As you may already know, Joe and I built a cedar and copper pipe trellis on the former horse stall where my son parks his car. Initially, we were going to build a porch off the front of the studio so that Maui could hang out in a confined area in a shady location. However, we decided it would be best to place the porch at the back of the building, since it gets unbearably hot in the summer… so much so, you can’t touch the knob on the back door. This will help cool the building and provide a more welcoming space than the uninhabitable scorched location it is currently.
I had a very good idea of the layout of the pavers before Bruce (who also laid the RV pavers) came to discuss the project.
He sketched out a plan based on my design ideas. I added the color and landscape suggestions. The driveway faces north, the porch faces south, and the bottom of the illustration is in the east, which gets great morning sun.
This changed slightly from my original idea. The first idea Bruce suggested, that I loved, was to put a semi-circle step up to the sliding glass doors on the north side of the studio.
The other huge change, that I didn’t think I would approve, is removal of the two dying oak trees and the massive concrete slab that used to be the wash rack for the horses. The trees had tie downs, and the slab had heavy mats that we used frequently to groom the horses. I hate killing anything, but I have been having a lot of trees die and fall on top of things causing damage. Not sure why, but many of the oaks are hollowing out and dropping ginormous branches. The next photo is not the most attractive picture of the property, but it will serve to show what a massive difference the renovation will make. If you would have seen this area 10 years ago, you would think it was a big improvement… except that there would have been horses and a corral area with a water barrel filling the left side of this picture.
Two oaks in front of my house died. One, Joe took down that dropped a massive limb on his car (which I warned him about parking under). The other is leaning so badly, it looks as if it will fall on the swing in my moon garden. I was hoping it would gracefully, and gently, drop its branches without killing all of the plants underneath. Also, in the process, the decaying roots left soft spots under my front paver walkway that started to sink and shift.
When Bruce made the suggestion to drop the oaks, my first reaction was sentimental value of the trees and the horse rack. I told him I can’t kill anything, even a dying tree (other than lubbers, mosquitoes, roaches and fire ants!). Then he pointed to the big branch on top of the carport protecting my sons beloved car… and called it a widow-maker. He said if it was his decision he would remove them, make a nice patio, and allow room for a fresh planting of new, smaller trees. He also let me know that the roots underneath would die and shift the driveway here, so getting rid of them before starting the project made the most sense. I can’t believe I agreed!
Super excited to initiate this project. My son will be happy that he doesn’t have to park in sugar sand, or have rain splash dirt up onto his car. And I will be glad to clean up this area, have a real set of stairs into the studio, and give Dakota a small patio in the back for outdoor relaxation. Of course, I also love the idea of getting to redesign the landscape around the new hardscaping.
Well, like all vendors working with supply shortages, the estimated time to start the project is 8-10 weeks. That puts us into February, but it will be well worth the wait!
I know it’s awhile away but wanted to share the design process with you.
Here are my photoshop renderings of my vision (of grandeur!):