Tuesday, October 20, 2015

New landscaping

I'm later posting today as my youngest kiddo was up in the night with a belly bug. Never fun. I guess the season of germs and sickness has already begun - ugh!  

But I'd been meaning, for a while now, to get to my landscaping photos so I could edit them a bit and show you what was accomplished for this year. We have more plans for next year, but the company that did our job got to it very late summer (really more like early Fall), so some thing will have to wait. They did an excellent job and we were very happy with their work!  They will be back in the Spring to finish another side of the house and some other small projects. But I'm excited to show you what was accomplished so far!  Get ready as it's a photo loaded post. Grab your hot tea or cider and snuggle in and hope you enjoy. 

My daughter and her friend last Halloween (Annie was the Eiffel Tower). Here's a pic of the old gray pavers that were part of the front door patio area when we bought the house. They were old and faded and lots of grassy areas had started to grow in between them.

Here are some more photos from last Halloween time to give you a general idea about the front of our house and how our landscaping was then. I love how you can see in the 2nd photo how lovely it looks after my hubby leaf blows. The problem is until ALL the leaves are down off the trees it will go back to looking like the 3rd photo within an hour. Lol  

Last year we had a new roof put on (needed it badly) and we did stone on the chimney to match the stone we had put on the lower part of the house. Our house formerly had 1970's looking orange, brown and yellow brick. We changed it to the stone to give it more of the lake cottage home we were going for. 

Here's another look at the old gray front patio pavers.

the mess...er I mean the progress begins - here they were starting on our new paver path.

These are photos of the new pavers before they had the filler (sand like grout) added in between.

They took out the old shrubs, as some were dead and the rest overgrown. Time to start fresh.

When my hubby and I first moved here we about 9 years ago we changed some landscaping ourselves and planted many new shrubs then. We did a mulch type filler. But over the years we started having such ant problems that we had an exterminator come last summer. He told us the carpenter ants loved our mulch. So mulch go bye bye and now we picked this river rock for filler.

You can see in this before pic (do you like our spooky eyes last halloween? they even lit up. Lol) how my hubby and I had made retaining walls in the front with stone bricks that matched our house stone. The landscape expert told us he thought we should remove these, as they weren't really retaining anything....and with the new path he would put down it would have a nice wide border on each side and would make it look cleaner. I'm glad we listened to him as I like the result much better as you can see in next photo.

some of this is wet look right after shrubs were watered.

These photos are of that same front window area with the new shrubs, new stone, and new path. To the left is where they planted new grass seed and covered with straw.  New shrubs along with flowering plants of bleeding heart (3 of them) and 2 hydrangea.

We have a really large round black topped driveway that sits higher than the path - so the landscaper came up with taking some of our stone bricks and turning them sideways and creating this step down. My hubby wants to one day cement concrete our whole driveway, which would look amazing but I hope he finds a money tree soon.  Lol! This photo is from before it was filled in with the sand like grout. My hubby and I really liked this step idea and have a plan for the back now that I'll share later in the post.

Here's the right front side of the house last Halloween (notice brick retaining wall and old overgrown shrubs etc)

Here is the after with new stone, and newly watered golden barberry bushes.

Here is the old overgrown gray paver path that led to the back of the house.

Here is the new path. I love the colors of it and I love the light border on each side. It was the end of their season and the landscaper didn't have shrubs for this area that he wanted to use (something with more height) so he will be adding to this next Spring.  We were also impressed with the landscapers as they cleaned out our gutters and put new piping (you can see behind the hydrangea) and ran new lines under the path so there is proper drainage.

Here is Annie's old garden outside her bedroom window. It was square shape and we had stairs that ran right from the deck down to the dock. A billion heart pumping stairs. Lol

All of the stairs have been taken out. They needed to round the path to make it meet the deck correctly so they changed the shape of Annie's garden a bit.

We need to build new stairs back up to the deck on this side, but I love the job they did on her garden. 

They planted something to bloom for each season so it will always have something colorful through the year (other than winter). I know there is azalea in there, but not sure of the names of the rest.

At first Annie wasn't sure if she liked this new view out her window, but once we added a few of her fairy houses and other buddies she fell back in love. 

Her Felix the frog statue saying hi in this view from her window.

Our old stairs would peel constantly and were a lot of upkeep. We decided to be drastic and really change things so we tore the majority of them out. 

We will be filling in that side on the left with grass now. We also like not looking through stairs to our pretty scenery. Now we can just see the bay and woods.

The plan now is to change the deck and lower level of our yard. To the right of these lilies is a set of stairs off of our deck that go down the flat part of our hill (back yard). We plan to build more of those brick stairs (like in the front by the driveway) and take out the old well (purely aesthetic not functional) and build the stairs into the steep left side of the hill that will lead to another deck built into the hill that will jut out over the existing stairs that take you down to our dock. So more big changes to come next year. Stay tuned!

We also have this stone address sign that matches our house that will be getting landscape all around it next Spring.

Here's a peek at the front new pavered patio with some of my decorations for this year. I haven't put out any of my Halloween things yet, but next week I plan to give you all a full Halloween tour after we've carved our pumpkins and all the spooky goodies are out front.  Thanks for hanging in there with this long post. I was so excited to share! Blessings. xo


  1. Wow, you have made such great changes! It all looks fabulous and will be even better next year with additional plantings to come and as everything settles in a little! Wonderful job!!!! I do hope that Annie will be better soon. Hugs to you both! xxxx

    1. Thanks so much Amy! It'll be really nice when the shrubs grow a bit & I'll be doing pots of flowers & maybe some lighting in between too.
      Annie was finally better today - thank goodness! Xo

  2. Wow - it loos amazing! I love the stone on the house, and your new walkways and gardens look so pretty. I really like the view without the stairs too, and you'll be so glad to be free of the upkeep.
    Hope the rest of the house stays healthy!

    1. Thanks Mari! ;)
      We're happy with how it turned out so far and with the plan of where we're going for the future. Fun to make changes & we like having a new project each year. Xo

  3. It really looks wonderful, Carrie! I love the color of the pavers and the beautiful gardens all around. So nice to look down on your view without the stairs, too. Love that photo of Annie on the porch - hope she is feeling better! Hugs xo Karen

    1. Thanks Karen! We're really happy with the work they did & some great ideas they shared too. Some really fun ideas for the new deck next year & a prettier staircase going down to the dock with pretty railings & posts with lighting. Stay tuned! Lol xo

  4. It's such a nice feeling when you're organizing your home the way you want it, isn't it? (It's looking beautiful! Can't wait to see your Halloween tour!)

    1. I love looking forward to a new project (sometimes drives the hubby bonkers - Lol), and just keep making this home more and more "ours".
      Stay tuned on the spooky tour! ;) xo

  5. What a great look you have created to your beautiful home! The hillside doesn't look so intimidating now that you've removed so many stairs. It really does open up that beautiful view and gives it a more natural flow. It's always so exciting to have improvements made on your home.

    1. Thanks so much Wendy! We've had a lot of fun planning & dreaming ...and so it was especially great to finally put some of our plans in action. ;) xo