xericstyle is 1! A review…
Lets start at the beginning shall we…Here is the front of our home before we started anything with the exterior. I was busy scrubbing and working on the interior. Yes, imagine what that looked like. It was bad…BAAAAAD!Here was the back of the house. Note the rotten posts – if you leaned on them, they swung freely and you fell down. Seriously. I have no idea how that patio was standing. The roof and siding looks like it is rotting off too, because it was in many places! We started replacing all of the rotten siding…bit by bit. My Daddy’O (who can do basically anything) helped us, and taught us, so we could continue when his visit was over. It took us months and we did not complete the siding project until this year. We contracted new hardiplank fascia, as well as some finishing touches, out to the roofers as we did not want to be on ladders that high. So painting waited and waited… My hubby and Daddy’O, working HARD! It was….a MESS. This picture cracks me up, we used a car jack and fence post to jack up the covered patio enough to get each old post out, measure it, cut the new cedar one, and slip the new post in. We had to do each post one by one, front and back of the house. Good times. ;) You can see part of the blank slate backyard in the background. The back of the house improving with the straightening out of the lines, no more rotten siding, new cedar posts, new garage doors, and a small garden bed by the A/C unit. We are finally ready for a roof and paint – Time to dress up and accessorize this beauty…now that she has good bones.The plans for the front garden…Ha! Ha! Oh well, they worked! I did not want boring, water guzzling grass. I wanted texture and structure and butterflies and sustainability…well basically I want it all – still do. BUT I am willing to work hard for it.
The bones of the front garden are in! And like the back of the house, the lines are straightened out, new posts, no more rotten anything! We are ready for the roof and paint…except……the sky rocket juniper needed to go in a big way. Before the roof and paint in case we had any mishaps. Thankfully it all went smoothly, you can see that here.It is incredible what a new roof and new paint can do. Also, painting the brick was a good choice. The old brick color brought the house down, and it needed an update. The gardens are filling in nicely, but that hedge has got to go!Ahhhhhhh, now that is better….more welcoming….and open…Color…texture…the house and yard is alive. People live here…live and grow here. Our family now shares our yard with many creatures thanks to having food/nectar sources and shelter. The soil health has drastically improved as well, as evidenced by a drastic increase in earthworms.I defined the property lines, yet the property appears larger, more open and inviting than it ever did before. We finally have more vertical interest thanks to two new desert willow trees…and I will continue to work on this more next year. As for the backyard…I still have my work cut out for me. There is A LOT to do, but I need to nail down my plans first. Just like the front yard, the backyard did not have the bones of even one existing garden bed to work with. Well I have dirt …that is something. I need to design the bones, and beds, in the back just like I did in the front before I can really start. I did, however, break down three small areas and completed those at least. Not a huge deal, but they did make some impact. One of those areas is the new chicken coop/yard – this was a very exciting realization of a dream…and continues to bring much joy to our family. Another small backyard project was the side-yard make-over.
I also continued the hedge line for more privacy in the backyard with xylosma congestum for its disease resistance and fast growth, you can check that out here. A privacy fence is not going up on this looooong stretch any time soon. So far it is working out well and I am super impressed with its drought tolerance and fast growth. The new xylosma growth and black berries are also really pretty.
And lastly, the small A/C bed that has no sun for several months of the year, and then gets blasted full on for several months still needs a little work but looks a million times better than it did!
I look forward to next year. My focus will be to complete the planting of the front beds and then move on to creating the bones and structure of the back. You can expect to see a lot more areas of yard getting eaten up and designed systematically space by space.
This year has been a very transformative year for the house and yard, as well as myself in the process. I have evolved so much as a human being. It turns out connecting with Mother Earth and setting down actual plant and tree roots has in turn rooted me more than I ever thought possible. I have moved too many times to count in my life, and I avoided setting down roots – why bother if you are just going to move again was my old line of thought. Planting and connecting to our property in this way has taught me so much…and changed me. I feel such a strong sense of home and connection…and I feel empowered. I desperately needed an outlet all my own being a stay-at-home-mama of two little ones, and I feel so incredibly thankful to have not only discovered “an outlet”, but instead to have found one of my life’s passions. And garden blogging, for me, is the icing on the cake. I have gained so many valuable friendships and so much knowledge and support. I could never thank my fellow bloggers enough. I am so fortunate to have them in my life. They make me a better gardener and person. I KNOW I could never have accomplished any of this without them. You see, I am not a re-invent the wheel kind of person. I am a learn from others that have gone before me and accomplished what I want to accomplish and build on it kind of gal. Garden blogging has done that for me. It is amazing what others will share with you if you just ask. Sure you put the work in and learn as you go…become better as you go…but it is the teaching, sharing, and mentorship I needed and I have found that in this blogging community. I am humbled and grateful to be blogging as part of this community. An extra special thank you to Pam Penick and David Cristiani – thank you for sharing with me, my yard shows your influence (if it does not now to you I hope it will ;).
Cheers to the 1st year, but the first year is done. I am excited about what is next to come. Thank you to all my friends/virtual friends and family for your love and support. It means the world to me.
Can’t wait for 2013! Bring it on!
- Posted in: Year one review