Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Bare Hill no longer bare

As our first winter in BHB drew to a close I began to turn my thoughts to The Yard. Ugh. The Yard. The bane of suburban existence. It's not that I don't WANT a yard - I mean, an INTENTIONAL yard, not the no-man's land we've had since construction ceased. I actually LIKE thinking about landscapes and landscape design; my interest in design isn't limited to architecture and furniture. The problem is that at this point, there is NO WAY we can afford anything close to what I have in mind. So, with a generous hand from mom and dad (again!) we are doing the least we possibly can: having some loam brought in and seeding it with grass.

The first step was to do something about the borders around the house. I have long wanted to create a gravel border around the perimeter of the house, partly to catch the water that runs off the gutterless roof and keep dirt from splashing up onto the sides, partly to keep from having to mow right up to the house (and eliminate the dreaded weed whacker), and partly for aesthetic reasons.

The nice metal edging offered by the landscaper was WAY too expensive, plus it would have proved difficult to mold to the contours of the sloping site. So I sought a cheaper alternative and went with brick edging. Made of durable black plastic it is cheap and easy to install.

It is also easy to bend, so I could do some contours around the sewer clean out and gas meter in front. (These will eventually be obscured by plantings; that's Phase II.)

The 50 yards of topsoil that we ordered showed up on the day when thunderstorms were forecast. I was sitting in a meeting after school when the skies opened up and it came down in torrents for about half an hour. I was completely distracted with thoughts of our investment - soil, seeds, and fertilizer - being washed down the hill, leaving gullies and canyons in The Yard. To my great relief our landscaper had called off work before he had gotten too far. Saved.

They were back this evening and within a couple of hours had finished spreading the loam...

...grading it...

...seeding and rolling it...
...and then they were gone. Now the hard work begins. I got the hoses my dad donated from his collection strung up around the property ready for watering tomorrow morning. I also tried to get some stakes and string set up. Keeping the kids off the seedlings is going to be a MAJOR undertaking. Maybe if I install *electric* fencing...

This is a shot of the completed "media loft/den/library" (whatever it is). The floor I laid and finished (four coats), the reclaimed barn boards I cut and installed over the SIPs panels. Couch is another hand me down from mom and dad. All we need now is a TV...

2 comments:

tenthousandplaces said...

Oh my goodness, everything looks so good! I love the way the front pathway goes with the design of the house.

Ryan and Susan Hayes said...

I am being a total pest (I posted this question last week, I think) but I love your blog and am dying to know what material you used for your metal railing. I would love to achieve a similar look in our yet-to-be constructed home. Thanks so much! --Susan (www.greenhousevt.blogspot.com)