I live in the DFW area, Zone 7B.
100+ and hot/sunny almost everyday in the summer, could be dry when it's a drought, but when it rains it downpours.
Doesn't usually get below 40-50s in the winter except for an occasion cold front.
Firstly, I know I'm quite ambitious and I know it'll take months if not a few years to probably transform my current yard into what I have in the plan, but just wanted to know if what I want is feasible or if you would suggest another plan, or if I should move some part of my plan to another part, or any tips/ideas you may have.
Purple letter notes on the garden plan:
A: I want to remove some/most of the hedges that are here and shrink the lawn back and build more flower beds. I am thinking of growing some native shrubs/flowers in place. The small shrubs next to the door I may or may not replace, not sure yet. I may also grow some native plants around the root of the tree.
B: I may replace this shrub.
C: I want to replace this huge bush/hedge eventually but not sure what to replace it with. There's an AC unit, electric meter, hose and water pipe, and other things that I'd like to hide behind.
D: There's a little crevice that kitchen windows open to, maybe grow some kind of shady flowers?
E: There's a shrub here as well. We'd like to cut it down and put our two rain barrels in its place, maybe also grow some plants next to rain barrels? Not sure yet.
F: Two green circles, we want to grow vines on the pergola. We're thinking grapes but does anyone have any other choices? Something that can provide shade in the hot summer and edible is a plus, and if it has nice flowers that's also a plus. (Pergola picture: http://i.imgur.com/DLwcEh.jpg)
G and H: Raised beds to grow vegetables. Was thinking about bending a cattle panel between them as a long trellis. Not sure if should build another one instead of fruit tree 4.
I: Chicken coop.
J: Our current shed.
K: Perennial fruits - blackberries, strawberries, raspberries? Not sure if I should do raised bed here or grow it in the ground. Thought about blueberry but it needs acidic soil so maybe either grow it in another place (in front instead of hedge?) or in a pot.
L: Paths - not sure what to make it out of. We'd like something that looks good and practical, but also cheap. Thought about either using gravel or mulch. Or maybe big stepping stones? Any other ideas? We also want to eventually replace our thick st augustine lawn with some kind of groundcover but not sure what yet.
M: I put a fruit tree here, but I am not sure if I want to put a fruit tree here or not. I may instead have another raised bed, a fish pond, or a flower garden? Not sure yet, any suggestions?
N: The red dot is where the faucet is currently. I'd like to do drip to the raised beds G and H but not sure if I should do it through the rain barrels on the left or if I should put a hose around the deck to reach it?
O: Not sure if you see it, but there's two circles where I'd like the compost bins to be. We already have one, made from a plastic trash container from Lowes with holes punched into it, but maybe we might get another one. (We also just got a worm bin as well for inside)
P: The circle and rectangle are the previous owner's stone birdbath and bench. They're extremely heavy and we're not sure if we want to keep it or get rid of it, not sure yet.
Red fruit tree numbers 1-5.
We want to grow fruit trees but we're not sure where to put which tree right now. The ones we are thinking about growing are:
Right now my tentative plans-
This fall/Winter - remove hedges/shrubs/rosebushes/maybe the tree?, build chicken coop, build raised beds, plant fruit trees, sow native seeds
Next spring - order chicks, plant fruit bushes, sow vegetable seeds, hook up rain barrels, plant grape vines
Next year sometime - work on garden paths, replace lawn with groundcover
If anyone has any tips/ideas, it'll be great. Thanks!