Monday, April 29, 2013

Landscaping Progress Over the Years

This past weekend I did some yard work and wanted to share the outcome of it with you. I felt I would be only sharing the tip of the iceberg with you though so I did some digging into my photo files to give you a more complete picture. Here is the landscape history of our house.
I'll share the landscaping project I worked on this weekend with you all tomorrow so stay tuned! ;)

In 2009 when we signed on our house, we inherited a lot of other peoples left over issues, er maybe not issues, but because they were too lazy to keep up with the house and yard properly we had a lot of work to do... the house was a diamond in the rough, full of potential, but left much to be desired. The house was stinky and there were nicotine stains on the walls (they smoked *inside* :( ), heavily soiled carpets (it would seem they never ever took off their shoes and didn't own a vacuum, a mess of a yard (rotting firewood, wooden playhouse falling apart), jungle gym for kids (this again, rotting). Twigs all over the yard under the grass, everywhere you walked there was a snapping sound. Apparently they hadn't thought to pick up sticks before they mowed huh? :s Meh...yard work was not the prior owners priority... geesh.... At any rate, we have come a long way. 

Here is the original front of the house... oh how I do NOT miss it...

The front of the house overgrown shrubs and red landscaping bricks lined the house.
  A little while later, before moving will note the open windows - ventilating the house - the ones that could be opened... we also spent this time cleaning the heavily trafficked carpets... oye vey..

Here are many of the eye sores of the yard...

Oh the jungle gym... the oh so UNsafe playground... 
Back of the house - nice huge deck, but the lattice?!?! It had to go!
Rotting play house :( once I got it to the front curb it folded on its side.
This baby was heavy! All real wood! 
Branches and other debris collected where a large shed used to be (prior owners). 
Luckily we had a city wide clean up that fall and were able to set a lot of junk out on the curb to get it gone!

Yes, that's a refrigerator - it was full of mold when we moved in...
so we decided better safe than sorry.
Our curb as it appeared from across the street...
In 2010 we removed all these icky shrubs from the front of the house... 
and put up some solar lights and planted a few *tiny* shrubs. ☺
We toned down the red brick fascia a bit by replacing the brick landscape siding with neutral cement blocks.
You'll notice we also added white rock on top of the soil (after putting down a plastic tarp).
A nice upgrade ;) it looks so much cleaner!
Where the shrubs were we planted grass seed and lined the cement walkway with cement blocks making them flush with the side walk. 
Here is a close up of the left side of the house near the walkway at night.
Here is a shot of the cement blocks lining the cement a few years later. The grass grew in nicely!

We transplanted 4 of the 5 shrubs in the back yard - my family from Iowa visited to help with this landscaping project. Oh. My. Goodness. Could not have done this in record time without all of them! I love my family. I love their giving spirit and worker bee attitudes. At least I know where I get it from huh? :)  Oh! And in the time they were here not only did they help us tackle the landscaping but they also helped with the large sitting room upstairs.

Hasta's were brought from Iowa and planted near the base of most of the trees. Thank you Mom! :D This is the view as seen from the deck.
More Hasta's! You will notice the barren spots, this is where the toy shed was.
Grass has since grown in nicely!
The two Azalea Bushes & Peony Bush were transplanted from the front yard and were placed to the left between two trees.
There was another set of matching bushes we transplanted towards the back of the yard as well

We planted grass seed in all the spots that were in need of TLC, and we recruited a lawn care service since then to properly take care of the lawn (aerating, fertilizer and seeding), it's been green and flourishing ever since!

A few years later the family visited again and we took on the edging of the driveway -
what. a. chore!
The soil in Virginia is full of rocks! This was a huge undertaking. In some cases we had to break larger rocks so we could set the blocks flush with the ground.
The results were worth it! Here again I must credit my family, I'm so thankful for them.

As seen from the mailbox.
As seen from across the street. 
So to recap on the front yard progress - as far as the landscaping goes (we later found out we needed a new roof, siding, windows, etc. :s ) here is how it compares.
Before and after landscaping.
As mentioned, we've resided the house since then and there is a little bit more landscaping/transplanting that we did this past weekend but I'll share with you tomorrow.
 For now I hope you enjoyed the journey we've been on! :) God is faithful no? ;) 

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♥ Dawn

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