Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Landscape Design



This time of year, I'm reminded of the other part of our farmhouse renovation...the yard. The above picture shows what the side of the house looks like today...


...this is what it looked like after the contractors left. Due to new electrical, plumbing and water lines, and grading new elevations around the entire house, we were left with a sea of dirt and gravel.

So we had to start from scratch. The yard landscaping was a project we hadn't anticipated when we set forth on our farmhouse renovation and is one that is taking time to complete.

Last summer, we put in a picket fence, front walk and stairs, and dining patio...these tasks alone took the entire summer to complete!


Here's the what the front of the house looks like today. The picket fence offers a coziness to the area around our house. We also wanted to define the area of our property that would be for gardens (inside the fence), from the part that would be more natural and simple (outside the fence).


This is what the front of the house looked like when the contractors left.


This is what the outdoor dining patio looks like today.


This is what it looked like after the contractors left. Once again, Mr. Engineer (Hubby) used all his know-how to design and build a retaining wall, level floor and two sets of stairs.


This is what our 'backyard' looked like just before we went through the renovation. The edge of the 'lawn' previously dropped off a couple of feet past the old deck (which was torn down during the remodel due to rot). The fill we had excavated from the front of the house was hauled out back to extend the lawn area.


This is what it looks like today. We planted over sixty (back breaking work!) White Simplicity hedge roses along the entire perimeter of the lawn. We have yet to rebuild the deck/balcony (this comes off from the french door in the living room)...as we're trying to enjoy summer this time around instead of always working on the house. Also, we're still deciding on some of the design elements of the balcony. I'll do a separate post on that soon.

So that's what we've done so far.

Landscape design is something I love but is not something I know. I've always loved gardens, especially old country gardens, and I love old houses with hedges and a sense of outdoor coziness. But exactly how to create that with a blank canvas completely stifled me.

Then last fall I came across Tara Dillard's beautiful blog and was overjoyed to discover that she did long distance consults! After sending her dozens of photographs of the yard, and discussing ideas over a few phone calls, she created a beautiful landscape design plan for our property.

It was just what I needed...professional vision. The plans will evolve over time, as money and time permit, but it feels really, really wonderful to have a plan. Tara's amazing gift for creating beautiful landscapes is something I truly admire. I feel quite honored and very happy that her vision will be expressed here on our property.

As we progress with our landscape projects, I'll be sure to keep you updated!

54 comments :

  1. It's beautiful! As we are renovating now I have the fear that things will never grow back in the garden but now you have inspired me! Thanks!

    Caroline

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  2. Hi Trina,

    Loved seeing the pictures of your yard. It is so interesting to see the changes. Great job so far.
    Take care
    Janine
    XXOO
    Tasmania, Australia

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  3. Trina, your landscaping is beautiful and suits your home perfectly! We are in the same boat as you were a year ago, not knowing exactly what to do with our yard, but wanting it to be inviting and cozy. I will have to contact Tara to get some design expertise! I hope this summer you will be able to enjoy the fruits of your labor!

    Kat :)

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  4. Your picket fence is lovely. I loke how you have kept it simple and fresh and in keeping with the house. I always enjoy seeing your home.

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  5. The patio with the boxwood hedge is fabulous. It is amazing that landscape design this great looking can be done long distance.

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  6. Wow what an undertaking, I always under estimate the value of beautiful landscape.
    http://caribbeaneco-living.blogspot.com/

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  7. I adore the picket fence. One of the 'projects' I hope to do at our place. I'm blessed to have a son who has gone into the landscaping business. Now to get him to help with ours, LOL

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  8. FANTASTIC. Your vision is truly coming to life. When we first moved into our current home, we thought the gardens needed supplementing. That was nine years ago and now we are actually pulling out shrubs, it has all grown so much ~ and we live in a very cold climate. I am betting that your gardens already look like they have been there longer than they really have. Love the Tara's of the world! And the handy hubbys! xx P&H

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  9. so nice to have a plan. I have been digging up my front yard with only a bit of a plan. I have managed to dig a big hole, though.

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  10. Unbelievable amount of work. But obviously rewarding. Thanks for the inspiration.

