The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places ...
|"Before" (picture taken on Memorial Day)|
Another goal with regard to this house has been crossed off the "To Do" list.
|painted lines made by the contractor|
It continues to be an interesting study for us to compare how things are done by Florida homeowners in comparison to Colorado. Climate, cost of living, and lifestyles make a significant difference. Season of life (i.e. young newlyweds versus the retirement years) also plays into decisions made.
|orange paint lines outlining the proposed patio|
Like many of our neighbors, we decided the two-car driveway was a little too narrow. And while we were pondering that, the walk up to the front door was small, too.
It's also popular around here to have concrete curbing installed a couple of feet out from the foundation of the house with mulch or rock up next to the foundation. It's a tidy look and is very low-maintenance for retirees who are looking for simpler ways to keep the outside looking good at all times.
The back yard needed a patio, too, so we wouldn't be stepping directly onto the grass when exiting the screened-in back porch.
Beloved got estimates from three contractors and chose the one who seems to be most popular in our community. He wasn't the lowest bid, but we could see his work is excellent and his crew dependable.
It appears we "chose wisely" (smile -- I'm quoting a phrase from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade).
|creating the curb around the back patio|
The process for creating the curbing was interesting. The man in the center of the picture above would shovel the concrete mixture (already tinted to the shade of our choice) into the hopper of the machine. The man on the left would slowly pull the machine (called "Lil' Bubba") toward himself while the perfectly-formed curbing came out the back -- sorta like making sausage! The man on the right followed along with a wagon holding more of the concrete mixture.
|curbing around the front of the house and along the north side|
While creating the curbing, they made drain gutters, too. The curbing started at the front of the house, went alongside the north side to the back, around the paver patio over to the south side and then back to the front of the house again.
|I've added clip art hands to iindicate the design we chose|
While the concrete curbs are still wet, an impression is made with a design of our choosing to add texture.
|south side of house|
We had them swing out farther from the foundation on one side of the house to accommodate the heat pump and bushes. We had a Bottle Brush (Callistemon) bush planted outside the guest room window for added privacy.
One of our neighbors has planted a Bottle Brush alongside his house, positioned so I can see it perfectly from my kitchen window. We also had a much taller one in the backyard of our house in Jacksonville. It's a beautiful bush/tree (depending how you trim it) with the most gorgeous bottle-brush shaped deep red flowers that are as brightly-colored as big fat strawberries. I just love them!
|completed paver patio in back yard with curbing and mulch|
We brought a hot pink Geranium with us from Jacksonville (red pot) and will gradually be adding more large pots with flowers for both the front and the back areas.
|a beautiful purchase from Home Depot's garden center|
We've got Begonias and Caladiums transplanted from Home Depot into large pots we brought from the previous house. I'm loving all the color!
|"After" picture taken last weekend|
We are very pleased with what our contractor has done for us. Widening the sidewalk with the pavers just looks more welcoming.
In this picture you can see just one milky white Magnolia flower on the tree outside of Beloved's study window. But upon closer inspection you would see many more flowers and new buds.
Magnolia trees do very well in this part of the country. They line the mile-long median of the street entering our community and then the rosy pink Crepe Myrtles take over as we approach the entrance gate. Once through the gate, the median is covered with the intoxicating scent of white-flowered Jasmine and more tall shade trees. To me, Jasmine (and Gardenias, too) smell like falling in love!
|view of our back yard from the screened in porch with a dense row of Cedar trees providing privacy|
Before I close this out, I should mention our back porch buddies. We no longer have live pets but I don't mind the statuary kind (not too many, however). Porch Puppy guarded our front door at The Brown Bungalow in Colorado and in Jacksonville. Now he sits on the bench Beloved made for me on the back porch. By the way, if he looks familiar, we bought him from Lowe's in Castle Rock. The sign hanging from his mouth says, "Welcome." I see more of his kind from time to time when I'm shopping.
My rooster is on the other end of the bench. He came from Hobby Lobby in Jacksonville and kept watch on our back porch. When we packed up to move, I positioned him carefully in one of the large plastic bins that held Christmas decorations and then promptly forgot about him!
We had been in this house for two months before I realized he had not been unpacked. I looked for him high and low and finally remembered he was in our storage locker with the Christmas stuff, just waiting for me to come get him!
Okay, we're done with the landscaping tour!