I am a Victorian Soul, live in a small townhouse that was built in the mid 1970's, not a huge Mega Mansion, with my Hubby Joe, who is a Retired Letter Carrier. I worked night shift as an RN on a Hospital based Rehabilitation( Physical Medicine) Unit for 37 years before I had Knee Replacement Surgery and officially Retired in 2019 after 41 years working in Direct Patient Care ... I am LOVING Retirement!!!!

I DABBLE IN A BIT OF THIS AND THAT!!!!

" IT IS NEVER TOO LATE TO BE WHAT YOU MIGHT HAVE BEEN"
George Eliot
George Eliot was actually a pen name for a woman named Mary Anne Evans......

BLOGGING FOR FUN AND FRIENDSHIP!!!!!!

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

A HUGE Landscaping Project.....





 Welcome to Debbie-Dabble Blog!!

 
I am so happy you decided to stop by!!
 
Today, I will be sharing yet another Landscaping project that Joe and I have done this Summer.... 
 

 
But first, a few Personal Notes...
 

 
 
In my last post, I shared a bit of This and That......


 

 

 

 
Click HERE if you missed it...... 


  Nothing too much to report here since that last post.....
 
 
I am not one to take Selfies......
 
In fact, I truly hate the thought of it and do not like my picture taken in general but I did post a few pics on face book recently after I got my hair cut.....
 
There was a conversation about not getting one's hair washed when going to a salon.....
 
Even though it is included in the price I pay at J.C. Penney's, I have refused the shampoo and conditioning part for 8 years now.....
 
 Yes, that is my "Natural" hair color which I have been rocking for 8 years....
 
 
 
And of course this brought some debate that a "Proper styled hair cut could not be given with a dry cut"......
 
I refuse to have my hair washed because I have 5 compression deformities in my cervical neck and thoracic spine and leaning backwards in that chair is very painful and uncomfortable for me so I choose not to.....
 
And since I no longer have my hair colored, there is no need to....
 
As far as not being able to do a proper hair cut and styling, I beg to differ....
 
 
 
I have gone to the same stylist for almost 30 years and since I stopped getting my hair washed, I still get many compliments on my hair cut and the way it is styled.......

I left my house at 12:50 pm and was back home at 1:50pm......

One Hour as Penney's is 5 minutes away......

 She cut and shaved with a razor to "feather" it

 
My eyelids are swollen from the humidity in these pics......

 
And I don't take good pictures either.....
 

I like it short for the Summer and it only takes me 5 minutes to dry it and finger style it....

No fuss, no muss....

And I think she does a great job styling it with a dry cut.....

Well, enough of that....
 
 

You may remember in the beginning of June, I landscaped the flower bed by our Court's Mail box.....
 
It went from looking like this.....
 
 
 
 
 
 To looking like this.......

 
 
 
 
 
 After Joe trimmed and cleaned out underneath a HUGE arborvitae tree and I planted some perennials, mulched and and extended a rock border.......



Soooooo....

On Saturday, we finished the slope in front of my neighbors townhouse.......

This is the deal we made with her when she told us that she could not even get kids to come and weed it and she offered to pay them......

We told her that she can reimburse us for the mulch that we would use and that after we finished, she could pay us what she felt the job was worth.....

Frankly, I don't care what she pays us because I can finally say that the front of my house looks nice again....
 
The entire front....

We are still not finished because we have the flower bed under the Living Room window to do yet but these are the before pictures of what the slope looked like......
 

 
 Now all these weeds were allowed to grow here after at least 8-9 years of neglect......
 
  
 
Ever since the daughter and grand daughter of the original owners of this house were allowed to live in it BUT with the stipulation that they would be responsible for all bills and all maintenance associated with the house.....


 That did not happen.....
 
 
 Bills were not paid leading to utilities being shut on and off, back taxes accumulating and no home owners insurance being paid on the house!!
 
 
 
 When these weeds would get higher than 12 inches, notification was sent to them by our HOA stating the TWP. ordinance about properties with grass/weeds over 12 inches and the fine that would have to be paid.....
 
 
 
The crazy grand daughter would then come out , with her face covered and hiding under a huge market umbrella so she would not be seen and cut down, not pull out the weeds!!!
 
This was her under the umbrella cutting down weeds in the back yard.....
 

 Yep!!

She is hiding under there!!!


The new owner has bought the house for her daughter and grandson to live there but if her daughter moves on, she anticipates that she will be living here eventually.....


