Sunday, January 25, 2009

2008 Redesign

In March of 2008 my sister was scheduled for major back surgery. She asked if I could take some time off work to help her through the first two weeks of her recovery once she was out of the hospital. I would take the day shift and her husband would be home with her at night.

Now we both knew I would need a project to work on when she was resting. She was going to be in bed with little movement for those two weeks and would only need me to get her meals, help her with her 10 minute walks. I couldn't just sit around with nothing to do all day. So her back yard redesign was born.

Click on the photos for larger views.

My sister lives right next door to me on the other side of this fence.

Come February I started working on a plan and taking some photos to study. I came up with a design and went over it with her. We put together a budget and I had her pick the hard scape material.

I enlisted the help of my son and his best friend to cut some low hanging branches from a neighboring tree to get some much needed light into the yard.

Here is what I had to work with. The yard is all patio space with small beds around the sides and back.

I wanted to utilize all of her plants and furniture and fill in as need.

From here I will show you the before and after photos from each area of the makeover.
Lets start with the beds in front of the windows. Like my house she has floor to ceiling windows spanning from the kitchen to the living room.

In front of the windows were to very old lemon trees that blocked the view out to the yard. It also made the house very dark. The decision was to remove the trees. I hope it was the right decision!

Turned out it was. Taking out the trees really opened up the space and the view out the yard is great.

Next I wanted to add some raised beds. Just like my yard her soil was hard pack clay. Only the top few inches of soil was any good. So out came the mini boulders and in went the raised beds.

It's starting to take shape but there was something missing. The corner needed some visual interest...

That's better!

Since my sister has a dog I wanted to make sure I planned some space for her. The dog likes to do her business behind the gazebo, so I decided to make a doggy walking path just for her. This would give that area a nice look and easy to keep clean.

From here I moved on to the left side of the yard. This is where the dog house is as well as the potting bench... you call this a potting bench?

I'll have to do something about that....
But first I wanted to clear out the area around the dog house and give her a cool new pad with her own front patio and plants.

Now for the potting bench...
That's more like it.

The gazebo is next... This was the best part of the make over and the most fun.


I love the way the doggy path turned out, and it goes all the way to her house!
OK so that is the end of the make over... but lets review from above

Boy those two weeks went by fast!
Over all a job well done and my sister and her husband love the finished product.

Now I'm sure you're wondering what changes I made to my yard in 2008... well, I will not disappoint..... Here are some before and after photos to enjoy...

March 2008

I'm not liking this at all... time for a change!

There that's so much better

Nov 2008

Our last BBQ for the year in Nov!

I bought this banana in May. It came in a 4 inch pot.
I hope I can keep it alive over the winter.
This area looks really nice and I know I shouldn't make yet another change.

But I really want a vegetable garden....

And since the soil sucks.....

In goes the raised bed

Look what Santa brought me... just in time to start seeds for my vegetable garden :-)

Completed raised bed

Looking good!

We have come to the end of the seven year review of my gardening journey.

All posts after this one will be my adventures in the 2009 Vegetable Garden.
This should be lots of fun!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Moving on to 2006 and 2007

I've spent the last few days reviewing photos for this post and have come to the conclusion that I am crazy! I just can't seem to leave well enough alone... but in this case it's a good thing.

In March 2006 I decided I wanted an outdoor living space. You know, some where you can sit and enjoy the summer day and have a glass of wine.
This is what I came up with. Again it looks nice from the living room window. We also installed much needed sun shades. Click on photos for a better look...

August 2006 I didn't make any big changes to the planting area.
I worked on putting in some lighting and just enjoyed the space.

The vine on the garage continues to do well year after year.

I had some luck growing snail vine on the fence.
You can see some of the lighting.
Looks better when your sitting and enjoying a glass of wine.
Over all not looking to bad at all.
We've come a long way from the 2002 yard.
The cat seem to like the birdbath... to drink out of...
OK you knew it wouldn't last long....

April 2007 finds me installing pavers to give me more patio space. I know what you hard core gardeners are thinking...How can she cover up all that planting space?... I know, I know! But at the time it was the right thing to do. Nothing would grow there past spring. It would get so hot, the soil so hard and dry and I just didn't know what to do. I didn't have the patience to work the soil for the next two years... or what ever it would take to sustain life in that area. The new area came in handy for family get togethers.

Now that the pavers are in and not looking to bad,
I keep looking at this area and thinking it's just not doing it for me.
I need some sort of height in the back.

How about a raised bed? Yes this is just what that area needed. I found Angels Trump will root any where along the trunk so adding the soil into the bed didn't harm it at all!

Spring 2007 was my best planting. I tend to go with annuals when I plant. I'm just not great at picking perennials and I really love the instant color of annuals and as much as I change my mind this is probably a good thing.

Next post... 2008, A complete redesign... But will it be my yard?