Monday, April 3, 2017

Curb Appeal!

We moved in in April 2016, so by the time we got to the curb appeal it was in the throws of summer in AZ.  
We first wanted to focus on the landscaping.   Here is where we started.  Anyone who knows me knows I like green grass, flowering shrubs, trees and.... not brown.  So we had a lot to do.

MLS pic before we moved in. 
When we first moved in I needed some encouragement for what's to come, so I had my painters paint the door red!  It was the perfect color of red! (Benjamin Moore, Raspberry Truffle)
After we were all settles my SIL had replaced her old Lowes coach lights and gave them to me.  They were faded and did have some cracks, but all in all she gave me 5 coach lights and 2 post lights.  
I got ambitious and painted them with a flat black and turned one of them into a pendant light for the front porch.  I love how they turned out and how chunky they are. 

We had a good rainstorm after we moved in so we monopolized on the soft ground and pulled all of the plants out with our car.

The next step was gravel.  I hate gravel! If you look at these pics you may be deceived to think that the ground was mounted to give the variance in rock.  It was ALL ROCK!  So much rock, 20 tons to be exact.  My husband invested in a dump trailer, which saved us.  But if you know how much it costs to dump rock, you would think twice about putting 20 tons of rock in your front yard.  Most people would not put 20 tons of rock in the front yard.  We just hit the jackpot!
Many days and bobcat rentals later we had a clean slate:
Happy 4th of July! 
We did discover that the insane heat in AZ is useful to pull paint off the concrete.  After the bobcat had scraped the sidewalk the paint started peeling off like sunburned skin!  My daughter got addicted and pulled it all of the sidewalk.  Tender mercy. :) 

The rocks were removed and the sidewalk was removed.  This side yard had a large yucca and multiple barrel cacti growing right up next to the house.  Now ready for a driveway extension. 
The front yard was cleared and prepped for irrigation.  In the past we had used the pop up sprinklers, but my husband had been looking in to subterranean irrigation through Rain Bird.  After evaluating the pros and cons, we had decided the subterranean irrigation was what we wanted.  

all of the trenches dug and ready for the copper colored line
For curbing we decided on brick and did pay someone to do that.  Our concrete guys were more than willing to do it, and frankly I was burnt out by this point.
 Sod laying day! Now this is rewarding to see GREEN! my heart sang that day! Great way to put the kids to work.

A light post was added and flowers were planted.  Not much grows well in the summer here so I opted for vincas, which are not my favorite.  I decided to throw down some zinnia seeds for the heck of it and just hoped for the best.
Autumn was in the air and I was so excited to decorate, but then the itch to paint came...

We now were ready for the pièce de résistance! PAINT!! I wanted yellow, but subtle! You can get too lemony real fast if you aren't careful.  I found a color in the tan range of yellow, which gave it a subtle but fresh look.  I just could not do brown any longer! Here are the colors I worked with...
The outcome was just what I wanted and completed the transformation! WA-LA!
After (top)/Before (bottom)
The last touch was to replace the gate:

A highlight to my endeavors was the flowers that sprang up unexpectedly.  Not only did they grow nicely, but they were HUGE.  Even months later they keep on giving.  I have propagated more seeds hoping to have flowers all summer long.  Zinnias do great in the AZ summer! 
We still haven't filled in the gravel on the borders, but we are currently working on the back yard and HATE gravel.  I would love to find a better alternative. 

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