She and a few friends have gutted the house down to the dry wall, even removing molding and the base board heating units which she found DVD's and CD's jammed behind so when turned on they would melt and start a fire......

The crazy girl ( 39 years old) also poured epoxy glue down all the sinks and toilets...

NO WORDS!!!!


The new owner is an RN manager for Sales of Chemo Drugs for a large drug company and could not do this landscaping herself as she barely has time to breathe...
 
 
 
 
 
 We get along really well and we are thrilled that someone nice now owns this house....
 
 
I know the original owners, who were like a another set of parents and grand parents to us and our sons, are rolling in their graves because of how their grand daughter destroyed this house that they loved!!!


And I am sure that in a million years they never thought their daughter would be so neglectful as far as paying bills and upkeep of the property...


 
After the daughter passed away last year, the grand daughter lived there alone for almost a year until her uncles could get her out of the house to sell it.....
 
She was not happy about that...
 
She would scream at all hours of the night, bang on the walls and at times, she yelled my name....
 
We even found this in our parking space next to our car one morning as she used to roam the development dressed in black at night.....
 

 We kept one set of car keys upstairs so we could hit the alarm if we saw her near our car....
 
But that is now over.....
 
Thank Goodness, as we lived next to a nightmare for 9 years.....
 
 This is our side of the slope before we started the transformation.....


Yes, that huge thing to the left was a weed and the first thing that Joe pulled out.....



DAY ONE....


We started right in the same day that we made the deal with our new neighbor........

Now mind you, we had temps. hovering around 90 and "tropical" dew points in the 70's....


Joe started weeding the bottom by the parking lot.......

 
He did not want to climb the slope yet as the sun was out and it was horrifically  hot that day.....
 
 
 
 I was raking the areas he weeded with 2 different rakes, getting more weeds out and grading it a bit.....
 
 
 
 Dying in the heat that I normally do not even go outside in.......
 
 
 
 Bottom done for DAY ONE........
 

 Now you can see that there are nice hostas on the slope.....

 
 You could not see them through all those weeds....

 
I did the areas by the steps as I was sitting down , pulling weeds.....



We quit after 2 hours in the afternoon heat.......

 
 
 
DAY TWO......


While Joe climbed the slope and pulled weeds, I sat on a stool and pulled weeds in the top flower bed along the side walk......


 
 And trimmed that azalea that I uncovered on the left......

 
Now this barberry bush was allowed to grow wild for 9 years.........

 
I got to work and cut the Bejesus out of it......

 
I was still picking the 1/4 inch long pickers out of my fingers that went through double gloves days later!!!!!
 
 
My arms and my shoulders were killing me after that!!!!


Now most of the slope and the flower bed up top were weeded.....


Uncovering these beautiful hostas......


Ironically, it was me who planted these hostas on this slope when the original shrubs put in by the landscaper who built our retaining wall all died!!


I had dug the hostas out of my MIL's yard!!


Joe had yet to climb the steepest part of the slope to weed this area.....


 
 
 
This rhododendron that has blooms similar to an azalea was being choked out by that barberry i cut back and this large arborvitae.....

 
 Looking so much better at the end of DAY TWO.....

 
Also making my yard look better......


Now remember we still were in the middle of excessive heat and humidity......



DAY THREE
 
 
Because of the high humidity and dew points, we were experiencing thunderstorms every night.....
 
An inch of rain fell over night.....

 
 Because our backs were killing us, I decided that I needed a bit of a break and Joe decided to stay off the slope as he did not want to slide down in to our parking lot as the slope was so slippery from all the rain.....
 
 
 
 So he decided to attack the large arborvitae.....
 
 
 
 But first, he cut down the picky barberry bush even more.....
 
 
 
 Notice that instead of throwing all the branches he is cutting off on the sidewalk, he is throwing it into the flower bed that I had weeded and graded the day before!!!!!
 
 
 
 No, I was NOT happy with him!!!
 
 
 
 YES!!  I made him clean up his mess!!!
 
 
 
 The plan is that we will eventually take this tree and the barberry bush out but we do not have a chain saw to cut them all the way down.....


So we decided to cut and shape what was not dead on this tree.....


In to a sort of ornamental looking tree for the time being.....


My flower bed cleaned once more!!!


Still have to get to those weeds on the steepest part of the slope.....




The front view with the tree shaped now........

 
 Much better!!!!!!

 
 The green part of the arborvitae is facing the parking lot so it does not look too bad.....

 
 And this rhododendron has some room to breathe now.....

