Monday, October 31, 2011

Going Green


All summer we have been sporting a Laura Ashley color combo courtesy of the wild grasses and poke salad.  Green and purple is nice, but Laura Ashley is so last century.  We needed an update.


So, Gary tweaked the grading in the back, and the guys from Habersham Gardens raked the back yard smooth.


Then we were ready for the guy from



As the morning sun streamed through the trees,


the hydroseeder guy sprayed a combination of grass seed, water, and


green tinted recycled newspaper pulp. 


It made things instantly green.

Then he cleaned out the sprayer and filled it back up with wildflower seeds.


The whole bank in the back beyond the yard and the septic drain field got hydroseeded with a wildflower mix.

Within a week, we had grass coming up in the back yard,



and wildflower seedlings beyond:


Then, in case that wasn’t exciting enough, the guys from Habersham Gardens came back out and set up a playground for trees:


They slid them down the hill,


wrestled them up the bank,


and set them upright.


Before long we had a forest on the bank.  It won’t take long for those trees to grow together and create a lush privacy screen.

If that weren’t enough work, the guys got right back to it, digging holes for more trees.


They brought them from the street with the cutest little bobcat (I covet that bobcat).


They placed them behind the wall,


and soon had another forest to echo the one above.


Meanwhile, the grass in the back has become so lush, that a certain 13 year old couldn’t resist rolling, frolicking and cartwheeling in it. 

And petting it.  It is so soft it inspired her to drop to her knees and pet it.


We are definitely getting greener every day!  But stay tuned…



more is on the way!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Getting Stoned (again)


Originally, we had planned to have brick aprons on our arrival loop and brick edging around the loop.  But the rock wall led us in a different direction.


Fieldstone aprons in a random pattern,


fieldstone edging, and


an ashlar pattern field stone walk with brick edging.


It all makes a bit more sense when viewed from above.


In the back we continued the more formal ashlar pattern.


We are creating a raised terrace for the curved wall.  A curved bench will make a seating area and espaliered sasanquas will cover the wall.


Meanwhile, back towards the house…


We also put ashlar pattern landings outside of the French doors.


As the stone masons were finishing up, I was eyeing the leftover pile of rocks.  I had a project or two in mind.  We struck a deal.  I could have the rocks if they didn’t have to load them on the truck and haul them back to the rock yard.  Faster than you could say, “where’s my handtruck?” I was in the rock pile pulling out rocks to make this:


I think Builder Gary felt left out, so he decided to try the Buckhead version of cow tipping.




Over went the stone column.  By pushing, prodding and dragging, the column was moved over to  the new driveway we created for our soon to be next door neighbors. It mirrors the columns on the other side of the horseshoe drive.


With a little creative input, they decided to let the right hand column be reconstructed as a ruin that will serve as a planter.  The artist who suggested it, thought a mahonia holly would be very sculptural in it. 


What do you think?

Friday, October 28, 2011

Tied to the Apron Strings

I apologize for the lack of blog postings recently.  We hit a snag that tied us up.


After Paver Steve came down and tore up the remaining old asphalt and made a nice, even, strong road bed,


we had a pow wow with the garden designer, Brooks Garcia, Builder Gary and William the stone mason to lay out the aprons.


Then we dug them


out and poured the concrete pads for the stone.


Paver Steve was coming in the morning to lay down the asphalt and we were making progress.

That evening we got a call that our aprons were in the easement.  Yes, they were.  The old driveway was only 10 feet wide and the total easement allowance is 20 feet to allow for creating the road bed.  There was no way to attach to the easement without encroaching.  The neighbor who was concerned wanted to have a surveyor come out and mark the easement.  So, we called off the paving.

We polled the neighbors and most of them didn’t have a problem with it as long as a fire truck could navigate the driveway in an emergency.  So, I got the firemen to come out.


The firemen came out and inspected everything and gave it a resounding thumbs up.


After the surveyor came we had a meeting with our neighbors who use the driveway.  We had Gary the Builder, Brooks the garden designer, and William the stone mason on hand to lay out the new apron and get the show on the road.

We compromised and decided to move the aprons back to the edge of the easement and pave the full 20 feet just inside the gate in order to have a turnout to let two cars pass each other at the entrance gate.  As you can see, the new aprons (marked in green paint) were to be just behind the old aprons.  Not a very dramatic change but a very expensive change.


So, out came the concrete pads.


And back came the concrete truck.


We were tied to the apron strings, but it felt like we were

tied to the whipping post…. tied to the whipping post…(everybody sing)…tied to the whipping post…

good God, my bank account’s dying….