June 29, 2009

Can you see beyond the ugly?!


For this week’s Metamorphosis Monday Blog Party I’m sharing the beginning of a transformation… and a plan for a  major metamorphosis… but the major question is: Can you see beyond the ugly… all the way to the lovely? Can you imagine how wonderful it’ll look when it’s all done?? Thanks to Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for hosting the blogsphere gathering!


Boy do we have a BIG project on our hands!! And even though it’s BIG and it’ll be HARD WORK, I’m excited!!

What is it?

Over the summer Brian and I are hard & landscaping our front yard!

Our poor little house and yard… this is what the place looked like when we purchased the house close to 2 years ago:

[16Feb08] Exterior 1 You can also see my pup, Simon… as usual, he’s hogging the limelight in all my photos! Gesh! :-)

Pretty damned ugly, hey?

We’ve taken to calling these bushes “hedges” but truth be told, they’re just overgrown wild cedar trees. Who in their right mind would plant them and let them grow to such behemoth ugly monstrosities?! The worst… these horrible trees block so much sunshine from the yard.

[16Feb08] Exterior 5 [16Feb08] Exterior 6


As soon as we could, we had the front cedars removed. Unfortunately, though, the side cedars you’re looking at above are sitting on our neighbour’s property… and for some crazy reason he doesn’t want them removed. Argh!

Anyway… we have a solution that I’ll share in a minute… first, here’s what the yard looks like right now:


And looking from the house down to the street:


Still not the lovely yard I want, but so much better!

BUT… There’s the tree you see in each photo above, and spliced together below…

Whole Tree

I might get in trouble with some of our readers ~ believe me when I say that this tree – a mega-huge (Brian says it’s over 70’ high!) cedar riddled with and being choked by ivy - has seen much better days. I’ve had an arborist by for a consult and she agrees… this tree has GOT to go. In fact, the tree remover guys are coming by tomorrow to take it down!

I promise… we’ll be planting another tree a little further up the yard!!

While I have many of you shaking your heads and wondering if I’ve gone totally bonkers, I’d better show you what we’ve done with our side of the neighbour’s “hedge”!!


DSC02186 I guess I’d better tell you the plan now… and yes, there IS a plan! :-)

Let’s start with the trees above… a simple solution… we’re putting up a fence. Our side of the hedge was so horrible! Can you see the dead earth that extends out about 5 feet from the tree trunks? That’s how far the trees extended into our yard! And practically all the branches were dead. We’ve reclaimed our 5 feet of yard by removing the dead branches – and our neighbour has his somewhat better-looking side (he get’s the sun over there). We’ll have a 6’ high fence, stained in a charcoal grey… and in front of that fence, and down this side of the yard, we’ll have a garden filled with plants that do well in the shade. I think it’ll look FAB!!

Another look at the yard from the street:

DSC01605 DSC01606

The most obvious thing is that tree… once it’s removed you’ll finally be able to see the house! Of course, that means that we’ll have to finish painting the darn thing! Haha! Can you see my big test patch?!

But the BIG job I mentioned?? We’re going to be labouring away over a series of retaining walls! Three of them, in fact… including stairs and a new walkway!

Speaking of walkway… Brian got started this weekend:


I’ve found some photos of retaining walls to give you an idea of what we’re going to be doing…


We’ll be building two tiers like this (above) lower down in the yard… the lower wall will be about 3’ high the upper wall will be about 2’ high.

We’ll be using an Allan Block Jumbo Junior (a smaller brick) in “natural” (a light grey) with a charcoal top cap. The photo below is the Jumbo Junior in light grey… although a much taller application then our walls.


The stairs will look great… something like this… 0nly we’ll have 4 steps ~ a 6’ landing/walkway ~ then another 3 steps up to the yard.


More bricks in grey (although larger then the ones we’ll use)

dan_001 illinois_5-06_041

Finally… a photo of what I want our walkway to look like (colour and pavers)… except I’m planning on framing the walk with darker charcoal pavers. I think it’ll look fantastic!!

