Landscape Redesign 2014: Demolition

Late 2013 after months of dreaming, tearing pictures out of magazines, and sketching designs for updating our front and back yard, I decided to hire a professional landscape designer. I learned from this experience. It provoked creative thought, but in the end I was disappointed with the slowness of the process, the inattention to detail by the designer, and the lack of practicality. I was beginning to feel like the designer wasn’t interested in my project because I balked at some of her suggestions. In any event, one restless day I decided to get a couple of contractor bids. When I showed my half-baked drawings (the designer had been working on them for almost 6 months), he shook his head, said they were pretty, but he would do his own drawings, thank you very much. I discussed what I wanted and what I didn’t want. He had practical suggestions for some portions of the design that he said were not workable. In the end, I told the designer to just give me whatever drawings she had completed and I would go from there. Nine days later I had a complete redesign of my yard’s hardscape. Replanting, of course took a few more weeks.

In the beginning, everything had to be dug up in the front and back. We had someone repair the existing stone wall. We spent hours digging up huge tree roots before the demolition crew came in. I dug up plants that I wanted to salvage and stored them in the side garden.

On demolition day I was as nervous as a long-tailed cat in a closet with a rocking chair. At 7AM on a Monday morning, huge trucks rumbled up our street and began carrying off chunks of cement from the driveway and sidewalks. Sod and plants were ripped out. I felt like a prisoner for the whole week. For the first couple of days the only way out of the house was out the side garage door and over my neighbor’s fence. Dust and dirt was everywhere. Basically, you had to be there to answer any questions the crew might have or to intervene if you thought there was a problem. There was no turning back, but I sure wondered if everything was ever going to come together again.


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