Thanks for joining me this week as I share the next installment of "In a Fix," which is the journey through living and working on our cottage.
Today it's all about the transformation of our front yard. As I mentioned in an earlier post, this is how our cottage looked in the real estate listing, which had been Photo-shopped and altered (just like they do to supermodels in magazines LOL!).
When in all actuality, this is what the yard looked like.
The grass had been ate up with Army Worms.
The bushes were overgrown, but thin on the inside.
The pine straw was harboring all sorts of multi-legged critters and slithering things (I'm not scared of black snakes, but I really don't want them napping on my porch swing. hee,hee,hee).
There was also the leaning palm tree which was dying at the base. We were worried about the high winds we get from hurricanes. We live less than a mile from the ocean. This tree could be a danger as in fall on the cars or the neighbors house.
So, David and I decided we wanted the front yard and the front of our house to be the first project on our long list of things to fix up.
In came our wonderful landscaper and new friend, Juan Diaz, of Real Landscaping.
We can't brag on Juan and his crew enough. They worked sooooooooooooo hard and did the most incredible job for us. Even more, Juan is a man of his word. He listened to what we wanted and understood our vision for the yard. He told us when he would show up and how long it would take pending no weather issues and he did just what he said. We all know that is a rare thing nowadays! Plus, Juan has a great sense of humor. They uncovered a buried stone planter in the yard. He showed it to me and said, "We found this pot of gold buried over here. We kept the gold." LOL!!!!
I told Juan that I wasn't a "palm tree" person. I wanted the beach taken out of the forest as I like things more planned and orderly instead of stuff just plunked down everywhere. He laughed and said I wasn't the only person who had requested that lately. I then told him that there was one stipulation. I didn't want him to kill anything that was salvageable and wanted those things sent to a new home. He said he could do that.
So first thing to come out was the palm trees. There were six trees in all and only the leaning one couldn't be salvaged. He loaded them on the trailer and took them to his property to be transplanted in an area he had prepared for them.
Next it was time to dig up the shrubs all the diseased grass and prep the yard for new centipede sod and shrubbery. There was one little issue though...the nest of baby birds in the Dr. Seuss tree (as I called it). So, he had to leave the tree until the babies left the nest. Now I know you are wondering why we would take out that tree, but it is actually a shrub that they cut into a tree. Inside it is hollow. All the leaves are in a dome shape. Honestly, I don't know how the birds even made a nest in it. The reason we wanted it to go is that it has to be trimmed on the top. David would have to get up on a ladder with trimmers or even on the roof to keep it under control. Neither one of us wanted that so away it went.
This is how it looked when everything but the pinestraw was removed. I know all our neighbors were wondering what on earth we were doing.
Next, David and I purchased new shrubs. We got some azaleas that stay small and round with white flowers, some medium boxwood, some taller boxwood, some arborvitae, juniper and a curly leaf plant that I can't remember the name of. We like low maintenance evergreens and a more formal looking yard.
I used the garden hose to layout the curvy bed design and then used the measuring tape to layout the plants in a manner that would allow them to grow to their full potential.
Then it was time for the sod to go in.
The fellas worked for 12 hours straight laying the sod!! They had some sod left over, so Juan fixed an area in our backyard that was having some major erosion. Here's what it looked like before he fixed it.
Here's the after. Much better don't you agree?
Next, Juan brought in his "Triple Chocolate Mulch" to replace the pinestraw. I mean who doesn't want triple chocolate? hee,hee,hee. I also wanted a tree for the front yard and decided on a Crabapple tree. I had them in two other houses and just love them. They grow easily here, don't get too big, have beautiful fall leaves and spring blossoms and the birds always build nests in them.
Mommy Syl and Captain gave us a beautiful bird house for our housewarming gift. The blue birds have already been checking it out. I'm going to love watching them and their babies from the kitchen window or from the rockers on the porch. I planted ivy around the pole and strung some wire to train the ivy around it.
Since we have lots of mosquitoes around here, I didn't want to use my bird bath as such, so I put it on the front porch with a fern. The birds prefer to splash in the puddles from the sprinkler anyway. They crack me up in the morning.
We removed the old, warped storm door and replaced it with a sturdy full view door. Then I hung this basket on it. Still trying to find the perfect house numbers to finish it off.
Mr. McGregor said he is quite pleased with his new view of the yard and is ready to welcome visitors to Bayfield Cottage.
Finally a friend of Juan's came to clean off the sidewalk and driveway. Juan said, "It has to be cleaned up so it is a good reflection of my business." The pride he takes in his work, his crew and his business made me smile sooooooooo big! He is my kinda person for sure!
Here's the finished project. We've had lots of neighbors stop by and tell us how nice it looks. It's now time to sit on the porch swing with some tea and enjoy this summer season and all the seasons to come here at Bayfield Cottage.
See you back here next week!
Light, love and hugs,