Friday, July 19, 2013

Crazy stuff going on at my house... Landscape design

Here's a peek at all the crazy stuff going on at my house... 

We are on a quarter acre city lot and the majority of our yard sloped heavily.   The good news is that section of the little yard is private on three sides and if we cut out some branches on our trees we get a lake view!  I'd been frustrated about not being able to use this side of the yard.  The upper part had very overgrown bushes and you couldn't even put a chair out there because of the steep slope of the yard.  Mowing wasn't much fun either.

My home was built in 1885 and it surprises me that so many large families lived in the house but no one ever dealt with the sloping lawn.  I think most of the kids walked to a park close by or played in the street.  Just seems like such a waste of space not to utilize that yard area.

My neighbor owns a commercial construction business and agreed to do a residential job for us.  To bring it up to level, we would have needed a very tall retaining wall.  We decided to do two levels and have a raised patio and lower lawn area.  It's not a large space but at least it will be functional.  I'm looking forward to enjoying morning coffee in our new patio space.

It's a work in progress...

This is how the house looked when we moved in 8 years ago. 
So dark... It was like it was in a cave.

Above is the most recent photo before the project started.  Believe it or not we pruned and cut back all the overgrown trees so you could see the house.  The Oak took over again.  You'll see in the new photos we've pruned it again. :-)  I love Oak Trees so I would never cut it down.
Unfortunately, you can't get a good idea of the steep slope in these photos.  The pallets in the front are for our walkway project (which will be in another post).

This is taking A LOT of fill!  The lower wall is about four to five feet above the ground.  It just looked like such a mess.  I was really worried about how it would turn out.  Once the upper part was built and leveled, I could start to see how it would come together.

There's my poor neighbor working hard on a humid, 90 degree day.  You can get an idea of the slope we were dealing with from this photo.  I'm not in love with the grey block but once it is all landscaped with shrubs it should soften up a lot.  Unfortunately, the choice was about budget.

We had to remove huge Rhododendrons from this area. Now we've exposed the ugly red foundation that needs some re-pointing. We'll be painting that ugly foundation a color that goes with the house and fixing those windows.

Now the fun part begins...  dressing this thing up and putting on the lipstick.  This upper part will have a clean row of boxwood with some cement urns on each side of the stairs.  It will be filled with this pretty rice stone.  It actually has a sparkle to it that you can't see in this photo.  The lower level will be sod with a white picket fence. 

 I bought a set of these gorgeous urns at Brimfield Antique Fair.  Can't wait to use them on the new patio! 

I'm still worried about how it is all going to look.  Keeping fingers crossed that we can pull it all together.  At least we will have a space that we can use and that will help with resale in the future.  Watch for my updates on this project.  If you have any advice on plantings, landscape or garden ideas, I would love to hear from you.

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I hope you have a wonderful day!


for the love of a house said...

Big job, but you are so going to love having this area usable! Good luck with all the plantings! Love the urns.

Anonymous said...

Hi Joan! I'm so excited you stopped by for a visit and thank you for the encouragement. It has been a nerve wracking project as I want to make sure I do justice to the house.

It's so nice to find another blogger in NH! I was so thrilled when I stumbled upon your blog last fall. You are doing a fantastic job at your beautiful home!


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