Saturday, August 3, 2013

Ugly Duckling No More--Hillside Edition

After years of dreaming, months of planning, and several weeks of work, the big yard project of 2013 is done.

No, that doesn't accurately describe it.  Let me start over.

After years of dreaming, months of planning, and several weeks of work, the big yard project of our whole mortal existence (yes, that's better) is done.

My expectations were quite high.   Having done 95% of our home improvements on our own, I expected a lot from professionals.  My expectations were so high that I worried I'd maybe be disappointed with the end result, or feel that it wasn't worth the expense, or always wonder if we could have done just as good a job on our own.

Well, yesterday was the day that Lyle and I finally surveyed the finished hillside.

My ridiculously high expectations were actually exceeded.

We could not have done what Susan Calhoun at Plantswoman Design planned out and her crew brought to life.

We didn't have the know-how or desire to install the type of sprinkler system that even in August will keep our lawn looking like this......

.....instead of like this, which was its usual state every summer.

We couldn't have safely moved the ugly rocks that were serving only as weed and blackberry collection sites.

And we definitely couldn't have so expertly put them together to make this amazing waterfall.......the waterfall that I should mention I told Lyle I didn't want.  (He was at work the day they turned the pump on for the first time.  I texted him and said, "I was wrong.  You were right.")
And seriously, have those "ugly" rocks been upgraded or what?  Who knew I had such a goldmine in stone, just waiting to be liberated?

I love the shallow depth of the pond.  They'd actually dug quite deep and then filled the hole with rocks, so I wouldn't worry about visiting toddlers drowning and my kids could actually wade through without worrying about puncturing the liner.  XiXi and Cholita's feet have been very wrinkled and wet the past few days from all the time they've spent in the pond.  

We were intimidated by the size of the hillside.  We wanted privacy from the road, which we will eventually have, as the hedgerow plants will grow to about 10 feet, and we wanted ample planting beds, but didn't know where to stop beds and start lawn or how to do the paths.

I love the curves and feel like we've got a perfect grass to plant ratio, especially as the plants fill in.

This entry arbor was already here, but it seems somehow different now that there's such an amazing view on the other side.

We wanted to be able to enjoy our view of the mountains to the west and have an area that we could actually use at the top of the hill.  
This flagstone seating area is one of my favorite things about the design.

The path's twists and turns make everything seem so much larger.

I currently cannot be sent outside for any errands, at least not quick errands, because I'm completely distracted and have to do a quick walk-through.  The path is too darn inviting.

There's such a great mix of plants and I can't wait to see them all through the year and enjoy their different bloom times.  

This section by the wisteria walkway was not so lovely before, which was a pity since Lyle spent so much time working on the arbor.  

Now, the rockery plants will fill in and cascade and be just gorgeous.

This part of the yard was so precarious to mow; I almost drove into the arbor many times.  
But those days are over.

 We have a bench on the other side of this path and in the past 24 hours, I've spent way too much time sitting here, looking at the hill and sighing.  I cannot believe this is our yard.  

But my sitting time is done.  Fifty people will be here come Monday and there's one or two things that need doing!

Thank you Plantswoman Design!  We love it!      


Valerie Emerle said...

Absolutely breathtaking!! I would be walking around & taking it in all day long. Can't wait to see it when all the plants mature.

~T~ said...


Suzanne said...

It's beautiful!!

Betsey said...

Wow! . . . Breathtaking . . . spectacular . . . phenomenal. So truly wonderful. (Might I suggest investing in Preen at Costco - the great big bucket. You will probably need five or six! It so helps keep the weeds down - not gone, just less in number, which makes it seem more manageable to handle. :) )

Michael and Denise said...

It's gorgeous!

Wendy@Once upon a rose haven said...

WOW! Your yard and home are GORGEOUS! Well done!
Your newest follower! xo

The Old Dairy said...

What an amazing garden you have, I am a new follower.

Mindy said...

Oh. My. Goodness. It's honestly breathtaking. It almost makes me a little sick to my stomach with envy. Oh to have that space.
Just stunning. Congrats on crossing a major project off the list!
Coming by from Fishtail Cottage. Must poke around now....

Pondside said...

I'd say it was well worth it!! What a beautiful garden!

Coastal Cottage Dreams said...

Gorgeous, I would never want to leave there!

Pam/Digging said...

That's absolutely gorgeous! So much nicer than just a blanket of lawn, even a healthy lawn, would have been. And what great spaces for enjoying the garden with your family.

Jen Bay said...

So gorgeous!i am so happy for you. :)

Ferrill said...

It's absolutely stunning!