Saturday, October 8, 2011

Driveway bed before and after!

This was the south side of our driveway. A narrow strip about 6' x 12'.
And it was gross.
Overgrown by our neighbors' juniper bushes, it was also home to weird iris-wannabe plants (I say "wannabe" since we only got a few irises this year), an oak sapling, a very old lavender, and some ferns. Oh, and in the corner of the irises is the water main. Yes, really. The dirt overflowed onto the sidewalk, and the irises grew on top of them.

This had to change. It's the front of our house, for crying out loud. Sure, we could be evil and say "oh, that's our neighbor's yard..." but our rock wall does extend around the corner, sort of a visual "our yard goes to here ___| " kind of thing.

AND, we had our new ornamental Japanese maple tree to play around with, as well as our super-ultra-awesome, steel, rectangular bins (aka planters) we scored earlier this week (post here).

So I set to work.
After many hours, the sidewalk had been cleared with the beginnings of a rock wall. DECADES of juniper undergrowth had been cleared (and yes, we got permission from our neighbors before cutting their juniper... they were overjoyed, by the way). And I do mean decades. So. much.undergrowth.

Finally, more hours later, the final result:
The rock wall needs a tad more, and we'll be planting plants and putting some pavers along the edge of the driveway as edging. We'll also fill in some more of the area with a few more plants, though the purpleish plant at the base of the bin will spread.

The bin is a nice burgundy color, though I just did some touch-ups in the photo, so it's a bit glossy and reflective with the evening sun (I wanted to do a post though, so with glare it is).

The maple has many grasses at its base, and all the grasses we chose will stay green (or purple or blueish!) year-around. So even when the maple loses its leaves, the grasses will be there.

It was a ton of work, but definitely an improvement over what it was! Now to go nurse my juniper-reacting arms (juniper is such a prickly plant, and supposedly the oils are poisonous? Regardless, an easy evening is in store for me).

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