Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The year in review

Wow, 2008 was quite a year. As far as I'm concerned, the landscaping season has come to a close. Here in the Pacific Northwest, the winds have started to pick up, the clouds are rolling in, and the sky is beginning to leak. I'm not one to give myself much credit for getting stuff done, and I rarely look back on what's been accomplished, but this year I can't help but look back. I think writing the blog forces you to make the trip down memory lane. It takes so many mini projects to get something greater done. Last night, as I was standing on the deck, I looked out and saw a total transformation. For just a minute, I didn't see all that we hadn't done, but rather what we'd accomplished. I must be getting older. This is what I saw:

As a comparison, this is where we started this year. Not exactly from the same vantage point, but you get the idea. I don't even know where to begin to quantify the time spent. I'm not even sure I want to know. What I do know is that all of this work keeps the therapy bills low! If I'm busy, I'm happy. If I'm not creating, then things aren't so good.

Looking back, here are some of the things we accomplished this year:

  • Remove ALL of the garbage that the previous owners left over (thik 3-4 truck loads)
  • Remove fence from around deck. Deconstruct fence panels and salvage panels.
  • Square off deck and make it rectangular as opposed to a half-hexagon.
  • Tear out first 25% on contrete driveway.
  • Build pond and add Koi.
  • Haul in and install 10 ton of basalt rock.
  • Build big pond organic filtration system with UV clarifier.
  • Install approximately 100 foot of waterline and run underground cables for irrigation control.
  • Lay 100 to 150 foot of new paths out of crushed brick.
  • Move winter drainage creek so fence can go in.
  • Build first 50' of Craftsman fence along property line.
  • Rotate shed 90 degrees and move it 8 feet back.
  • Haul in 10 cubic feet of dirt and have it moved around.
  • Remove brick planter box from front of house (75% complete)
  • Remove boat from front yard.
That's all that comes to mind, although I'm probably missing something.

Not to worry, the blog won't be ending. Next up is a remodel of our upstairs space. We'll be turning one giant uninviting room into a 'quaint' bedroom and a television/entertainment room. As for the rest of the house: Kurt will be working on the kitchen, and we plan to continue stripping the woodwork.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

The low bridge is in

First the high bridge and now the low bridge. Pretty soon we're going to start installing overpasses.

When I designed the landscape (and yes, all at this was drawn out before being implemented, which is a MUST), I took into consideration the vast amount of rain we get during the winter time in the Pacific Northwest. The specific area we live in was once a vast wetland, and every year it tries hard to revert back to its wetland-self (hence the ducks that show up every winter). This is primarily the reason we're installing so many raised beds. On any given day during the winter when you walk across the yard, water squirts up out of the ground. It stays saturated all of the time. Thankfully, we have a creek that runs alongside our property which runs constantly during the winter months. Without the creek, I'm pretty sure our property would just float away.

This was a concern when we built the pond. In goes the water falling from the sky -- the water line goes up -- and the pond eventually overflows. I built a low-spot in the pond which will acts as a spill over. The spill over should (if it works as planned) run into the rock creek bed I've designed that runs under the second low bridge. So, in the summer months the creek bed will be nothing more than a dry rock bed, which has a certain aesthetic quality to it. Once more of our concrete driveway is pulled up, the little creek will run over into the big creek, and the water will be whisked away. If this doesn't work, we may all drown.

I sure hope the ducks show up again this year. One needs something to look at to get through the gray months!!!