Sunday, February 1, 2015

My Landscaping Adventures

We built our house eight years ago and our first spring here I started landscaping.  I love the process and watching the beds fill in has been wonderful.  I am now ready to make some changes and do some major "clean-up". 

We'll get to that later.  For now, let's go back to the very beginning! That would be structure.  Before any of the real fun begins we had to decide where the flower beds were going to be and how we were going to edge things, retaining walls needed to be placed and any other structural elements.  Much easier to take care of this now than to wait and add it in later. 

It just so happened that my husband knew someone building a house who when excavating the basement came across tons of rock.  Couldn't of timed out better.  FREE!  All we had to do was pay for trucking.  What a deal!  We took 2, maybe three loads and are kicking ourselves for not getting more.  We had the basic outline of the circle driveway in and had the driver dump the rock in the middle.  Check out the size of this boulder on the back of the truck.  Wowzer!  Where this puppy lands is where its staying.  It ended up slightly off-center for the middle of the island.  We tried to budge it with the bobcat (I wanted it even more off-center) but that was not happening!

 Check out this great pile of rock.  We ended up using it to build a small retaining wall in one area of the flower bed and to outline a portion of the circle drive.  Turned out great!  All necessary steps before I could really do much else (I don't have before pics so you'll have to wait to see the results until I show you the beds, it won't be too long).

Once we got that done I started with the flowerbeds.  I began with an area across from the front of the house following the driveway.  I planted first then laid out newspaper and mulched.  Works to kill off the grass without the backbreaking job of scraping sod.  I was impatient and wanted to dig in the dirt so bad.  One small area down.  That was all I got done for the first season here.  Not much but remember, we were still pouring patios and working on cleaning up the back yard at the same time.  Lots of other work took priority.

Here's what happened next:

I used a hose and marked out the outer edge shape I wanted for the flower bed and started scraping sod.  What a chore that was.  At this time my husband dug and trenched underground all the downspouts (you can see him working a couple pictures down).

I talked my son into tilling for me.  The area to the left of the picture is the small planting area I spoke of earlier.  I got some bushes and grasses planted in that area last season (and mulched it, using newspaper to kill off the grass, my impatient self couldn't wait to get something planted).
 My son is tilling above on the left side of the entry.  This is the right side.  In the back is a concrete retaining wall and coming off of it is a rock wall that we made using what we had trucked in.  You can also see it edging the driveway.  I got a few trees and bushes planted.  Some basic structure is underway!
 Here is the view from the garage out towards the island.  We've lived here for two years now.  The concrete patios and firepit in the back are now done, the front walkway is complete.  We still need to border the island and we have some decorative concrete projects to do but most all of the structural components are now in.  Time for all the fun to begin!

Next time I'll share how we bordered the island.  Of course its concrete and I'll show you the flower beds out back, along with some of our other concrete adventures in the back yard.  Stay tuned, there's lots more to see!

1 comment:

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