Anyone enjoy landscape design?


Gold Supporter
May 24, 2019
Fresno, CA
So everyone here is so great and seems to enjoy assisting with design work, I was hoping that there might be a few folks who love landscape design as well. Now that the pool is in we're trying to define the rest of the yard and I'm really struggling to get it to look right. I did all of the pool and patio design myself, and those straight lines were so much easier to work with. We need some curves in the lawn to break it up and they are proving to be a real challenge.

Aerial view of what we're working with:

The vision I came up with is sketched below. We eventually want it to be a dry creek to assist with drainage, but right now we just want to edge it out and mulch it over. As you can see, the curves just aren't working right, especially where the patio angles back to line up with the house.


We wanted to create two "islands" where we have existing trees and stumps. The one on top in the above picture would have our old gazebo with wisteria planted along it to make a shady spot next to the almond tree. That spot is already higher than the lawn as it is so it should make a good island.

The lower island is an old stump I wanted to design a butterfly fairy garden around. As you can see, the curves just aren't looking right. Current photos looking back form the fence towards the house and from the house looking towards the fence are below. We took some yellow rope to try to outline it this morning, but got frustrated because it just wasn't looking good and decided to seek the help of the internet.

I know I should be working in circles, and I've been playing around overlaying them over the sketch, but I just can't get them right. Anyone want to take a stab at it? It's like a curvilinear pool...just grass instead of water.




Bronze Supporter
Feb 27, 2018
Savannah, GA
I think if you smooth your curves out a little, it might work. How are you accessing the gazebo? You might want to rethink the wisteria. I don't know how it does in Fresno, but in the South it will quickly over grow and take over.


Gold Supporter
May 24, 2019
Fresno, CA
My son makes me a stepping stone every year for Mother's Day and they need a good home, so I was going to use those. When we eventually actually dig down to make a dry creek we'll add some large rocks as needed. In theory.

We actually want the wisteria to take over the gazebo, inspiration pictures below. It wasn't a nice gazebo, it was one of those covered ones where the cover only lasted two years, so now it's just a metal frame with no other purpose.


Updated vision, looking better....just gets really large there at one point by the bridge and the lower garden will be a weird shape. so maybe not an island and more of a peninsula backed by the dry creek.



Well-known member
Feb 25, 2011
South Jersey
FYI- In case you have a riding lawn mower.
Once I had a general idea of where I wanted my winding and curved beds to be in our yard. I then drove my lawn tractor around those areas and used the steering radius as a final layout. I now don't have any areas that my lawn mower cannot cut and I don't have to weed wack.
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Mod Squad
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LifeTime Supporter
Jul 16, 2012
Central MD
I'll give you my wisteria story. We have about a 12' x 22' heavy duty wood pergola. We planted two "Aunt Dee" wisteria plant on it in 1999. In time it became gorgeous and thick, with training. It was several feet thick on top. It was on top of a Trex deck with 1/8" gaps. Then the problems started. There are three types of debris (in large volumes) that falls from wisteria. Leaves, maybe not that big of a deal, but they were small enough to get stuck in our deck gaps. The branchlets the leaves grow on. They definitely got stuck in the gaps. And worst, the seeds. Their will be tons of seed pods (like pea pods) that break open and the seeds fall. The seeds grow really well in any soil they fall upon so you'll pull up seedlings from that day forward. The seeds are also poisonous to many animals (dogs & cats for sure). Wisteria We got our first dog in 2003 maybe. No problems for a while, then as the volume of seeds started to increase, and our dog developed an appetite for them or any type of edible thing for that matter, he would vomit the seeds. I tried to remove as many seed pods as possible before they popped open, but that was fruitless. Too many. Coincidentally or not, our dog died of stomach cancer at age 7.

So bottom line, they are beautiful, VERY messy and poisonous. Oh, and they are also heavy and strong while twining, so they could tear apart a lighter weight structure in time.
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