Landscaping One Stone At a Time…

Landscaping. One of my favorite things to do. And one of the most expensive.

In my perfect world with a limitless paycheck my landscaping would look something like this:

Or maybe this:

Unfortunately, I have neither a bottomless checkbook, or the time it has taken for these kinds of landscapes to establish themselves.

I have only been here one year. Time. I need time.

I have always been a fan of simple, modern architecture and mid-century landscaping. My research has shown it contained a lot of stone, gravel, minimal and well cropped grass, and lots of native, but well maintained greenery. Simple.

But landscaping takes time. Time to plan, then time for the plants and grasses to grow into the vision you wish them to be.

While my home is not necessarily “Modern”, like Frank Lloyd Wright modern, it does have some of those elements and lines of a modern ranch. So I definitely feel like in time modern landscaping will work here. As long as I continue to blend the house with her surrounding landscape.

Someday I would love to add some decorative concrete block kind of like this:

Or this:

But that is way down the road for us.

When we bought the house a year ago the front looked like this:

Those bushes which SCREAM of the landscaping of their time were overgrown and very much dying. You could barely see or enter the front door due to the large bush.

To the left of the front door sits two dining room windows which you can just barely see because of that bush. I HATED them. Not so much the look, as they do fit the house, but they were way over grown. And they were not healthy. My dining room got no light due to them.

I have a two foot overhang going completely around my house. This provides almost constant shade. I believe these bushes suffered from lack of sun, lack of nutrition, and overall old age. They were 55 years old of course!

So one of the first things we did last year was to remove the large bushes across the front. I know. I know. I can hear a collective gasp amongst you all. I was very heart-sick when I did it. I NEVER feel good ripping out living things. But truly, its hard to see in the pics because they are nicely rounded, but all the branches underneath were dead.

My hope was by removing the larger bushes, perhaps the smaller ones would get more light and then flourish. Ummm. No. That did not really happen.

So then we went to this:

This was not too bad, but the smaller bushes did not really do much better plus that patch of grass was hard to mow, and became very “Weedy”. It looked awful.

(You can see in the pic how sparse the branches are underneath)

So we decided to rip them out this year and lay gravel.

I am not going to lie. I hated it at first. It was so. BARE.

But its been a week and it is slowly growing on me. What I have had to realize is landscaping takes time. Many years. Many layers. Every year goes another layer, until five years pass and you have a lovely well-grown, well suited landscape.

It may be hard for you to see my vision right now because my vision isn’t fully realized.

The red planters will someday match the door which I plan on painting red. The bright red door will look great when I paint the house a different color. When the hostas grow and become larger I will transplant them directly into the ground. I plan to add a few tall skinny trees or bushes as well. Time. Time is all I need. And a bit of cash too!

So until my vision is realized, this is what we have done so far:

BEFORE:

AFTER:

I have a lot of work left to do. Especially over there to the right in front of the giant picture window. I am still brain storming that area. We are getting new windows installed here in the next few months and then I will tackle that side of the house. But until then, this works for me…

BEFORE:

AFTER:

AFTER:

AFTER:

(By the way, I got those park benches on sale at Home Depot end of season clearance for 34 bucks! I will paint them someday!)

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About drbininger

Early 40- something gal (VERY EARLY!!), living in Ohio, exploring the world of Craft Beer, Delicious Food, Travels, Animals and fighting the Weight Loss battle of her life...And now...Renovating a 1959 Atomic Pink Stucco Ranch....
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