Aug 26, 2010

Landscape Dreams & Schemes

Our yard is a Landscapers dream before shot. I am now all too familiar with that nod from landscapers working on a neighbouring yard. The "You know you need me" nod*. With our 90:10 weed to grass ratio, rogue perennial beds arranged according to where the squirrel buried the bulbs** and scatter of toys and buckets from Lily's outdoor escapades, we continue to hold the reigning title of least popular yard in the neighbourhood.*** YYYAAAAYYYY!

One of our neighbours walked up to me while I was watering my weeds recently and told me how the previous owners had such a beautiful garden. "But we've been so busy restoring the interior" I pleaded, "and no family here, and I'm working hard to get the business going, and my husband has a demanding job... and, and, and..." He looked bored. Apparently there's no excuses for an ugly yard in a pretty neighbourhood.

When we first moved to Calgary we had the lofty goal of achieving full restoration inside and out by years end. Fools. After eating all the cans of stuff you swore you were on crack when you bought because you have no money to buy groceries after completing two resto/renos in one season, there will likely be no more fancy Before and Afters to wow you with this year. Instead, please enjoy countless weeks of DIY and pictures of other people's restorations that we covet.

Back to landscaping. We do have a plan for the outside. According to several landscape quotes, it's a $40,000 plan. So we are now scheming on how to get it down to the $5-7000 range. Part of the scheming involves telling relatives the said quote, and getting them all riled up over landscape companies who are taking advantage of young families in Calgary. "Hell, I can do it for an 1/16th of the price" said one, "I'll bring the lumber out myself from BC."

"Really?" (batting eyelashes) "We're free the Labour Day weekend" ha ha. Just kidding.

Here's the plan:

Current Condition of Backyard:

Hubs in the backyard, spray painting out our plan for the deck. We initially did this to get quotes then just kept on going. One of Jay's tasks before guests arrived was to spray paint the deck.

House Colours:

Here are the two contenders. I prefer the second but our neighbour's house is sage. We plan to remove the vinyl siding and replace with drop cedar siding similar to that on the first picture below.

I'm starting to like light houses again. But not sure if it will be too similar to its current state (white with white vinyl and white window sash) Yawn. Sorry, fell asleep.

This colour scheme is gorgeous. And the orange door is a must.

We plan to replace the sick vinyl door with yellowed doorlight trim with a new door (likely from a local New & Used) and this door kit from Crestview Doors. How bold is a peach door? Loves.

Front Yard:

Hubs and I are at a 'vs'. over the front (His boring plan vs. my brilliant one.)

Me: Remove most of the sod except for small patches and replace with small pebble xeric gardens of perennial grasses and clumps of blooming flowers (appropriate for Zone 3a gardens [Calgary]). All plants will require little watering throughout the season and look pretty even in the winter. Also doubles as shield from busy street close to our house.

Him: Replace sod with new sod. Replace concrete crumbling front path with new concrete path. Get a new gas powered lawn mower to mow new grass. (Hubs LOVES mowing the lawn. He always gets misty in that scene from Forest Gump when he gets the job mowing the lawn at the local school)

Inspiration for xeric garden in front


There is currently two levels in our backyard the upper of which slopes sharply down to a sad concrete paver/grass deck. We plan to skim the lower level back further away from the house, pave with square concrete pavers and add a retaining wall. The lower patio will be for a table, the barbecue and will be shielded with a pagoda. On the upper portion, we will create a small concrete paver patio for our lounge set. Most of the areas surrounding the deck on the lower level will be converted to small pebbled xeric gardens with super modern and simple perennial grasses/flowering plants. We plan to integrate a sandbox into one of the gardens that I have a clear view of from the kitchen window. A new horizontal fence will also be built.

Inspiration for horizontal fence.

Both lower and upper patios will be composed of this type of paver with a similar garden to pictured

I like these grasses and the patterning of the pavers

We're hoping to do this same pattern as the edging to the patios

The type/size of gravel we'd like to use for the xeric gardens (but more plants)

We're hoping to get this done in the next year or so (fingers crossed) and we're starting to source out product and friends and relatives who like manual labour. ha ha.


*At first I thought the landscaper was tyring to pick me up, but when it happened again to my nanny and husband, I knew something was up.

**PS. Squirrel, you suck at landscaping. Stick to looking cute and running up trees.

***Actually, we have moved up a notch. Hubs and his dad made a side gate to stop Lily from wandering into the front yard and my mom came out this week and removed all the unsightly (yucky bushes, overgrown plants and weeds from our front garden). It looks much better now.


lucky_14 said...

We used Crestview inserts too. Here's what our door looks like now. We love it.

Laura said...

Oooo - it looks FABULOUS! Good to hear first hand that they are a good product. Adore your house colours too.

VoyageVixen said...

There are some vintage doors for sale in Calgary

LD said...

Just found your blog! It's great! We like your landscape inspirations. That's our project for next year, and love your inspirational picks. thanks for sharing.

Unknown said...

Over the years, roofers have witnessed the effects vinyl siding has had on the building industry. Multiple times every year, roofers are asked to investigate roof leaks, only to discover that the source of the leaks are a nearby vinyl-clad wall! Many homeowners and contractors are discovering that their initial cost savings by installing vinyl will ultimately cost them many times more through water damage to their homes. See more

Anonymous said...

You are entitled to coins in at the warranty to have it replaced. a few fencing substances don't have an assurance and you are caught with them once they do not keep up well visite site ….

Autul said...

When I visited your blog I found that your content pattern is so beautiful and most impressive for Landscape Gardening Service. So as I am reader I can give you best compliment for your post article.Hope it is really helpful for people those actually need for landscaping.

Nilex Inc said...

At Retaining wall Calgary, a division of the NilexInc, our team will deliver the best products, services, and solutions for your retaining walls. Retaining Walls Calgary

Post a Comment