Tuesday, October 10, 2017

The Suspense before ‘Wow!’ by Rolynn Anderson

Wait for it…wait for it…  Will people gaze upon my renovated landscaping and say ‘Wow!’ or will they blink their eyes like frogs in a rainstorm and ask themselves, “What the heck was she thinking?”

I suffered some angst when I tackled the renovation of our home’s interior, but nothing matches the turmoil involved in a landscaping redo.

Our yard is badly in need of a refresh.  Some plants (bushes and trees) are too big for their spaces (I show one example below), and others don’t look healthy and happy.  Our grass is green but much of it is ‘bad’ grass and we have spots where not even weeds want to grow.  So changes must be made; the question remains, what changes and how much will those alterations cost?



Here’s the good/bad news.  I live in a community of 50 homes with half-acre yards.  We were attracted to the gorgeous, wide-open yards of the houses in this neighborhood, so to complain about size doesn’t make sense.  But big changes in landscaping will cost more for a half-acre.  In fact, one couple just paid $155,000 for a complete renovation of front and back yards. 

Can’t.  Won’t.

A professional design is costly.  Instead, I’m going to use two apps for the process, aided by my husband’s CAD drawing of the yard.  Here are the apps, if you’re interested: iscape ( https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/iscape/id384042176?mt=8 ) and home design 3D outdoor & garden ( https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/home-design-3d-outdoor-garden/id978726175?mt=8 ).

We want to reduce water use, so we’ll let go of some grass in a ‘cash for grass’ county program.  Drought tolerant plants.  Easy maintenance=a yard person employed twice a month, down from weekly.



But the wow?  Help me here.  When you see a front yard and say “Wow!”…what triggers your approval?  

Here’s a little escape from renovation ponderings:

Cézanne’s Ghost-e-book and print… http://a.co/bQdl7jp
Eight Suspense Novels Spiked with Romance and Exotic Settings

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16 comments:

Leah St. James said...

Wow, that's A LOT of landscape to redo! I can barely manage the tiny flower bed in front of my townhome! The design tools look really cool, though. Have fun playing with your ideas and show us the yard when it's done!

Leah St. James said...

I mean to add...I love color, so a design with lots of bold color would get a "wow" from me.

Rolynn Anderson said...

So some color in the plants, you're saying, Leah..or are you suggesting I bring color in with pots and a water feature? My house is California Ranch style, and I kind of like something in the palm tree, cactus, succulent range of plants. I'll go take a 'before' picture right away.

Jannine Gallant said...

Right now I'm "wowing" at all the fall color people have in their yards with aspen trees, etc. Probably not good for your area. Spring and summer, I wow over flowers. I'm probably not a reliable source since our yard is full of thimbleberry bushes and little else. In the winter, it's a pile of snow, so I don't get too concerned about landscaping. LOL

Brenda Whiteside said...

When conserving water, I love a front yard that is landscaped with lots of low water usage plants. Grass isn't necessary as long as there is a mix of color and texture and heights. Maybe a stone walk way. Rocks and boulders strewn in just the right way. Good luck!

Margo Hoornstra said...

My go to landscape tool is the potted plant. Nothing grows well in the flower beds around our house, plus once something is there permanently you have to take care of it. A weakness of mine to be sure. Not to mention a death knell for the plant. For me it's the hardier and simple sort. Double petunias, Begonias, Impatiens and such. Right now, it's Mums. Lots and lots of Hardy Mums. Anything weaker wouldn't stand a chance.

Andrea Downing said...

A rock garden? I live near the shore and have a huge deer and rabbit problem so even potted geraniums get eaten and I am thinking of now resorting to fakes. I have mostly woods around me anyway and never had a green thumb so am no help. Sorry!!

Leah St. James said...

I was thinking flowers, Rolynn, but only because I wasn't creative enough to even think about pots or a water feature. :-)

Rolynn Anderson said...

Brenda, I'm with you on the stone walkway. I want one path to lead from the street to the main door and another path to ver off to the backyard gate. That will eat up a lot of grass! Yay!

Rolynn Anderson said...

Margo, I really like potted plants because the weeds/grass rarely get to them. I plan to have many pots...which makes me potted...on pot. Oh well...

Rolynn Anderson said...

Jannine, I love how honest you are about this realm. People who live where snow falls seem less interested in the whole wow factor...because half of the year, wow is not possible. Seems like a good plan, really!

Rolynn Anderson said...

Andi, I love boulders and rocks, but when I priced a big boulder, I lost some interest. We're talking $1000 for a damn boulder. Dang it! Makes me want to buy a loader and go get my own damn rock! Why do I hate paying for stone? I do!

Rolynn Anderson said...

I'm apologizing for swearing in the last message. I know, I know. Someone has to go find the rock, load it into a truck, bring it to the boulder store, jack up the price to 100 times its value...makes me want my own ranch with all the rocks I'd ever want within easy reach!

Andrea Downing said...

I had no idea rocks could be so expensive--unless we're talking diamonds here. Collect them on your travels, kiddo--come to WY and there'd be no problem. :-)

Diane Burton said...

I love color in landscape. It could be either plants (which I prefer) or pots. As someone who lives where it snows a LOT (over 350" our 1st winter), I still like good landscaping. Because I can't kneel anymore, I limited the number of flower beds--one in front of the house, some along the back next to the house and one bed between the house and the pond. I plant perennials because I love not having to do anything with them each year and add in a few annuals for bursts of color. Underground sprinkler system that came with the house keeps the landscape in good shape. Hubs weeds, which is great. After four years here, though, the perennials need some thinning. I'm thinking son & DIL might like some for their new house.

Alicia Dean said...

Geez, that's quite the undertaking! I don't envy you. I'm not a 'yard' or 'plant' or 'outdoor' person, but any kind of unique yard with either a fountain, flowers, rock garden, makes me go wow. And, during holidays, I love checking out yard decorations. Good luck with your project!