 
 And you can now see my front porch again when you walk up the steps from the parking lot!!!!

 
 And I can see who is walking up the steps from our front door again which I consider a security plus!!!!
 



DAY FOUR
 
 90 degrees and HIGH dew points and humidity

Since we did not get any rain overnight , Joe braved the top of the slope.....

 
Mind you, he has severe osteoporosis from having been a life long smoker and gets an IV transfusion yearly for it......
 
 
 He also suffered 2 compression fractures in his back which is why he decided to retire early from the Post Office as a letter carrier because of the amount of boxes that they were delivering......
 
 
 
 Yes, he almost slid down!!!

I helped by using rakes with large prongs to pull out some of the weeds while standing above in the flower bed......
 
 We did as best as we could and then sprayed the bare areas on the slope with a homemade weed killer of salt and apple cider vinegar in water and then I scattered Preen Weed Killer on the rest of the slope and top flower bed......

 
 
 

We put what I call "Crime Scene" tape up at the top because after all that was hauled out of that house, they did not clean out the attic!!!!!!

BUT

How could you when you could not get up there to see what was in the attic after the crazy girl ripped the attic pull down stairs right out of the ceiling!!!!!!!

 
 Long story short, it is in the Contract of Sale that the house was to be cleaned out so the sons of the original owners who owned the house after their sister passed away are responsible for coming back and cleaning the attic out!!!!

We put up the tape so the guys that they hired who cleaned it out initially will not go down the slope as they did before and will not have to go down the steps.......


That is Preen on top....Joe got carried away....



DAY  FIVE
 
  FINAL DAY of the Slope!!

Since we found out the cleaning out of the attic will not take place until Wednesday ( today when I post this), I decided that we were going to get the mulch and be DONE with this Slope after all week of working on it!!!!!

Joe went and got the first 8 bags of mulch at Lowes and started putting it down near the parking lot by the retaining wall......

 
 I worked up top and cut and put down weed block fabric.....

 
 Cutting holes for some ground cover perennials that I found on the slope among the weeds.....
 
 
 
2 different types of ground cover sedum......

 
I extended the weed block only a little bit down the slope because it is too steep to cover completely with weed block.....


 In a heavy rain, the mulch would all wash down and into the parking lot because it is so steep.....

 
I cut it and placed it around the tree....

 
 I put down 3 bags of mulch on the top and one on the side by the steps......

 
 
 
 
 
 Joe had to go and get an additional 8 more bags of Mulch, 3 of which we saved to fill in and for the flower bed under the LR window which we will also be doing......
 
 
 
 I was finally able to take down my make shift  fence divider that I used to separate our properties.....
 

 
 And I placed left over border from my flower bed under our Living Room window here at the top of the steps.....
 
 
 
 
 

 


After the first 6 bags of mulch.....

 
 
 
 Still need to do up top and by our yard....
 
 
 
 
 
 

We will cut down those hostas in the Fall for the Winter......

 
And when they start to pop up in the Spring, I will divide them and plant those in the bare spots on the slope......
 
 
Joe, carrying up the broom and dust pan after I got done sweeping the parking lot in front of the wall.....

 
Now finished with all the mulch on and  as I said we saved 3 bags to fill in if needed and for the flower bed under the window.....
 
 
 

11 bags of mulch on the slope.....

 
 I am pleased with how it looks

 
Our new neighbor saw it after DAY THREE and was pleased but has been away over the weekend...

 
She said she knows nothing about gardening or landscaping and just wanted it to look nice....


Other than trimming and cutting back the tree and barberry bush, all we did was pull the weeds out and mulch and what a difference it made!!!

BEFORE


And AFTER.....


BEFORE


AFTER


BEFORE



AFTER



The test came that last day after we put the mulch down......

 
Thunder storms moved in.......

 
Wind.......


 
And torrential rain storms that went on over night.....


It was so dark at 7 pm that it triggered my lights to come on!!

Would all that mulch be washed down into the parking lot from an inch of rain that fell over night?????

 
Nope!!

 
All was good!!!

 
So I guess I knew what I was doing in regards to where I used and did not use the weed block fabric....


Many of our neighbors have stopped by and commented on how nice our yard and the neighbor's yard now look......
 
Of course, I had to spruce up our yard a bit too!

I am just happy to not be embarrassed anymore by my neighbor's yard....

And I am happy to say that our new neighbor LOVES how it looks......

She was thrilled today when she saw it and was taking pictures to show people....

