Due to the fact that we live in the desert here in SLC, I have turned my view of my back yard to a design that allows better water conservation. Not only that, but my hounds have ruined the appearance of a once pristine back lawn which was here when I originally purchased this house nine years ago.
Me on poop patrol duty in the weed-filled and bare spotted backyard. Garage in the background. In case you are not aware, boy dogs will ruin your shrubs if they lift their legs whilst relieving themselves and girl dogs will ruin the lawn while squatting. (Garage in the background. See that project here.)
Phase I area for a xeriscape design (from the Greek word: dry, so dry landscape design).
Removal of weeds and grass in preparation for application of weed control cloth and installation of steel edging to separate and define the plant areas. The lawn sprinkler heads on the left side of the walkway have been capped off so the area will no longer receive water.
Steel edging is installed and gravel placed over the weed cloth. We decided to also include a steel sculpture mounted on a round stepping stone in the center of a circle. The circle is defined by more steel edging material and filled with found river rocks. This area acts as a deterrent/barrier to male dogs who would otherwise love to "create a fire hydrant" of the sculpture! We also thought the addition of the circle was a good way to break up the vastness of the graveled area and create a focal point.
Approach from the front yard into the back
View of the sculpture and towards the back of the house and new ground-level wood deck for the BBQ grille. The steel pendulum sculpture was created by local steel worker Lee Fordham.
View from the kitchen window overlooking the BBQ deck and newly graveled ground.
The next step in the process of xeriscaping this area, will be changing out the lawn and shrub sprinkler heads to drip components. This will focus water onto individual plants instead of generally spraying of the larger area. This method gives the plants a good soaking, which uses less water, in the long run, and does not waste water by spraying areas that do not require water. Sprinkling/spraying as an irrigation method also wastes water through evaporation, especially in this dry desert climate we have.