View Along Walkway

Existing (Figure 14-36, left)

As one enters the backyard and begins to walk toward the back of the house, the en­tire view is seen as wide open. There isn’t any sense of spatial separation between the backyard and the entertaining area. In addition, there is nothing more than lawn and ground cover throughout this entire view. Visually, the screened porch is the focal point of this view. The design challenge is to create a visually attractive view through the yard, along the walk, and into a recognizable entertaining space.

Proposed (Figure 14-36, right) The walkway might be aligned to focus on an orna­mental urn and vertical plant at the end of the view. A small hedge would help define the walkway as an entrance to the entertaining area...


Garage Wall

Existing (Figure 14-35, left) The large blank wall of the garage contributes little or no interest to the character of the yard. This wall will seem even more blank when the garage addition increases by another 10 to 12 feet in length. When faced with situa­tions like this, it is suggested that these types of walls be designed with as much con­cern and creativity as interior walls. Other windows, patterns, and textures can be added to provide a visual attractiveness to the design.

Proposed (Figure 14-35, right) It is suggested that a window, similar to the existing one, be located in the garage addition. This will help with additional light in the garage as well as help break up the larger wall into smaller lengths. A wall trellis with vines can be located between two of the windows...


View into Backyard

Existing (Figure 14-34, left) On entering the backyard, it is obvious that the neighbor’s two-story house is the most dominant visual element. Both its massive­ness and its architectural character are like visual magnets. The second-story screened porch is positioned to have a direct view into the Meleca property. Other than the three large trees on site, there is little to attract the interest of the visitor. Design at­tention should focus on masking the view to the neighbor’s house and establishing other areas of interest.

Proposed (Figure 14-34, right) Several things can be done to mediate the existing problems. By positioning a large tree with a substantial crown of foliage in a strategic location, the view to the neighbor’s house can be greatly diminished...


Property-Line Buffer

Existing (Figure 14-32, left) This view from the back part of the driveway looking to­ward the front of the house shows nothing more than ground cover and a 3-foot chain – link fence. Views into the neighbors’ yard are wide open along the entire driveway. Just as important are the weak views from inside the windows on this side of the house. Blinds and drapes are usually closed, for there isn’t anything to block views into the neighbor’s side yard and backyard.

Proposed (Figure 14-32, right) To provide a more pleasant edge to the driveway, it is im­portant to solve different problems. Removing the chain-link fence and constructing a taller wall or fence will certainly help with keeping views within the space...


Side Driveway Entrance

Existing (Figure 14-30, left) This type of space can be a very difficult one to design. The wall and window patterns of the house and the addition create odd areas of open wall space. The window well and minimal planting strip make for a difficult place to provide attractive planting arrangements and still provide light to the basement. The side entry is small and confined by the raised stone strips. In addition, there doesn’t seem to be anything that accents or highlights this entry.

Proposed (Figure 14-30, right) In tight spaces like this, it is important to explore the walls as places for design change. Using a larger stone area at the side door along with an ornamental urn and vertical planting will accent this entry. Using

lower plants in front of the window well will allow light f...


Front Entry Approach

Existing (Figure 14-28, left) The front entry, complete with white trim, decorative door, and overhead lamp, makes this entrance easy to see from the street. But, the ac­tual entry space and access steps to it are very much hidden from view. It is not until the visitor is immediately adjacent to the steps that the view becomes more open and inviting. The large shrub and hedges create a fairly tight and enclosed space. The own­ers wish to have a more open and inviting approach to their front door.

Proposed (Figure 14-28, right) Removing the existing shrubs and hedges will open up the front entry space. To provide a sense of space, it is recommended that a low formal hedge be established that highlights a few ornamental urns...




The day-to-day practice of residential landscape design typically involves the develop­ment of plans, sections, and elevations for use as design tools as well as sales tools. All of these drawing types are two-dimensional in nature. Plans depict aspects of the de­sign involving length and width. Sections and elevations illustrate parts of the design regarding length or width and height. Although these are standard drawing types and prove to be necessary documents, they are not capable of portraying the three­dimensional quality of the proposed design. A different drawing type that proves to be a great design and visual sales tool is the perspective sketch...



IES International, a very successful computer software company, has recently pur­chased 12 condominiums within the Sand Pebble Condominium Development, which includes a total of 72 condominiums. IES has created a relationship with a nearby major university in developing a program that hires visiting computer special­ists from around the world. Each of these individuals has a two-year contract and a dual appointment with the university and the computer software company. They and their families will occupy these 12 condominiums.

These condominiums are in a great location and are fairly close to the university. In addition, the site is in an area that has seen some rapid increases in real estate ap­preciation...


Alternative #1: Residence of Priscilla and Kirk Englewood

Priscilla and Kirk Englewood have recently purchased this small lot on the shores of Kelly’s Island in Lake Erie. After raising three children and assisting them in complet­ing college, they decided to step into their next dream. They are setting the stage to retire from their current engineering positions, build this cottage by the water, and put their efforts into a new home-based company.

The Englewoods are very friendly, but very private people. They enjoy planting and maintaining their lavish annual and perennial gardens at their current residence, and look forward to doing the same at their new cottage. They love to walk and play tennis, and to cook. Being a rather organized and formal couple, they envision a for­mal landscape to accent their small but formal house...



This project illustrates three alternative design solutions for a front yard. Unlike the previous two examples, this project varies the client and design program, yet the site remains unchanged. The base map for this project is shown in Figure 14-16. The front of the house faces southeast with a direct view to the water. A small 50-foot­wide beach is located approximately 200 feet from their property. There will be a de­tached garage at the rear of the property to house two cars, a small boat, and a golf cart. An existing concrete driveway, in good condition, is located along the southern part of the property. It extends to the backyard and connects to the garage. The eleva­tion from the sidewalk to the ground near the front door changes by approximately 3 feet...