Designing for Details

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Zone 1

In the gathering area on the south side of the home, the existing sidewalk is expanded into a patio, providing seating for gatherings and family dinners. An herb spiral, built using existing stones, sits in full sun near the garage door for easy access to processing herbs for winter storage. A clothesline extends from the garage door to trees across the yard, making line drying from the washing machine in the garage easy – the new patio seating provides a table for folding dry clothes from the line. The wide-open play space remains but a play structure has been added at the west side of the lawn and a tree house in the woods between the septic clean out area of the lawn and the fire pit. A hugelkultur keyhole garden, using birch and cottonwood logs from the property, expands by one bed each year as the family’s needs grow,  forming a mandala pattern. Water in a dug-out culvert comes down the hill to Along side the patio basil and tomato plants grow in a cold frame. A raised bed of strawberries, easy for the kids to access, is watered by a rain barrel at the gutter’s downspout.

Zone 2

Though the chickens are visited daily, the elements in zone 2 need less frequent maintenance. A greenhouse is added to the south end of the chicken coop for starting plants and adding warmth to the coop. Small shrubs and bushes are planted close to the coop, giving the chickens food and shelter from heat and predators. A compost pile comprised of grass cuttings and leaves (so as to not attract bears) gives the chickens another forage area and provides material for sheet mulch garden beds. At the end of the driveway, next to the existing raspberry patch, a broad bed provides growing space for potatoes and squash.

Zone 3

A path of spruce wood mulch creates a welcoming path to the remodeled fire pit to the south of the house. The existing arbor frames the path as kiwi vines climb it each growing season. A sitting wall built from stones on the property offers guests a place to relax year-round. To the north, three fruit tree guilds begin a food forest and offer privacy from the nearby neighbor.

Year one keyhole plan

Year one keyhole plan

 

Timeline (draft 7/25)

2013

  • Lay out cardboard for hugelkultur keyhole garden
  • Gather old birch and cottonwood logs for hugelkultur keyhole garden
  • Save “greens” and “browns” for sheet mulch
  • take down spruce trees by greenhouse
  • use wood chipper for spruce trees to create patch to fire pit
  • build a long, narrow raised bed for strawberries next to the house – use greens and browns for sheet mulch and plant plants leftover from hanging baskets
  • wire frame for gabion rock wall bench

2014

  • plant vegetables – remember to mulch during the season to retain water and keep out pests
  • install clothesline
  • extend sidewalk into patio
  • build greenhouse onto chicken coop
  • build cold frame next to strawberry bed
  • make and install rain barrels
  • add a second keyhole bed next to the first
  • consolidate wood piles to fire pit area
  • dig irrigation trench and swales in the slope

2015 and beyond

  • start seeds in the greenhouse
  • build herb spiral
  • continue adding keyhole beds as needed

 

Themes – notes and maps for the Hamms

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Flows the main activity is directly along the south side of the house this area is used daily for playing and for games during extended family gatherings both side of the driveway are used - the south side is used by the Hamms and their guests and the north side is used by the Slocombes, with access to the carport and entry to the attached apartment there is foot traffic to the existing shed, in-progress shed (for storage for the Slocombes), and firepit

Flows

  • the main activity is directly along the south side of the house
  • this area is used daily for playing and for games during extended family gatherings
  • both sides of the driveway are used – the south side is used by the Hamms and their guests and the north side is used by the Slocombes, with access to the carport and entry to the attached apartment
  • there is foot traffic to the existing shed, in-progress shed (for storage for the Slocombes), and firepit

the main part of the yard is south facing due to the slope, the light is low during the winter during the summer there is a little shade on the southernmost areas the areas closest to the house and on the other side (north) of the house get more sun and unthaw earlier wind in the summer is light and from the south area is populated but heavily wooded, potential fire danger though woods are a bit back from the house water accumulates in the rocky area near the fire pit and two sink drains were installed by the previous homeowner

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Climate

  • the main part of the yard is south facing
  • due to the slope, the light is low during the winter
  • during the summer there is a little shade on the southernmost areas
  • the areas closest to the house and on the other side (north) of the house get more sun and unthaw earlier
  • wind in the summer is light and from the south
  • area is populated but heavily wooded, potential fire danger though woods are a bit back from the house
  • water accumulates in the rocky area near the fire pit and two sink drains were installed by the previous homeowner

Landforms steep slope on the far south portion of the property, leading up to Patches Avenue the rest of the property is fairly level Water septic cleanout is to the east and west of the house the well is located in the northeast corner of the property puddling of water occurs on the south side of the property, below the slope and continuing out toward the firepit and onto the main lawn the neighbor to the north sprays chemicals on every dandelion, right up to the property line downspouts are located on the house, the main one being on the southwest back corner there are two large water collection tanks next to the shed that were surplus and not currently being used

Landforms

  • steep slope on the far south portion of the property, leading up to Patches Avenue
  • Google Earth images show that the home was built in an old riverbed
  • the rest of the property is fairly level

