It has been just over 5 years since our adventure of landscaping the yard began. We were beginners then, and knew very little about what we were going to face and accomplish. I would say that we have learned a lot and know a moderate amount of landscaping, gardening and general handy-man skills. When in doubt, we ask those we know have the skills, or watch some YouTube videos. They are seriously handy, assuming you can find a good how-to, which we are generally lucky enough to find.
We thought we would take a trip down memory lane at the changes that have taken place in the last 5 years. This is mostly a photo journey, so we hope you enjoy. Since our changes are happening in specific areas, I have broken down the next few posts into the different areas. This post focusses on the right side of the yard.
TRANSFORMATION OF THE RIGHT SLOPE
2013 – When we moved in the entire back 3/4 of the yard and slope were blanketed in beautiful lush juniper bushes.
2014 – We attempted to remove the junipers by hand. Very little was accomplished other than breaking a winch cable on one of the root balls. Our garden was a container/barrel garden in the upper part of the yard.
2015 – We justified bringing in a company to clear the junipers with a machine….otherwise we would still be writing about removing junipers. Now the real work could begin. This was also the first year that we started developing growing areas in the bottom part of the yard. The right slope had a cucumber patch around the base of the tree stump which provided a huge amount of cucumbers that first growing year.
2016 – This was our first year of actual landscaping. We began work on our first version of the gabion walls, completing 2 walls at the top of the slope. We also ran irrigation to the bottom of the yard, including lines to our newly built raised beds that would support our garden while we continued to terrace the slope. The first change to the pathway that originally cut down the middle of the yard was dug in. We also did a test of the soil by planting a few vegetables on the slope. We had squash, corn, broccoli and LOTS of weeds. I think we spent as much time weeding the yard in 2016 as we did landscaping. It was exhausting and awful.
2017 – The major landscaping began on the right side slope. Our path entrance into the yard changed to allow for a more gradual descent to the base of the yard. Rather than beginning at the arch in the middle, we moved it all the way to the right side of the yard, close to the fence. It then cut across the yard ending at the base of the original middle-yard path. The first of the new style of walls was built, running the length of the new path.
2018 – We capped the top of the path rock wall with some wood to finish the look of the wall. We added a second dog, Basil, to our family. Ellie & Basil make the yard so much better….even if there is a little more work to be done because of them. We got the second path wall prepared to be filled with rocks before the snow hit. With this new wall came another new style, or rather an improvement to the previous style. We added the chicken wire inside the front wire to help keep the smaller rocks in the wall, allowing us to utilize more of the variety of rock sizes we were getting in our deliveries.
2019 – We finished filling the new wall. Kurt surprised me on one of his days off by spending the day digging out all of the levels on the right side of the yard. I’m still blown away by the amount of work he did that day. We also learned some hacks for in the yard, like how to fix a PVC pipe that gets hit by a weed-whacker blade and how to trim neighbours trees when they are overhanging your yard too much (with their permission to trim them).
2020 – With Kurt’s huge progress on digging the levels and having a year working from home, I was able to make progress on the walls and get all three finished.