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  11. I think your house and grounds are just beautiful. You are living the dream! I've saved her blog for future reference. I also love having a plan-a plan that I can do as time and money allow!

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  12. It's odd, most people wanting a pretty landscape from within their soul are already 'intuitive' gardeners.

    Doesn't matter their background, career, income, aesthetics, age, race, culture, politics, sexual orientation.

    And that's fascinating. Almost as if there is a gardening dna gene passed along. Waiting to be turned on.

    You, dahling, were gardening beautifully (intuitively) before you hired me !!

    Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

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  13. Yikes! That is a lot of hard work. My husband and I are slowly improving our yard, but having a plan is definitely the way to go. Looks great!

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  14. Your yard is beautiful. I love the white picket fence and the patio. Tara must be very talented at what she does. I don't blame you for putting off the deck. You need to enjoy what you've completed so far. There is plenty of time for the rest later. Carla

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  15. Such a lot of beuatiful work you have done on your country farmhouse! I love tara dillard's vision and work. perfect combo!

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  16. A sweet hello from Frog Hollow Farm. How rewarding it must feel to have accomplished all of this. I love the before and after photos - they are so important because at times it feels like there's no progress being made, or very little. You have done a beautiful job, and finding help from another blogger must have been fun. Ciao, bella!

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  17. Trina, you and your engineer hubby are INCREDIBLE! The metamorphosis of your country farmhouse inside and out defies words. And good for you to go to an expert for advice on plantings. As my mama always said, "You don't know what you don't know." Just last week I did a post on a portion of my garden which borders a white post and rail fence. You might enjoy stopping by and taking a peak. http://graciousinteriors.blogspot.com/2010/05/garden-bones.html Thanks and know that this is one reader who regularly finds you truly inspiring!

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  18. hi trina,

    what a huge effort this has been. and what great results you have had. i adore your stone patio. can't wait to see the those roses in bloom. 60! wow. tara is amazing in her vision. isn't it wonderful that blogging put you two together. i can't wait to watch plans unfold. i'm loving the idea of you two just enjoying what you've accomplished so far this summer instead of work, work, work. sometimes we lose track of things like that.

    ~janet

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  19. Good Morning Trina! You sure have come a long way and should be extremely proud of what you have done so far with both your house and yard. The yard looks amazing - I love the definitions of the hedges and the fence - they add some structure but blend in perfectly with the natural look.
    The best things come to those who wait and I believe everything about your farmhouse is turning out so lovely because of your thoughtful patience ~

    Have a wonderful day!

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  20. You've come a long way...and that's something to be really, really proud of! Your yard looks so luscious and green! I love the patio, too. Very nice and elegant.

    -Gail

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  21. You both sure have done a ton of work! You would never know it was done recently...it looks like it's been that way for years. We are currently working on our backyard. We added a pond two years ago, a bar area last year, and now are hoping to add a fire pit. Our trees have gotten so big and have shaded the better part of the yard, so we are having to find things other than grass to fill the space.

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  22. It looks fabulous! I'd love to see a shot of the view from your backyard, it looks like a stunning view!

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  23. It must be great to have money.

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  24. Trina,
    The stone patio is beautiful! I would love to see the roses in full bloom.
    Happy to hear your taking the summer "off" to enjoy all of your hard work.
    Londen

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  25. You have done a beautiful job on the landscaping. All those hours and hours of hard work is really paying off. I looks as if it has been there for years.

    I'm a complete sucker for white picket fences so of course that is my favorite element of your yard. Followed closly by your dinning patio. I've been dreaming of one myself since we moved to our home 6 years ago. I hoping to get started on it this summer.

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  26. Hi Anonymous,

    I forgot to add the links to some of our projects...the picket fence and the patio. We couldn't swing the cost of hiring anyone so it was just the two of us who worked on it - and a few visiting family members!

    Remodels are always more costly than you plan for and ours was no different. They also take lots and lots of time. This is why we've spent nearly every weekend and every summer working, working, working on our house. But there's nothing that feels better than seeing the hard work pay off!
    ; ) Trina

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  27. Trina,
    What a transformation! The simple picket that you did is the perfect choice for your country farmhouse. Your dining patio with a view is really nice too. I can't wait to see your garden as it develops. Steve

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  28. Trina,
    Simply Beautiful! You and hubby have done an amazing job! That is A LOT of sweat equity you have there!! Good for you!
    Love the picket fence- I remember how y'all painted each and every one by hand! And your dining patio is Gorgeous! Those boxwoods are HUGE!

