Saturday, April 17, 2010

The Great Landscape!

It's been a year in the making... and now we are proud to present phase 1 of The Great Landscape DIY style.

Our canvas

One homogeneous streak of dirt shaded sidewalk, rock, house and a red roof to top it all off.

Our masterpiece (phase 1 of course)

A little more personality, a little more functionality, a little more color and a lot of sweat and hard work!

Design elements and inspiration:

Functionality, functionality, functionality
First of all, let's face it, where we live a "cool summer" night is just low into the triple digits! We need shade! So we planted a second tree to eventually shade the large front window. We also hope to mooch some added shade from the 3 hibiscus covering the two arch windows to my sewing room :)

Second, the expression when it rains it pours must have been coined somewhere very close by. Luckily it doesn't rain often, but when it does we could dock a boat next to our front door.

Why was I surprised when we used an entire day of free baby-sitting up on hauling dirt, sloping and trench digging? We tackled this beast by first adding dirt that sloped away from the foundation. Next, we dug a small downward sloping trench behind a retaining wall near our front window and covered it with large river rock to create a stream for water to flow to the street.

Last, we added about 6 tons of rock to help keep down the weeds and to cover the dripper system we built to water our new plants. We wanted to change the rock color, but it turns out the ex-duelers had very expensive rock taste. Who knew the "sidewalk" color rock was so coveted?? Anyway, turns out the most cost-effective option was to simply add to the existing rock rather than haul away and replace or buy enough to cover all the existing. In the end, I think I like how it turned out!

Color, color, color

Since "sidewalk" wasn't my favorite crayon color, we decided we needed some serious greenery and maybe a few pretty flowers to break up the monotony. Thanks to Home Depot and their trusty by-the-four-hours ditch witch rental we dug 31 holes over our entire property!

You can see the fruits of a number of these bad boys here in the front- a few hibiscus, some 'torch glow' bougainvilleas, purple ruellias, orange jubilee vine over the wall and callistemon shrubs (seen in the very front). We didn't quite get them in these shots, but on the far right of our property we planted a "wall" of yellow bells and jubilees to add a little privacy from our neighbor.

The hardest feature to appreciate in these pictures, but easily one of my favorite additions is our little brick paver in the corner by our walk-way. Kevin's promised me a big beautiful pot of whatever kind of seasonal flowers my heart desires as soon as I find one I like!!!

For those of you who have never had the pleasure of landscaping, all I can say is I know why they used to make concentration camp prisoners move piles of rock back and forth aimlessly all day... it is torture! Then again, when you use it as your date day, you end up finding some way to make it a little fun. Shhhhh, don't tell Kevin I said so or he won't think twice about coercing me to taking on his share for the backyard. I suspect this is one of those "not as fun the 2nd time" type deals.

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