Saturday, September 27, 2014

Fall Cleanup 2014 -- Some nice updates

I had Alberto's crew in here for a major cleanup and some revisions to my yard.  A crew of 8 for three days, including a backhoe for one day.  They completely tore down and rebuilt my rock retaining wall in the front.  And they built some sturdy access steps, retaining walls and pathway on the west of the house to replace a very dangerous stair I had built myself out of concrete blocks.  I had them cut down some perennials but leave others that were still blooming or offering texture and color in the yard.

The yard has truly never looked more beautiful.  And, in fact, I realized this is the first time in the 35 years I've lived here that every corner of this large, steep yard was completely cleaned up and landscaped.  What a great feeling it was to see it.  Here are some pics.

The rock wall was completely torn down and rebuilt adding about a ton of dirt to the support base.  They used only the large and medium boulders and not the smaller rocks.  Grass was removed from between the wall and sidewalk and replaced with some nice grasses and other water-tolerant plants.  At the top, new ground cover vines.  The wall looks lovely.  And the gopher infestation is gone, too.

 The steps the crew added on the west side were a surprise.  This is a narrow and unusable strip that I haven't really done anything with in the past.  I had built my own stairway out of concrete blocks. But they slid and were unstable in the sandy soil.  But I wanted this access from front to back yard without having to go the long way around.  I never worried much about aesthetics as it's not seen from the street and borders unkempt neighbor yards.  But I love what the guys built for me this time.  It's not just functional, but also beautiful and blends with my rustic, park-like yard.
 Frankie gets ready to try out the new steps.
 My yard extends just to where the dark bark mulch is here.  The workers used my blocks and patio bricks along with some new railroad ties cut to make a nice wide and solid stairway.  I'll no longer need my hiking boots to get up this steep hill.
 A couple of new retaining walls and some staggered patio tiles made for a nice flat pathway along the base of the deck, above.
 With all the weeds and excess ground cover replaced by wonderfully fragrant bark mulch, the area is pretty to look at, too.  I will keep it this way, as the Virginia Creeper that used to be here was a big draw to rodents and pests like skunks and raccoons.
 Frankie practices his beam routine on the retaining wall.
 Russian Sage, hummingbird trumpet and other flowers are putting on one final color show.  Some of these plants will not get cut down until I have the crew back to rake up autumn leaves.
 The wisteria bush we are working on developing into a tree.  Alberto is going to build a metal arch for us to train the tree and allow the branches to drape down from higher up.
 The corner front flower bed gained some new space with the changes in the rock wall.  More plantings in the spring here.
 Gardens along the driveway.  Color, texture, height.  My haphazard method of planting somehow looks pretty to my eye.  Maybe not everyone's cup of tea, but it sure pleases me.
 Backyard all weeded and tidy.  I need to remove dead plants from the pots now.
 The shade garden's first year was a success.  A few more plants here next year.
 More shade garden.  I'll remove the remaining iris here and move them to a sunnier spot where they will bloom again.
 Some sedum puts on a late bloom.
 The upper corner garden had a serious gopher infestation.  I cut down day lilies and other plants some weeks ago to conduct all out war.  Sadly, I lost one of my trees to the gophers.  They ate the roots completely away and chewed through the irrigation drip tubing.  Two other trees appear to be compromised, but we think we saved them.  New plants were added here and I still have more plans for adding plantings in the spring.  Trying to get to the point where I have no annuals in these corner beds, but have color blooming from spring through fall.
 Recent new small plants added along the east sidewalk.  I hope they live and add some new variety next year.
 More new plants.  So far, so good.
 One of several patches of asters that are the last bloomers of the season.
 Front garden.  A little more sedate and tame than the rest of the yard.
The seldom-used upper level up the steep hill from my backyard.  A few years ago Alberto made this pretty round patio which has served as a nice overflow area for a couple of large gatherings.  But most of the time, I just want it to be weed-free and still attractive. Another steep hill from here goes up to the sidewalk and street at the very back of my property.


The Blog of Bee said...

It really is very, very beautiful.

Bekkieann said...

Thanks, Bee. I'm sure enjoying it.