The property has quite a bit of “wild” land around it. Some of which at one time was probably wonderfully landscaped (most of it not), but hasn’t been touched or taken care of in several years. I was fortunate enough to find seven or eight rhododendrons, red azaleas, evergreen trees and shrubs, and a glorious Japanese maple!
The property was lined with low stacked rock walls, most of which were laying in a scattered mess. I also discovered that hidden beneath the flowering weeds invading the entire front yard was a layer of Lily of the Valley! So I hand-pulled the entire front yard as well, to allow the tubular roots of the Lily of the Valley a chance to breathe and hopefully bloom beautifully next April/May.
There were downed trees that had to be split, cleared and stacked, which has now become my winter firewood. I also used some of the larger branches to line pathways as I cleared through the overgrowth. And also several areas of poison ivy that I carefully attended to with gloves and a heavy dose of Joy dishwashing liquid (which is THE BEST weapon against it, I now know).
I had acquired a large pile of wood chips – a mound that measured roughly 10 feet by 6 feet wide and 5 feet high, which I realized in the summer heat was quickly becoming a fire hazard! So, I spent three FULL days, shoveling, hauling and spreading them around into flower beds and pathways cleared through the woods. I am still working on clearing out more brush and small random seedling trees, so I think by spring, the garden and surrounding land will be quite stunning.
I should also mention that this is my first endeavor at landscaping and major home renovations. I will also mention that I am a slightly built, 104 pound woman and the only tools I had to work with was a shovel and a pair of gardening shears. oh, and an infinite dose of determination 🙂
Here are some of before and after photos of the work that I did outside during July and August. (yes, only two months). On rainy days last summer, I did several inside projects, which I will post about soon! Little did I know that in October, we would have a freak snow storm that would bring down over 25 large branches around the property (more on that later…)
I also painted the trim and refinished the front door – read the next post to see before and after photos of that project!