Tuesday, January 4, 2011

2007 - more landscaping out the front...

The front gets some more landscaping done...I wanted to create a courtyard area outside the front room downstairs as that room is actually a self-contained studio with a beautiful modern bathroom and a comfortable and functional kitchenette, so if I decided to rent it out the occupant would have their own access plus their own outside area. I think this was one of the best things I've done so far...










The top image shows along the front fence line (side-on) so you can see what it was like. First I got someone in with a mini excavator to rip up the weedy grass, I had him pile it all up along the front fence line to create a mound but sculptured it much more by hand to get a nice shape. I shipped in some soil and covered the mound, letting the grass break down for a while before planting. I had the posts from the original hurricane fence replaced with square hardwood posts. I got some guys in to lay the pavers in the square section as I hadn't had experience in doing something like this and I wanted it to look professional but I prepared all the ground and continued with the path myself, filling in the gaps with lovely earthy-coloured gravel.

The last two images are taken from upstairs. You can see, to border the large square of paving, I bought some railway sleepers and created a slightly raised garden bed. In this I planted a New Zealand Christmas Bush up towards the house in order to create privacy but I didn't want a tall hedge all along here and have on occasion tried some smaller plants but nothing has worked yet and for now the rest of the bed is still not planted.

After this was done I tackled the front entrance. The driveway eventually has to come up because it is ugly, cracked and old...until I can afford to do that I decided to dress it up as best I could, changing the tired looking front door with a glass one that now allows so much natural light into a once gloomy hallway, as well as having the amber glass changed to clear glass in the side windows (both downstairs and upstairs)...oh so much nicer...




I picked up some old decking timber from a local second-hand building supply place and borrowed my neighbours drop-saw to create this boardwalk to my front door - yeah, I know - go me! I'm just having a go and learning, there's not much I can't do when I put my mind and muscle to it. The surrounds of the garage door as well as the balcony and awning were eventually painted the same colour as the door surround - Dulux Oyster and the door itself is painted in Dulux Deep Ocean. I left the hardwood posts natural as I want them to grey over time. I also  painted the frame of the side windows (inside and out) in white when the glass was replaced, but I don't know if this was a good idea or not as now I've decided white window frames stand out too much and when I eventually bag the bricks and paint the house it will be in a dark(ish) colour and I don't want the windows to be a feature but rather blend them into the background...easy fix though, I guess, I'll just re-paint them when the time comes.


...and to finish it off I had that awful light fitting replaced with a nice modern tower light, with a sensor attached to it...much nicer don't you think! The little solar lights are crap...just bought from a hardware store and didn't last very long but they were lovely when they did work. When I do the driveway I'll probably get some more lighting out here too.

No major work was done in the back yard, apart from nature taking over, as you can see in the following images the plants are establishing themselves and growing in the curved garden bed...







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