Landscaping Day One

We’re gardeners. When we moved into this house last late Fall, about all we could do was look at the existing dead lawn, brown planting beds and overgrown back yard. The lawn has been brought back, the planting beds in the front have been “gardened up” until they look great and, though we’ll make some changes next Spring when things come back from the cold weather, we’re pretty happy with what we’ve done.

The back of our 1/3 acre lot is another story. While it has a natural look with mature, if somewhat seedy shrubs on a fairly steep slope, it leaves much to be desired. There’s a level area the two previous owners left in gravel and we want a flagstone patio there.

pallets of flagstone (marked in orange) we picked at the stone yard

Retaining walls, flagstone, raised flower beds are all beyond the ability of our old backs to manage, so after 40 years of do-it-myself, I’ve hired a landscaper. We have met, we have the plans, we’ve selected materials. Above is a picture of the flagstone (Variegated Pennsylvania Bluestone) we selected.

So this is Day One of what will be about a month-long process. As I type this, shrubs are being removed. Stay tuned for updates. I shot a ton of “before pictures so I’ll have before and after for later.

About Rick Robinson

Enjoying life in Portland, OR
This entry was posted in At Home in Portland, Personal Opinion and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Landscaping Day One

  1. Carl v. says:

    Wonderful, I’m so happy for you. My wife was wanting to hire someone to try to take control of our overgrown back yard, but I talked her into waiting at least one more season to when we can better afford to do so. Glad to know you shot ‘before’ pictures, anticipating my requests and the requests of others to see how it all turns out.

  2. Patti Abbott says:

    We’ll be watching. Hope it’s as much fun as doing ours was.

  3. Richard says:

    Carl, one of the things that drew us to this house was the mature trees and natural back property, now we’re removing a large part of the naturalness, though not a mature tree will be touched! Well, one Magnolia we don’t like will go…

  4. Richard says:

    Patti, we’re excited about the better access (there will be two short flights of stairs) as well as the new planting beds. There will be some empty spots for a while, we don’t really expect to have things fully developed until next summer, if then, and we’re having a great time looking at trees, shrubs, small conifers, etc. Going to nurseries and public gardens in the area to see things in various sizes and in the landscape is giving us lots of ideas. Of course the landscapers wanted to do a full planting plan but we made it clear early on that we’ll be doing most of the selecting, though we’ll have them plant larger (over 5 gal.) things.

  5. Pingback: Landscaping Day One | The Broken Bullhorn | Landscaping

  6. Did a LOT of gardening in my day. Vegetable gardening. Haven’t done a lick since I got older. This project sounds pretty cool, though.

  7. Thank you again for stimulating the economy with this landscaping project, Rick! We’re considering renovating our kitchen this Fall. Can’t wait to see the before and after photos!

  8. Richard says:

    Even with the paces we have, we’ll probably not set up a veggie garden, Charles. Frankly, neither of us is very good at it and the variety and availability of fresh fruit and veggie at the local Farmer’s Market is so good it hardly seems worth the time and effort.

  9. Richard says:

    George, you have no idea. I was in sticker shock when we got the bid for this. We picked the company based on quality and reputation and could have gotten it done cheaper, but we wanted it done right, so we whittled down the scope of the project until it got to an acceptable – though large – number.

  10. Laurie Powers says:

    I still love to do most of the gardening myself, but my little projects are nothing compared to the scale of yours. This year I got smart and hired someone to do the rototilling. The next project is to pull out some very large Oleanders, and you better believe I’m going to hire someone to do that. Putting in a new yard is so exciting! Can’t wait to see it. And I’m totally with you on hiring for quality – you’re going to have to look at this for a long time.

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