The design of a residential property in Lower Hutt was completed by its owner over a two-year period, some of which was done prior to the build of a new house and then later as the hard landscaping features were developed.
The placement of the house on the property and the position of the lounge and dining room plays a main part in the design as the outdoor living area is an extension of those indoor areas. For example, the BBQ will be best placed near to the outdoor exit doorway to the patio.
First, the driveway off the street is placed so that it is easiest to drive and park vehicles. For our property, we have four parking spaces for two vehicles, a trailer and a cub camper. The next thing to consider is the main path from the street and from the parked vehicles to the main entrance. Our design included a curved path to soften the harsh straight lines from the driveway to the side of the house. Another path parallel to the house came from the parked car area. This left a triangular area with two straight sides and the longer side curving- in which a garden was placed. A Meyer lemon tree was planted as the feature tree – with a height to give some privacy from the front bedroom from the street but not enough to block sunlight or some view.
The following spring two sheds were built. As there is no garage, we needed space for tools and implements, so a garden shed was built first, on the south boundary followed by a larger shed used as a tool shed and family outdoor things like chilli bins and heat lamps.
The deck will be built in three stages. Soon after moving in, a deck was built that joined two entrances, that is, a board walk from the front door to the main deck out from the ranch slider. The next stage we built a deck out the back between the existing main deck and the shed. This will provide a great living area as it will be at a lower level and out of the wind to some extent. The view overlooks the garden and therefore more private than the higher level deck. The third deck will be the board walk down the south side of the house and past the back door.
The lawn was designed to be curved rather than rectangular, encompassed by the garden on the three sides. Looking out from the ranch slider doorway, the apple tree garden is to the left with the compost in the corner. The four espalier pear trees are a metre in from the back fence, placed on a wire and post support system. They are actually placed on the boundary. Two raised beds were positioned in front of the trees and three down the right south-side boundary fence. This comes to the clothesline which is well position on the side fence to get plenty of sun and breeze to dry clothes, while not being too far from the back door.