I thought I'd give a little update on our front yard project. We've made some serious headway! Gone is the icky chain link fence, and dead grass patch, we've replaced it with drought resistant landscaping and a set of new side fences. Remember this?
Granted it looks extra bad, because I took the before picture on an overcast day, but really, it was sad even in the sunshine. We hired a landscaper to come in and they knocked it out in 3 days. We opted to have the yard done by a pro this time for the sake of time and ease, and also to make sure it was done right, as we needed to install irrigation and put in a lot of plants. Now that we have a a grasp on landscaping and access to the soil vendor, we plan to work on the massive backyard ourselves over the next few years. But in three days here's how they did it:
I LOVE the fences. They did exactly what I hoped they would do. The horizontal slats lengthen the the line of the house, and add privacy to the backyard. I'm planning on letting them gray out naturally, then sealing them when they get to the right hue. The garden is designed to be big and wild, low maintenance and drought tolerant. We planted in groupings, varying in height and shape to give it a truly natural look. The landscape cowboy, Owen, has assured me that the plants will double in size in the next year, and be full grown in 2 seasons. All of those low lying puffs of chartreuse lemon and lavender thyme will spread along the path to soften the lines and cover the vineyard mulch. The feather grasses will shoot up and create a natural border, the artichoke will fruit, the lavender, yarrow and grasses will start to dome and fill out, and the olive bushes will form a soft hedge. Most importantly, the Japanese maple will get taller and fuller to block our neighbor's side yard. I'm incredibly impatient watching plants grow, so I'm glad we moved on this project first.
We still have a lot to do, but the exterior already looks so much better. Right now I'm focusing on switching out the outdated finishes like the mailbox and the house number, and I'm on the hunt for the perfect wall sconces. I want the house to feel clean and modern, but it must also blend well with the other houses on our street, because we are on the curve of a cul-de-sac and therefore a bit more exposed in the front. As we only have one house number I went big, no Neutra numbers for me. Both pieces are from CB2, the
is substantial at 7.5" tall in modern Arial font, and only cost $10. Like Neutra numbers it's made from polished aluminum, but it's got some texture to it, which I like. The
is heavy duty, made from powder coated iron, with exposed welding lines. I like the idea of doing mixed metals outside to keep it casual.
The next big project is painting. Adam and I evaluated how much time and effort it would take to paint this place ourselves and had to admit that it wouldn't be worth it. I've met with a few local painters and we've hired one to come do the honors late July/early August. Stay tuned for the great color debate. Let's just say, it's going to be deep and dark, to make the garden pop and the house recede. The weird color blocking is going away, as are the out of proportion decorative shutters.
I'll leave you with a pretty picture of my favorite flower in the garden, Romneya, a poppy varietal which grows several feet high in a grove of paper petals and pom poms. When I pull up to our house and see it, I smile. Grow garden, grow.