Landscape design review

Reviewing aerial views of the yard found online, helps picture the size and location of landscaping beds currently existing in the yard.  The pictures are a few years old as the beds closese to the streets inthe front and back yards have been expanded in recent years to include more native plant choices.

Aerial view of neighborhood
North edge of High Cliff State Park
(park marina on left)

The yard is somewhat unique lying between 2 streets, with an empty lot across the street from our backyard that is on the lake, allowing us to enjoy wonderful views of Lake Winnebago.
Aerial view of yard showing home with existing planting beds
Aerial view identifying zones around home for various activities

Borrowing a map of zones used by some permaculture enthusiasts, we have tried to place beds which will need a larger investment of time in maintenance and harvesting closer to the entrances to the house.

The majority of herbs have been planted the corner between the house and garage in the backyard allowing easy access for cooking from the back deck off the kitchen. (orange-along garage back)
Bird feeders with seed for song birds and nectar for hummingbirds and grape jelly & oranges for orioles are located just off the deck so birds can be viewed from the dining room nearby and feeder can be easily replenished (orange-back by deck)
Beds with ornamental shrubs and perennials are located further down the hill above and below the waterfall (yellow backyard) 
Down the hill where the backyard drains in to a ditch along the street, native plants are being planted to catch runoff preventing it from draining directly into the lake, functioning as a rain garden of sorts-monarch host and nectar plants have been chosen for inclusion to allow this area to serve as a Monarch Waystation (blue)
Foundation beds in a shady area in front of the house are planted with PJM rhododendrons, hydrangeas, hostas, heaters and some other plants that tolerate a bit more shade and prefer the somewhat more protected micro climate with less wind off the lake (yellow-along walkway to front door)
To the left of the driveway are two beds emphasizing host and nectar plants to attract butterflies and other pollinators (yellow along far side of driveway)
A large bed with a large spruce tree, planted closer to the street in the front yard, has been expanded in order to allow the Little Free Library to be placed in a landscaped area close to the street for easy access (blue-front yard near street)
A small bed with a daffodils and daylilies is planted to bloom in succession around the mailbox (along road on left side of driveway)
  

Permaculture zones

A diagram used to encourage consideration of water usage in xeriscaping landscape design serves to remind us to try to place plants with higher water needs closer to the house where access is easier.  And of course drainage should be designed away from plants with low water needs, toward those requiring larger amounts.

Water use zones
planning used in xeriscaping
“Good planting design does not follow a formula.
 At best, it allows you to experiment with nature 
and through nature to make an original statement. 
As in all of the arts, the best garden designers take risks.
 Only by taking risks can you come up with something exciting and original.” 
~ James Van Sweden