Located behind and aging old barn on a quiet cul de sac road in the countryside, and dappled by sunlight under the canopy of mighty oak trees, lays a cute little cottage thats in a desperate need for a landscape makeover.
Recently I was hired by the cottage homeowner to remake the front yard and turn it into a bright, colourful and cheery location for prospective tenants.
As you can see the front of the cottage has been ignored for years and is boring. Luckily I have a plan for that that will involve Azayleas, Nandina (otherwise known as Heavenly Bamboo) yellow variegated euonymous, colourful hosta flowers, and perhaps a camellia or two. And of course a nice thick layer of mulch to make the whole look complete and tidy. Plus im trying to eliminate places for snakes to hide. Did i mention the cottage has a snake problem? Mostly black snake. But copperhead are found in the creek just a hundred feet from the location.
A shot of the side of the cottage. A half buried flagstone footpath. Crummy soil. Its going to need proper beds shaped and developed, soil amended. A lot of work. But nothing i haven't tackled before.
Sigh. Look at these roots. A whole top four inches of the soil will need to be removed and the roots torn out.
Well this side of the cottage has had the crummy soil excavated and the roots removed. To my surprise closer to the front door the soil was pretty good and has lots of organic matter in it. The other side however. Oy!
Look at what needed to be dug out and removed. Blister city on the hands tearing all those roots out of the ground. But it's coming along.
Re exposing the footpath which has been half buried in sediment. Necessary for overall look and for defining the planting bed.
This entire bottom section of the footpath was buried under six to eight inches of dirt and roots and weeds. Spent some time removing it and then regrading the soil to prevent soil from burying the footpath again in the future. It looks so much better now.
And now for the other side. Which is even worse.
This little bastard is a Berberis shrub. It's ugly. It had a matching one removed on the opposite side. We're on the fence on whether to keep this one or not. I want it to go. Its scraggly and i think there are much more handsome shrubs that can go in its place. Also, its filled with thorns.
Making progress. Now i know why there are lots of snakes ganging out in this one nook of the cottage. There are tons of frogs. Cute frogs. Climbing frogs, hippety hoppety frogs. I like frogs.
Whew! Finally got the bed shaped and prepared for the next step which is planting! The fun part!
Well thats enough for one day. That's eight hours of digging. Already looks better and more tidy. Next post will be shopping for plants at a massive nursery nearby. And the installation.
Thanks for following along so far. Anybody have any recommendations or ideas as to what other types of plants should go in? I plan on having two layers. A taller layer of shrubs along the back and a shorter layer of azaleas in front. Flanking both sides of the front steps will be hostas. I look forward to any ideas fellow Hive members in the community want to throw my way!
All photos by hidave