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The landscape is forever evolving here at Swallowtail Cottage.
I moved here fourteen years ago, (brother how time flies) and have lived to see the initial plantscape mature to the point of necessary major editing. Last summer numerous spent shrubs were removed, leaving considerable voids to fill. This winter, the back row of cypress had declined to the point of intervention. At least with board fencing, this problem will have an instant solution. Not so in the front garden, where I must wait five years for the new shrubs to mature.

the rear row of Leylands begain to die from too much shade, exposing my property to light pollution, road noise and nosey neighbors

the rear row of Leyland Cypress branches began to die from too much shade, exposing my property to light pollution, road noise, wild critter invasion, and nosey neighbors

With a little elevation, the rear row of cypress became the backdrop for the new fence

with a little elevation pruning by me, the rear row of cypress became the backdrop for the new fence

fabulous team at work

fabulous Joe Phillips crew at work — day one

nothing like the right team with the right tools...

nothing like the right team with the right tools…

I love a perfectly dug hole

L.O.V.E a perfectly dug hole. These professionals made digging look effortless!

promising piles of things to come

promising piles of things to come

progress

progress

ahhh

ahhh, the good stuff

Joe Phillips is the MAN for fencing projects in central Virginia

Joe Phillips is the MAN for fencing projects in central Virginia

everything in its place...

everything in its place. Two 16′ boards at a time, each crew member carried material (on their shoulder) to the rear of the property, carefully avoiding dormant perennials. All supplies were hand-carried to the project area. What a considerate crew!

ready, set, go...

ready, set, go…notice the amateurish built fence by my neighbor a few years back. Rotting boards (not pressure treated) will soon fall down. Perhaps they will hire a professional fence builder next time…my fence will outlive me.

thirteen posts placed, leveled and tamped

thirteen 4X6 posts placed, leveled, and tamped. Varying heights were necessary to comply with the terrain

placement of the boards begins...

placement of the boards begins…

finished fence...11' tall at high end and 7' tall at low end...

finished fence…11′ tall at low-end and 7′ tall at high-end…pine needles make a nice mulch in this area, raked from the school grounds around the corner

view from the lawn side of the deep shrub border

view from the lawn side of the deep shrub border

back side of fence with room to return to stain later in the year

back side of 90′ long fence with room to return with solid stain later in the year. Weeds should remain at bay too.

time to take the gloves off and enjoy another completed project

time to take the gloves off and enjoy another completed project. Winter is a great time for such outdoor schemes, sans ticks and other biting insects that plague central Virginia nine months of the year. Bracing morning air was invigorating too, keeping me from hibernation mode.

this morning's view from the rear terrace, across the turf. The shrubs really pop and have improved light and air

this morning’s view from the rear terrace, across the turf. The shrubs really pop even when dormant and have improved light and air for their growing seasons ahead

Another successful home improvement project is under my belt.
Since 2001, projects here, both indoors and out, require my full attention — the reality of owning an older home with a needy landscape.
Applying my design and communication skills, employing a sense of humor, and being somewhat tolerant of budget overruns, keep me honed and motivated for the next solution/design project. Furthermore, as the designated primer/painter here at Swallowtail Cottage, this homeowner stays in shape too.

Next up, the much awaited pergola at the rear terrace. Now that will be a much welcomed addition. Will I ever say UNCLE??

Stay tuned…

Copyright © 2015 by Diane LaSauce All Rights Reserved