And so it begins…
The long road to my garden of Eden actually began last fall with a plan. After living in my home for several months, a vision of the outdoor spaces slowly started to emerge, and it included decks, pergolas, & trellises! (Who knew?) I will confess that creating your own plan is H-A-R-D! Ok…there I said it! It. Was. Ridiculously. Stupidly. Hard! And…it is still evolving…sort of. Why? Because, unfortunately, I can see all kinds of choices and possibilities. It is the age-old case of having just enough information to be dangerous. And this, in a nutshell, is why you should always hire a designer…let us be the crazy ones who lie awake at night with visions of decks, pergolas, & trellises dancing in our heads! The real problem is that I WANT IT ALL!
But I can’t have it all so I began with some decks, pergolas, & trellises! Project 1, as I call it, will be presented to you today in its finished/unfinished form. Finished in the sense that it is built. Unfinished in the sense that it is not painted, stained, planted, or furnished. I will update you as each tiny miracle occurs. 🙂 (If you are just joining me on this journey, you can catch up with Part 1 here.)
Project 1 goals included shade.
Project 1 included the pergola over my office windows, a deck for an entrance to my office, and cutting the driveway to create a sidewalk. The rationale? My office faces east and that side of the house gets quite toasty in the mornings. I needed to provide shade without waiting 20 years for a tree to grow. The quick solution was to build a pergola to shade the office windows and extend it over a deck that would provide a new entrance to the house.
This is what I started with:
Before construction began, I transplanted the shrubs and had the camellia moved. (It is slowly recovering.)
And this is the outcome of the building. Have I mentioned somewhere before (see Most Projects are Not Reality TV) that I have a really great hardscape builder? Right now he has become a regular in my daily life. I refer to him as my Eldin…as in Murphy Brown.
To finish this project, I plan to paint (or maybe use opaque stain?) the pergola and trellis white to blend with the house. Otherwise, everywhere your foot lands (i.e. the deck surface and stair treads) will be stained brown with a transparent stain. That will be my fall project. Right now it just looks like a bunch of fresh lumber.
Next, the driveway was addressed. Apparently the former owner of the house thought it would be a good idea to connect the front circular drive to the rear driveway. (Go figure.) I don’t really like cars driving all over the place–it just doesn’t promote that tranquil garden feeling–and the connecting drive became a rushing river when it rained.
Reuse materials on-site to prevent waste.
Rather than removing the entire driveway, the concrete was cut to make a sidewalk that measures 60 inches in width. Then I had the side that was to be removed cut into rectangles to be used as stepping stones. Why? I knew that I would eventually need a path through the small, side yard and I wanted to keep as little waste as possible going to the landfill. This was the solution for that situation. The two large chunks of concrete that couldn’t be used as stepping stones were used for fill material in the foundation of the new storage building. Reuse materials on-site!
And the finished sidewalk…
A before and after comparison.
So what do you think? I am eager to finish the project this fall with paint, stain, and the essential plantings and furnishings. I’ll be sure to share the finished project.
Next up…Project 2, the back deck rejuvenation and converting the parking pad to a dining room.