The owners bought the house a few years before they intended to move to town, with the intention of doing the remodeling before they moved in at retirement. A landscape maintenance company was hired to maintain the existing native oak tree and lawn landscape. The first summer month’s water bill was enough to have this owner decide to turn the water to the lawn off and go in search of a new landscape concept. Taking the landscape back to a more appropriate landscape for the oak trees was of great importance. Because we had the luxury of time, we were able to eliminate the lawn slowly, section by section, with the process of smothering the lawn with cardboard and compost. Doing this over time in sections allowed us to limit the total impact of the new landscape on the oak trees.
The ultimate goal of this landscape was to become the main entry to the house, rather than having people walk down the long driveway which led to the master bedroom suite door instead of the front door which was a floor above and on the south, not west side of the house. Ultimately, the owner built a deck and set of stairs that connected the front door to the new path through the “woods” to the street. The existing railroad tie wall at the street was eventually removed and replaced with a low, casual rock “wall.” The plants were also installed over time, as the owners had time to manage them, as they were doing the work themselves.