the master bedroom, before I changed the sliding door to a window.
I pulled out all the existing shrubbery and replaced it with greenery that would do a better job of defining and screening the space.
Now that I've replanted, I can't see the houses behind me.
I can pretend I live all alone
 on a
 secluded estate!!!!!
True to form.....
I had a better before shot, which I can't find.....
Here's a shot I just tried to take out my bedroom window from the same angle and location.....
 I know, I know....
What amazing camera work.
Look!!!!!
Betsy doesn't wash her windows!!!!!!!!!
So, I pulled out everything except the Japanese maple in the corner.
Then I fixed the traffic flow problems.
With 2 sliding doors opening onto the little space, 
furniture arrangement was problematic.
Yeah, Yeah, I know.....
 most folks love the idea of doors opening from the master bedroom onto a terrace.
However.....
I want my home invaders to have to work a little harder to get at me.
Now
they need to climb up and over the window sill.

I lined the space with emerald arborvitae
They make a terrific hedge material.
They have a compact growth structure, 
so are less apt to be damaged by snow.
They don't need a lot of pruning, just once every year or so.
In the picture below, you can see how they looked the first year I had them planted.
They have now grown together to form a solid wall of green.
This is a really good screening material you guys.

Before my folks bought the unit next to mine, I had the sofa set with its back to the fence.
Here's a picture shot through the screen door.
I was too lazy to get up and open the door.
You should just be happy that I have the energy to tap my dainty fingers on these here computer keys.....
Then my folks moved in, and I had a gate cut into the fence separating the two terraces.
SO I HAD TO MOVE MY FURNITURE FOR MY FAMILY!!!!!
When I bought the place, the bluestones covered more of the area, leaving smaller flower beds and more hard surface.
so I had the foundation beds and the perimeter planting beds enlarged to 5 feet deep.
I also had the bed cut into the terrace for my black iron dog.
Bringing more green scape into the space makes a big difference.
If you have too much hard surface, it acts as a heat sink, and creates a very warm and uncomfortable space in the summer.
By enlarging the flower beds, I was able to plant my peonies and day lilies.
I chose ones that have a simple blossom, not a multi-petal rain catcher that causes the blossoms to collapse over after a shower.
Look at how the arborvitae have grown up and together, completely blocking the view of my neighbors.
 Look at how the arborvitae have grown together,
completely blocking a view of my parents!!!!!
I love my arborvitae.
They are my friends.
They love me too.

Latah, Gatah
Photobucket

9 comments:

The Quintessential Magpie said...

This is just too cute. It really is like an outdoor living room, Betsy, a series of rooms, actually. And I love the way you cut the space for your little dog. I also like the way you've created vistas.

You have the perfect collection of plants and flowers, heights and colors and fun outdoor furniture and accents. As my husband said after seeing your bungalow in PB, she really knows her stuff.

I'm glad to know that about the paver stones creating lots of heat in the summer. That's an issue in Florida, as you know, and I had considered doing sometthing with square stones, edged in some sort of border grass or moss. Might rethink my choices.

This really is like going to design class. THANKS!

XO,

Sheila

Debra @ Common Ground said...

This is such a wonderful private space.Love the intimate feeling. We have a deck, that the world can see me every time I go out in my pj's. I'm so over it!

Sharing Shadymont said...

Love this space. Cozy privacy!

Shirley@Housepitality Designs said...

You have created such a calm and serene space that invites anyone to feel like they are in a little piece of paradise!

Anne Boykin said...

Hi Betsy, You've got a lovely patio & it is obvious that your arborvitae love you! Great style.

jayne said...

You've created an intimate oasis, lovely.

Vicki said...

This is SO appealing! Love the point about making home invaders work harder (my computer seems to be opening your blog fine now, btw)

Martha said...

I love arborvitae too but my neighbors have told me the street is too dark now. I say to bad because my street has become like Martha's Vineyard or Nantucket on a Saturday afternoon. I live in upstate NY in the wine country. We are the New California wine country and EVERYBODY walks or drives by our homes and peeks in. I have lots of privacy with the aeborvitae. Great post Betsy!

scone said...

I love arborvitae. So do the deer. :(

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