While the landscape is not quite part of the house, there are many features outside, around the house that will improve our day to day life and the house itself. From the outdoor kitchen and kitchen garden to the garden pond, all the elements including make a more functional home.
We cook all meals in the outdoor kitchen 5 months of the year. We use this area as another room, an it is very well used. I posted all about the outdoor kitchen build that we have now, so I won’t really get into that, but the new one will be much nicer. There will be beds surrounding the entire kitchen garden where we can grow annual vegetables and herbs that we would need constant access to. Herbs that you cook with often, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, or anything else that you might throw into your daily meals. Then it is nice and close to you while you are already in the kitchen cooking something up.
The South side of the house will have many windows to let in the winter sun. And the summer sun when we don’t want the extra heat. I can build a raised bed in front of the house, far enough away to deter critters and moisture near the house, with a beautiful trellis where I can grow vining beans. This provides shade for the house, passive cooling, and a food source. You could do something similar with any vines or something like corn that can grow tall for shade.
There will be an attached woodshed, potentilly a quick, bushcraft woodshed, but something so close to the house that I don’t need boots on to get wood. Having to trudge for the snow for wood is just not what I want to do this winter. I would love to have a more solid woodshed eventually, but I doubt we will have time to build it this year.
While we are talking about storgare. We are going to need a root cellar. The plan we have in mind is to rent a backhoe to dig the foundation and to loosen a big pile of clay for the build. If we have a spot in mind for the rootcellar ahead of time, then we can harvest some clay from the spot the cellar will go anyway. Again, I’m not sure we will have time to build a root cellar, but we may be able to put an old freezer into the hole we dig and then have some form of a root cellar. The point is that we dig the hole while we have the machine for the house anyway.
Another plan ahead item would be a garden pond. This may end up as a natural swimming pool, or a duck pond. Nobody knows at this point. But again, planning ahead, I can harvest clay from the spot where I want the pond to eventually be. How do I know there will be clay where I want a pond? you may ask. My whole property is clay. I can guess, right now without even looking, that there is a 95% chance or higher that there will be clay on even given spot on the property. Especially up higher on the hill where the house will be.
The last part of the landscaping we will be working on while building will be the giant hugelkultur beds. These beds will eventually form a living fence around the property. Where we are building the mini cordwood house is close enough to the property line that we can easily drag all the rotten wood from the site and building scraps right to the beds. The part of the fence closest to the house will be a long grape arbor that can open up near the house. The grape vines are already growing, along with gooseberries and currants on the far end of what will be the chain of arbors. These vines will eventually form some wind break once they grow in.
I’m sure there will be much more to our landscaping around the house, but we won’t really know the details until the house is going up and I can look at what there is around the new spot. I can look now, but it changes things so much when you put up a house and can look at what is left around it. There is a large, open area behind the house we may use for gardening. There is a swampy area that may become a blueberry bog. There is huge potential for treehouses….
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