Wednesday, December 15, 2021

The Yard

Midway through the year plus of everyone being home together all the time, we were really starting to feel the itch of our house just not being large enough for this. I knew we couldn't afford to add on or anything right away, but needed to stop my brain spinning on it with some hard numbers, so reached out to a local architect dad. And the $600,000-800,000 guesstimate for a modest addition quickly put a stop to any spinning of any sort, likely forever. We were pretty discouraged by that for a few days, but we've since decided that our goal will just be to make the space we do have work for us as best as possible. And that includes the outdoor space, which will be expensive to transform, but not 600-800k expensive.

I'd already found a landscape designer that I thought I wanted to work with and just hadn't called them yet, so went ahead and reached out. The initial visit was essentially "I don't really know what I want, it's all a very blank slate and overwhelming me. Except I do know I hate everything that's currently here. Oh, and I'm thinking a fence at the front with espaliered fruit trees and we must have blueberries and gooseberries and (contained) raspberries and strawberries and maybe some rhubarb. And I adore front porches, so maybe we rip out all these bushes and make one of those?" 

And now, several months later, we've got some initial proposals and have started by tearing out most of the hated things. I'm realizing I should've had them remove the awkward cherry tree while they were at it, but that's okay. It can wait for another phase of the project.

One proposal:

The second one isn't all colorful, but has more details about the plantings. The other proposal:

Our next job is to look the proposed plans over and decide what we want to do - we can mix and match between the two plans - and then the designer will put together a final plan based on our discussion.

Start of demo progress - removing the hated bushes and blackberries near the street

Front yard all done

Side yard

I can't remember the last time I could actually see the bricks here. Of course, they'll all get torn out eventually anyway. 

And this has just been a super thick bed of pine needles for the past 2+ years

I showed the kids the plans last night and they're very excited. I had to keep reminding them - partly to remind myself as well - that this will be a slow project and likely take several years to implement.


Nancy said...

I feel this. :/ We just signed a contract for a landscaper to put in a series of retaining walls in our front yard ($$ ouch) and there's so much more that we really would like (and/or NEED) to do with this house, but...yeah. Everything is so expensive.

I love the idea of just making the space work for you. :) If it's comfortable and inviting, it's home (and your home is definitely those things—your redecorated living room is gorgeous).

Alanna said...

I'm so impressed. We have a list of things to spend money on a mile long, and I just don't think the yard is ever going to be a big priority. It's such a shame because I LOVE seeing other people's beautiful yards, but I just don't care or spend enough time outside to worry about my own. Craig does his best with our front yard and we pretty much let the backyard return to the wild. Our nextdoor neighbors must hate us...

Your plans look LOVELY and I'm sure it will be wonderful as it all unfolds!!!