We finally started to make headway on revamping the tired landscaping surrounding the house — we refer to the area as the “house garden(s).” Just about everything out there dates back to when the house was built back in 1966. Thus we have lots of old shrubs intermixed with a bunch of volunteers. So way back in 2016 we hired a landscape architect firm and started down the garden path, only that particular firm just didn’t listen to the things we said so I fired them — only time so far I’ve dropped contractor.
I found another option and we worked with him to draw up some plans. Then I went through round after round of trying to find a landscaping company that I felt could handle the work. Four times over the years I had a few firms in, went over their bids and portfolios and out of that only one seemed viable. If we were a normal property with a simple front and back yard, it would not have been such a saga, but nothing here is normal.
The complicating factor is that we want to gather our rain water: you know that stuff that falls from the sky. Back in 2018 gutters were installed on the house and we already had gutters on the garage and scuppers on the studio building, plus the courtyard has a slight slope to direct water towards a drain between the garage and studio building. Thus, capturing all that water and storing it for use to irrigate stuff during the dry summers is a smart idea. So not only do we have a non-standard “yard” we also want to do something very outside of normal.
But we do at least have plans — although said plans are currently being revised. Yet one stage of the plans was completed this past winter. That being the courtyard area, which is really the planting bits outside the front door, my office door and Agent Smith’s office door.
Here are some before pics. As you can see all the original pavers have settled in the almost sixty years since they were poured in place.
Plus all those pink marks are from the scanning guy who came out to locate things for us so we didn’t accidentally electrocute the crew that would be coming to do the work.
Then in Mid-December of last year a crew arrived and began tearing out all the old stuff.
Soon all the old pavers were reduced to rubble, and after a short bit of instruction using my very bad conversational Spanish, the forewoman was happily ferrying all the rubble over to the spoil pile out by the RV pad.
Once the destruction was over, it was time to rebuild…