She truly appreciated the work that went into it and was very generous in paying what she thought it was worth.....

So much so that Joe is going to include painting her porch railing.....

She has so much on her plate with the remodel of the house that this is one thing she need not worry about....

BUT...

We are not quite done yet....

We have yet to also do the flower bed under her Living Room window.......

As you can see these evergreen yews have been allowed to grow wild, blocking the window which the crazy girl kept boarded up with card board boxes from Amazon!!!

I kid you not!!!!

 
 We will take out some of this rock, weed and replace with mulch....

 
And try to cut down these yews!!!


BUT we had to wait as there was a Robin's nest with baby robins in this yew!!!


Today, we see that the nest is now empty so we will be starting on this flower bed soon.....

Of course, all this work did take a toll on me.....

I am still having some back issues with pain down both legs from doing this landscape project....

Right now, a heat pack is my constant companion when sitting....

But I still feel it was worth it as I finally do not have to explain and apologize for the appearance of the house next to me when I have anyone come to visit me.....
 
And I am going to leave you with a few pics of a Sun Set.......
 

Smoke from the fires out West has gotten caught up in the Jet Stream and our skies have been smokey now for several days now.... 

 
It is weird seeing no clouds in the sky......


The Sun is actually a bright orange because of this but I need to change the settings on my camera.....

I hope you enjoyed seeing our landscape project ....

And I hope you will stop by to visit again soon!!

Stay safe, healthy and most of all, HAPPY!!

Thanks to those who took the time out of their busy day to spend a little bit of time with me!!

If you do not have a blog, PLEASE  give me some way to reply to your comment, maybe by including your email in your comment.  If I can not find a way to reach you, I will reply on the post where you commented so please check back......


I am linking up to these parties:
 
 
 Your Whim's Wednesday Party

Please take some time to visit these terrific hosts and all those joining in on the fun!

27 comments:

  1. Both your hair and your slope look great! Have you looked into getting that slope terraced so you only have flat areas to deal with???

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bobbie,
      Thanks so much for stopping by!! The retaining wall was paid for and installed by our HOA and is considered "Common Ground" so it did not cost us anything even though it is on our property...Since we are retired, I would not want to get into that expense as I have no idea how much longer we will be able to stay here because of my medical issues...
      Our part of the slope is mostly covered with ground cover now which works well as ours is the steepest...
      Hope you have a good day!!
      Hugs,
      Deb

      Delete
  2. WOW!!!! The changes are amazing!!! You and Joe did a FANTASTIC job!!!...so much so that it inspired us to have the front of our house done!!! Thank you!

    As to your haircut...I think it looks very good on you. Not all stylists set a person's hair before they cut it...and when I cut my hair, or my family's, I cut it dry (occasionally I cut daughter's hair wet because it is so thick!).

    I cannot wait to see the MAGIC you and Joe work on the flower bed under the window! God bless you both for waiting till the robin's nest was empty...that was so kind of you!

    Stay cool now and take care of yourselves...
    xoxo,
    Nina

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nina,
      Thanks again for taking the time to stop by and to leave such a thoughtful comment!! I greatly appreciate it!! We are glad that this project is now done and our new neighbor is pleased with the results!! Stay safe, healthy and happy!!
      Hugs,
      Debbie

      Delete
  3. Such a difference in the yard! Good job!!
    Joe reminded me of me about 20years ago trying to plant flowers on a slope in our backyard. Sliding down, getting mad, climbing back up just to slide down again. Then I had an ah ha moment and put on my youngest sons baseball cleats. No more sliding, getting mad or almost saying a bad word or 2. But it looks like he did a fantastic job without my idea.
    So glad you are getting a new neighbor. Banging on the walls and calling your name must have been terrifying. And finding the knife, not at all sure how you were ever able to sleep. Yips!
    Take care of your garden aches and pains, boo boos and ouchies.
    Looking forward to your next visit no matter the topic.
    Blessings to you ๐Ÿ’œ
    Minnie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Minnie,
      Thanks so much for always stopping by!! Thanks so much for your sweet comment!! I have often mentioned wearing cleats to Joe....I used to joke that we needed to tie a rope around his waist and tie it to the porch railing so he would not slide down the hill...We are thrilled to be getting a new neighbors after what was going on next to us for the last 9 years....Yes, it was a bit frightening...Stay safe, healthy and happy!!
      Hugs,
      Debbie

      Delete
  4. Gosh you guys are miracle workers! Beyond the call of duty to pull all those weeds and turn that soil and trim those branches when it was so stinking hot and humid. Even the mulching, wow! And you did such a professional job! I am sure you smile every time you look out the door or approach your house. I am so glad the house was sold to such a wonderful neighbor. And so glad the crazies are gone.

