Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Landscape Design

This time of year, I'm reminded of the other part of our farmhouse renovation...the yard. The above picture shows what the side of the house looks like today...

...this is what it looked like after the contractors left. Due to new electrical, plumbing and water lines, and grading new elevations around the entire house, we were left with a sea of dirt and gravel.

So we had to start from scratch. The yard landscaping was a project we hadn't anticipated when we set forth on our farmhouse renovation and is one that is taking time to complete.

Last summer, we put in a picket fence, front walk and stairs, and dining patio...these tasks alone took the entire summer to complete!

Here's the what the front of the house looks like today. The picket fence offers a coziness to the area around our house. We also wanted to define the area of our property that would be for gardens (inside the fence), from the part that would be more natural and simple (outside the fence).

This is what the front of the house looked like when the contractors left.

This is what the outdoor dining patio looks like today.

This is what it looked like after the contractors left. Once again, Mr. Engineer (Hubby) used all his know-how to design and build a retaining wall, level floor and two sets of stairs.

This is what our 'backyard' looked like just before we went through the renovation. The edge of the 'lawn' previously dropped off a couple of feet past the old deck (which was torn down during the remodel due to rot). The fill we had excavated from the front of the house was hauled out back to extend the lawn area.

This is what it looks like today. We planted over sixty (back breaking work!) White Simplicity hedge roses along the entire perimeter of the lawn. We have yet to rebuild the deck/balcony (this comes off from the french door in the living room)...as we're trying to enjoy summer this time around instead of always working on the house. Also, we're still deciding on some of the design elements of the balcony. I'll do a separate post on that soon.

So that's what we've done so far.

Landscape design is something I love but is not something I know. I've always loved gardens, especially old country gardens, and I love old houses with hedges and a sense of outdoor coziness. But exactly how to create that with a blank canvas completely stifled me.

Then last fall I came across Tara Dillard's beautiful blog and was overjoyed to discover that she did long distance consults! After sending her dozens of photographs of the yard, and discussing ideas over a few phone calls, she created a beautiful landscape design plan for our property.

It was just what I needed...professional vision. The plans will evolve over time, as money and time permit, but it feels really, really wonderful to have a plan. Tara's amazing gift for creating beautiful landscapes is something I truly admire. I feel quite honored and very happy that her vision will be expressed here on our property.

As we progress with our landscape projects, I'll be sure to keep you updated!


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