I managed to find some previously-lost pictures which describe the scene a bit better. I am definitely not a good picture editor, so I will leave this scan as I found it. However, it does present a good picture not only of how dusty the entire place was to begin with, but it also gives a real look at what we dealt with in terms of plants and trees. Since we had just truckloads – semi’s – of plants delivered, one gets a far better idea of the scope of the project, I think. Sometimes, it could take 2 hours just to off load the plants from the truck. It was a damn fine plant orgy! Totally Roman! It is almost impossible to detail the sensation of going to Moana Nursery in Reno and just either pointing a finger or decorating a tree with a red ribbon indicating “Sold”, then knowing that plant would be out on my site in a day or two along with other virtual “Specimen Trees” and plants.
Each of those trees required careful handling, using chains and our largest machines to lift them from the truck and to set them gently down. Obviously, it was no slam dunk planting them either, but the picture below these shows we had some definite “beef” handling the merchandise.
Here’s the “Beef”! Yes, I am the joker in the middle, surrounded by 200+ pound Mexicans. The guy with his arm around me was a baseball legend in Mexico, all from the same ranchero. I’ve been to their parties and their Baptisms and, to this day, I miss them all. Good folks and hard working as heck.
Keeping it non-weather-related as yet, let’s go ahead and take a look at what we had finished when the weather did hit. Here are the results of 3 months of work, pretty much 6 days a week.
Starting with the trees, we moved to paving, then lawns, complete with irrigation – and lots of that. We also picked up another family of guys along the way, 3 more brothers, who sped us along. Let’s see what we did:
The brick paving wound around the entire house, from the driveway to the patio at the “back” of the house (from this view) and back again, to the driveway. After finishing the paving, we paid attention to those “Bubble Rocks” mentioned at the onset. We had two clusters of them to make – one much larger than the others. The smaller set of 3 were geared for sheer sound alone – a gentle trickle to help my friend’s mother-in-law sleep better at night and to balance out a sense of scale. Thus, we used some pretty small rocks and had them bored out. We did have a semblance of a design in mind but – as is always the case – seeing the rocks themselves finished it off. Here’s what we came up with:
This (above) picture is during their construction – with the water running – and here’s a somewhat dark look at a reasonably finished product:
And here are their “Big Brothers” at the other end of the patio:
Or from a floor-level perspective, down the patio, they are at the end:
After pretty much finishing the patio area, we began focusing on filling in between the trees we planted with plantings next to the house. At the same time, we began putting down the lawn:
I looked for ways and reasons to integrate wide-sweeping curves into the parameters of the lawn and so we invented some roadways and pathways just to say we did. It resulted in inventing an access point for the owner’s wife and her small 4 wheelers and turned out to please them immensely.
Now, some of these are taken during the Spring following our “Disaster cleanup” so forgive the sequence dissonance if you have some. It would be understandable. Had I realized I would be supplying a blog like this back then, the pictures would have been something else. But as it is, I think we can see what was going on in general.
These two pictures (above and below) are taken from the highest lawn level, up by the garage housing equipment and a big old RV. These pictures are taken from the farthest North and South corners of that upper lawn.
And here’s some plantings, mixed in with this lawn shot on the outside of the partio area.
Here’s a look in the other direction, pardon the amateur second picture.
A final look at some plants, this down the driveway:
It was a lot of work, lol.
Those pavers are absolutely spectacular! What a wonderful job, and what an incredible difference they make.
Thanks, Nancy. The pavers are something, all right. They were actually specially-made for this project – a unique color. This is obviously one of those “high rent” jobs, although not the highest rent I ever did. Having said that, I have run into a few dream gigs like this in my past. These are all truly exciting from a tradesman’s and designer’s perspective.
What a specular site and I love how you have created a garden there. Your garden is as dramatic as the setting with its strong urves and artistic rocks. It is incredible to see the before and after shots. What a great crew, too. Thank you for sharing your wonderful project.
My pleasure, Philip, as you know. Thanks for your comments. These jobs are why we do what we do.