Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Planting first new plants

Well its been a long summer of cleaning out overgrowth, trees, installing irrigation systems, and spreading topsoil. It was a long, physically demanding summer.  I had originally hoped to install some new plants by summer's end but that plan would not be realized.  The shear amount of work required to get the yard to this point was more difficult than I anticipated going in.  Although the new plants never made it in as I had planned I was not going to let the summer end without planting something new. Although there would be no immediate gratification from this planting - spring should start out pretty.

This job is far from over. I am in process of designing the landscape utilizing landscape software, planning the propagation of most of the plants to be installed in spring, and designing a water feature and slate pathway that will be installed in spring. So for know thanks for checking out my progress, and come back in Spring as I will continue to document the make-over of this property until all of the planting is finished and the transformation is complete.

Installing topsoil in the newly cleaned beds

We finally completed tree, weed, and vine removal
showing the beds that were hidden underneath. Although
the front yard is beginning to look much better the removal of the unwanted plants, and trees along with the neglect has caused the flower beds to resemble the surface of the moon.  I made the decision to install new topsoil in order to ensure there would be no standing water and proper drainage.  The first load of topsoil was 10 yards which as you can see was spread entirely by hand shovel and wheelbarrow.

After myself and my crew completed spreading the 10 yards of topsoil we discovered more was needed.  After taking measurements of the remaining bed space to be covered and completing some simple calculations we ordered 20 more yards to complete the job.  At this point in the process we retired the hand wheelbarrows and replaced them.

The decision to rent the tractor was purely a business decision.  Based on the amount of hours required to spread the initial ten yards of topsoil, and the labor I had to pay to accomplish the task, it made more sense to rent the tractor. The tractor paid off in a big way we were able to spread the 20 yards in a day.

Maintenance During Irrigation installation

After many weeks of hard work and sweat we had finally completed weed removal in the front yard.  It was time to install topsoil to fill in low spots in the beds, and to ensure proper drainage once the new landscape materials are installed.  At this point in the project we found ourselves at a standstill waiting for the irrigation company to install the new irrigation system.  During the time waiting for the installation many new weeds began to pop up, which required immediate treatment.  We began to roundup and apply Amaze pre-emergent weed killer in hopes of holding the weeds at bay until the installation was complete.


Tree and brush removal

Crape Myrtle trees next to house and Parking area (before)
As we worked our way through the beds removing overgrown weeds, cutting an English edge around them we also had to remove several trees and overgrown vines.  I decided the tree and vine removal would not only open up the front of the yard but it would allow the eye to move through the yard and beds once completed.  As you can see from the before and after pictures the removal of the vines around the crapemyrtle trees really opened up the yard.

Crapemyrtles after vine removal

As you can see from the pictures below the removal of the group of trees in the flower bed again opened the yard up.  The aspidistras leaves growing in the middle of the bed will also be removed and further open the bed up. Several other large and medium sized trees were removed to further open the yard and give the residence more of a curb appeal from passer's by.
Front yard bed with aspidistra & weedy looking trees

Front yard bed after tree removal

Monday, November 17, 2014

Cutting in the English Edge

During the early part of the planning process
I discussed with Mrs. McClarren the possibility
of utilizing edging stone to surround the beds. I
gathered from the conversation with Mrs. McClarren
she didn't want to spend the money to edge so many beds.
I knew I had to find a way to give the beds a cleaner look
and provide a distinct transition from the lawn to the beds.
After a little research I discovered a technique called and
English edge which is a simple V type trench cut around the
outer border of the bed using a simple hand tool or edging

As you can see from this picture after the edge was cut into the bed there is a distinct and noticeable transition from the lawn to the bed.  By utilizing the English edge it will accomplish a couple of things a defined edge, and it will allow for drainage as well as keeping the future mulch in the bed.

Continued Transformation

The yard continues to transform, and the beds
 begin to resemble actual flower beds instead
of a weedy mess. During the weed and tree removal
several beautiful plants were discovered which will stay
in the landscape.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

The transformation of the front yard is almost complete

After a long month and a half of work the front yard is nearing completion.  After many hours of weed, and tree removal the landscape is beginning to rise from the ashes and resemble a lived in home instead of the jungle we started with. Several trees were removed in the beds in order to remove the brushy chaotic look and replace it with more order

As you can see from the two pictures here the decision to remove the Yaupon trees opened up the bed for more plants and a cleaner look as well as allowing the eye to transition through the landscape more freely. I also believe the removal provides more curb appeal to the random passer by.  Throughout this process I have spoken with many neighbors who have commented on the transformation and have expressed positive responses.