Monday, May 28, 2007

Driveway-side planting bed

Monday, May 28

I worked a little more on the driveway-side planting bed today. Along with stacked some more logs, for the retaining wall, I flattened out the dirt a bit more. It's looking more like a property border now.

There use to be 2 cut-through trails being mowed, on the property next to us, that led to our property line. Now there's only the one. They stopped mowing the one it, after I cut off access to our property last week with the logs. Hopefully, now that I had laid logs down across the 2nd path, they'll get the idea that our property is not a cut-through and they'll stop mowing that path as well. When I get a chance.... I'm going to make it even more obvious with shrubs.

Sunday, May 27, 2007


Sunday, May 27

My Mom and I had gone out scavenging for a Magnolia tree today. We drove all over the darn place and comically found one in the last place we had thought it would be... the closest nursery.

We had a 4 hr adventure of going to 6 different nurseries trying to track down the variety of Magnolia I was looking for, which was a Star Magnolia. It either comes with white or pink blooms. I was looking for the same as my Mom's, which has pink blooms. However, the only ones we were finding were one's with white blooms.

We did finally find a nursery that carried the pink kind..... ironically, it was the closest one. They don't have the best selection, so it was the last place we looked. They had the most similar kind as my Mom's, which is a "Jane" Magnolia. The Jane Magnolia has a shrub look to them and produces flowers in late spring that resemble slender tulips. The blooms are reddish-purple on the outside and white inside.

We were relieved to finally find it and called my Dad, who came with his truck to transport it. When we got back home, Tim helped my Dad move it into place as my Mom and I leveled it. It was a special moment for me to have the 4 of us plant it together. Magnolia's remind me of my childhood and my family, due to my grandmother, great aunts and parents having one. And when we have kids and they have their first homes, I'll get them one too :)

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

First sign of grass & birds-eye view

Wednesday, May 23

Tim called me today and told me some fun news... we have little baby grass poking up. He had taken pictures and emailed them to me. I was so excited, I was driving everyone nuts at work showing the pics off. I think my coworkers think I'm nuts, but hey.... this has been two years in the making.

When I got home, I decided to get out the ol' ladder and get a birds-eye view of the front landscape, from the roof. Everything looks awesome. For not knowing a darn thing about landscaping, I think Tim and I have done a good job so far. Everything has come such a long way since last year.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Grading Driveway Side yard

Tuesday, May 22

Today we received a couple of loads of topsoil on the driveway side yard. Tim worked his but off to spread out the first load, before the second load arrived and spread more into the driveway.

When I got home, I finished up grading that area and tiled a shallow trench along our property line. In the trench I started lining it with logs, for a temporary retaining wall. This will serve as two purposes... first being a retaining wall for the topsoil and driveway and second a property line.

Before we bought the lot, there was a trail running through it to the property in back of ours. Apparently the fact that there's a house now it's obvious enough, that's it's private property now, cause people are still using our yard as a cut-through. I'm hoping that a retaining wall and some nice evergreens, along with some barberry shrubs will change trespassers minds.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Permanent Occupancy & Seeding the Circle

Saturday, May 19

Our permanent occupancy paperwork came in the mail today. It has an official town seal on it and everything. I guest my outlaw days are over :)

The rest of the day I spent working on the circle landscaping. I raked and graded the circle a bit more, before seeding. I had fun using a handheld seed spreader to seed the circle.

While I was finishing up seeded the circle, Tim was starting his job of watering the grass seed around the yard. We've been told to water it until you see puddles. It takes about 3-4 hrs to do all of the areas. After Tim was done, I hooked up the ornamental sprinkler I bought for the circle and watered the seeds.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Circle - planted shrubs

Thursday, May 17

I had some time today to plant the shrubs going into the shrub area off the circle. This will be the area that I want to fill in and be dense, so I planted the shrubs fairly close.

I've planted some barberry's, Blue star Junipers and some Emerald 'N Gold Euonymus, which will give that area all year round interest.

Also, my little Chinese Blue Wisteria, that I purchased from last year, is all of the sudden full of leaves. It's a vine that when mature will have fragrant bluish-purple flowers. But instead of letting it grow as a vine, I'm going to train it into a tree form.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Grass seeded!

Tuesday, May 15

Yep....finally... finally we have our yard seeded with grass! Our landscaper came today and graded then seeded the front side and backyard.

They also even dropped off a truck load of topsoil for free for us, from another job. The deal was though, that Tim had to move it were we needed it, then they'd flatten it and seed it while doing the rest.

So... poor Tim shoveled and shoveled this huge mound they had dropped off in the circle. He moved it with the wheel barrel. I was very proud of him.... that was a lot of work for one person. Tim started watering the seeds after they left, but didn't over do it, since it was suppose to rain at night.

It looked like it was just about to rain, when I got home, so I talked Tim into more labor and he helped me smooth out the rest of the pile, that was left in the circle. We smoothed it out as much as possible, but it still needs more work before we seed it. For one, I'd like to install the edging to the rest of the circle and smooth it out some more.

