It's been very busy at Ferrell Farm the past two weeks! Too busy to update my blog! Mostly because I've been soooooo pooped! All the work we've been doing on the front yard has worn me out! Let me show you what we've been doing . . .
Here's the "Before" picture:
Yes it looked unloved for sure. We had never painted the rails or columns. We had never stained or painted the front door. And obviously, we had never landscaped the front yard.
I have a theory. Sometimes when you see something everyday, you start to not actually SEE it. Like our front yard. . . . I saw it everyday, but it wasn't until I met the stranger and his mom driving down our driveway one day did I really look at the front of the house . . .
You see . . . he and his mom had driven up the driveway to look at the house because they thought it might be for sale since it looked DESERTED!
When he said that . . . I looked up at the house and saw it for the first time in a long time . . . really saw it . . .
I moved the ferns to the front porch and told Dave we've got to finish the front of the house!
Dave has been off for two weeks . . .using up some vacation days that are going to play out in July. Did we go on vacation? Nope. We worked like a construction crew with a deadline!
Everyone had to help.
Dave did most of the truly hard manuel labor while I painted the rails.
Dave tilled up the areas around the house that I had marked with the garden hoses for our front yard beds and dug a trench around the beds. He also moved some black top soil from another area of our property to mix in with the soil around our house while he tilled it.
He laid out the black landscape fabric. Before laying the fabric, Dave sprinkled some weed product (Preen) that's supposed to keep the grass and weeds from re-seeding.
Looking good :)
Hey! Leave me alone! I'm working!
We bought some mulch from Penick and started adding it to the beds.
Dave had some help with this step. I lost my painter at this point.
Shane had so much fun!
Once Dave got the beds ready for plants, he started working on the brick walkway. He leveled the area with his box blade and tractor, then he got Zach to start spreading sand on the walkway for the base.
While Zach was spreading the sand, Dave started hauling bricks from behind the storage shed.
We decided to use bricks left over from the construction of our house instead of having a concrete sidewalk poured . . . since we had the bricks left over and we thought it would save us some money. Ha!
Dave started laying the bricks . . .
And this is where we were at this point in our project . . .
The walkway was halfway done. The rails on the South side of the house were primed, and one rail on the North side was partially primed. The front yard beds were ready to be planted.
We chose to spread the mulch on the beds before the plants because we haven't decided what plants we want to use and our money is a little slim at this point. I did pick up a few plants while we were at Lowes buying the side rails for the walkway, but I plan to buy the rest of my shrubs from our local businesses.
Dave nailed the side rails down and left the bricks on the edge for last . . . since we were going to have to cut those bricks.
Alex found these tall cedar trees at Lowes and wanted me to get them for him . . . He thinks they are Christmas trees. :)
My painting job at this point . . . while Dave worked on the sidewalk, I painted.
He had some company while he worked.
After a couple of days of working on the walkway, Dave got some help from Zach. Notice the bricks on the trailer . . . we ran out of extra brick and had to purchase more to finish the walkway.
Poor Dave's back gave out before he was finished, so I laid the last couple of feet of the walkway. The next day we started cutting the brick for the edges.
Dave has a wet saw from when we laid the tile in the house, so that really helped to make it go fast. I marked the brick for cutting; Dave cut the brick; and I then placed the brick in the walkway.
Cutting the brick was a very messy job.
I placed all the brick along the walkway and later went back to set them in with the mallet.
I continued to paint while Dave cut the brick. I'm slowly making progress . . . it will take me a couple of more weeks before I get finished painting and caulking, I think. :)
Shane continue to "help" us with our work.
The walkway ready for the sand/concrete mortar.
Dave poured the sand/concrete mixture over the bricks . . .
It was a long process getting the mixture down into the cracks of the brick.
Then Dave used the garden hose to wash the concrete into the seams and get it ready to set up.
We are not finished with the walkway, but here it is today:
The rails are primed on the front and the hand rails on the North side of the steps primed. You can really see the difference the paint is going to make when you compare the other side of the steps where the hand rail is still unpainted.
Today I'm going to start planting the shrubs and roses I bought at Lowes last week. I'm very excited about the progress we've made on the front yard and on the front porch! I don't think anyone would see our house now and think it is deserted! Ha!
I'll post more pictures as we continue making progress on our summer project. Thanks for all your encouraging words on facebook and in person!
Hopefully, Dave will get finished soon . . . with help from
the Ferrell boys and me!