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Post new topic   Reply to topic    Irish Gardeners Forum Home -> Hard landscaping in Ireland, Garden Features (Paths, Patios, Paving, Decking, Walls etc)

Something to separate the front of the house from the back


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jdquinn
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 08, 2014 9:09 pm    Post subject: Something to separate the front of the house from the back Reply with quote

Hi Guys,

I have a little problem, it's not a biggy but it is a little annoying, basically the shape of my short drive seems to encourage visitors of all types, known and unknown, to continue driving to the rear of my bungalow rather than stopping at the front door on their way in. My rear yard and 'garden' are not in any state for people to see yet and my wife and I also see it a little as an invasion of privacy. At the corner of my house just before driving round to the back there is about a 5 metre gap to my fenced boundary. Is there something I can do without building a big ugly wall and arch to encourage people to park at the front? I was thinking of something along the lines of an arch made of some kind of aesthetically pleasing creeper to create a natural looking distinction between the front and rear of the house. I sometimes think a creeper around the sunroom wall would be nice but I wouldn't want something that could damage the render of the building. Do any of you have any suggestions?

See the below pictures of the house and boundary, I think because the house sits at an angle on the site it is effectively inviting people to keep drive round the rear.





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kindredspirit
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 09, 2014 5:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Two big blue pots, one at each side of the drive? That could help to differentiate the back from the front.
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Sive
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 09, 2014 7:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

First question..... where is your own car ? If you park at the back, then I can see why visitors presume you wouldn't want them to be calling at the front door. That seems to be a real country thing, I have always presumed it goes back to a time when it was polite not to traipse into the hall with muddy shoes.
We are suburbanite blow-ins to the country and we were surprised by this habit.....living in a city makes you very careful of giving very limited access to your property.......
You seem to be giving mixed messages to a visitor as there seems to be little space to park at the front. Can you do something about that ?
I think a visual screen ( hedge/group of shrubs ) at each side of the house will give a strong message that there is a front and a back.
A change of paving material could also be a strong visual signal that "the drive ends here ". And Kindredspirit's idea of large pots will do the job until you establish the garden.
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tagwex
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 09, 2014 9:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with Sive in that there does not appear to be enough of a turning area at the front so that needs to increased otherwise the easy option is to just drive completely around the house.
Not knowing your circumstances or how much you have to spend on this project it is difficult to determine what to do.
My two penny worth is this. It suits better if you have young children, grandchildren or pets that you want to confine to the back area. Build a wall or timber fence from the house out to your boundary fence on both sides to segregate the areas and have an electronic control to open the gates in your own car. Then you have the choice of planting up against this structure both front and rear with whatever you fancy, there are others on this site more qualified than I to advise you what plants are best. I would do a curved bed and put some plants of various heights in it and maybe an ornamental tree out at the boundaries to frame the house. Additionally/alternatively, you can hang planting boxes and baskets from these walls right the way across, including on the gates and make a feature of it. Just allow for the extra weight of the soil when sizing the gates structural members and piers.

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Its my field. Its my child. I nursed it. I nourished it. I saw to its every want. I dug the rocks out of it with my bare hands and I made a living thing of it!

This boy can really sing http://youtu.be/Dgv78D2duBE
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Geranimojess
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 09, 2014 10:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Or if you wish to be perfectly Blunt how about the Signs you see at SuperMarkets... ALL DELIVERIES TO THE REAR... VISITORS PLEASE REPORT TO FRONT DOOR...Drastic...perhaps.......Effective.....Absolutely.... Laughing
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Greengage
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 09, 2014 4:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

being a country chap and i dont know if you were born in the country but nobody ever uses the front door, could never figure out the reason for them except fire escape.
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Sive
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 09, 2014 5:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not being a country chap ( stirring things up now ) why have a "front door" at all then ? Just for show ?
I have a feeling I heard something about German ( or was it Austrian ? ) houses not having "back doors"....doesn't really matter what you call them I suppose......it's just a question of one or two doors being the tradition......
Have you noticed in all these Scandinavian thrillers on TV how the front doors of houses and apartments always open outwards ?
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Greengage
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 09, 2014 6:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah I remember now what the front door was for
1. Postman.
2. Milkman.
3. People calling for votes.
4. Weddings Bride always went out the front door.
5. Funerals.
6. Cousins who came visiting at christmas and lost the knack of A. Calling to back door and B. calling unannounced.
7. New friends of Children until it was explained to them never knock on front door.
To enter the house knock on back door and walk in, everyone welcome,
Me: sure you will have a cup of tea were putting the kettle on anyways.
You: Ah no im grand .
Me: a quick cup
You: Ok since your putting the kettle on cant have you drinking on your own...........
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jdquinn
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 09, 2014 8:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the replies folks,

My father-in-law who built the house for me marked out the kerbing which looked excellent at the time ( and still does) but it just encourages people to drive on round. I don't mind friends and family at all but it seems everyone but the postman continues on round. There is no parking space at the front either so I can see why people continue on round.

