Have I told you how much I love working outside gardening, landscaping and beautifying? I really, really do! I especially love it this year because of starting a brand new garden and forging ahead on some landscape areas. Lesley has mentioned that the house is 100 years old; well, according to our neighbor, the yard hasn’t been maintained for about 45 years. For the first year, we dealt with lots of poison ivy followed by cortisone shots. We have moved huge mounds of dirt, cut down 12 dead trees, had stumps removed, hauled off a stack of rotten wood, graded, seeded, moved a gazillion rocks and ran into several snakes. Now keep in mind that with each snake sighting I scream at the top of my lungs so loud that the neighbors come out to see if I am being slaughtered. Did I say that I love this stuff? I must be crazy! Landscaping and gardening is HARD work! It makes me ache, sneeze and inch, but mentally, it makes me feel GREAT! There is nothing like digging, planting, sculpting the earth and getting down and dirty, literally. I don’t have a great deal of before pictures, because frankly, it was just too ugly and I had no idea I would be sharing this with you. Take my word for it, IT WAS BAD! Our realtor almost had to be hospitalized for poison ivy.
Today, I am sharing a project we have worked on for several weeks. It is a big improvement. The house sits on two lots that are terraced. There is an old moss covered retaining wall that had no landscaping whatsoever. The grass and weeds grew up to it on both sides. It had a random grape vine and of course poison ivy was flourishing. At the very end next to a cement drainage hole was a huge clump of day lilies, some iris’s and daffodils. Beautiful flowers, but all clumped together in a wad. Go figure…
The first step was to dig up all the flowers. Then using my beloved Mantis tiller, the entire area was shaped and tilled. (BTW, this project was made possible only because I own that tiller. I can dig my own holes now!) The flowers were divided and redistributed. New azaleas were planted and mulch put down. Notice the old bricks? I moved this stack of bricks, big enough to build a chimney, three times. Thankfully, most of them now line this area. We seriously considered removing the tree, which I think is a weed; however the new landscaping made it look beautiful.
This is the view from the upstairs porch. I didn’t even consider how lovely this would turn out from above and was pleasantly surprised by the added bonus. By the way, the upstairs porch redo is in progress. Stayed tuned for the reveal which will include a stenciled porch floor. I’ve been dying to do this ever since we moved in. I can’t wait to finish it!
Before the new landscaping, the yard looked like two separate lots. The curved lines and consistency of the brick brought the two together. Now that the area is landscaped, additional plants can be added over time to fill in the area. That is the fun and easy part.
We love the way this turned out even though I spent several days nursing a very sore back and a full- body cortisone shot would be appreciated.
A special thank you to John, our 18 year old son, for tilling and unloading the mulch. Love that teamwork! Next week I will be planting a summer garden and working on the porch. I can’t wait to plant those veggies grown from seeds! They are getting so big!