Saturday, August 29, 2009

New Landscape! Phase One...

We love our house and the beautiful acre yard that surrounds it. I love to plant flowers in the spring and see things grow, and I very much enjoy sitting on our old front porch and looking out at the flowers in the front yard. Lately, however, we seem to have been growing more weeds than flowers, and we've discovered that we have a special knack for growing Bermuda Grass in our flower beds. My sweet husband and I have fought and fought with the Bermuda attempting to get in under control, and after four years, we have come to the conclusion that we have completely lost that battle. So, a couple of weeks ago, I contacted Todd Groce with Five Star Landscaping, and he will be the one to tame the weeds and grass and make our yard gorgeous. He started today by taking out all the old plantings (what little were left after our drought a couple of years ago) and bringing in new, beautiful plants that just fit with the style of our house. Below are a few photos of Day One. Already the transformation is amazing, and I can't wait to see all the plants in the ground!
Todd said they removed about six inches of old mulch from the beds. Here they have got rid of all the old plantings and mulch and are laying out the flowers in preparation for planting.
Of course, we are saving as much as possible of the older plants. This Rosemary Bush will be planted along the sidewalk so that visitors to the front of the house will catch its wonderful scent.
Max supervises as the new layer of dirt goes down and fertilizer is added to the beds.
These old borders served their purpose at the time, but they will soon be replaced with a new stone border.
The layout is looking good! the plants begin to go into the ground.
...and the weed barrier goes down (no more bermuda grass!)!
It takes a lot of patience to cut out the holes in the weed barrier for each and every flower!
...and Todd puts down the mulch.
It's starting to come together! Already I love it! Coneflowers, black-eyed susans, coreopsis, and more. I adore the colors!

I love the purple and yellow...opposites on the color wheel, so you know it's going to look great!
We are moving the urns closer to the front steps. They'll need a makeover, too, after all the flowers are in the beds.

The one thing I had to have were these gorgeous yellow flowers! I love the color that really shows up from the street.
And just look at how happy Max is! He is loving the yard transformation as much as his parents! What a smile!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Our Town's Fences and Flowers

We will soon be putting up a fence around our circa 1869 home, so we went out into the neighborhood to look for inspiration. There was no shortage of beautiful fences, flowers and landscaping to set our minds going on what we would like to see on our own property. We have not yet decided if we will do a wooden privacy, white picket or iron fence, but our neighbors have certainly given us many styles to consider. Here are a few of those we saw...

This cute picket fence with arbor had a screen door as a gate. Such an adorable idea!

This rustic privacy fence has an alcove built in in which a cross is displayed. I loved the look of the rustic "God Bless America" sign against the unpainted wood.

I love old weather vanes, and I adore how this one sits atop an old fence post among sunflowers and other summer blooms. The patina on the old vane is amazing. This one is a true favorite of mine, as it reminds me of my home state of Kentucky. It is a harness horse. Lincoln County's fair is one of the few county fairs in the state that still has harness racing.
These majestic columns set off a beautiful old stone fence leading to a local bed and breakfast. The winding drive is made of pea gravel that makes a neat crunching sound under the tires of our car.
A grand old tree on the property of the B&B. I love the flowers encircling its base.
I am leaning toward a picket type fence, and I love the "scalloped" design of this one. I think this would truly set off our old home. The white really stands out against the brick of this home.
Our town has an abundance of old stacked stone fences. We had to explore this inviting back road on the edge of town. Can you see the ancient looking stacked stone fence in the line of trees to the left of the road?
I adore Black-Eyed Susans, and the old dirt road was lined on both sides with these beautiful flowers. Our new landscaping will have a lot of these flowers!
...and back to our own yard that is in dire need of attention. This is the part of the yard that we refer to as our "Back Forty." It's set apart from the rest of our property with a line of trees. We have uncovered many old, cut stones in the yard that seem to hint that there were stone walk ways throughout the yard at one time. We would love to uncover those and restore them. As you can see, the area now is mostly trees and grass. We are looking forward to adding our fencing, landscaping and special design that will allow us to enjoy our yard even more.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Summer Rain

How beautiful is the rain!
After the dust and heat,
In the broad and fiery street,
In the narrow lane,
How beautiful is the rain!

How it clatters along the roofs,
Like the tramp of hoofs
How it gushes and struggles out
From the throat of the overflowing spout!

Across the window-pane
It pours and pours;
And swift and wide,
With a muddy tide,
Like a river down the gutter roars
The rain, the welcome rain!

From Rain in Summer
By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

After what seems like months without rainfall, we were finally blessed last week with bucket loads. It was like seeing an old friend who had been out of town for far too long! I was so happy to see it, that I could have gone outside and danced in it. But Dear Husband says we're grown-up now, and I'm not supposed to do things like that anymore (next rain, I've promised myself a few barefoot wades through the yard puddles). This rain has been such a blessing, and the grass is finally green again, and the flowers are thankful, as am I.

Photo courtesy of
Photo Bucket