Hi, I am new here, having just found this site since I subscribe to Fine Gardening. I have never been a part of this type of forum before, so I hope I can figure this out and find responses if there are any!
We moved to NE Oklahoma in the summer of 2010 and are in a neighborhood where none of the houses have much landscaping yet. From our backyard, we can see almost all the way down the street over the tops of neighbors' fences. The nieighbors behind and diagonally behind us are a little higher, so that we have the feeling they can see right over the fence to where we are.
I have been busily reading books about garden design and am trying to come up with a plan for the yard that will make us happy. So far I have a patio extention planned to enlarge the current 9x19 concrete slab off the back door that will be made of pavers and consist of two circular areas, one 10', slightly to the left, for a fire (not built in) with a half-circle seating wall, and the other 14', slightly to the right, possibly with a pergola over it. Originally, I thought I wanted opposing seating walls around opposite quarters (if that makes sense) under the pergola, but have determined that they will be out of range of our budget for this first phase.
Does anyone have any favorite design books to recommend? I want to create spaces in the garden that incorporate the elements I have been reading about since starting research for this project: mystery, pathways, focal points, privacy and screening, blurring the boundaries to make the space seem larger etc. There are *no* features from neighboring properties that we can incorporate at all. Not a tree, not a bush, nothing at all. Currently we have a space that is about 36-38 feet from the back wall of the house to the cedar privacy fence belonging to our neighbor. The back (east) fence is about 87 feet long with our side fence (south) running at a 45 degree angle for 15 feet before heading down the south side at 90 degrees to the back fence, with a total yard width of not quite 100 feet. It is mostly flat with only a slight slope east toward the back fence. The overall impression is empty (wall to wall dormant bermuda grass at the moment) and boxlike and boring. It is just like every other yard in the neighborhood...
The contractor who is putting in the patio (hope to sign a contract tomorrow) assures me that I will have a multitude of new ideas and fresh inspriation once the patio is started and I can see where it is really going. I want to ponder my options and come up with some more ideas before that though and hope that some creative soul will have some thoughts for me here.
Once I am back on my laptop, I can post pics of the yard and can try to figure out how to scan in the plan that I have made for the patio. Would that help?
Otherwise, I would just love to have any feedback at all since the rest of my family is not nearly as excited about the intricacies of this project as I am.