The side of the house was pretty much nothing much to talk about, and largely forgotten. Well that has changed with a bit of landscaping and some love. Of course, the hideous chain link fence was replaced as well. The water heater is also on the side of the house and it lived in a rusted old tin shack of a box that was suited for where Dexter would have hid his kill tools in a swamp. Needless to say I was eager to see it go. Well finally, it has a new home! It’s an expanded wood cabinet to match the fence. It also has some shelves for storage of outdoor toys. The before picture is from when the house was having some foundation work done, but it’s one of the only photos I have of the side of the house.
The mulch is done, almost. I need to have a retaining wall built for the new patio area (of course, I wasn’t planning on that) but it’s getting done and i think it will look great. I’m thinking about tiling the retaining wall for some fun, but that, like the grass, will need to wait a bit…but the irrigation has seen major improvements and there is only about a third of the system left to be replaced.
So I didn’t notice it at first, but the outside of the patio wall totally cracked due to all the sledgehammering. It looks worse In person. I’m bummed, not sure what it will take to fix it, stay tuned…..
Update; after looking at some older pics of the front of the house, you can see that where the wall cracked is exactly where it had been repaired before. In other words, someone already broke it and fixed, but not that well. Not sure if that makes me feel better or worse.
Of course the backyard won’t be done this week, I don’t know why I even think such silly thoughts almost two years in to homeownership. That said there is progress and the irrigation has been updated. The irrigation was of course, more complicated and expensive than initially thought since the old system was barely hanging on. The patio area has been leveled, it could use a retaining wall…..but it looks good. The veggie beds have been relocated and we are pretty much ready for the mulch. Gardener should be back on Sunday, maybe finished by mid next week, maybe… This will, unfortunately, make me want to do more in the yard…..eventually.
So I’m pretty sure I want that big tall lovely bamboo as a privacy screen against the back of the property. That however, will need to wait for now. That said the second level of the yard has fallen into disrepair, the sprinklers weren’t working well and the grass was never really grass but weeds full of prickers; tormenting kids, dog and even the inside of the house was not Immune to the prickers.
One thing I realized was I don’t need the whole top area to be grass, the play area could easily be mulched, ultimately saving on water. I also decided to mulch around the patio and to move the patio to the back corner. This of course, involved moving some fruit trees as well. The drip irrigation was not done correctly in the back and some of it needs to be redone and it needs to be added to places that lack it.
The good news is the mulch and patio moving phase is underway! The less good news the bamboo and new grass will need to wait a bit but this should help the existing plants do better (proper irrigation) and save money and water by reducing the area that needs watering. Hopefully this part of the project will be done this week!
Here it is very much in progress…
Two of the things that helped me decide to prioritize landscaping the front before other projects were the that fact I’d save water (this drought is no joke) and that LA DWP was offering a $2/sq ft rebate for each sq ft of turf you removed. I still have a nice grassy backyard for the kid/dog to play in and it seemed rather wasteful to have so much grass we didn’t use. Plus I think it looks great and helps out a ton on the curb appeal factor.
Today my rebate check came, and while the landscaping costs exceeded the rebate (by a lot) it’s still great to get a check in the mail! Hurray turf rebate program, hurray!