    And I love your hair. I am afraid to go that short, but if I were closer I would ask for your hair dresser. She really seems like she knows what she is doing. Your hair looks wonderful.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Happy Wednesday, Debbie. Your hair looks gorgeous. What an amazing transformation of the yard and what hard work ya'll put into this project. It was indeed a big project; so glad you have nice neighbors. Have a great week ,dear.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hey Debbie,
    That's a wonderful "selfie"...pretty haircut, blouse and jewelry!
    You and Joe have done a great job on your neighbor's yard and she appreciates it, I'm sure.
    Hopefully both of you are rested and feeling better.
    Blessings, Linda

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Linda,
      Thanks again for stopping by and for your kind comment!! We did rest after doing all this because it did take a lot out of us, I do admit.... Stay safe, healthy and happy!!
      Hugs,
      Debbie

      Delete
  7. Hello! Your hair looks lovely and so do you! The landscaping job turned out beautifully! Your hard work and attention to detail is amazing, I’m sure your new neighbor loves it all. I hope this neighbor is as thoughtful and considerate as you and Joe. Please rest and feel better and enjoy your lovely handiwork. Best, V

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. V.,
      Thanks again for taking the time to stop by!! We are just glad that this job is now done and no longer embarrassed by the way the house and yard looks next to us....We are taking some time to rest...It did take a lot out of us!! Stay safe, healthy and happy!!
      Hugs,
      Debbie

      Delete
  8. You are very great neighbors and it looks great

    ReplyDelete
  9. Nice work. I have a lot of hostas and divide them often. They look so pretty and are maintenance free. You sure did a lot of work and it all looks so professionally done.
    You selfie pic is beautiful and you have great natural hair colour. Happy Summer. Thelma.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I love your haircut -- very cute! And boy, that IS a massive landscaping job. You two are rock stars (and I wish you were my neighbors!)

    ReplyDelete
  11. Wow I am tired after reading this post and seeing all you both did. That was ALOT of work. It looks good though and you both should be pleased. Maybe go out earlier before the humidity has a chance to torment you. I'm glad you'll be getting good neighbors after enduring 9 years of that mother/daughter act. You should never have had to endure their shenanigans for that long. Sad that the daughter is gone, but the granddaughter clearly has mental issues. I hope she's getting the help she needs. Absolutely nothing wrong with your pictures, you came out great. Love the cut!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Unknown,
      Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by and for leaving such a kind comment!!
      I truly appreciate it!! We are just glad to have nice neighbors who care about their property!!
      Hugs,
      Deb

      Delete
  12. Wow; that is quite a transformation! I am sure that your new neighbor appreciates all your help so much.

    ReplyDelete
  13. What an amazing transformation of yard,professionally done!I love your haircut it suits so much on you. Have a great summer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Olivia Rose,
      Thanks so much for stopping by and for your sweet comment!! It is greatly appreciated!!
      Stay safe, healthy and happy!
      Hugs,
      Debbie

      Delete
  14. Wow it looks great. You did an awesome job. I enjoyed sitting at my computer watching other people do landscaping. Too hot and smoky here to go outside due to the bad air. I look forward to when it all grows in the way you want it to - looking good!

    ReplyDelete
  15. You worked SO hard!
    And I think your hair looks great. I also wear my hair short.

    ReplyDelete
  16. You and Joe have done a fantastic job landscaping your yard .....and now your neighbors yard. You should be very proud of how it all looks now! Love your hair! I went back to my natural hair color over 2 years ago, guess I should take a new pic. My hair is now brown with strands of grey thru it....short....and very low maintenance. I've also lost 50 lbs and feel better than I have in years....hugs...

    ReplyDelete
  17. That's quite the project--looks great! Thanks for sharing at Vintage Charm!

    ReplyDelete
  18. I thought I already added a comment, but thought I'd come back to tell you that you are being featured at the next FWF link party. Thanks for sharing with all of us!

    ReplyDelete
  19. You guys a have been super busy getting the front yards perfect. I was outside yesterday giving plants a trim and it looks so much better. You know that I mean after your yard makeover.
    Have a wonderful weekend,
    Kippi

    ReplyDelete
  20. This looks amazing!!!! You both did a beautiful job and I am sure that your neighbors appreciate it.

    ReplyDelete

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