This is my Dad's yard and house. The land was purchased almost 30 years ago outside of the Charlotte city limits, in what I always viewed as the country. Charlotte has grown in leaps and bounds since then and so have the trees on his property. The house is now in the Charlotte city limits and near one of the busiest parts of town. While in the yard you are unaware of how close all this is. His home is a true oasis.
The house is considered passive solar. The sun shines in the high windows in the winter months and heats the tile floors and slab foundation in the main part of the house. In the summer the sun doesn't reach the windows and the ones in the back of the house are opened and the the high ceiling fans pull the cool air off the creek below.
When the land was purchased the lower back yard was a marsh land. Dad carved a trench out and the creek dug itself over time to almost 6 ft deep in some places. The scrub trees have been weeded out and large hardwoods were left. The canopy is very high and the yard lends itself to wandering around on the blue grass. I grew up playing under the canopy and in the creek.
Dad constantly maintains and cultivates the yard. It will always be a work in progress. He loves mountain homes that have stacked stone and wood. He is currently working on a bridge for a crossing over the creek to a path.