Hello Permies folk. This is my first post. I've finally reached a point in my life where I can dedicate some time to building my garden. To this point everything has been in buckets and very temporary. I have a small lot in Southwest Michigan, in town. This area is a microclimate due to the lake. Lots of wince and fruit grown here. My future plan includes a small pond elevated across the back of the property so that I have a south facing berm on which to plant and (more importantly) rainwater storage as our municipal water is both awful and expensive. In order to avoid the prying eyes of the whine brigade in town I will be erecting a fence around the back yard.
The problem at hand is this: I've been told by the city ordinance person that each house requires two parking spaces now and that my current parking area does not count. I need to add a parking space BEFORE I put up my fence. Please see the attached image.
The way I see it is I can do one of two things. Either add a few feet of width to the parallel parking area already there, or add a whole new parking pad next to the garage. Please note the shadows. The LEFT of that image is due west. It was taken between ten and noon judging by the shadows. Probably high summer. RED is existing parking area. GREEN is a new single car pad. PINK is merely expanding the parallel parking area to maintain as much sun area as possible. You can see my tiny garage there just to the left of the green area. Most of the yard gets full sun from 9 am. or so.
Any feedback is appreciated. This will certainly impact my planting later. THanks in advance for your help.
Could you put a pad under the big tree at the upper right of the picture? That could leave more sunny spaces where your green box is.
If you go with a pad (perpendicular to the street) could you put an arbor over it and grow grapes or hardy kiwi on it?
Alternately, if it's a parking spot that you will never use, what about a strip of pavers for the two tires of the car with a garden around them (maybe shorter plants)?
Barring any interesting ideas that this generates, I'd vote for the wider strip next to the street. Then your fence will be longer and give you a nice South facing microclimate. Don't forget to grow things on the fence.
"Hundreds of years from now it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in or the type of car I drove... But the world may be different because I did something so bafflingly crazy that it becomes a tourist destination"
posted 8 months ago
Thanks Mike! I've actually spent a lot of time reading here but never joined. I've been dreaming about my future food forest for years now.
My plan (daydream) for years has been to build a raised bed across the back of the property so that I could have a berm to plant on, or terraces. I agree with the long strip but I wanted to pose the question as I'm not a skilled gardener and there might have been a value to having west side shadow.
I will post a little more of my idea later when I have time. (business meetings!)
To your point - I wanted to reserve the shady corner of the yard for one end of a long water feature to promote some convection and keep a varied environment for any polyculture that developed.
Thanks so much for you help Mike!
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