    I love Tara's design philosophy. She has done a lovely job with you. And that you and hubby have executed it so perfectly deserves a round of applause!
    xo,
    joan

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  29. It looks so great. We are hoping to do some landscaping so I am glad to know about Tara.
    thanks

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  30. I covet your white picket fence!

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  31. The landscaping you've both done already has honored the property so well! It looks very natural...like it's always been there...but better! It will be fun to see the future plans unfold...

    I love Tara's blog by the way (am now following), how nice to have her help, vision and support! xxoo Jessica

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  32. It just looks fabulous! I'm off to see Tara's blog :)

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  33. Your blog is inspiring. Thank you so much for sharing your project.

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  34. EVERYTHING you've done, outside and inside, is just lovely...
    Not sure that you want to answer this, but, where do you live? (just mentioning the state would make me happy!)

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  35. Hi April,
    We live in Oregon!
    ; ) Trina

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  36. Your blog has really inspired us, thanks for the motivation as we set out on our own path!
    http://bunburyfarm.blogspot.com/

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  37. What beautiful pictures and such a pretty blog! So glad that I found you! Thanks for sharing your pictures!
    My Whimsical Victorian Chic Cottage

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  38. I'm so glad to have found your blog! It's beautiful!
    I also wanted to let everyone know that there is a wonderful giveaway over at www.theblissfullycontentlife.blogspot.com.
    It ends tomorrow so hurry!

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  39. I am so glad I found your site! It's beautiful!!
    I also wanted to let everyone know that there is a wonderful giveaway over at www.theblissfullycontentlife.blogspot.com
    It ends tomorrow so hurry!

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  40. Your home is absolutely gorgeous (and charming!) My favourite style of home! I'm excited to see how you continue to progress with your landscaping - you have lovely taste. : )

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  41. Your home always impresses me. Especially the location and what you have accomplished so far. It is beautiful. I really like your little patio and hope you don't work so you can enjoy it more!

    Have a great weekend and can't wait to see those plans!

    xojamilyn

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  42. looks great so far! yes, professional vision is what we need, too. at least our engineer husbands aren't afraid to tackle the big projects! I just wish we could more easily get some heavy equipment into our backyard - sure would make things easier!

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  43. You have such a beautiful home! Many greetings from germany, Karolina

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  44. well done, on the farmhouse and the
    landscaping. what a place of beauty
    you have created.

    nice choice of engineer/husband! :)

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  45. You both should be (as I'm sure you are) briming with pride! What a lovely property you have and you've worked so hard.
    Have you considered approaching Better Homes & Gardens magazine?

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  46. I am crazy about Tara Dillard.. Nice post.

    yvonne

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  47. Your blog is beautiful! I am having serious flower envy looking at all of your gorgeous flowers! Wonderful job on all of your farmhouse rennovations- BREATHTAKING!
    Have a Happy Memorial Day~
    Kristin

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  48. It's really beautiful. I'd love to see a picture with all the roses in bloom.

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  49. Hey there! WOWOWOWOW, you guys hve done such a fantastic job. Your 'sweat equity' is paying off big time. :)

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  50. Wow...great work. I love your ideas and your blog. I am also hosting my very first giveaway so please stop by.
    Take care Anu

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  51. Just came across your blog and love your before and after photos. What a beautiful home your creating. Beautiful job on the landscape. I love my garden, as do my deer so it is blessed with a fence

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  52. Oh my do I know what you're talking about! We just moved to our little farmhouse in the country a year ago this coming Saturday. Where did the time go! Last year we spent the first 3 months working on the inside (still have 3 rooms to go) but this year we're working outside. We're doing everything ourselves and at our age it takes us longer than when we were in our 20's and 30's...even 40's! Heaven forbid. You have a BEAUTIFUL home and property and I love what you've done to it inside and out. I'm going to find great inspiration from your blog...I can tell that already. Have a wonderful day enjoying your hard work. Take care...Maura :)

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