Plans have a tendency to change, and although I was all psyched up to organize and orchestrate the entire plan, some things change for the better. The original plan to overhaul just the front gardens was greatly expanded to include the addition of a berm, retaining walls, new patio, new porch floor and stairs, and new paths/walkways. Ultimately, the hardscaping was completed by a professional landscaping team from Toronto. Instead of carrying out the hardscaping and the planting, I only had to do the planting. The only planting the landscape company did was with a large tree spade - moving/relocating some large trees from elsewhere on the property to be incorporated in the berm. In hindsight I realize that the job of bringing in and arranging all of that landscape stone, then filling the gardens with shrubs and perennials was bigger and much more involved than I imagined. (Really, all I wanted to do was drive a skidsteer.)
Here are pictures of the landscape after the hardscaping was completed. It’s quite a change from the minor garden improvements made over the two previous summers.
Part of the berm is shown at the right of this photo. There is a new slate walkway leading from the driveway to the house that divides the berm in two. The part of the berm not shown in this photo runs along the side of the garage.
Even though I didn’t do the arranging of the landscape stone, it was gratifying for me to see that the end result at the front very closely resembled what I had drawn in my landscape plan. The retaining walls in the front are a combination of natural stone and low mortared slate.
The doors from the sunroom now open onto a new brick patio. Large landscape stones have been added to both sides of the steps and at the rear of the patio. At the left of this picture you can see a new garden bed below the patio and landscape stones.
From the patio, a new slate path leads across the back of the house and steps down to connect with the new back porch stairs, then continues on to the pool area. Large stones have been used to retain the garden beds at the corner of the sunroom.
A bit of the the new porch floor and steps are visible when looking back towards the sunroom. The edges of the gardens are roughly defined by more large landscape stones.
A view back to the driveway, garage and berm. The part of the berm that is visible in this picture is surrounded on three sides with large pieces of natural stone. The grade of the fourth, open edge of the berm gradually slopes down to lawn level. A mature Scots pine, relocated by the landscapers, has a prominent position within the perimeter of the berm.
So much has happened - the hardscaping was just the beginning.