Tim still had more labor to do when my brother and uncle dropped by in the evening with some dirt my uncle gave to us, from a yard project of his own. It filled in a good amount on the side that we still needed to fill.

After that..... Tim looked like he wanted to drop.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Trucks parked & planted crabapple

Monday, May 14

Today we got a shocker..... 3 trucks parked on our front yard. Not just any trucks.... trucks from our landscaper. They said mid-May... and it's mid-May... so here they are!

Tim talked to Sam, who said they'll be working tomorrow and grade and seed our yard. I can't freakn wait. The is so exciting I can't stand it. What a relief to know it's going to be done tomorrow and we can finally get our permanent occupancy.

Among that, I constructed the area for the crabapple and then Tim and I planted it in it's new home. I really like the area. I didn't have time to finish it and plant the shrubs, but I at least got the grass side of the edging in, so that when they seed tomorrow, they can backfill it.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Circle - welcome shrubs area

Sunday, May 13

I wanted to have more privacy around the circle, so I decided to extend the shrub area around the circle. I'm going to construct an end area to match the square patio pavestone area I had just built. I had no idea what I was going to plant there, until I talked to my parents. My parents asked what about that crabapple tree I had at their house.

This was a tree I had previously thought had been devoured by deer. I purchased it almost 2 yrs ago, when I had thought the house would be done. My Dad informed me that the darn thing actually had leaves and a couple of flowers.

My Dad and I dug it out of the ground at my parents and brought it back to my house. I wasn't sure about it. It has an odd shape now, but my Dad assures me it will fill back in. Besides.... we all thought, why not, our yard has an odd shaped pine, why not a crabapple to match :)

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Circle - Area E - more edging & pebbles

Saturday, May 12

After finishing installing edging around the rest of area E, Tim and I picked up some more beach pebbles to fill in the rest of the area. All together that makes 17 bags in this area.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Circle - Area E pebbles

Sunday, May 6

The circle is getting closer to getting done. Today I worked on Area E, which is another gravel area, but different color. I wanted to add some contrast, so Tim and I picked up some nuggets that look like beach pebbles in a yellowish sand color.

I started by installing, what I had left of the edging tracks, around the circle. With edging and the pebbles, it's starting to loose the "under construction" look finally. Now all that's left of the major stuff is the grass area and planting the magnolia.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Lanscaping - welcome shrub & weeping cherry area

Saturday, May 5

Today I'm working on an area that will serve two purposes. First, a welcoming area for our guests as they walk toward the front entrance. Second, a bed of shrubs that will shelter headlamps toward our neighbors house.

I started with laying out landscape fabric and then a layer of fine gravel. I used edging tracks around the area. They're L-shaped tracks that are staked into the ground, usually used when working with pavestones to keep them in place.

After the pavestones were in place, I cut through the landscape fabric and dug holes for the shrubs. I planted Bluestar Junipers alternated with barberry shrubs, which I'm going to let grow into each other for privacy.

Just as I was finishing planting the shrubs, my parents stopped by. It was perfect timing as they were on their way to Home Depot. I had gone with them and they helped me pick out a weeping cherry, that I had been eying for the the last week. I used a gift card, my parents gave me for my birthday, to purchased a Snowfountain weeping cherry. In spring it blooms little pinkish-whitish flowers. I thought it was a perfect welcoming tree for the entrance pathway.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Cinderblock mayhap

Friday, May 4

Tim had quite the day running an errand for me. I had asked him to pick up the cinderblocks that we needed for the welcome area.

I thought that I had seen the brick colored cinderblocks at Home Depot, so that's where Tim had gone. He called me and told me they weren't there. It was only one of 2 places, so Tim then drove to Lowes, who then said that they didn't carry them either. Tim then tried another Home Depot, who did have them, but they were up high. So after Tim had help getting them, he was on the way to the register and the darn wheel on the cart came loose.

Now... would you laugh, if you told this? I couldn't help it.... I had too. Poor Tim.... driving all over and to have that happen.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Corrected Deed & Welcome shrub area

Thursday, May 3

Ok... if this is not one of the goofiest things. Besides the town irritated at us over extending our temporary occupancy over the darn front yard not being seeded, the other thing was the combining of the lots.

Originally, when the survey was done, it was suppose to show the 2 lots as one. but due to it having a dotting line on it, the town doesn't see that as 2. So we had to have our lawyer, my Godfather, write a correcting deed. It's basically an amendment to the deed from myself, to myself saying the 2 lots are now 1. How stupid is that?

Ok... so that's over... now onto the fun stuff. I designed a shrub area that will welcome our guests to the front door. This area will also be in steps, in height. I'm starting with the lowest level, which will be a shrub area that will help shelter headlights from beaming into our neighbor's windows.

I started the project with flattening out the area and tilling it with the handy-dany Mantis that my father-in-law gave us. I staked it out and measured out the materials needed. Next step is to get the supplies and construct it.