Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Here is a project updated recently.  I planted this garden was in '06, I believe, and it has held up well as far as the overall structure of the garden.  But two active dogs will take a toll, and there was a rehearsal dinner to prepare for, so starting in May, we added raised beds along the side fences with Green Mountain boxwood, and many, many new perennials.  And a few annuals.  And we got the fountain running!  We also added an irrigation system (irritation system?) because the huge, mature maples suck the life out of everything left after the dogs compromise it.  I am not a big fan of irrigation, since it can be very wasteful when done improperly, but this system is mostly drip lines directly into the roots of plants (actually saves water over usage of an overhead sprinkler, where UP TO 50% OF WATER IS LOST TO THE AIR!!).  But installation is an expensive and destructive headache.

No matter, American National Sprinkler did their best to make things as tidy and surgical as possible, in the wake of a very rainy, muddy week.  And we elves fixed everything, and laid down a new layer of mulch.  See below.  You can see the original garden on my website,

Saturday, August 4, 2012


What a spring and summer! The heat, the wind, it has been exhausting and stressful. I mean for the plants, of course, but I have also never looked so forward to Thanksgiving in my life, when things are slower, dormant and we can cross our fingers for more snow cover and a cooler spring for 2013.
But in the meantime, we have installed some VERY cool jobs - - my guys are wonderful!

Two weeks ago, we completed a local property that had been overgrown and neglected for years, if not decades. Neighbor kids called it "The Haunted House," but really, you could barely even see the house. My neighbor, Trish Stieglitz, a general contractor, bought it, renovated it, and has turned it into the cutest rental ever. New from top to bottom. Neighbors disagreed with the idea to paint it simple white, but once the landscaping was in, it looked just perfect! We put in a compacted bluestone screenings driveway, same material for a round patio in back, privacy plantings, bluestone steppers, some small flowering trees, and even landscaped the parkway, creating a berm for some interest for commuters. In fall, we will put in some perennials and ground cover (pachysandra) so the whole thing will, eventually, be lush, low maintenance and use little water. That's my whole game! See the following photos. Drive into the McCulloch Park neighborhood at Livingston and Green Bay and see this beautiful new welcome mat we have out!
The above photos are "before," but the true "befores" wouldn't even show the house; overgrown with weeds and weed shrubs, rotting trees, a falling down fence, no pathways save one of broken concrete.
"AFTERS" still to be posted.