Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
1 Corinthians 3:17

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Major Progress with our Front Yard Transformation

Good morning! This is sure to be a long, picture-filled post, so maybe I'll keep my yakkin' to a minimum. First time for everything, right?

This was in a somewhat early stage of our renovating...

Last spring, I found myself in the unenviable position of figuring out what to do with, well, all this. Then, suddenly, I was in the throes of building not one, not two, but three rock wall gardens! All the rocks were coming from the haphazard rock wall that was here when we moved in back in November 2012. There were a LOT of rocks!




Now here's where we started out. This was on a walk-through in late September 2012:

At the time, I remember thinking, "Oh, that's a nice forest-like garden-thing in the front yard." Naive girl. We all came to call it the "pet cemetery" because it grew less and less endearing as time wore on.

Some winter shots:

It may look all Norman Rockwell pretty, but I promise you, it was such a disastrous mess.

That following spring, I formulated a plan. That's laughable...I change things as I go. Always have, always will. After several days of blood, sweat, and yes, of course tears!, this is what we accomplished:

We dug out the grass and made this a large flower bed. On the right side is the new rock wall with more plants and flowers. Oh those hideous steps drive me batty! In time, in time...


We also had begun with the first round of tree removals. Thanks Dad!  =)
We hired a local guy for some huge trees that were nearly dead- I was so relieved to get those out and away from our house!

These may look little, but it felt like there were thousands of them, lurking at every corner. UGH.

I'm including this photo because A. She's irresistible; and B. You can see how quickly the trees and shoots fill in if left untouched. I was beginning to doubt that we would ever get this project finished!
You might also notice that a ton of rocks are missing from the original wall. Those babies were heavy heavy heavy!

Another angle of all that growth. Seriously, I was fretting big-time by this point. How on earth were we going to get all that out of there???

These guys. All three boys worked so hard alongside my Dad. This project actually ended up being wonderful because of all the time they spent together. I realize none of it would have happened if we hadn't begun homeschooling this year, and I'm so thankful for the many blessings it has brought us.

This is what we'd tackled last year, and it was looking much better.

But...the garage door finally broke, which needed to be dealt with immediately. So everything else was forced onto the back burner, including plans to change out those front steps, argh!

This spring, which took for-ev-er arriving, we got straight to work, and I am so impressed with all that these guys have done!

The colors seem a bit wonky- it was raining, then sunny, then cloudy, then...

And here is what it looks like now!!! These are probably The Worst after pictures ever because I've still got the kayak and canoe out of place, the wheelbarrow never gets put back, cars are always in the way, etc etc etc, but I'm showing them anyway because I honestly cannot believe that it's all done!

I removed these two Heuchera plants from the foundation garden because the colors just didn't work there. I adore them here! They are in dappled sun much of the day, and they really pop all by themselves against the mulch and {future} grass.

I'm going to grow zinnias, cosmos and some other annuals in the flower bed up front- I think it's going to look gorgeous! We're still planning on leaving here fairly soon- it was never meant to be our forever home, and I think the improvements will pay off in the long run. I sure hope so anyway! I'd love to completely redo the entire lawn because it's so overridden with weeds and clover, but, I think this is good enough for now.

I have two quick questions for you:
1. The roof doesn't actually need to be replaced even though it looks like it- 20+ years of pitch and poor air circulation has done that. Does anyone have a recommendation for a product or technique to clean the shingles without damaging them?

2. We are debating the front steps again... Structurally they are okay, they are just stupid. If I have to paint them instead of replace them, I'm at a loss as to what color they should be! White? Grey? Dark grey? We will be replacing the storm door to a much more modern looking one, which will stay white; but the front doors will be painted a rich, cheerful yellow. Help, please!  =)  Thank you!

Have a great day!

You can read about the rock wall beds that line a serious slope in the backyard here .

sharing with Thrifty Decor Chick


Lindsay said...

WOW! This is much more involved than what I have been working on here. It looks so great! I would paint the steps to match the shutters if it were me. If you are planning on selling it, the rule of thumb is to keep things kinda' neutral so that the prospective buyers can visualize their own style fitting in there.

Brandi said...

My goodness, you guys have made so much progress in your yard. Everything has come together so very nicely.

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