Thursday, May 03, 2007

This summer's big project

Three years ago, we bought our house. It was built in 1984, when, apparently, junipers were en vogue. When we got it, the front yard was completely overrun with juniper bushes. Evil little suckers. Well, we knew from the start that something would have to be done. So the first summer, we ripped out all the junipers. The second summer, we left it. Last summer, we built a low retaining wall. And now we're sick of having the second ugliest yard in the neighborhood (second only to our neighbor next to us who only mows twice a year, whether it needs it or not). So this summer is our big relandscaping project.

I took this picture last summer, after we built the wall. It doesn't show the whole yard, but you'll get an idea of what we're up against.

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On Saturday we pulled out the rhododendrons (you see the edge of one on the far left, and one on the right) and the big red bush you see behind the pile of stones. All that's left are the four rosebushes along the fence and the big pine tree. DH has sprayed the grass, so it's going to die in a few days.

The strip between the sidewalk and the street will have river rock and several trees in it. Our neighbor across the street has this, and we thought it would be nice to match, making a kind of "entrance to the culdesac".

The strip at the bottom of the picture, between the driveway and the wall, will have a walkway about four feet wide along the driveway, and then a row of low plants (I'm not sure what yet - maybe creeping thyme) between that and the wall. Between the wall and the grass will be a row of plants (probably a dwarf lavender).

In front of the wall, the part where it's only about five feet deep, will have creeping roses going out to the sidewalk. Back where the wall curves up and gets deeper, we're going to put six planter rings, made out of the same stone as the wall. That will be my herb garden.

The grass will go to within about five feet of the fence, and we're going to hire someone to pour a concrete edge around the lawn. Along the fence I'm going to plant berry bushes. We'll also be putting a walkway of river rock around the house. And we're expanding our front "patio" area so I can put some potted plants out front.

Instead of bark dust (I hate bark dust), all the areas that need to be covered will be covered with hazelnut shells. We live about 1/4 mile from a hazelnut processing plant, and they sell the shells by the scoop.

That's the plan for now - it's going to be a TON of work (and a lot of money!) and will probably take 2 - 3 years. Wish us luck, LOL!


MamaZuzi said...

That's huge! I'm tired just thinking about it.

Kimmer said...

You are inspiring! We had a bunch of yes shrubs ripped out ages ago, and have decided that this summer we WILL plant something new in front of the house.

I like your idea for the hazelnut shells, but I'm guessing we'll be stuck with boring old mulch. When my brother got married in our parents' back yard, they had cocoa bean mulch, and it smelled wonderfully of brownies!

Kimmer said...

Sigh, proofreading . . . that's YEW shrubs, so popular in the 50's, when our house was built.

kbeeps said...

Kimmer - I've seen that cocoa bean mulch on television, and I thought about it, but they say it's toxic to dogs. I have the dumbest dog on the planet, who will eat anything he can get his mouth around, so I had to pass on that!

It's going to be bad enough when we put gravel around the garden in the back yard. I already told hubby we need to increase our contributions to the "Ringo's an idiot and will someday need surgery" fund to get ready for it!