Sunday, December 03, 2006

xmas lights

Sunday, December 3

Today we had a chance to do something, for the very first time..... Tim and I put up xmas lights on the house for the very first time. It was a lot of fun... and it worked out great. The lights fit perfectly right around the windows and tucked in perfectly between the siding and the window frames. I bought the lights at Target..... they have an awesome selection. The lights I found are frosted round ones. I liked them the best.

The pine tree also received a light treatment this year. Although.... I must say.... it emphasizes it's odd shape, but who cares..... it looks fun :)

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Bamboo Chimes

Saturday, November 11

Since I love the sound of bamboo chimes, I couldn't resist replacing the summer wind twirler, by the entrance, with a bamboo wind chime. I thought it would be a nice welcoming sound for our guests, as they came to our entrance.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Circle - Tilled

Sunday, November 5

Since I had my Dad's tiller still in the garage and it just so happened to be a nice day, I tilled the soil in the circle today. Since it's been so nice and dry this week, it was a lot easier than the in wet September, when we tried to do it. And now it looks so much nicer with everything tilled and mulched together.

Also.... since I was on the roll, I decided to mark off the paths a little bit more. I used what I had laying around, which was stumps. I have lots of those. It might not be the most attractive arrangement of elements I've done, but it works :)

Tuesday, October 24, 2006


Tuesday, October 24

I've been searching around online for solar lanterns. I wanted to put a lantern in the circle that had a zen look to it. We do have a lamp post ready to be installed, that matches the house lights, but I don't think that will happen this year. These solar lanterns are more just a small decor thing, cause solar lights aren't the brightest of lights.

Anyways, I think they match the space well and they sure look zen sitting on the terra-cotta gravel.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Circle - nuggets & Tim's party

Saturday, October 21

Well.... people are still dealing with aftermath of that freak storm, from last Friday. We lucked out. We just lost power just for one day, but my parents lost it for 3 days. I have co-workers that still don't have power. As of yesterday morning, there are still 50,000 people without power. Crews can't get at the wires until they remove the broken tree limbs and branches hanging over the lines.

Last Saturday, we were actually going to have a bday party for Tim, but with the storm we had post-phone it till today. It'll be the his first birthday party in the new house, so we're really excited to have everyone over. One of Tim's friend's is coming from out of town, so we might even have our first overnight guest, if he doesn't want to drive back tonight.

Before guests arrived, there was one last thing I want to finish in the circle this season. I wanted add the decorative gravel nuggets in Area B of the design. I really wanted things to look nice, when people showed up.

I had Tim pick up 5 bags of nuggets on Thursday. I laid the landscaping fabric and dumped the nuggets, then we quickly realized that 5 bags of nuggets covers a diddly amount. So, Tim and I picked up 10 more bags of the nuggets this morning. We dumped them all.... bringing it to 15 bags equaling 750 lbs of nuggets :)

The nuggets were a lot of fun to work with. It transformed that area very quickly into a zen space. I love it.... I absolutely love the terra-cotta color nuggets. It really makes the wallstone pop now. And I love the contrast of the terra-cotta to the green of the juniper.

Now the outside is starting to balance with the inside a bit more. We at least have a little bit of curb appeal. Well...... if you look beyond the mud :)

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Storm Aftermath

Sunday, October 15

The aftermath of the last weeks storm is still be dealt with. Power is still out for a lot of people. The morning and afternoon was filled with the sound of chain saws. People are trying to clean up their yards of broken tree limbs and piling them by the roadside.

With all the snow melted, we were able to see the low spots that collected water. Unfortunately one of which was right were we planted the little Japanese Maple. So we spent the morning moving soil from the backyard to that area of the circle, so that it was higher than the driveway.

When power was out, we also realized another thing we had been neglecting. The fire wood. Now that bad weather was here, we want to keep them dry. We brought in the garage a good amount, but I only had one tarp, for now, to cover one of the log cords with. I'll have to pick up a couple more.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Freak October Storm

Friday, October 13

Well... apparently there's something to Friday the 13th. We just had a freak storm come out of no where. It started last night and today everything was shut down. Over a 100,000 people lost power, due to down power lines.

We lost power in the morning..... ironically just after I invited my parents over for breakfast, since they lost power last night. We got it back in the tonight, but my Parents are still without power. My in-laws lost power last night, but got it back, then lost it again.... ironically when we had gone there to catch our favorite TV Show.

It was a such a freak storm. Due to leaves still being on trees, the weight of the snow on them just ripped off branches like they were toothpicks. Whole trees feel over because of it. My parents lost a large evergreen. It feel right over their driveway. Every property on my road lost at least one main branch off of front yard trees, that I could see..... and I'm not exaggerating!

I have never seen such tree devastation, from a snow storm in my entire life. This morning, I had taken a drive around, with my Parents, it was like a disaster zone with all the tree branches. It was crazy..... just crazy. We received maybe about 3 or so inches, but by my work I heard there was almost 2 feet.