JT pic012 (H) Allegro Limestone Pavers

If all goes to plan, we should be starting on this project later this week. I’ll be sure to post updates when I can!!

Wish us luck!! I think we’ll need it!

Now… make your way back to Between Naps on the Porch where you’ll find transformations that don’t ask you to imagine… they already look great!!

Victoria from Edin Interiors


Willow Decor said...

Fantastic Job! It looks wonderful!

qerat said...

Good luck Victoria
I am sure it will look great once all the work has been done.
I have had to remove 6 Huge trees from my garden this year, they atarted affecting the sewage system around the house. It was sad since we get so used to them, but we had to.

Kat said...

Wow, that is ALOT of work. It's a shame to have to lose such a large tree, but if it's not been taken care of there's probably not much else you can do. And it will be nice to see the house! Can't wait to see the end result, I hope you've stocked up on Ibuprofen lol! Kathy

Kammy said...

Wow, alot of work ahead ! Such huge trees !
Please post the progress !
Hugs ~ Kammy

susan said...

Wow! This will be a huge undertaking but SOOO worth it! I think trees and shrubs just get away from us before we realize it and take over! Frankly, I don't think I've ever seen a cedar in a yard that I liked. Good luck! Show us your progress!

amariaf2000 said...

Oh my word! Just reading this post overwhelms me, but I am sure it will look amazing when your finished!! And even more satisfying is that you did yourselves!
~angela @ peonypatch

Marty@A Stroll Thru Life said...

You guys have done so much work. Wow. YOur plan sounds fabulous. I can't wait to see the final results. Hugs, Marty

Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions said...

Wow Victoria - you and hubby have taken on quite a job! I wish you good luck with this and you might want to load up on Icy Hot or some other pain reliever. : )

We had a neighbor with large forsythia bushes that encroached on our driveway. In the spring and summer we couldn't see when pulling out of the driveway so we cut what was hanging on our side. The law was on our side for doing that, but she freaked out.

xinex said...

Wow! I want those walls and walkway! Looks like you've got lots of work ahead of you but it will be fantastic!...Christine

"Blossom" said...

This is masive! Good luck and I love the ideas you have.

Design Esquire said...

Wow, you've done so much work already and have a lot more to do, but it will look fabulous when you're done.

I just discovered your blog and I love it!

Lynn said...

I looked at your photos of the yard for a long time. It will be beautiful!
Can't wait to see the finished product!

Danica said...

I'm wondering if the previous owner didn't want anybody seeing the house at all. Because if he did, he sure did a "good" job. Looking forward to seeing the path, good luck and have fun! (As if you weren't planning on that already) ;)

Unknown said...

That is such a huge project to tackle! But it looks like you guys are well underway. It already looks so much better! I can't wait to see it when its done! Stop by my blog for my 100th post giveaway if you get a chance!
Have a great week!
~Really Rainey~

Wally said...

I would use Versa-Lok retaining walls if I were you. Much nicer looking, more durable. Check em out. They'd work well for your ambitious project.

Fifi Flowers said...

I cannot wait to see the redo! LOVE before and afters!!! Keep showing us all you are up to!


Wow! That makes every project I have look like nothing. Best of luck! It's all going to look fabulous when it's done. Looking forward to seeing your progress.

Michelle said...

yuck...hard for you guys. Waht a huge tree!

Diane Schuller said...

what a daunting job -- good thing you're working at it in stages. It'll look great once it's all done too.

Funky Junk Interiors said...

FUN EEEE! I've spotlighted this blog entry over at my blog. Please let me know if that's a problem. Thanks for the laugh!


Debbie's Garden said...

I think overgrown might be an understatement! Lordy woman have you got some work to do! But your new walls and painted house will look so regal up there on that hill, looking down upon the world. Cant wait to see it done.

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