We got the drawings from the landscape designer this week for the backyard on our new house. I was pretty amazed. Considering Peter and I designed and put in the whole landscaping at our current house, it was such a relief to have someone else do all the heavy lifting of the design work and physical labor. The fact that the builder was throwing this package in was a major factor in selling us on the house. The backyard is a quarter of an acre, about twice the size of what we have right now, and I can't imagine doing all that work myself.
Unlike the first landscaper we worked with (and subsequently got fired), this guy was amazing. It was so much fun to sit down with him with the prelimary sketch I'd made and have him refine it and make suggestions that made the backyard exactly what I wanted. Reminded me a lot of the critique/editing process in writing. Two large grass areas and a play area surround the central patio with a built-in barbeque and bar. The trees are situated to block the neighbors' houses but not our view of the mountains. And the plants were specificially chosen to be rolling palette of color.
It may seem like I'm putting a lot of importance on the backyard. One of the reasons we moved to Arizona was to have a yard. In California, we never would have been able to afford a house with an actual yard. But with two kids who have a LOT of energy and gorgeous weather nine months out of the year here, the backyard is an extension of our house. It's where we'll spend most of our time. And if the kids are happy out there running around, I can sit on my porch swing and get some writing done. Of course as Malia will probably tell you, Charlie, the dumb dog, thinks he belongs on the porch swing. I really don't like dog hair in my laptop.
Come Thanksgiving, the whole yard should be done. I can't wait.