amis au fil des ans

just a few good friends, sharing adventures in family, arts, and sometimes heavy machinery

Archive for the tag “landscape design”

searching for shade

ok, so everyone is off growing babies and i’m left to the blogging…whoops, that was a bad plan!

i did take a few photos of one of this weekend’s projects – magnolias.  after paying someone with heavy machinery to take down our 50+ year old oak tree and a random olive tree in the middle of summer, hubs and i immediately went through tree remorse.  not one to wait around, we ran out and bought two 12′ tall magnolia trees to start the process of replacing what we’ve taken away.  it’s no comparison to the tree that spread like an umbrella over our entire house, backyard and garage, but…it’s helping a little!

here you can see the olive tree on the side of our house.  it was super ugly and the branches kept dying.  birds would sit on the branches and chuck little berries (olives?) at you like bb’s out of a pellet gun.  it had no redeeming qualities.

the olive tree enjoys its final evening

After removing an olive tree

two new magnolias, ready for growth spurt

so you may be asking yourself – what’s up with the stump?  were you too cheap to pay the guys to grind it out?  in what appears to be a mis-communication, we remain owners of this tree stump.  not one to get bent out of shape over little things, i’ve tasked hubby with creating something like this:

courtesy of this old house

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return to creativity

before

hello again!  betcha thought i’d never return, huh?  so as you know, i’ve been a little preoccupied for about the past month, but i think we’ve gotten things stabilized again and i’m finding some time for fun stuff.  today was a fantastic day, because i was able to tackle a home project that has been weighing on my mind for OVER A YEAR.  why has it been on the to do list for so long??  two reasons: time, and weather.  the time excuse is obvious, but seriously the weather has been miserable for so long…hot, hot, hot, dry and hot.  not exactly a good time to plant a bunch of new things.  this week mother nature delivered a true gift – 60 degree weather!!  i honestly can’t tell you the last time that i worked in the yard with a sweatshirt on.  wowsers!  so the story goes like this – this little nook in our yard used to have a few azaleas when we first moved in, which ended up dying.  i added the brick border using left over patio stones from our patio project, and i kind of like that they’ve moved around and aren’t exactly even anymore.  i have added a few annuals to this spot to just kind of keep it pleasant looking, but once they died…well it was pretty gross.  so i ripped nearly everything out (the tea olive tree was a wedding gift, so it’s relatively new), and the rest got a facelift.  i used the same process and ideas as the rest of the back yard – multiple textures, heights, and a combination of bushes, flowering trees, perennials and grasses.  i’m sure it’s not a style that would be popular for everyone, but in our eclectic neighborhood it fits right in.  the reason why i picked this style is because it attracts butterflies and birds, and is also tolerant of the little paws that love to pounce on plants as they chase lizards.  i finished it off with cypress mulch, which smells soooooo good!!  what do you think?

after

you may be asking what are all those plants anyway, so here you go:

(1) tea olive tree (VERY fragrant, truly awesome)

(1) pink lady camellia tree

(3) ligustrum bushes

(2) japanese ewe bushes

(4) mexican heather perennials

(2) loropetalum bushes (purple leaves with pink flowers)

(2) green grasses

(3) white grasses

(2) chrysanthemum perennials

(1) persian shield perennial

ever bite off more than you could chew?

b and i are very good at that.  we have a hate-hate relationship with our yard.  so last week we had a company come and tear out everything in the front yard and take down 4 trees and now we have to do something with it.  but it needs so much work that it sends me into a mild panic attack just thinking about it.  but we have to do something.  we just need the something to be in the low low low low low financial requirement category and the something has to be in line with our master plan.  some pictures to give you a framework:

front before and after:

 

right side before and after:

 

back before and after:

 

master plan includes a new front entrance-way, pergola, play structure, garden, flagstone patio around the house and off of the sunroom, and a fence.

i think the steps for this year will be as follows…

1.   excavate more of the land in the back right of the house to expose more ledge (rock).  both for 2 reasons.  1:  we like it.  2:  it will act as a natural retaining wall and can (hopefully) save money by using what is natural versus creating something man-made.  we also need to address some drainage issues since during the rainstorm yesterday it was discovered that we have a waterfall coming through our basement window.  sigh.

2.  level the front, right, and back yards.  the front yard will remain on a hill but we need to level the top part so we can put a fence at the top of the hill and do a low maintenance mulch garden down the slope.  b wants to rework the steps and path to come up by the driveway as opposed to the sidewalk.  we also want to level the area to the right so we can put a play structure for the girls.  the back left we also want to level so we can put up a pergola for an outdoor sitting area.  did i mention we also want to remove all the vines and ivy on the ledge?

3.  update the sprinkler system.

4.  lay sod and spread mulch.

5.  install a fence.  (note:  this is a pipe dream as my budget is $0 and clearly the above items will not be free.  but…a girl can dream.)

next year we will get the play structure for the kids, do some plantings, build window boxes, and hopefully get a couple raised garden beds.  main concern with the garden is that it will have to go in the front yard as that is where the sun hits.  i think as long as we have a good fence that should be fine….?

the following year we will tackle the new front entrance-way, pergola, and patios.

totally doable…right?

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