Although lately you haven’t heard me chat about home improvement projects of my own, they are happening. I’ve been organizing one space at a time inside, while outside we’ve had a few large scale projects that began in the Fall. Yesterday I realized I hadn’t shared these on the blog…mainly with the IG community because it’s easy to share over there in real time. So today you’re getting a big outdoor update with LOTS of photos. However because there is so much that’s happened over the last few months, the progress will be shared over a few posts.
Today, I’m sharing the details behind our new right side yard / garden!
As I gathered photos from the beginning of this project last October, it’s hard to believe how much changed and how incredible it looks! We’re looking forward to Spring and Summer temps rolling in to totally enjoy the fruits of our labor. Especially around the updated fire pit.
Both side yards had stones set in sand and pebble. This type of set-up isn’t sustainable and over time / seasons the wear and tear was beginning to show. And causing a tripping hazard with buckling stones…not to mention we couldn’t walk on either side of the house without shoes on because of the small pebbles.
The right side of the house, the now garden, has a fire pit which we weren’t using because chairs couldn’t sit level. This is also the area of the yard we see from the master bedroom windows.
The flowers and trees weren’t maintained well. They needed serious love – correct pruning, relocation to where they could thrive, in some cases, and we also wanted to add more. It was looking pretty sad and bleak. We were dreaming of a beautiful garden to see from the bedroom windows. Since there were already 2 existing planter boxes, we wanted to add more to continue growing vegetables and fruits…and loved the idea of adding fruit trees to provide evergreen color all year. We loved the idea of having a dedicated space outside for an edible garden.
On the left side of the house, yet another sad pathway, plants, flowers and trees…
I already knew who could help us with the hardscape. One of my favorite home contractors, Carlos, helped me with all of the hardscape at the old house. He laid that long beautiful driveway I still miss today. But since there is a lot of exterior gardening spaces with sun that hits certain areas harder and longer than others, we needed an expert for the landscaping portion. Nothing worse than going to the expense of purchasing and adding new landscaping only to have everything die. We really wanted to help this house shine and be more beautiful than it already is. And we both wanted a garden that bloomed differently throughout the year / seasons.
While working at a client’s home last Spring, I met a woman who was designing and landscaping at their home. As I worked there over the course of a few days, I saw how careful she was with planting and placement. Before I left the project I ended up talking to her about what she does – it was evident how knowledgeable she is with landscaping AND irrigation! She really cares about plants, what is appropriate where AND is very in tune with how to prune properly (not just hacking and cutting back) and she has an incredible eye for the unique. She came to meet with us for what we thought would only be a consult. At the time she wasn’t taking on big projects and we were fine to have her just help identify what we could plant, where based on sun, how to source everything…and then help us understand how much water each would need.
Well, it turned into much more as you can probably guess. She’s been our gardening angel and are grateful to know her!
She helped us come up with a long list of plants, flowers and trees that would work in the yard – and she made sure to include items we cared about / have meaning. Then after ordering she was here to help with placement. Then she stuck around to help with them getting into the ground. Then she came back to help with pruning. And this weekend she was here to help with the mulch going down. She is invested and has become a 3rd heart in this project…when I see certain flowers I think about her and her gentle guidance. She’s awesome!
NEW GARDEN HARDSCAPE
Anyway…all that said…first step before planting anything was getting the hardscape completed. So last October we repurposed the existing stone by having Carlos set it in concrete. Over the course of 2 weekends we watched the transformation take place. Get comfy for this photo documentary…
Is there anything more satisfying than watching concrete being poured and leveled?…
I don’t know, it makes me very happy!
AFTER NEW HARDSCAPE
Here’s the decking after it cured…
Night and day you guys!
With the hardscape completed, it was a mad dash to get the plants, trees and flowers into the ground before the winter rains came through. We knew we’d wait until just before spring hit to lay the mulch. And that all happened this weekend. We can not be more thrilled with this after!
We added several fruit trees including a mandarin orange and a grapefruit. There was existing lime and lemon trees as well. We’ll add a couple more over the next few months once the 4th garden bed is in place.
We added olive trees and hydrangeas that I can not wait to watch bloom! They have just started adding new growth and we’re anxious to see the flowers in full bloom…
I love this before and after. This is the archway from the backyard to the garden…
In a few days I’ll share the hedge we chose. Our landscape angel, Annie, had the great idea of continuing the hedge from the fence line over into this area to create a wall…making the garden it’s own “room”, if you will. Such a huge difference in those 2 images!
We now LOVE coming out here to pick lettuce or walk around. Looking forward to adding chairs around the fire pit…I can picture us being out here quite a bit…coffee in the morning?!
The mulch we chose is called forest floor…hard to believe this massive pile was spread out yesterday and is now totally gone…
Before closing out this part of the outdoor update series, I wanted to share some images of our tulip tree in full bloom. I wish these stuck around longer than a couple weeks. It stopped us in our tracks daily…stunning!
Have missed sharing improvement updates like this. It’s still a passion, just took a long break until finding myself / my way here at the new house. Definitely more to come – including a BIG project Billy and I are going to attempt together. I’ll share more about that soon or you can see it mentioned sooner in IG stories.
Did you do any improvement projects this weekend or having anything planned for Spring? I’d love to hear about it!
Back soon guys!