One of the best things about having your own blog is that nobody can prevent you from writing about whatever the heck you please. And at the moment, I am so stinkin' excited about this amazing transformation we've done on our landscape that I was dying to write about it.
We've lived in this house for over ten years. When we moved in, the landscape looked decent. Nothing special, but perfectly serviceable. But years of neglect, coupled with a harsher-than-average winter (for Austin) had taken a toll on our landscape, rendering it rather embarassing.
Last spring, I interviewed probably ten different landscapers, chose one, and had a plan drawn up. I won't bore you with the gory details, but long story short, that landscaper then proceeded to go AWOL on us (fortunately, before we had paid him any money) and we were stuck with a plan but nobody to implement it. I got a few bids, including one from the landscaper who eventually did do the work, Steve Dearen of Dearen Landscapes, then spent probably a year getting used to the fact that this project was going to cost a LOT more than I had originally anticipated. Finally, this spring, I decided we could put up with our weed-tastic landscape no more, and called up Steve. Happily, he was still willing to work with us, and we pulled the trigger.
I could not have been more pleased with the work that Steve and his crew did. It was expensive, but after I saw the amount of work they put in, I truly believe it was worth every penny. It would have literally been impossible for us to do what they did. For nine days, there were 5-6 guys here - sometimes more - working really, really hard, all day. They employed a Bobcat, the largest dump truck I've ever seen, a welder, rock cutters, a jackhammer, wheelbarrows, shovels, a generator, probably many other tools that I'm completely unaware of, and lots and lots of hard, hard work. The transformation was nothing short of miraculous. Steve was unfailingly patient and always affable despite my frequent bouts with indecision, mind-changing, and micromanaging; he was unflappable when things went wrong (and things always go wrong); and his crew was startlingly efficient in implementing whatever I eventually decided. In short, they were amazing.
But don't take my long-winded word for it - see for yourself.
Back Yard - AFTER. This photo is obviously taken from further to the left than the "before" photo, but you can use the shed for reference. Two islands of shade-friendly grass (Zorro Zoysia) were planted; the rest of the yard besides the back bed is all rainbow and pea gravel.