Over the last few weeks my neighbor Steve, who is a landscaper and pond builder extraordinaire, has been working on replacing the upstairs deck off my bedroom and my front yard. My objective was to have a very low maintenance garden instead of the monster bush and crabgrass field that had taken over my small domain.
It has to be very easy to care for because my plant skills blow and I have little to no interest in getting dirty. Here is my little front yard with the monster bush already removed and the upper deck already replaced (but the wood underneath has not yet been stained and you can see I still need to have the sagging siding nailed back up).
I went back through my photos to try to find one with the monster bush still showing but I never took a picture of the front view. But from the inside, there is this photo of Sass and Nekoa from August 2011 showing how high up into the window the monster bush went.
[Edit] Found this image from Google Maps dated September 2007. Steve’s front yard looks so different now, this doesn’t even have his maple tree showing. But you can see Monster Bush in his earlier years.
Steve took some of the leftover composite boards from my bedroom deck and built the little tiny deck between his house and mine to cover up where some wires and cables go into the house. This way if we have to get to them the floor of the little deck can be lifted up for access. He has also started to put down some stones.
Each day I came home from work another pile of stones has gone up. The heat has been so bad around here that he is only working in the morning when this area is in shade.
A few more rock piles up and the railing has been erected. The monster bush, if you can picture it, came out about six inches more from where that front step hits the ground, and was so tall that it was about a couple of feet higher then the brick wall – so basically I got barely any light in the living room outside of the very short period when the sun was at the right angle – about 30 minutes worth in the late afternoon.
Now we have the border on the front corner in place. That big pile of rocks in front of the far terrace isn’t permanent, he just moved the rest of what I had from the back driveway to out front.
Now the far side border has been put in where my yard hits his yard. Steve has a wonderful woody theme going on with a fish pond and waterfall and trees and all sorts of jungle plants in his front yard. I wanted much less foliage and more open space for mine, but we wanted it to not be too abrupt a transition.
A lot got done this day! Some stepping stones put in place, some weed barriers laid down, and the leftover rocks have been spread out along the far end with some smaller rocks against the edging, easing the transition between his yard and mine. At this point he told me it was time to go buy some plants and mulch.
Let me tell you, Home Depot was making a fortune off me between the wood and the decking and the railing for the deck and the rocks themselves, and now back we go for flowers.
I really like the rock piles but I’m having some trouble at this point trying to visualize the final look. I love the way the rocks are sliding down into the corner at the right side though.
Home Depot was having a sale on perennials! How convenient! I didn’t go overboard because I wanted to start out relatively sparse and then fill in later. I also want to put a bunch of iris bulbs in the back by the wall itself and maybe some low lying ground cover in the front. The iris won’t go in until the fall though, that’s apparently bulb planting time.
All of these are supposed to be good in sun and very hardy. My dirt is apparently worn out from the monster bush sucking all the nutrients out, but Steve says he will fill the holes he digs for them with good stuff and the ground will get nourished if I water it and feed it regularly.
There are some lavender, and daisies, and day lilies and some I don’t remember what they were called. I’m not a good plant mommy, I forgot their names the minute the pots got thrown out.
Didn’t it turn out absolutely gorgeous! Mulch rocks!
I’m just pleased as all get out. But I must admit, the stench of manure seeping into my living room doesn’t thrill me
We are going to put in some hostas in front of the little porch where the hose is sitting, to fill that area with green and hide it, but Steve wants to pull out his little fence and the bamboo stuff he’s got growing there first.
I am so happy with how it turned out. Now I just have to try to not kill them with my ever-so-not-green thumb.