Thursday, May 31, 2012

Front Yard Changes

Ready to start the rock walls

This is the before view of the front yard. You can get a sense of just how steep the slope is from the house to the woods area where I was standing when I snapped this photo. The contractor installed heavy-duty silt fence to protect the downhill property and the stream that's about 100 feet beyond.
View from the porch landing
This shows the front yard and woods beyond it before terracing or silt fence added. What you can't see is the rushing brook that's about 100 feet away and runs all along the front of our property near the road. Our driveway crosses the brook so we have a 5 foot culvert to maintain at the end of the driveway. The brook gets a bit wild during spring runoff, wild rainstorms and oh yeah,  hurricanes.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Week 1, 3 Days of Landshaping

Rock wall, right side
The big rocks that support the first terrace level in the front yard got laid on Day 1. Here's a view of the front right side as it looks from the second level.

The middle section of the wall continues like this across the front, and at the left side there's a set of stone steps made from native rocks.

All this now-level land was once a steep dropoff that started about 4 feet from the foundation of the house. It was nearly impossible to walk around the house without tumbling or slipping.

Rock wall, at mid section with steps and right side of wall
Now we have three stone steps that take us from the upper terrace or the porch steps on the left side down to the second terrace level gardens.

The second level of the garden area will be very broad - wide enough for big garden beds plus room to drive a lawn tractor through to distribute mulch and plants for the next 20 years.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Let the Earthmoving Begin

It's a sorry sight, this struggling landscape. But after today, the sea of weeds, scruffy grass and dandelions will be no more. We're bringing in the big machine and tons of designer dirt and giving this small patch of Vermont hillside the cure.

After all the earthmoving, rock setting and soil dumping this will become a paradise of gardens with walkways, perennial flowers and shrubs, herbs, garden whimsies and lots of interesting nature.

One thing this yard will not have: grass. No lawn to mow. EVER.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

A Bee in Her Bonnet, NO A Bug In Her Boot

Last night a big ole June bug was banging against the porch window screen and setting off the auto-trigger on the porch light. Poor dumb thing got stuck for awhile in the window screen mesh and that made one heck of a racket.  Sure startled me with all the buzzing and banging,  and got the kitty cat worked up and ready to kill  (she thinks she is a guard dog ...).

Well, little June bug got his just desserts for taking that wild flight last night, because he ended up stuck inside my muck boot and I guess he could not figure out how to fly or climb out so spent the night and most of today down at the base. Must have felt like Alice down the rabbit hole. I nearly squashed him a few minutes ago when I went to slip into my boots for a quick photo session before the landscaping work starts tomorrow.

Here's the little June bug-ger (don't they know it's still only May?) before I evicted him (her?).