Thankfully the new trees we planted are babies and easily bounced back, once the snow melted. And it melted fast... the snow was almost all gone by night time. And yes..... our Pine made it through just fine. It had no broken limbs..... surprisingly.

Well.... apparently mother nature didn't want me to do any landscaping today :)

Freak Storm

Friday, October 13

After the snow started to melt and our yard turned into a lake, we decided to double check the basement and see how things were. The first thing we check was the sub-pump and made sure the water was pumping out ok, since the power was back on.

We did notice a leak though..... in a place we had been checking all along. That place was where our lovely first plumber Sean punched through the Superior Wall for the water meter. After we hired Jerry, we noticed that one of the things Sean had done was A. Put the meter too close for our comfort to the Circut Box.... and B. instead of having the pipe go in between the support concrete beams, he put it right threw the side of the beam. On top of the that, he didn't even seal it properly, according to Superior Walls, which caulked around it for us.

Anyways... we do have a leak starting exactly in that spot. *sign*.... yep... our foreman really found us a winner.... didn't he? I mean the whole idea of getting the Superior Walls was so that we didn't have to deal with leaks. Now we have to, because of our foreman who didn't coordinate anything and found us an inexperienced plumber............. jerk! arggg.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Circle - Wallstone (Area B - 2nd Course)

Tuesday, October 10

Tim and I finished the 2nd course of Area B of the wallstone today. It was a bit difficult due to getting down to the last stones. It's not a great selection anymore and was harder to get have good fits and keep it level.

I think we managed to do a good job, with what we had. The next area will be a little easier I think. It's only going to be one course, plus the cider blocks, so nothing will be placed/balanced on top of them as the other areas.

I can't wait to pick up some decorative gravel and fill the area, we just finished. This may or may not work in the new york climate, but I plan on planting right in the gravel. I've seen flowers bloom right in the middle of a gravel road here before. Fine gravel/sand much acts like soil, holding water for plants just the same. I figure, why not? If it doesn't work, it doesn't work. If it does.... well..... it'll have a unique texture and color as a background for flowers/plants.

While I was at it, I also placed a Japanese Juniper in Area B. I'm pretty sure that will be it's home, but really, I just wanted something there to see what it

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Circle - Wallstone (Area B)

Sunday, October 8

We started on the 2nd area (Area B) of the circle landscape design. This will be lined with stone, not as high as the square area, but a course higher than the grass area.

We started this morning with digging a trench, for where the wallstone will be laid. The we had taken a trip to Home Depot to purchase another set of cider blocks, to act as a base for the wallstone.

When we had gotten back, I lined the trench with landscapers fabric and a course of gravel. Tim lined the trench with the cider blocks, then I leveled them. After than, we started the first course of wallstone. I was fairly easy, compared to the square area. It was just a curved line to follow, no corners to worry about. The only thing I worried about was that it was level at the way around.

Also today I installed another awesome product that I recommend. It's a 100ft garden hose reel, by Frontgate. This thing is awesome. Granted.... I've only used it twice so far, but I love it. It's a 3/4" 100ft hose that reels itself back in, much like my 25ft electrical cord reel, in the garage. It stakes right into the ground and can pivot 360 degrees. It's a great product. Once we staked it, It was so easy to pull out to our newly planted Redbuds 90 feet away, give it a little tug and let it reel itself back in.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Trees - planted Japanese Maple & Redbuds

Saturday, October 7

We had taken the day off from working with the wallstone to plant our trees, before the weather gets any worse. Finally our little Japanese Maple has a home and my parents don't have to tree-sit my Redbuds anymore.

Way back when, last year, when our house was suppose to be finished, I had purchased 2 Eastern Redbuds online, from Nature Hills. They bloom in the spring with vibrant pink blooms, then develop green leaves, turning yellow in Fall. They will grow to about 15 foot, so we planted them a good 30 foot apart. Since being showy trees, we planted them upfront and center, near the road. After they fill in, they'll take up that empty space, below the larger front Ash trees, nicely.

If all goes well, hopefully they will grow to look as pictured on the store's website.

The little Japanese Maple was planted in the circle. Even though it's just a little guy now, we planted it a good distance away from where we'll plant the Magnolia tree next year. I had a good chuckle afterward. When next to the garage, it looked bigger, but in the wide open area of the circle, it looks like a tiny shrub.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Circle - Wallstone (4th Course Done)

Thursday, October 5

We finished laying out the 4th course for the square wallstone area today. The goal was to find the stones that fit well. If any needed to be leveled more, we could worry about that tomorrow.

Tim worked on the one side and I worked on the other. We pretty much finished at the same time. It looked great and was glad that we decided to give it a 4th course. Now I really can't wait to get started on the circular areas to the design.