August Monthly Moos {Landscaping - And It's Not Pretty Yet}

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Can you believe that we completed our house and moved in two years ago this month?

And even crazier than that, can you believe that we are just now doing our landscaping?  Of course in the mean time we did build a garage/work shop for Eldon.  And finish a number of odds and ends in the house like the upstairs built ins, the downstairs closets, the bathtub tile surround in the master bathroom.  And on and on.

So, here is a little update on what is going on outside the house!  

After a lot of thought and consideration we agreed that on the back porch we wanted railing.  The back of the house just needed something to dress it up a bit and we decided that railing would do it.  I had in my mind that we would just purchase some vinyl railing from Home Depot and pop it up in a day!  But, nope.  

Eldon built gorgeous railing out of treated wood that will (hopefully) stand the test of time.  Of course the real reason I wanted vinyl was so that I wouldn't have to paint!  I'm kind of tired of painting.

My personality is such that if I have something dreaded to do I want to just do it and get it over with.  I can't stand thinking about it.  But Eldon made me wait to start painting as the treated wood needed to cure for a couple months.  So I'm actually kind of excited to finally be painting.  But it's going slow as I'm using an oil base primer and paint so there is a lot of time spent waiting for it to dry.  

And of course as I'm painting I'm thinking things like this, "Wow.  Those pillars are already looking kind of bad. I probably should paint them again.  And the blue porch ceiling that didn't turn out to be as blue as I wanted?  I really should re-do that in a darker shade."  Goodness.    So far I have resisted!  

Anyway, the painting is slowly coming along and I'm loving it.  I think the railing on the porch added just the perfect touch.  

In the mean time, Eldon began bringing in loads and loads of back fill.  Because of our house being on the hill, we have a lot of slopes that had to be built up and leveled.  We sill have a slope down to the garage, which is what we wanted but making it more of a gradual slope instead of an incline required A LOT of dirt.  Luckily we had an area on our farm that has good dirt that actually needed to be moved.  And we have tractors and a dump truck!  Somehow I missed a picture of Eldon bringing dirt and working it.  Could be that it was because it was in early August which is our dry season and all I saw for days and days was a cloud of dust.  

Once we were happy with the slope, then the leveling began.  And the raking and fine tuning of dirt moving.  

Then the talk of the flower beds.  Keep in mind there is still a fairly good slope, which will always be there and we don't want our flower beds on a slope.  So then the talk of retaining walls started.  It's just too much for me to understand!  My only input was that I wanted flowers beds, not grass, right up to the house as mowing and string trimming really make the white house dirty (and I'm already thinking I need to paint again)!  So.... flower beds in the places next to the house and grass next to the porches and the retaining walls.   We laid out the line of the retaining wall with string and did a lot of level testing to get it just right.  

And before Eldon started digging for the footers for the wall, we laid it on the ground to get a look and make sure we liked it.  

Then Eldon got started.  

He's meticulous about things being straight, square and level.  So a lot of calculating and adjusting going on.  

Drain pipe and fabric barrier has been going in as he works his way down.  (The fabric barrier lays up again the block to keep dirt from washing through.)

This is the lowest part of the flower bed so therefore the highest part of the wall.

I'm starting to love it.  It doesn't have to be painted!  

I took this picture at a low point so it is hard to get the real picture, but the top of the wall is actually just a couple inches below the bottom of the house and the top of the porch concrete.  It doesn't look it here, but promise me it is!   There is a "cap" that goes on the wall when Eldon is finished and then it will be level with the bottom of the house and the top of the porch concrete.  

And then it will be topped off with top soil so I can spend all winter designing my beds!

Eldon will duplicate the wall on the other side of the back porch so that it matches.  Although that side doesn't have near the slope so it will be a much easier job.  At least it seems that way to me!  

In other farm news, we are weaning all of our darling spring calves.   I'm happy to say that they are doing great and our first year Heifer Momma's did a good job of letting their babies go.  The bawling only went on for two days this time.  (If you've never experienced the crying calf and the bawling Momma at weaning time... consider yourself lucky.  It's sort of pitiful.)  

The flower garden is still blooming.  My daughter and I are still swamped keeping the flower stand stocked and orders filled.  It's been a spectacular and fun-filled summer.   (If you missed my post on our Flower Farm you can read it here.)

Thank you again to all my faithful readers that never give up on my writing... even when I feel I have nothing to share and I let weeks go by without sharing.  I do write a lot of posts in my head!  

 I plan to be back next week with a fun give-away so don't miss it!


  1. Wow! Your husband did an excellent job making sure the beds and retaining wall are level. The railing looks very nice too. You and Eldon make a wonderful team making your home and land with hard work into a beautiful retreat. Always look forward to your posts, Kathleen in Az

  2. Wow!! I'm exhausted just reading this post! That was lots of work, but looks awesome! I wish you and Eldon were up for hire 😉

  3. The porch railings and retaining wall look fabulous! Your property is so appealing. Enjoy planning your flower beds. We enjoy your posts, no matter when you are able to write. ;0D

  4. You two have certainly done a beautiful job with your home, it looks like a wonderful place to be; well thought out and the love and pride that has clearly been invested shows. Lovely view and happy looking heifers to boot - thanks for sharing!

  5. You two have certainly done a beautiful job with your home, it looks like a wonderful place to be; well thought out and the love and pride that has clearly been invested shows. Lovely view and happy looking heifers to boot - thanks for sharing!

  6. Love hearing from you whenever it is!

  7. Love your beautiful back porch railing and new landscaping gardens. It does add a great look to the backyard and house. Such a view you have up there. It must be breathtaking at moments!

  8. Dori, everything is looking gorgeous and progressing at the speed it's supposed to!!! We built our place in 1993-94 and every day I marvel at how sweetly it has matured. The Mr. finally retired and he's enjoying spending time on work around here that hasn't gotten it's full due for the last few years. And much like Eldon, he's meticulous and it all takes time, but gets done right! Love your view!!!

  9. It's going to be gorgeous in the spring!

  10. That is one hard working man you have there. I'm not surprised at how long it takes to get everything done. We added on to this house ourselves and it took years to get everything done. Lets face it, everyone still has other work to do! The porch railings look wonderful and the flower beds will be so pretty right there where you can enjoy them.

  11. Dori ,
    Your home is beautiful inside and out! Can't wait to see your flower beds in full bloom. Keep writing and I'll keep checking in when I can. Take care and enjoy the rest of summer. I know you like summer best, but my favorite time of year is right around the corner..FALL! Until next time...Colleen

  12. Looks wonderful! So good to read your posts!

  13. Hi Dori, yes have missed you, you know i live vicariously through your posts!! You are so lucky to have Eldon, he is so capable (as are you) and the everything is looking so good, i can hardly wait to see it when it's filled in and established! Also love the photos of your garden and animals, you are truly living the life of plenty among Gods bounty! glad you checked in and caught us up!

  14. All your hard work is going to pay off. It will be fabulous!

  15. omgosh, your home is gorgeous !!!!!!!!!!!! love the simplicity of it !!!!! also, can't wait to see what kind of flowers you plant !!!!

  16. Dori, you are such an encouragement! We, too have a laundry list of projects on our farm. At times, it feels like we'll never even scratch the surface, but then I see your progress and it makes me excited to tackle our projects, one at a time. Really hoping to see you sometime soon.

  17. The railings and flower beds really give your home a finished look! How lovely it will be for you to pick blooms just outside your door. 😍
    Looking forward to your post of "all done" photos.
    Carol from WA

  18. So glad to read your post, my but you two have been busy, and everything perfect and meticulous. You have a beautiful home!!