Having this new large yard, we decided to attend a designers garden tour to get some ideas. We found an event put on by the Association of Northwest Landscape Designers. There were 7 homes on the tour and 5 of them were fairly close to our new house. We had to good fortune to meet Dave West at the event, and he had two gardens he had designed on the tour.
Because our new yard needs to be graded to create the area for the larger patio we want for entertaining, his cement work was what started our conversation with him. We followed up with David and he met us at our property the next day. He had great ideas, loved the size of the yard, and could immediately help us attack the massive overgrowth of weeds and remove or save the plants which were in the way. We told him of the work we had done with the arborist and that so far we were had just been mowing the lawn which we didn’t want anyway, and trying to keep the weeds somewhat under control, though on many days that seemed impossible.
He brought his bobcat and got to work. He recommended we put about 3 inches of mulch on to help nourish the soil so it would be ready for our next phase of the project. It completely covered our whole driveway when it was delivered.
We liked how we can see such a transformation already. Now when we sit under the large Magnolia tree in the glorious shade it provides, we can look across the yard and imagine the bocci ball court we want to build. The beautiful canopy of the tree makes us want to ensure we have plenty of space around it to enjoy its shade, so this will now influence where the court is built. When there was so much stuff in the yard, we didn’t know this would be the case as we couldn’t see or feel the true scope of it all.
When we enter the side yard, it now looks so large, compared to when it was so overgrown. Now we can envision the bump out of the kitchen addition we are planning and imagine the nice outdoor covered area we will have to eat under. We can begin to “see” what kind of plantings we want to look at through our kitchen window and the type of landscape we will want along the fences to provide more privacy.
On the other side of the yard, we can now get a sense of the space where our vegetable garden will one day live and we can think about what type of raise planters we want. And we can decide if we really want to keep our Weeping Blue Atlas Cedar which grows horizontally along the fence. We imagined it might be fun to tame it into a prehistoric looking creature! Having a closer look at it without all of the undergrowth is going to help us “see” if we really want to do this or not. That’s what editing the yard does, it allows us a better look.
While we nourish the earth, we will feed our imaginations with the possibilities to come. We are creating idea boards of plants and walkways. And we are discovering more plants that have come up in the yard, like the Gay Feathers and Coral Bells. Dahlias have also arrived.
The yard will be a many year project, probably a lifetime. But for now, we are building the foundation from which to start the vision. When we excavated the yard, we found they had put down a lot of plastic. This has been removed, and with the new mulch, the earth will have a chance to replenish itself and breathe. And we too will have time to catch out breaths. Breathe…big deep breath.