Wednesday, February 11, 2015

My Landscaping Adventures- 2

This is my attempt to chronicle the progress made around our home when it comes to the yard and my many garden projects.  I started with the overall structure, placement of retaining walls, scraping sod and initial plantings (part 1).  Now, I'm continuing the planting, getting it mulched and adding a concrete border to the island.

We love concrete, can't help it. There are so many options, you can do just about anything you want. Our last house had exposed aggregate borders, this time we opted for wider (and deeper since they'll probably get driven on at some point) and then we stamped and stained them. Here's a look into our process. Always a couple concrete projects going on around here.

We framed it up in stages. We had lots of pours going on for patios and the like so we would try to do a portion of the island when we had a need for concrete already. The red you see is a stamp liner so the portion you'll see will have a decorative edge.
 This was my job through the pouring process. Nice! I have shoveled and pulled concrete before but it's really difficult (that stuffs heavy) and I stink at it. Just not strong enough. This is the perfect job for me!
 We did do a little edging (not shown) and we will be stamping
 Jason is off finishing whatever pour that coincided with this one and I'm left to get it stamped.
Here it is. The darker area with the framing is the most recent pour. We've already removed framing on other sections that were done earlier.
 Got it stained. I used saw dust and coffee grounds to get the color effect and sprayed it with stain. I used two colors. I can't remember the main color (a dark brown) and then spritzed it with some black.
We got the border poured within a summer's time but the rest of the island, from the first picture to this one took years to fill in and get to what you see in the picture below. It has really filled in nicely.
During this same time frame we have been working on getting the patios poured out back.  I will go into more detail on these patios in my next "My Landscaping Adventures" post but here's a few pictures to wet your appetite and give you an idea of the scope of the project.  It was a long couple years getting all this poured but that's how we spend our evenings, planning out and prepping our next project.  That's just how we roll around here (well, how my hubby rolls and I'm along for the ride).
This is the backyard.  There's a walkout at this lower level and we plan to pour a cantilevered patio out over the lake.  We poured the s-shape retaining wall (our first attempt at walls, my hubby has done lots of flatwork in his life but no walls, its still standing, so that's good!)
 Here's a closer look at the framing out over the lake.  The boys and I spent many a night/day in the lake holding 2x4's while my husband stood over the top with a sledgehammer pounding them in.  Sounds like a recipe for disaster but amazingly, no injuries. 
 We just can't stop with the rounded edges.  The lower patio will have a circular radius from a central firepit and now the upper patio will cantilever somewhat over the wall.  The area between the lower patio and the wall I want as a dry creek bed maybe with a few plantings.  We'll see what happens.  Lots to do before we get to that point.
 When we poured the retaining wall we added rebar for the steps.  They will also cantilever.  It's all a work in progress.
Next time I'll have some "in the works" and finished products for you.  It took a couple years to get the patios completed and another summer for a small deck out the back door but well worth the wait.

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