Sive what you say makes perfect sense, unfortunately we have to park at the back otherwise there would be no space for visitors to park at the front.

And no Greengage I'm not a country boy at all (as you seem to have already guessed) although when I was younger I always wanted to live in the country hence building my own house. I actually wish now I'd built closer to the town, in a suburban type area like where my parents now live. I'm not used to the way farmers go about their business and it seems to me they think they own the place (well technically they do I suppose). I'm also very much a private person and not very sociable to strangers hence the feeling of my privacy being invaded.

I like the idea of the pots and also a barrier hedge to create the illusion of a separation. I think a fence or wall is too static and obvious.
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tagwex
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 10, 2014 9:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Look on the wall/fence as infrastrucure only, the planting will take over and disguise it and at the same time form a physical barrier plus it keeps the children in an area that you know is safe. Cannot see pots working at all. Put a top on the wall same as the stonework around your unused front door and it will blend in just grand.
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Its my field. Its my child. I nursed it. I nourished it. I saw to its every want. I dug the rocks out of it with my bare hands and I made a living thing of it!

This boy can really sing http://youtu.be/Dgv78D2duBE
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tippben
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 10, 2014 9:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You could easily sacrifice some lawn at the front to make more parking/turning space (unless you really love mowing). Re the separation, I'd continue the fence, perpendicular to the existing one, over the grass until it hits the driveway. Then build either an arch or arbor out of wood over the drive (making sure you have plenty of clearance). You could plant anything you fancy on the grassy side (climbing roses, passion flower, honeysuckle, clematis etc.) and train it to go not only up, but along the fence as well. On the side near the house you will have to grow something in a large pot. I recently heard Bob Flowerdew on BBC radio 4's "Gardeners' Question Time" recommending grape vine varieties that do well in our climate. He reckoned he's got some that have been in the same containers for twenty five years. Can't remember the varieties he recommended, but it's on repeat on the website.
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robineire
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 10, 2014 7:10 pm    Post subject: I was wondering why everyone wanders round my bliddy house Reply with quote

Now I know ,its because you Irish don't use the front door lol I tell you it gives you a shock if you are wandering around in your jockies and a singlet as is the Aussie way and someone you dinny ken walks up to the glass patio doors trying to sell you a mattress or summat.
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robineire
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 10, 2014 7:10 pm    Post subject: I was wondering why everyone wanders round my bliddy house Reply with quote

Now I know ,its because you Irish don't use the front door lol I tell you it gives you a shock if you are wandering around in your jockies and a singlet as is the Aussie way and someone you dinny ken walks up to the glass patio doors trying to sell you a mattress or summat.
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Greengage
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 10, 2014 7:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ill tell you what , that big slurry tank in the background is going to drive you round the twist in time, pots and a fence will be the least of your problems. for generations farmers have been custodian of the lands until everybody realised food did not come from the supermarkets and thought it would be lovely to live in the countryside listening to the birds and watching the little lambs running around the fields and then when you move out you realise its not all its cracked up to be. I could go on and on so chill end enjoy the countryside and when things go wrong you will realise how important are your neighbours. Beit to give you a lift, help with freezing pipes, help remove stray animals and generally keep on eye on each other. Try retractable bollards which keeps the view open and can be closed when your home to keep out unwanted visitors.
http://www.reliance-foundry.com/blog/new-stainless-steel-retractable-bollards
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tagwex
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 10, 2014 10:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

@Robineire: there are plenty of callers to front doors in this country that would try to sell you what you are wearing. I should be safe as most of them cannot read anyway, they can count no bother but they cannot read.
_________________
Its my field. Its my child. I nursed it. I nourished it. I saw to its every want. I dug the rocks out of it with my bare hands and I made a living thing of it!

This boy can really sing http://youtu.be/Dgv78D2duBE
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