Our landscapers began the landscaping project this week. I would have liked to save money by doing the landscape myself; however, I know myself well enough to know that tackling a handyman project that large would be a disaster. My handyman skills are maxed out just by installing blinds. Installing a drip irrigation system? Fuggedaboutit!
Nancy and I did the landscape design ourselves. After seven years at our old house we had a pretty good idea of what we want. The following were our guiding principles:
- Less grass, more flowerbeds. The flowerbeds are relatively easy to keep weed free and Nancy likes to spend time planting and weeding. I like the fact that Nancy is a good gardener and bigger flowerbeds leave me with less grass to mow.
- Curbing around all grass areas. Nothing is worse than grass getting into the flowerbeds and rocks.
- Big garden. I’m a gung-ho gardener in the spring and then tend to slack off as it gets hotter during the summer months. Fortunately, Nancy is a good gardener and doesn’t even slack off during the summer.
- Flagstone patio – Our last house had a “lumpy” patio that Nancy and I laid ourselves out of ugly pavers. This time we are going for a professionally laid flagstone patio and hope to eventually get some nice patio furniture.
- Flagstone pathways – We have no grass along the sides of the yard – only flowerbeds. The flagstone pathways should look nice through the flowerbeds.
- Water feature – I’ve always wanted a water feature. A nice little stream or waterfall is just so cool. Nancy was against a water feature because she kept thinking of stagnant ponds and worrying about the kids falling in (she also didn’t want to spend the money). A month ago I took her on a walk through a different neighborhood where several of the houses had streams in the front yard. Nancy saw the streams and agreed with me that having one would be nice so in the end I won her over.
We plan to have a small rock wall in the front – just enough to level out the front yard a little bit.
A couple of months ago Ace Property Maintenance gave our next door neighbors an estimate and so we had them give us an estimate as well. I got estimates from a couple of other places and Ace’s was competetive and it seemed like they run a pretty good operation so we decided to go with them. They just finished up the neighbors (which looks good) and so we’re excited that they started on ours – especially since we recently got a notice from the Homeowners Association whining about the fact that our landscape is (we have until the end of June by contract so I don’t know what they’re whining about).
For the past couple of weeks we’ve been hearing beep-beep sounds of the bobcat as they drive it around our neighbors yard. Now it is our turn. Today they dug trenches for the sprinkler system and leveled off the front yard. We only had one incident when the bobcat backed up in to the airconditioning compressor and knocked it off its pedestal into the house. Fortuntely, the compressor still worked and the guys eventually got it back on the pedestal so no harm no foul.
It will be fun to watch our landscape take shape over the next few weeks and we’ll certainly be glad when its done. I keep imagining myself sitting on our back patio, listening to the bubbling stream, and enjoying the nice shade from the hot afternoon sun. The only problem with that vision is that it takes forever to grow nice shade trees. Oh well, it’s something I’ll eventually be able to enjoy 20 years from now.