Landscaping Work In Progress

28 10 2012

I’ve been getting my hands dirty doing yard work ever since I can remember. My Dad first put me to work helping him pull weeds not long after I started walking.  By the time I was in kindergarten, when most kids are first learning to ride a bicycle, I was driving a riding lawnmower (we had a big lot in the country).  A couple years after that I was tasked with prepping the vegetable garden and flower beds using a rototiller each spring.  I also helped my Grandmother who lived next door.  It sounds like a lot of work and it was, but I loved it… most of the time.

Anyone who has done even a modest amount of gardening knows it can involve some back breaking tasks at times.  However, that pales in comparison to how hard the landscaping crew worked daily for over a month turning piles of dirt left by the building contractor into a beautiful patio and backyard.  The landscape contractor had originally estimated 2 weeks, but it took more than twice that amount of time, just like our master suite addition.  From here on out I will always double any contractor’s time estimate.

IMG_3028

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Although the hardscaping is complete for all intents and purposes, we still have to paint the block wall, stain the fence (so new & old sections match), plant some fruit trees and fill the flower beds.

IMG_3034I wanted a design plan to use to get bids from landscape contractors, but the landscape designers I called have fees around $2,000 – $3,000.

So when I had the opportunity I paid $399 for a Big Deal on Angie’s List.  That design is what you see here.

Baby Queen Palms

I wanted a design plan to use to get bids from landscape contractors, but the landscape designers I called have fees around $2,000 – $3,000.  So when I had the opportunity I paid $399 for a Big Deal on Angie’s List.  That design is what you see here.

I met with many different landscape contractors. I couldn’t find one to do everything we needed, so I had to separately hire a company to install fencing to match the existing fence. Work started in early September and was completed just before Halloween, although the bulk of the work was done within a month.

The lot has a slight grade toward the back of the house and we’ve had moisture problems, so an extensive PVC drainage system runs under the pavers and behind the retaining wall.

There were a lot of little details that took the contractor a while longer such as the walkway grates to cover 2 crawl space openings, installing a drip system and planting 3 multi-trunk Baby Queen Palms (check these out!)

Here are the materials used:    

Patio Pavers are Angelus Pavers from Angelus Paving Stone in the Blend Colors Gray/Moss/Charcoal.

http://www.angelusblock.com/returns/color_chart.cfm?module=paver&chart_id=14

We paid $1500 to get this Polymeric Sand put between the pavers to prevent weed growth. Definitely worth it!

http://www.alliancegator.com/2011/gator-xp-sand-bond/

The small section of grass is artificial turf.  It looks so real and zero maintenance! It’s quite expensive, so best for small areas.

http://www.tigerturfworld.com/na/products/landscape/residential/

Baby Queen Palms are not young Queen Palms. These are completely different. The small green trunks resemble bamboo. These stay small, about 10′ – 15′ max.  Perfect patio trees in warm coastal climates like Southern California!   http://www.personalplantservice.com/plant-of-the-month-chamaedorea-plumosa-baby-queen-palm/)

Here you can see the project as it progressed. 

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