November 26, 2011

A couple of weeks ago I posted about our plans for our east-facing sideyard. To recap, the problem was that, while the citrus trees were kinda pretty, the yard having nothing but grass has caused a lot of problems over the years from a sprinkler system not just spraying outward from directly beside the house towards the east wall, but vice-versa. All that dampness over the years has really taken a toll on our stucco, and with the house due to be painted on the 1st of December there was no way we could allow that situation to continue. To refresh the memory, here is what the sideyard looked like:


But what to do for an alternative solution? Lots of homeowners would simply bring a truck in filled with rock and just cover the yard – after all, it’s really just a utilitarian area where the trash and recycle barrels are kept, but the trees wouldn’t like that, and besides, the rest of the property has been so nicely designed (by the original owners) and maintained and augmented (by us) that to just dump a bunch of rock would take away from the rest of the property. The internet was really helpful in getting ideas, so with my trusty metal ruler I scoped out a design I thought might look really interesting: maintaining a center section of grass surrounded by a brick border and rock all around the sides, then made a few calls and left some voice mails.


Enter Lords Of Design of Tempe, AZ. Within two days of my initial call, owner Don Hebbring had reviewed my drawing, walked the property and took a whole bunch of measurements. A few days later he had produced a CAD design that took into account my ideas with the budget I had in mind. We ended up simplifying the overall design and eliminating some touches Don thought impractical and excessive (the bushes, for example) – all ideas for the better, as it turned out. On the 17th we did the final walkthrough together, whereby he marked out the boundaries of where everything would go with orange spray paint and sprayed a whole lot of grass-killer around. He said his crew would be here the next day to re-engineer the sprinkler system (moving the lines away from the house and the wall and reposition a number of sprinkler heads to incorporate the new design), and then be here again the day before Thanksgiving to finish the job, laying down the brick and the rock.

Sure enough, on both days the crew came bright and early and got to work. On the 18th the old watering system was dug up and replaced with new lines and new sprinkler heads. Three days ago, the crew was back to do some serious uplifting of turf, laying and mortaring the brick, and finally bringing in 1 1/2 ton of rock to lay around the perimeter. And here is what the end result looks looks like:


As you can see, the sideyard now has a natural, uncluttered, and pretty look to it; in fact, it looks like it has always been that way. A small decorative bench between the trees creates a calming, meditative atmosphere. The barbecue has been moved from the side of the house to the backyard beside the pool area. I pulled the ugly brown umbrella out the small patio table and set it away from the new rock walkway to allow easy access from the front yard and to the trash and recycle barrels. I now have an open little side patio where I can sit during the monsoon season and watch the thunder and dust storms roll in from the south and east. Ultimately, I’ll put a small pot with some pretty flowers on the table to add some color. Most importantly, the water is kept away from the house and the side wall completely.

Just goes to show what a little creativity and some quality workmanship can do. It’s great to know there are still firms out there that do great work and keep their customers engaged every step of the way.

This coming week the focus shifts to the house being painted. We can only hope the firm we’ve contracted to do that is as conscientous and committed to excellent serve as the folks at Lords of Design are.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 00:57 | Comments (2)
  1. That looks really lovely…bravo on job well done.

    Comment by Jana — November 26, 2011 @ 5:37 am

  2. Nice work SHANK,

    you could of been a landscape architect.


    Comment by Ron "Cubby" Myerow — November 26, 2011 @ 3:57 pm

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