Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Sidetracked into Landscaping

On Sunday we headed to Lowe's to get new pipes for the kitchen sink plumbing and to see about some special screws/clamps to hold the sink down (since our new granite countertop is tile, it's thicker than most).

That was our one and only goal this past Sunday: to get the sink installed, or at least the new plumbing in place.

What did we end up doing? Landscaping.

Lowe's didn't have the longer screws/clamps to hold the sink down that we needed, and the specialty plumbing store in town was closed on Sunday. And it was a beautiful day, if you ignored the sporatic storms that blew through.

So we got sidetracked, but that's okay. We spent the day getting our hands dirty in our first foray into landscaping. And it didn't even involve live plants. Which is good because I have a black thumb, and I'm sure all my would-be victims at the nursery are breathing sighs of relief right now.

Our plan was to build a round raised bed/tree area around our only tree in the front, adding interest and dimension to our front yard and offsetting the boxy squareness of our house. The plan is to later add alot of landscaping in a freeform shape around the front of the house and porch. But that's for another day.

So on Sunday, we picked up our supplies: 75 stones, 3 bags of paver sand, 4 bags of mulch and a roll of weed block (oh, and pins). We didn't have to buy any dirt because we had mountains of it already piled up behind our shed from unearthing the patio. Thanks, Charlie.

Steps for a raised circular bed:

1) Tie a string around the base of the tree, and use spray paint to mark the outline of the circle.

2) Dig a 3-6" deep trench around the circle, and then stomp down the dirt.

3) Pour the paver sand into the trench, making it about 1" deep. Lightly spray the sand with some water.

4) Place stones into the trench, making sure each stone is level (we had to constantly add/remove sand for this part). Place stones on top of base stones, creating the wall.

5) Line inside of wall with weed block, and then distribute dirt inside of wall circle (being carful not to get dirt on the blocks. Once the dirt is sufficently level (but sloped a little for water drainage), fold over the weed block lining and pin down. Continue covering dirt with weed block.

6) Pour in 2-3" of mulch and spread evenly.

7) Enjoy!

And because I just doing side-by-side comparisons, here is the house Before when we bought it:

And the house Now:

Ahh, much better.

So, even though it took us 4-5 trips over the course of the day to-and-from Lowe's, it was a nice fun project to do outside, and makes such a big difference in our front yard! Now we can't wait until we can get outside and get the rest of our landscaping done. What about you? Have any big or small landscaping projects planned? Or are you just enjoying some beautiful Spring weather?

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  1. That looks sooo good! Great job! We re-landscaped most of our front lawn last fall and it's so nice to see everything coming up. It makes such a big difference! Love the landscape bricks you picked out.

  2. The little bed around the tree makes a huge difference! I love the stones- you guys made it look so professional and stylish. It's nice to see the before and after photos too! I'm still working on our backyard landscaping and grass-growing, and it's a ton of work. I'm not very patient with these things!

  3. Looks great! We have had our share of landscaping projects at our house. From removing bamboo that had taken over half of our huge backyard to laying sod on the hottest days of the summer. Don't recommend that one! LOL We have one it all, and my thumbs are NOT that green either I might add. Sort of a tan color I guess. Right now I have 2 extra flats of flowers I need to figure out where to plant because I took my husband with me to the nursery. He thought we needed way more flowers for our pots than we actually needed.
    Keep up the great work. I love the sense of accomplishment from seeing a completed project!

  4. Thanks for the comments, guys!

    Amy - I bet you're front lawn looks lovely now! I'll have to head over and see if I can find a photo of it on your blog. :) I can't wait until we get to do even more with our lawn - it really needs some color, it's pretty bland and boring currently.

    Anne - Thanks so much! I can't wait to see what you guys do/have done with your backyard. Reusing those stones as a border was a great (and free!) idea. Love it!

    Cynthia - Thanks! Oh, laying sod on the hottest day of summer? No thanks! We tried to dig up our patio on one of those days last summer... I think we only cleared about a couple feet before we gave up! At least you ended up with more flowers rather than not enough. Perhaps you could plant them in some windowboxes, nice pots or even give away as Mother's Day gifts? It's a thought!

    Thanks for dropping by everyone! :)


  5. Chelsea that makes a tremendous difference in your home's curb appeal! It is very professional looking. Perfect!! I barely have time to keep up with the weeds!!!


  6. I just have to pipe up and say how lush and green your lawn looks now!


  7. Oh, man - I know! I so have the bug to landscape, but there are already too many projects underway to add another one to the mix. You guys did a great job! :)


  8. cute house!

    I had the similar type of color scheme and also a 1-level ranch too. I repainted the trim with a color called Mossy Adams, replaced the door myself with a blue and bought new shutters on It took 3 cans of primer and 2 of paint. It was a really easy project.

    Check it out. I should be posting a full reveal
    this weekend after a little bit of gardening.

  9. It looks great! We had almost no landscaping when we moved in. We had truckload after truckload of rock brought in to add borders all around our entire house. It helped that my husband's family have a landscaping business or we would have gone broke!

  10. Wow! That looks very professional, and really adds interest to your yard-definite curb appeal! You two are getting so good you're scary!! =)


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