A lot of trees had to come down in order to do the landscape renovation we had planned. We are making a much wider parking area, a turn around, and raising the big dip in the driveway. It was sad to see the trees come down, but we have a LOT of trees. Once they are down - we don't miss them. In fact, we welcome the sunnier area that results!
Furthermore, the trees put our property at a greater risk if there should be another wildfire in the neighborhood (there have been two here since we moved here 11 years ago). Two neighbors lost their homes in wildfires.
It is pretty dramatic to see them being removed and piled up high, though!
Since we have gotten started on landscaping, well - one thing just leads to another.....I have always hated how our driveway splits and the one to the back of the house drops about 6 feet before coming back up. This creates a rather slippy hill to climb in the winter. There has always been either a pond or ice skating rink at the bottom of the dip. This has always bothered me, and I really wanted this resolved before I went further with my terraces on the front.
This is the view of the driveway from the north side veranda. The parking area is narrow and cramped. This area was formerly landscaped with river rocks - another landscape material that really does not fit with this location. I put a notice on Craigslist that the rocks were free for the hauling and people came and hauled them away. They were all gone within a week. I hope to rebuild the retaining wall with the same landscape brick I used in the back. I will finish building the front with the same granite that I used to build the iris terraces. But first, we need an excavator to come do some work here.
Here is another picture of the iris terraces early in the morning before the sun was on the house. This photo is from the south side of the house.
I have placed a lot of flagstone pathways throughout the terraces, and will be adding more. This photo is taken from the second level terrace looking north. Note the iron bench - it was designed by Parks Reece, a Livingston artist.
I shot this photo from the veranda on the south side of the house - where there is a smaller veranda off the master bedroom. Things are looking good, but we are gearing up to make more changes.
Our new grand daughter, Adalia Eileen was born on June 15th. Since that time it has been a whirlwind of family activity at our place. It has taken me a whole week to get her picture posted on my blog! How is Adalia pronounced? It rhymes with Azalea, the flower. I think they are already calling her Addy.
Here are a couple of views of the iris gardens from the veranda on the north end of the house. These terraces were built by me one shovelful at a time. I had to haul a lot of wheelbarrows full of dirt to create the flat surface for the flagstone patio.
The rocks have been hauled from the Beartooth Mountains (we have a permit from the Forest Service to collect them for personal use). Then, I have drystacked them all at the edge of three of the terraces. This summer there will be a lot more trips to collect rocks for dry stacking these terraces.
This is the first year that I have really had any good iris bloom to speak of and I am really happy to see the results of my labors!