Privacy on a Busy Street
...and the back yard as well
The homeowners did an extensive renovation of the inside of the house, and wanted to radically change the front yard and driveway as well. The house had a circular driveway - a convenience since its on a busy street. But the new floor plan called for large windows at the front. The homeowner said: "I don't want to see cars parked outside my windows!". Since almost the whole front yard was driveway, and it sloped somewhat toward the house, I knew I would have to use a raised bed for planting so that there could be decent soil and proper drainage. The raised bed would also help with privacy. The design: Keep both curb cuts, but eliminate the middle of the circular driveway. Build a raised bed extending from the "driveway side" (in front of the garage) to the "parking pad side" (a single space by the other curb cut). Maintain access to the front door from both directions with connecting paths. Include planting beds next to the house (the close-in view out the windows), and, for the raised bed, screening evergreens layered with shrubs, small trees, perennials and ornamental grasses to create privacy from the busy street.
They also needed access to their back yard and back deck from the L side of the garage - all that was there was a retaining wall. After the carpenter built a set of steps, we built a small terrace next to the wall for the grill, then steps and terraces leading to the back deck. We also planted an "orchard" within a perennial garden off the back deck, using fruit trees that are compatible with our cold-period (shorter than ever in this climate of change).