Wednesday, May 18, 2016

THE HOUSE: Landscaping ideas

When it comes to the landscaping of the yard of the house, the only thing we are sure on is that we will eventually put a small swimming pool in when we can afford it. It was in the floorplan. It is already approved. I just don't think I have the budget or the time (summer is hot!!!!) to try to put it in as a DIY project for myself. But we have to do it eventually. In the summers in Oman, a pool really is the only way kids can play outside.

I know that I want a pool that is longer rather than wider. I want to be able to do short laps myself. I also want it rather shallow, so that drowning risk is almost non-existent for kids 5 and up. I know my husband finds this concept to be boring, i.e. he wanted a slide, but we'll buy a beach volleyball and water badminton kit so that a long pool still has some recreational value for the boys. But let's face it, mama and the kids are the ones who will really be killing time with a pool....

I also know that I want it edged--- like with an area one can use as a bench. I am thinking to use stone for this, and for lining the sides of the pool, from the area we are in. Kind of like the more rustic raised garden bed pictured below (maybe only tiling the bottom):
Raised edges are important to me, because I also want to do some kind of paving with real stone or pavers so the kids can do laps with small bikes and carts a bit in the yard (while they are still too young to do so on the roads). Raised edges (lined with pavers) also help to keep the pool cleaner). I know I am going to use a little grass and lots of gravel in the yard.
The pool also has to be pretty, so I like the idea of recessed edges for large pots on the corners. It has to be pressed far to the back of the farthest wall in the yard, for privacy, so no one can see in the pool. To make that pretty, I don't know, maybe someday we'll do some sort of arch decor work, with a small decorative fountain behind? And plant ornamental palm trees or cyprus to the sides of it, or something? I dunno. The fountain won't be a working one, but I'll use it as a planter.
Like, not the style of fountains pictured above, and certainly not the same planting, but that's the concept I have so far. I know that I am going to go for a combination of natural stone pavers and gravel, with a lot of lavender and rosemary edging, with a bit of boxwood hedging. Natural stone I'll collect from wadis, gravel I'll buy, and lavender I'll have to start from seeds (ahhhhhh!!!!!). I realized I like mostly white and green gardens with touches of purple, at least in European gardens that can survive Oman. So, boxwood, lavender, a few bushes of white roses, and white begonias, jasmine, white bougainvilla... that's what I mostly have to work with that can deal with this heat. I will do a lot of manicured but simple potted greens. Kids of course, want a patch of grass somewhere (I hate maintenancing grass but we'll see what survives.
 Also, we need a shaded seating area. I think I might go rustic. I am not sure yet.
So plants we have decided on so far besides lavender?:

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