work in progress

When Craig and I purchased our current house, we were quite relieved to have very few items on our house “to do” list, since the house had been recently renovated from top to bottom. One big item, however, was to do something – anything – with the yard. We learned from our next door neighbor that our house had been unoccupied for 7 or 8 years prior to the renovation. While 7 or 8 (or probably many more) years of neglect had been rectified in the renovation of the house itself, very little attention had been paid to the yard.

The backyard was a wide open expanse of nothing. So we consulted with our friend Gary Baverstock and retained his landscape design services before he moved back to his native England this month. Gary designed a lovely garden for us, complete with a few trees (shade and ornamental), many shrubs, and colorful perennial beds. He told us it will be relatively low-maintenance (we’ll see about that). The final product will provide us with a beautiful yard that also provides privacy and screens the ugly chainlink fencing and a couple of less-than-stunning neighboring properties. We hired Chesapeake Garden Design, Inc. (based on Gary’s recommendation) to do the landscape installation for us, and last week they dug up the planting beds. This involved marking the beds with spray paint, applying weed killer to destroy the existing vegetation (a.k.a. weeds), rototilling up the soil, piling on topsoil, and spreading a layer of mulch on top (to keep the dust under check and prevent weed growth). We will have to wait until September for the plants (since it’s best not to plant in the summer in Baltimore), but in the meantime we are already starting to see the plan come to life. I really enjoyed the fact that my mowing time was cut in half yesterday when I mowed, since the plan essentially eliminates about half of the lawn and cuts back on the amount of edging/weed whacking required.

After the plants are in, we’ll be left with the lawn itself to address. Our lawn is probably 75% weeds, 15% bare (dirt only), and 10% grass. Now, with two dogs using the yard as a bathroom, and our environmental commitments to not do things like use chemical fertilizers, we know that we will never have a perfectly manicured lawn. This does not, however, stop us from having “lawn envy” as we walk around the neighborhood and admire other lawns which are green, lush, and generally weed-free. We will consult with a lawn specialist soon. I imagine we will do one chemical application to kill the weeds, aerate the soil, and do some super-seeding. I wonder whether they do this in the fall, or if we’ll wait until spring? To be continued…

This entry was posted in garden, home. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to work in progress

  1. Beth says:

    I like the grassy path. It will be exciting to see the completed work in the fall. Do you have to keep adding mulch every season?

  2. Kelly says:

    Yes, I imagine we’ll have to do a big mulching every spring. Fresh mulch always makes things look nicer, plus it keeps the weeds at bay. I suppose we’ll have someone dump a big load of mulch off at the house – I don’t imagine this is a “buy a few bags of mulch at Home Depot” project. We’ll have to figure that out.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s