2012 Home Renovations – Part 33 – Landscaping

It took a while to decide what we wanted to do with our lawn after the pool / patio project. The original lawn had heave issues, scarring from a water main replacement and was generally a mish-mash of unhappy fescue, crab crass, creeping Charlie and dead spots. Having a mini mountain of earth piled on it for a few weeks did nothing to improve the situation.

We got several estimates to:
1) Put in new grass
2) install an irrigation system (was an afterthought but became important when we realized how much it would protect our investment)
3) re-countour our front lawn tree/garden area
4) come up with something attractive for the strip on the right side of our driveway
5) re-invent our front walkway garden area
6) come up with transitions for our back patio and the lawn and our house and the lawn in pretty shaded area
7) address the stepping stones that we had installed but with which we were not really happy

Mardi Grass landscaping has been doing our lawn for a little over a year now and they came in with what seems like a reasonable quote when blended with all the facets I wanted covered.

Having them performing ongoing maintenance also gives me a comfort level that they will be available to stand by their work should anything go awry.

The first step was to scrape off the remnants of the old lawn, plus remove any new growth that had accumulated after the major construction of this summer ended.

Then the lawn needed to be leveled and *some* topsoil applied. I have heard wildly varying versions of how much topsoil the Emerald Zoysia grass needs when it is installed on dirt such as mine. Mardi Grass’ take on it was somewhere in the middle. Some, but not a lot.

Above is the remains of our front entry garden area after the driveway and walkway work. Note the brownish bolder in the foreground. This was the only really big boulder that was dug up while excavating for the pool. This is to be moved into the other garden area on the front lawn. Also note “The Yucca Plant that will not die”. We have removed that plant twice. Each time it comes back.. a little closer to the walkway… presumably with malevolent intent. You can’t get anywhere near that thing without it piercing you regardless of clothing or other precautions. Maybe third time’s a charm?

This strip along the side of the driveway has always been an issue for us. There is a lot of shade from the neighbor’s tree and it’s in an awkward spot to water manually. Note the truck with our grass on pallets on the street.

The front garden area is being recontoured with a border of  monkey grass (liriope) separating it from the lawn and visually separating it from the driveway.

Most of the workers are preparing the garden area while one person begins laying the grass.

Unfortunately I had to get to work so I was not able to capture the whole process. I saw the start of the use of the ditch witch as they laid the irrigation plumbing. Here they are relocating one of the sprinkler heads at the entry way garden to better cover the area near the garage. Notice that the boulder that was in the foreground in the picture above has been removed.

The grass has been laid. The little pink flags represent locations of sprinkler heads. The strip to the right of the driveway is still outstanding at this point

Here is the back yard. One of the new catch basins shows up clearly now in contrast to the grass.  Still outstanding back  here is the replacement flagstones by the door and gravel in the “splash area” next to the enclosure (rain dripping off of the lexan roof hits the dirt and splashes mud against the lower portion of the screen) and a kind of no mans land next to the house where we decided we don’t really want grass growing.

The total for all this? About $11,200. Of that about $2,600 was for the irrigation system.

I keep trying to capture how beautiful rain looks when it’s on the screening.  This is my best attempt to date. It looks like so many sparkling facets. Especially when the sun comes out after a shower…

2012 Home Renovations – Part 32 – Usable, final punch lists outstanding

Lights installed on far side of Lanai

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