Sunday, October 10, 2010

Rock On!

Last month, we took several days off of work over Labor Day weekend. One of the projects we finished up was our sidewalk. The other big project was filling our landscaping beds with rock. For the past two and a half years, we've had dirt surrounding our house. Not attractive.


First, we pulled all the weeds, graded the dirt, and laid down the landscape paper. I've heard mixed reviews on the paper... some people say weeds still grow through it. But we had an entire roll someone had given us for free, so we decided to use it. Rolling out the paper was pretty easy. We didn't really research anything about it, so hopefully there's no wrong way to do it. If so, it's too late now!


Deciding on the rock, however, wasn't so easy. We visited several landscaping centers and agonized over what color that would look best next to our house. A couple places let us take home samples to put next to the house. It was still hard to tell with such a little pile, but they any of them probably would have looked fine.


We decided on the brown river rock on the right, because it would contrast the most with our limestone border. It definitely wasn't as cheap as pea gravel, but it wasn't the most expensive option, either. We figured that since we're doing most of our landscaping work ourselves, we're still ultimately saving money. To avoid a delivery fee, we borrowed a trailer and hauled three tons ourselves.

Three tons of rock doesn't really look like much! But it turned out to be about the right amount to cover everything we needed around the house, at about 2"-3" deep.

Needless to say, shoveling this rock off of the trailer and moving it all around the house was back-breaking labor a good workout. And also very dirty and dusty. The rock looked really dull, which was a little disheartening. But after it finally got a good washing by rain, it made a big difference.
We're creating a temporary rock garden here with our huge, leftover limestone rocks. Eventually, I'll plant some stuff around them.

With our two-tiered landscaping surrounding our Japanese Maple (which is in pretty sad shape right now), we decided to fill the top tier with a different (and cheaper) rock to set it apart.

You can still see patches where some of the rock didn't get a very good washing yet.

I've already shown this picture before, but because I'm so proud of our sidewalk, here's the other side of our house with the rock:

Completing this project was a huge relief, and I feel so much better about our house and our curb appeal! We still need to add more plants and install drip irrigation for the landscaping beds, but we might not get to that for awhile. For now, I'm just glad that I don't have to look at dirt when I walk out the door (or, more importantly, when people walk up to our door).

5 comments:

Amy @ Design-Aholic said...

Looks good Amanda! I need to take some of this rock work as inspiration to our dirt ridden backyard ASAP. Nice work!

Kim @ NewlyWoodwards said...

The rock is a great color with the border and the home. Looks lovely. Just drooling over your landscaping, just perfect. You two are not faint at heart - that rock had to have been hard work.

The Brick Cottage said...

I love the rock border--it looks so good. And I love the fact that it's low maintenance (unlike mulch which you have to do a couple times a year). And the two-tiered section with the Japanese Maple and different stone looks so good!

Amanda said...

Having just completed a backbreaking yard project myself, I'm giving you guys a standing ovation right now! (From my desk.) The rock looks great! And I know that this crap will really wear you out. Good call on borrowing a trailer- delivery and labor rates are insane (and rightfully so, I guess). I love it! Let me know how your rocks do with falling leaves- do you guys have any big trees? That's my problem. It's hard to get the leaves out of mulch and rocks.

Oonafey said...

We have lived in our house for over a year and had yet to plant anything! We finally did it. Tonight. lol

It looks great! So much better than the dirt.

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