landscaping project

When I get started on a project I have a hard time stopping to blog about it. And especially when I have the guy's dedicated time to the project, I must take full advantage of it and work work work.

We are waiting for cooler weather and much needed rain to begin our fall seeding. Many farmers in our area seeded anyway, but the ground is dry and hard and it doesn't hurt to wait a little longer for better conditions to give the seeds a better start. In the meantime, my yard project that had been stalled has been started again—full steam ahead. Let's see if I can give you an idea of what we are working on:

Earlier this summer I dug trenches and installed edging along the hillsides in our lower yard. We are bringing in some large rocks and plants, then we will lay weed fabric over this area and landscape gravel over the top.

My poor lilacs (that had to be mowed to the ground this year) grew back with a vengeance but now are in sore need of water and weeding.

These are some of the big rocks waiting to be placed. We drug these in from the many rock piles around the farm (rocks that at one point or another were drug out of the fields!)

The other side of the yard gets the same treatment: large rocks and plants, weed fabric, and gravel. We also have a large, overgrown juniper and some other small (dead) plants to remove along the house.

Back to the east side of the yard: Earlier this year we dug the old plants out of the cement terraced planters. Now we are bringing in some manure from our corral area to richen the soil. Then we are planting a few perennials and bulbs. 

Next to the beds is the big daddy project of them all—a rock staircase. I am giddy about this! It is looking so very cool. More details soon.

And finally, this poor little bird bath needs a new home. The landfill, maybe? But it reminds me of my Grandma and so it might just find its way to another corner of the yard for nostalgia sake . . . and for the birds' sake. And to entice the birds away from my railing (and quit covering it with their little white gifts).

Updates on our progress coming! For now I must go get to work.

upstairs plans—landscaping

Last but not least, I would like to share with your are plans for landscaping the yard. We don't have a very firm plan for timing on this, but we have started on the lower front yard already (more later)!

This is the lower front yard I am referring to. It is lower because the daylight basement opens out onto it.

1. We have purchased a swing set and are slowing working on putting it together in our limited spare time. We are going to edge it and lay rubber mulch under it. 

2. The slopes to each side will be edged and covered with gravel. They are difficult to mow and the grass is unhealthy there anyway. I will plant low water plants there and add some decorative rocks. 

3. The bird bath is going to have to find a new home.

4. Eventually, we want to replant all the grass. It is Kentucky Blue Grass, which eventually grows into clumps when not watered regularly. When we do that (down the road) we may consider irrigation as well. 

5. On the right slope (which you can barely see) there are terraced concrete flower beds that were massively overgrown. We have dug out all the old bushes and plan to amend the soil and start fresh. 

6. The desk needs TLC. We were considering TREX, but at $35+ a board, we may look elsewhere. We have a new idea up our sleeve that I'll cover another time. We also thought about expanding the desk size, but I think we have ruled that idea out also. Once we repair the decking, we need to install a new rail. For now I pretty much have to forbid my kids to play on it.

In the upper front yard, to the left of the front entrance, we have another small area of grass.

7. I would like to tear out this wedge of grass and install a paver patio (and have patio doors installed from the dining area). I also want to built a pergola over the patio. When I say I want to build a pergola I mean I want my dad and husband to build me a pergola. In their spare time. I might be waiting awhile.

To the right of the entry and garage we have another patch of yard between the house and the shop.

Right now you can't see much beyond the overgrown shrubbery. What you can't see is an outdoor fireplace built by my uncle Raymond and a tall wooden fence separating the front from the back yard.

8. Cut back pine tree so you can see fireplace and gate. (Will a pine tree look funny if all the lower branches are pruned off? I don't really want to have to cut this tree down.)

9. Remove the overgrown juniper bushes.

10. Paint the fence.

11. Fix the fireplace??? From what I understand, the chimney is too short to work properly so the smoke all spews out the front. I don't know if it can be fixed, but it would be cool to try someday.

12. Reduce grass and add gravel, concrete pavers, and low water plantings.

13. New adjustable basketball hoop? My girls just can't shoot that high yet.

14. In the back yard its more of the same: reduce grass by adding edging and gravel areas with low water plants. 

15. Prune back the one bush and tree in the yard.

15. Build raised beds for gardening. (It's hard to tell in the bright photo, but there is a chain link fence around the back yard which may help in keeping some garden pests out. (i.e. bunnies, deer)

16. Maybe a sand pit for volleyball? It is a big yard. Why not?

That wraps up the tour of our house projects upstairs and outside. I'm sure we will add more to it as we go, but I think for now we have enough to keep us busy for the next 5 or 20 years.