Wednesday, July 15, 2015

July 15

Summer is just flying by -- I want to reach out and grab it and slow its progression!
I'm in the part of the country that has received a ton of rain this spring/summer. For awhile I didn't think it was ever going to end. 
I finally decided that I hated the outside of my house (landscaping), so contracted with a wonderful firm:  Sierra Outdoor Design, Inc. (if you're in the northern Illinois, southern Wisconsin area!).  Art, the owner, had plans drawn up for a redo of the entire lot.  I have a few before and after pics I'll post as I'm sorting them out!  The first three are of the front of the house and the south side of the house.  The previous owner had put gravel in the flower beds thinking he wouldn't ever have to mulch again, I guess.  All it accomplished was making the ground so hard it was impossible to pull weeds or even keep up with them.  So, the landscapers had to first get rid of all the rock before they could even begin to plant. 
 The front, before picture (and before the weeds got so high you couldn't see the windows!
 The after picture of the front -- they specifically made a spot for the garden bench my son had given me.
 The right side of the front, showing lots of weeds and the fake stone wall that the previous owner had put there.  As you can see, I'm back in a subdivision, with small lots and houses fairly close together -- not my first choice, being a country living person, but more convenient for me at this stage in my life.  I needed something small to be able to take care of it myself.
 The same spot with a beautiful red-bud tree which I love and many shrubs and perennials. The sheet of paper was one of the landscapers' cheat sheets that I didn't notice til after I took the picture.  They were still here that day, working in the back.
 This is the south side of the house -- that whole length is gravel, with landscape timbers holding up the area, for whatever unknown reason, and only weeds and one Autumn Joy Sedum, which we saved!
The south side, after the landscapers dug everything out, used leftover sod from the other areas of the house they cut out, and planted 7 Pink Diamond Hydrangeas the length of the side.  The edging is now just a spade cut, which I think looks nicer, and the guys that do my mowing have no trouble mowing this section at all.

 There's a lot of yew shrubs, some warrior switch grass, which I believe turns red in the fall, although I could be wrong, also a blue spruce shrub, catmint, (the low green plants - they have delicate lavendar flowers), a Korean lilac that will stay the same size, groundcover sedum,  groundcover roses (which I call miniature roses) - they are blooming now with a pink/yellow/tangerine color.

The work had to wait because we kept getting rain, but when they finally came, they accomplished the entire transformation in 2-1/2 days!  I loved working with these guys -  they were friendly, worked hard and everything was to my satisfaction. And the really amazing thing, even after all the work I've done on the inside, is that now it feels like my house!  I'll try to post more tomorrow.
Until next time.....blessings.

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