Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Fall Cleanup - A beautiful end to summer

I've had the landscapers here for the past two days doing some cleanup and other work. The yard is so pretty, I have to share many, many pictures with you this time. Well, this is also because I want to have a record of how things looked right now compared to next spring.

The biggest changes I had them do was to raise the base of the pine trees to let in more light, and completely redo all the parking strips. But they also did weeding, trimming, planting, and other things too. Well, you'll see -- here are the photos. Click any photo to see larger.

Front yard from across the street.
Front, east side, five pine trees and lots of low-water plantings.
More front east side
New steps and stepping stone pathway to the backyard.  Pine boughs no longer touch the ground.
Waiting for this patch of asters to bloom, the last of the season.
Flower bed in front.
Rock wall at the very front, with a new metal barrier to keep the grass out and new plantings of creeping phlox in three colors.
The lowest point of the yard, front corner garden, zinnias are wrapping up the season.
Two new sumac trees planted on the west side. Will grow to about 10 feet and block the view of my neighbor's yard without blocking my view of the valley.
 Looking down at the new sumacs from my deck. A little tile pathway and cement block stairway bring you here.
My deck and view of the valley from my back patio.
My patio, my favorite place to be any time of the day.
Backyard looking east from the patio.
My patio garden.  Lots of hidden goodies tucked in here.  The surprise performers are the parsley plants.
A very tame blue jay friend is curious about all this picture-taking and wants some of the action.
From the patio, the bare spot beside the stairs to the upper level now has some new plantings of ivy which will hopefully fill in.  The ivy climbing my neighbor's block wall volunteered from my ivy patch, so I think it will do well here.
The upper patio area.  I still haven't decided anything to do here, but may plant either honeysuckle or wisteria to climb along this back wall.  This is not the very back of my yard, it goes up further to a sidewalk and street.
Looking down from the upper level at my thyme and tile checkerboard backyard. The thyme is spreading over the tiles and by spring I will have to decide whether to trim it or take out the tiles and go for the full thyme lawn I originally intended.  I have sort of become attached to the checkerboard look.
From the upper level looking toward the east corner, the myrtle patch has been cut down to just a few inches.  It will grow back lush and full in the spring. 
Also from the upper level you can see three of the five pines that have had lower branches removed opening up light and space in the garden.  More room for plantings or simply open space. 
The three pines from the main level.  In the foreground is a wonderful patch of hyssop, one of my favorite plants for its varieties, fragrances, and appeal to hummingbirds. My former boyfriend used to say I could work the word "hyssop" into any conversation.  And yes, I have decided to keep that dead tree for now.  I just like it.
Another lovely hyssop in the foreground here.  Some nurseries also call it agastache.
The corner garden at the intersection of two streets, looking west toward the back of the house and the patio.
And finally, possibly the biggest part of the job in terms of time and expense, the completely redone parking strips.  All rocks and weeds were removed, new extra-heavy duty liner put down, and rocks were arranged beautifully.  With streets on three sides of my yard, it amounted to a big job.  Here is strip 1.
Strip 2 runs down the east side of the lot. I have a major problem with water running into this strip from the upper street (rather than staying in the gutter, it turns in and runs down my sidewalk).  The workers found about two inches of mud deposited on top the old plastic liner when they removed the rocks.  The city and I will have a talk about this problem.
And the front. Doesn't it look lovely extending even on to my neighbor's yard as well?  That's because he came over and talked to the landscapers and had them do some clean up in his front yard while they were here.  He is getting a bid for a backyard cleanup as well.  Won't that be wonderful!
So that's it.  A tour of the entire yard.  You might think there's nothing left for me to do, but you'd be wrong.  Now I plan to continue transplanting various things that can tolerate it.  But I'll probably save any further new plants until the spring.


Jacqui Binford-Bell said...

It is beautiful but I never imagined you had such a huge yard. I gather you have a "corner" on the block. And I get overwhelmed by my memorial garden and my aspen grove and two raised beds. BTW I raised the level of my spruce tree and it is busy lowering it again. Almost inclined to let it because it means no mowing under it.

You have certainly raised the level of the neighborhood as well as your pines, and nice your neighbor is going to do some work too. Beautiful tour. Do you belong to the garden club?

Becky Stauffer said...

Not just a corner, but a corner of a "switchback" or hairpin curve, like you find when driving up a mountain. This puts streets on front back and one side on a very steep lot. On this hillside, there are no blocks as we know them, just odd-sized and placed lots to fit the terrain. Don't belong to a garden club, this is just a party of one. Hiring some help, however, is the best thing I've done with this yeard.

wendy said...

Your yard is exquisite, Beck. 'Enjoyed the tour.

Nicholas V. said...

Looks great, Becky! I can see now why you need to get people in to help with your yard and gardening work. It's a large block with lots spaces and plants - and maintenance!
But it's coming along fantastically!

Becky Stauffer said...

Thanks, Nick. I have always enjoyed my yard, but never more than this year.

Bee's Blog said...

This is simply beautiful and I just love the fact that you are not surrounded bu a high wall or fence.

Becky Stauffer said...

Thanks, Bee. Yes, I'm pretty much open to the world here.