Monday, March 14, 2011

one more project

"Time flies, whether you're having fun or not."  my very sweet and very wise Grandmother

Wow.  I've been so busy the last few weeks I haven't had time to write, but never fear, I still read all of your blogs, even if I don't even have time to comment.  Add to that I've spent the last 4 or 5 days trying to figure out what is going on with my camera, and, well...that's my excuse.

I have a ton of little projects going on at my house at all times.  Either in process, or in the process of thinking about them.  But every year I try to take on one major project.  The first year it was the kitchen, then the following two years it was the backyard (one year for pond and patio, the next for general, overall garden installation).  This year I'm thinking about tackling the front yard.  Here's what that looks like now:

Sorry, this is the only photo I could get off of my camera.

There's a huge old live oak tree on the left side, which creates a lot of shade on that side of the yard, so right now it has vinca minor (periwinkles) groundcover.  I put that in 3 years ago and so far it hasn't done much, although this year it finally looks like it might be growing.  Hmph...we'll see, I guess.  I'm giving that one more year.  As far as the rest of the plants around the perimeter - most will stay, although they may be moved around.

The sidewalk leading to the front porch needs to be replaced.  The concrete is broken and it's just too narrow.  Why do people make sidewalks 18" wide? The liriope on each side doesn't help either. That needs to go.  I'd like to replace the sidewalk with big, 30" x 18" concrete slabs, set in gravel.   Think something like this:

I'm thinking more rectangular than square, and not so much gravel on each side.  The good news is we could pour these ourselves - we OWN a concrete mixer.  Sexy, right?
This picture couldn't be crappier if I'd taken it myself!  This is sort of the idea.  If these stepping stones were actually rectangular and concrete...

But it's really the right side of the yard that has me stumped.  Although there is a second big, old Live Oak tree on this side, it is near the street, so it doesn't put this side of the yard into so much shade.  I have roses around the perimeter of this side, so I could probably grow grass here,'s my goal to have a yard with no grass.  Gasp! I also have vinca minor growing here, but it's doing even less well on this side of the yard.  Too much sun.  So...what to do?

The final section of the front yard is the area between the sidewalk and the street.  Definitely shady here.  Besides that Live Oak there are two (yeah, 2!) very small (right now) birch trees.  I know.  The woman who owned the house before me must have gone to the arbor day extravaganza at the mall and picked up a whole bunch of free little trees, because she planted them everywhere.  Anyway, I'm considering taking those Birches out, and then doing something like this:

That alone should take me all summer!  I already have moss there, growing on the ground.

Besides all of the above, I'd like to:
  • Take out the azaleas in front of the porch - way too big - and replace with something else.  I think the ones on the right side of the house could stay, but they need some pruning after they bloom.
  • I'd like to put in a short, ornamental fence - not picket, but maybe iron, to go with the arbor?
So, did I pick a big enough project?  This one will probably take more than one year to do. And speaking of a year, because of camera and internet difficulties, it has now taken me almost 3 hours to do this one little post.  I'm ready for a good night's sleep.


  1. hi karin,

    i'm getting tired just reading your list of projects. you really have your work cut out for you but wow will it be pretty when done.


  2. I love doing this kind of work because it can really change the "feel" of an outdoor space. Love the river rocks and moss but that would be tough to do on a large scale. Really love the new iron arbor and gate.

  3. Janet - I know, I'm tired, too!
    Steve - The good news is that the area between the street and the sidewalk, where I'm thinking of doing the stone mosaic, is only about 4 feet by about 10 feet. The rest of it is taken up by the huge old Live Oak. Still a big project, I know.

  4. Karin, i posted a link to Bloom Day on my post. Go link up if you have time, if not just go and visit. it's so cool to see what's blooming elsewhere.

    xo Jane

  5. lovely images! just read you love too :-)

  6. Karin,
    I think your front yard already looks charming!! Can't wait to see what you do! And I hope you get a chance to stop by the booth..if you do let me know what you think! Thanks!

  7. Hi Sissy,
    Oh, I'll definitely be stopping by - I love Castle Street, and my office is right around the corner!