Friday, April 15, 2011

Yard Renovations

Travis and I have been making an effort to bring the plants in our yard back to life. So far, I have relied heavily on rain to support our plants. As it turns out (prepare yourself for a duh-statement), watering plants makes them happy. In the same vein, over watering your plants does not make them happy. I lost an oleander that way last year.

So far our garden is growing happily. I planted the last few rows yesterday with various types of peppers. And remember the pampas grass? It's growing at least an inch a day. Here it is after 8 days after being chopped down:
Last year for our anniversary, I gave Travis a Canna Lily. It was our fourth anniversary and the traditional gift is flowers. Well, I gave him the gift that keeps on giving! Sort of. It did well for a while, but then it seemed to slowly die off. Finally, this year when we had a couple nights that dipped below freezing, the plant disappeared completely. Travis was freaked that it wouldn't come back. I was a little worried, but I have seen Cannas bloom all over the island with little to no care. I had hope. And it looks like I was rightly so!
We were unable to sell the house last year as planned and we came to the decision that we would wait a few more years before selling. Since we will be here for a while, we'd like to do some stuff around the house because WE want it, not just because it will increase the value of the house. Because of this, Travis and I are planning to do some renovations to our yard. A few weeks ago, we became resolute in building a patio this spring.

I voiced these plans to my father, an architect, who quickly made bigger plans for us. He offered to build a privacy wall if we were willing to expand the fence into our front yard. I talked it over with Travis and he was totally on board. My dad has a drawing program that will prepare a 3D rendering of your drawing. He took this screen shot of our house with the new stucco wall in front:

I know it's a little difficult to see (bad quality, white house/white wall, etc). We are going to extend the wall in front of our house so we can have more fenced in yard for Aiden to play in. We plan to butt the patio into the corner made by the new wall and our driveway. It is going to be a huge project and therefore a lot of work, but I am ECSTATIC.

We have spent the past couple weeks trying to figure out what we'd like to do for the patio. Originally, I was hoping to use reclaimed brick from Galveston Island. Even though the price per brick was much better than if we bought brand-new, it was still too pricey. And we'd still have to knock the mortar off each brick before we used them. That's a lot of work for such a high price tag. We bounced around the idea of using free bricks Travis could get from friends at work. The problem was those were leftovers, so there wouldn't be enough to do the entire patio. We finally settled on these stones from Home Depot:

The best part is that they are currently sitting on a pallet that a forklift can lift right into the trailer. If we did any of the other options (reclaimed or leftover bricks), we would have to carry them by hand to the truck. No bueno.

My dad is planning to come down in May to help build the wall. Travis doesn't have any experience building textured walls, so he appreciates the help. Travis is planning to hard wire some lights into the wall. Then he can put his grill over there and have easy lighting. I sincerely hope this project turns out as amazing as it is in my head!


Sara's Satire said...

WoW!! That sounds amazing - and you are describing it very nicely - because I too have the image in my head - and it looks great!
I am so excited for you guys! Plus, at least you will be there to supervise, so if anything starts to go wrong you can say - Whoa...although I think that you and Travis have been together for so long that he knows your taste pretty well...and he strikes me as a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to his work - so I think it will turn out beautifully. I remember when he came over to our house in LaMarque to help me with a couple of the light switches and outlets...all the screws had to the same - either ALL up and down or All left to right! It was funny!

Nikki said...

LOL! Sara, I think it's so funny that Travis made you do the plate screws the way he likes them. Every once in a while, one of our screws will get turned the "wrong way" and Travis will take a moment to fix it. Perfectionist is right!