Water

  • septic cleanout is to the east and west of the house
  • the well is located in the northeast corner of the property
  • puddling of water occurs on the south side of the property, below the slope and continuing out toward the firepit and onto the main lawn
  • the neighbor to the north sprays chemicals on every dandelion, right up to the property line
  • downspouts are located on the house, the main one being on the southwest back corner
  • there are two large water collection tanks next to the shed that were surplus and not currently being used

Vegetation and Wildlife corridors the chickens use the area immediately off the lawn (between the septic field and firepit) for foraging during the day the chickens also forage in-between the rows of raspberries and in the wooded area between the driveways moose are frequent visitors and have eaten some small crops out of the yard this summer bears are in the area the woods are primarily ferns, grasses, Devil’s Club, birch, spruce, and willow much of the lot is rocky, with rocks being found in the soil samples - the south part (firepit and sheds) of the lot is very rocky and undeveloped

Vegetation and Wildlife corridors

  • the chickens use the area immediately off the lawn (between the septic field and firepit) for foraging during the day
  • the chickens also forage in-between the rows of raspberries and in the wooded area between the driveways
  • moose are frequent visitors and have eaten some small crops out of the yard this summer
  • bears are in the area
  • the woods are primarily ferns, grasses, Devil’s Club, birch, spruce, and willow
  • much of the lot is rocky, with rocks being found in the soil samples – the south part (firepit and sheds) of the lot is very rocky and undeveloped

Legal issues chickens and other animals are allowed - the homeowners currently have 11 chickens, one or two of which may be roosters - roosters are allowed the previous owners had goats and that shed, attached to the carport, has been renovated into a chicken coop there is a 50 foot utility reservation/BLM road back from the street another 50 foot utility reservation/BLM road is the slope behind the shed

Legal issues

  • chickens and other animals are allowed – the homeowners currently have 11 chickens, one or two of which may be roosters – roosters are allowed
  • the previous owners had goats and that shed, attached to the carport, has been renovated into a chicken coop
  • there is a 50 foot utility reservation/BLM road back from the street
  • another 50 foot utility reservation/BLM road is the slope behind the shed

Buildings and Infrastructure home is two stories with an attached mother-in-law apartment, single-story future plans include adding on to the main home by building into the fenced yard, where some of the septic cleanout is currently located there is an attached (under the main part of the house) two car garage there is a three-car carport in the back of the main building a coop is attached to the carport and into the fenced yard - the people door of the coop faces south - there is a chicken door facing west there is a small deck off the back door into the fenced yard there is a small front porch on the front/east of the house there is a small deck for the apartment on the east side of the building - there are plans to build an arctic entry for the apartment in this space there is a large storage shed in the rocky area to the south of the house - a second storage shed is being built next to the current one

Buildings and Infrastructure

  • home is two stories with an attached mother-in-law apartment, single-story
  • future plans include adding on to the main home by building into the fenced yard, where some of the septic cleanout is currently located
  • there is an attached (under the main part of the house) two car garage
  • there is a three-car carport in the back of the main building
  • a coop is attached to the carport and into the fenced yard – the people door of the coop faces south – there is a chicken door facing west
  • there is a small deck off the back door into the fenced yard
  • there is a small front porch on the front/east of the house
  • there is a small deck for the apartment on the east side of the building – there are plans to build an arctic entry for the apartment in this space
  • there is a large storage shed in the rocky area to the south of the house – a second storage shed is being built next to the current one

Zones Lot #82 is 2.48 acres there is a 50 foot utility reservation/BLM road back from the street another 50 foot utility reservation/BLM road is the slope behind the shed the property line is 65.1’ from the NE corner of the main building  the property line is 207.8’ from the SW corner of the main building the street is 187.9’ from the SE corner of the main building raspberry area along the driveway has been used as a You-Pick and the former owner left the signs, collection baskets, etc.

Zones

  • Lot #82 is 2.48 acres
  • there is a 50 foot utility reservation/BLM road back from the street
  • another 50 foot utility reservation/BLM road is the slope behind the shed
  • the property line is 65.1’ from the NE corner of the main building
  • the property line is 207.8’ from the SW corner of the main building
  • the street is 187.9’ from the SE corner of the main building
  • raspberry area along the driveway has been used as a You-Pick and the former owner left the signs, collection baskets, etc.

Soil testing

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Two cup-sized soil samples were taken from the Hamm’s yard on July 9th from areas they are interested in developing.
The first is from the fenced yard, directly behind the house. Results show a Ph of 6, indicating acidic soil.
The second is from the side yard, close to the raspberries. Results show a ph of 6.5, slightly acidic.

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Beginning the design process

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A design begins to take place through conversation, observation, and survey completion. What patterns emerge in our goals, values, and project criteria?

My property provides the family with a fun gathering space for friends and relatives. The gardens are aesthetically pleasing and provide food for the family to eat in season and put up for consumption over the winter. The garden areas and animals are protected from predators but still provide easy access, becoming outdoor learning centers for children in the family, neighbors, and friends.

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