April 23, 2014

patio and more patio

 I've been getting some estimates for our fence, patio, and landscaping and I gotta say, it's tough. I can imagine buildings, homes, interiors, but I have no idea what I'm doing outside. I mean, last summer was the first time in my life that I turned on a lawn mower. I killed a perfectly healthy lilac tree, let pests completely eat the azaleas, and went through more hanging plants than I'd like to admit. With each landscape contractor that comes out to see the work, I get a better grasp on what it is we're actually going to do. I started off with a just a simple rectangular patio in the back of the house, nothing too complicated, nothing too exciting. The more I talked to the contractors, the more I understood how we can use our yard to its full potential. I can honestly say that I'm officially excited about our yard!

I sketched on the plot plan we got from the surveyor to make sure things were somewhat to scale. Our Realtor recommended that we get a survey done of our property borders before we bought the house, and it turned out we owned a 4' fence in the back of the property. 

Pro of owning fence: we can make it pretty
Con of owning fence: we pay to make it pretty

I won't bore anyone with all the patio versions I went through, so here's the final concept:

Here are the existing and future plant bed locations aka dirt and mulch:

Here's what it will look like with all the existing and future plants and shrubs: 

Here's where the patio furniture will go, grill and seating area in back, dining area on side, fire pit near shed: 

And finally, here's who we should/need/must talk to about putting up our new fence: 

The landscape contractors have been so slow getting us estimates, so that's been pretty frustrating. But I think the most difficult thing will be talking to all the neighbors about the fence. We met the two neighbors on the left and right sides, but have never even seen the ones behind our house. I'm thinking it might be awkward knocking on their doors and telling them about the fence, but a note in their mailbox would be just plain rude. 

Speaking of neighbors, do people still come over with cookies to welcome you to the neighborhood? We never got any. I've decided, if someone new moves into a house next to us, I'm going over with cookies.

Here's a general list of things that have to be done along with the landscaping and patio:
- pick out plants, shrubs, hedges
- plant everything
- bury two gutters
- level yard
- fix grass after patio is done
- fix step next to front porch

We have our work cut out for us ...