Our landscaping projects continued last weekend. Tony and I were on our own (no help from friends or family), but we still managed to get a lot done. Tony’s main focus was on digging out the dirt around the foundation at the back southwest corner of the house. Our house is on a hill, and the southwest corner is at the high corner. Over the years, it appears that runoff from further uphill has stopped and settled along the southwest corner, so the dirt was above the foundation. In some spots, it was half way up the first siding panel. This was allowing water to seep in over the foundation into the basement (we suspect it was letting mice in the basement as well). This weekend, Tony dug out to the appropriate level around that entire side of the house. We clearly have a lot of dirt to move now!
My focus was on the front yard. We have a staircase that connects the sidewalk and the front door, and so far all of our landscaping efforts have been focused on the main yard to the left of that staircase. This weekend, I focused on the side yard to the right. It was originally tiered, and each of the tiers was held back with a retaining wall made of railway ties. Some of these walls were falling forward, the plant life that was in there was overgrown, and the railway ties did not match the stone walls in the rest of the yard. Tony helped me remove the railway ties, which were attached to buried 4-foot long pieces of rebar. Then we removed a lot of extra dirt and re-tiered the terrain. We used various rocks we had collected from the rest of the front yard to rebuild retaining walls, but this time to match the rock walls on the other side of the front yard. I then planted crocuses, hyacinths, daffodils, tulips, and alliums and re-planted hostas, iris, and lilies that were already there. The last step was mulch, which we ran out of but will finish on our next weekend. Below are photos of the side yard’s progression.