Grading, and a before and after shot

It's coming on the fun part. The part when all the structures come together and start looking like a well thought out plan. The ginormous (not really as big as we can get) dirt pile is slowly being placed in specific locations to get the grade just right for plants. Ultimately, the semicircle that you see in the far left center of the following photo will be a large circular patio for entertaining with a pathway up to the herb planters.
Another view with the pear tree on the left. Facing the new entertaining deck from the raised garden planters and circular patio.

This is where we began....

This is where we are as of today. Way better than the asphalt that it was not too long ago. The birds and squirrels adore the chestnut tree, and the pear tree.

Another before....
After below : We didn't remove the tree, no worries. That is an ancient stump that will remain in the garden, surrounded by awesome plants :)

There is still more dirt to move and grading to be done, but next week should become quite colorful. Keep watching!

Welcome home clients...

As the landscape installs go along plenty of things get unloaded into the "staging area". The most impressive of them is always the soil pile. If only I had RC toy trucks!

Garden walk by Ginkgo

(We have a landscape design/build, the following are photos from the current client design in progress. It's not at our house... yet :)

And there you have it! Actually, the real garden walk will be a planned serpentine path on the west side of the house that meanders thru the plantings. Consider this a preview. The grade was set and edged and thick paver bricks were placed on top. (Not as easy as it sounds).

There is a graceful curve in the slope that leads the eye, and feet from the garage, to the entry arbor along the fence and down to the deck. Just to the right of the garage door is the can storage for recycle and trash. All designed in with the plan because no one really want's to see those pretty cans. They are accessible from the driveway side, but the "screening" is low enough that the clients can toss things in the bins from the inside of the fence. The edge of the walkway is defined with a paver border and several bricks were painstakingly (it's loud too) cut to fit the pathway. Then we smashed them down (compacted, again with the loud) filled in all the gaps with a special bonding sand, compacted again, filled again, compacted again and filled for a final time. Then we got everything cleaned up before setting the sand with water and proceded to jump over the path to let the glues set.I have one of these paths on order for my house. :)
Next up are prep for irrigation, and a whole lotta dirt... soil, we say. Then PLANTS, the real stars of the show.

And the Winner is:

Congratulations! She sells jewelry on Etsy (as I suspect many of the entrants do, just a hunch) and has included "a big note of THANK YOU to LiciaBeads Vault! I can't wait to create jewelry with your wonderful beads!"

Thanks to everyone who entered! There are a lot of new newsletter subscribers and that makes me very happy and I will make it worth your while with great things to come! I'm working on thinking up a special event for my subscribers before the holiday season gets into full swing.

Expect more giveaways too!

In the meantime, feel free to continue to let me know what you would like to see and what kind of "events" you would like as gemstone supply buyers. I am working on selling enough to enable me to get plenty of great things at the November show. I will be needing more Pearls, they are at the top of my list. Feel free to let me know what colors you want! We can go mad with pearls :)

Many thanks to everyone for their interest and support! Without it...much less sparkle.
Keep sparkling!

292 entries!

There were 292 entries in the $50 gift certificate drawing. The entries with their time stamps were placed in a basked and I had a family member draw the winner.

The winner is being notified.

Thank you to everyone who participated! I appreciate your input and information and we will do this again! In the mean time, feel free to follow, subscribe (linked at right), or buy stuff.

The entries for the LiciaBeads drawing on the Jewelry Sampler team blog is still going on.

Do not step, walkway in progress

More progress photos from the current installation for our clients. Even more photos and info at the Ginkgo Landscape Design website here.

Someone has been walking on my sand! It's okay, friends come along as they are interested as well. In fact, it's kind of fun to check out who it may have been. We know there is a local black kitty who likes to check in from time to time. I appreciate the kitty breaks too.

This evidence was left by raccoons. They stepped in several of our other sand piles too. I think it's cute.
So we have gotten the actual path done, but are working on the landing and small area that steps down to the basement. Now, this is unfinished, so keep that in mind. It still needs a final machine compaction and some polymer sand to fill the gaps and set everything in place. In the mean time no one is allowed to walk on it. Okay, we walk on it with flat feet a special way (which kinda looks odd). High heels would make a mess of it though, tapdancing would not be good.In the mean time, here is another bit of the puzzle that has been completed. It's a little vine arbor for the veggie garden. Again, post on pipe set with a notched trellis that matches the rest of the garden. This one has stainless tension wires running thru the posts for whatever climbing goodies want to ramble up. We expect to complete the pathway on Monday (weather permitting). Then it's on to more dirt! Then plants, irrigation and top dressing... :)

A stroll along the garden path

It's important when building a garden path that it is done well, and built to last. Monday was spent digging (again) and getting the grade and slope of the land just right to apply lotsarock. Layers of rock were compacted over several hours with a machine compacter while adding a little here, taking away a little there, till it was just right.
Just right is not something that is easily acquired with just the rock alone. It basically takes all day to get the levels just right so that when you step onto the path from any transition surface, it is the right height, level, slope etc. Doing this under the worlds messiest tree is not recommended. The grand Chestnut tree is beginning to feel the effects of Autumn. I feel the effects of the tree in the form of large prickly balls of nuts (nutsacks?) occasionally hurtled toward my back at high rates of speed while hunched over the pathway perfecting the details. So once everything is in the proper location according to the plan we lay in the manufacturer recommended edging and got a load of sand. That is what we will be doing today. We are laying thick patio paver bricks over precicely placed and leveled sand (using our secret method).

Anyway, thanks for following along, it's looking great! There will be more photos later :)


LiciaBeads Vault $50 gemstone and sterling giveaway!

Drawing is closed.

I will contact the winner and announce them shortly. Best of luck to everyone! Thanks so much for the great feedback!

The How do you enter? Easy peasy, just leave a comment! Aw, but you want more than one entry?
Each of the following gets you an entry:

1 - Leave a comment with your "official entry name" that links to somewhere that I can contact you (*required so I know who you are)

2 - Enter this other giveaway for the Etsy Jewelry Sampler Team for $30 from my LiciaBeads shop

3 - Let me know what you love from my Vault shop by linking it here or hearting it. (It's how I know what to stock for you!)

4 - Get the newsletter (which will become really handy in upcoming months, hint hint, wink, wink) Already get the newsletter, you are entered automatically :)

5 - Tell a friend or two (or more)! Have your friend link you in their entry comment.


So there you have it. Go enter, tell friends! Follow me! Thank you :)

I'll be over here keeping track of the entries and listing more things in my shop. Let me know if you have questions!

Winner will be notified by e-mail and announced on the blog. The drawing ends Sept 19 at midnight Etsy time (NY, USA). Items will ship USPS first class free of charge to the winner.