The Cool House: Landscaping or revealing the Cool House

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Landscaping or revealing the Cool House



Yard after landscaping
Those Cool House readers who follow me on instagram, Facebook or the twitters will be aware that the past month has involved a lot of heavy work around the yard. Six months after the big tree came down we lost a couple of large branches of the plum tree in the front. This was a sad and a shock but it did open up the view to the south west. We saw dogwoods beginning to bloom, pretty specimens that we hadn't appreciated before. We also noticed how forlorn and frankly tatty the border in front of the kitchen patio had become.  The Guy spoke to the landscaper and before I knew what was happening they had decided to demolish half the front yard.

Front yard after landscaping

I had my own issues with the landscaping but they were round the back. I'd never felt the bridge fitted in with the architecture of the house, and although we'd had it mended three times it was again in serious need of repair and I was ready to see it gone. I also hated the mess of a pool and collection of debris that ran along the dry bed that was supposed to be a gentle bubbling waterfall and stream. If the front yard was getting a facelift I was determined the back would have a boost, too.

Backyard after landscaping
The process was not without out its challenges. You cannot imagine my face when I realized that I'd be without a privacy screen of plants for at least two weeks. Staring at soil is not at all therapeutic, plus most of the work was done in sweltering temperatures. The removal of the old barbecue base involved some serious power tools and moving the stones atop the waterfall drew blood from at least one landscaper. But at last it was done, the new lawn grew, the plants-mostly hollies, azaleas and rhododendrons-went in and the sprinkler guys added new zones so everything would be happily watered and ready to grow.

Yard before
Let's look at where we were a month or so ago . Above is a collection of photos taken in the yard over the past 12 years. Below is the front yard on demolition day. The house was hidden and lots of  trees had passed their best. At least one was completely fried. Although I lost some of the layers of privacy in the short term, in the long term we gained so much more.

Yard awaiting demolition
Of course the greatest benefit of all this yard renovation is that we can now appreciate the
unique Andrew Geller architecture of the house.  Remembering what it was like when we first viewed the house in 2003, when there were so many trees enclosing the house that we thought we had been misled by the realtor's flyer, it's a completely different reality.  Now the house can shine in all its glory, for us and every passer-by to enjoy.  This little video below encompasses how I feel now I can relax and kick back, reveling in this glorious Indian summer in the yard. Total and absolute bliss.


video

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