It’s been a while since I’ve written a post sharing the work we’ve been doing around our home.
If you’ve been reading Growing Up Herbal long, you’ll know we bought a piece of property a few years back with a pretty outdated house that needed a good bit of work. We loved the land and the seclusion, and we saw the possibilities this place had. Thankfully, it was the perfect price, and we went for it. We spent the first year getting the inside of the house the way we wanted it before we moved in, and we’ve spent the next three years fixing up the outside and inside a little bit at a time.
This house has definitely become home, but we still have a way to go as far as getting it exactly where we want it to be. In fact, just thinking of all the plans we have for this place is exhausting. I’m not sure how Dean does it. He has a never-ending to-do list around here. But, we just keep chipping away at our projects, knowing that as we move forward, we’re building the life we want to have together.
Our big project this summer has been landscaping the mountain we live on.
This is the way the front of our house looked before. You can see that the mountain has been carved away, a road put in, and our house sits at the top. The mountain is covered in grass and herbs that grow naturally in the area, and the wooded portions are full of trees, ferns, and other woodland plants. The above photos were taken at two different times, but you can see that in both of these our “yard” is basically tufts of grass and weeds.
This year, we wanted to landscape around the house quite a bit, not only for curb appeal but to make the land more useful and to cut down on the amount of time it takes Dean to weed-eat the yard. We wanted to put various fruits and herbs around the house in a way that looks purposeful and increases the aesthetic of the house. And as you can see from the photo, the hillside in front of our house is too steep to use a mower of any kind so Dean spends hours weed-eating which is hard work. He’d rather spend his time on other important things so landscaping the majority of the yard will help.
Now, I am not a landscaper. I don’t really know anything about design, curb appeal, focal points, growing plants, etc. Our original plan was to hire someone to do all of the landscaping for us. We wanted the hillsides covered in mulch, we had a lot of brush and stray shurbs that needed cut out, and we wanted various plants and fruits put in. After having an estimate, we opted to do most of it ourselves and hire out some of the more difficult portions.
Here’s what we’ve done so far.
As you can see, we’ve covered the hillsides with mulch. We’re trying to make sure the mulch is nice and thick to prevent grass and weeds from growing up through it so we’ve been hauling A LOT of mulch. This Load Handler for Dean’s truck was a life-saver, but even so, Dean is SICK of mulch!
We also gathered up rocks and created a barrier between the mulch and the flatter part of the hillside where the fruits will go. The boys earned a lot of money doing this, by the way. And yes, we still have rock everywhere. In fact, I think this property used to be a rock quarry. If it wasn’t, we could surely turn it into one!
We also recently bought and planted some plants in the bottom bed. It was almost a nightmare digging the plants in here as there are tree roots to maneuver around, and we didn’t want to kill our trees. Speaking of having trees in this area… finding plants that are the colors I want, work well together, and don’t need full sun. Ugh! What a pain! The good news is that I only have 15 of 16 sections of our landscaping left to cover in more plants. Yes, it’s progress people! We also need to come back in here and add in some decorative elements when the plants fill in a bit. I’m thinking rustic or antique fencing of some sort, some pretty grasses, other odds and ins. We’ll see when the time comes.
Okay, so as far as projects left to do goes, we have a lot of work to do around our actual house. We decided to level out the area around the front of the house by adding 2 4-foot stackable block retaining walls and bringing in dirt. We’ll then landscape around the house and around the retaining wall in some way. I’m trying to decide between food-type landscaping or curb appeal landscaping. Pinterest is helping me. And yes, my husband hates Pinterest!
When we have the upper part of the landscaping done, we’ll move on to the wooded area below our house. We’ve already been excavating it a bit thanks to my father-in-law. We’re clearing dead trees, rock, and smoothing things out for a future chicken coop, shed, and maybe even a garden IF we can get enough light in that area. We’ll see.
So there you have it. A quick update on what’s keeping us busy this year.
Spreading mulch and planting plants,