April 2, 2013

Tete A Tete and Landscaping Project Reality Check

Drifts of 'Tete a Tete' mini daffodils are blooming right now in my front yard along with some blue Chionodoxa forbesii.  The red stems of 'Coral Charm' peonies are getting taller.  It's spring break this week and yesterday afternoon was warm enough to let the kids run through the sprinkler out back.  Highs in the 70's are very rare for spring break in Spokane, so we're all enjoying it this year.

We have a start date from the landscaping company for our big backyard project:  April 15.  If all goes well they think they will be done in a week, but we all know that things never go quite as planned with construction projects.  Take the budget, for instance.  I thought I had set aside a generous amount that would be more than enough to cover all the items on my wish list.  When the estimate came in at double the budget, we had to scale back. 

Goodbye stone retaining walls, hello berms (thankfully that has worked well for us in the front yard).  Goodbye soil hauling, shrub planting and bark spreading by the landscaping company, hello to my husband of the year for volunteering to do those parts.  Thankfully, we'll still be able to have the flagstone path made, get most of the lawn removed and the remaining grass contained with metal edging, have the new swing set cemented in and have the sprinkler system adjusted. 

The company will also be digging a 4 feet deep trench and installing a Plexiglas barrier to keep the neighbor's aspen tree roots from taking over our yard (as they're starting to do already).  That part of the project is taking a third of the budget, ugh.  But I've seen the havoc that unconfined aspens can do to a yard, so I'm glad to get this done now.  Anyway, it's exciting to look forward to this project and I'll be posting more about it along the way. 


  1. Looking forward to seeing and hearing more about your back garden. It's great that your husband can do some of the back breaking grunt work. I had a couple of aspens in a previous yard, so I know the nightmare their roots and little clone trees that rise up from them can be.

    The weather this past weekend was such a gift.

  2. Lovely... I planted lots of miniatures daffs last fall and am anxious to see them in bloom.. we are quite far behind you.... Larry

  3. Budgets are always a bit of a problem when it comes to landscaping. I never have set enough aside, but someday I'll be rich and famous and I won't have to think about it! Well, maybe not, until then there is nothing like manual labor to help the budget out. It sounds like it will be very nice though, good luck!

  4. Great photos! I'm glad you were able to figure out a way to keep most of your backyard plans afloat. I usually have big dreams and have to cut back as reality (i.e.: time & money) sets in, as well. I haven't heard of the plexiglass approach for blocking aspen shoots. We inherited some aspens and the constant sucker battle is making me crazy! If we were going to stay here long term they would definitely be coming down.

  5. What a lovely combination - those daffs and chionodoxa look lovely together. I've not seen any colour from mine yet!
    Your plans certainly sound great, I hope all goes well during the work. It never fails to amaze me that now matter how much you think something will cost - you are never no where near!!
    What a great man your OH is for taking on these duties for you!

  6. Hi VW,

    Lovely photos; I just love the tiny simplicity of Tete-a-Tete. I think I might've lost some of mine, either that or the snows have really delayed development of some as I should have quite a lot after planting more in autumn yet I don't seem to have many blooming yet. So, we'll see.

    Good luck with your landscaping - I can't believe the work you're having done just because a neighbour planted a maple! They should pay for your trouble... I'd be really annoyed if it were me.

  7. "What a lovely combination - those daffs and chionodoxa look lovely together."

    Couldn't agree more..

  8. So pretty together daffs and chionodoxa compliment each other.

    Hope all goes well with your landscaping .

    Great blog .

  9. I love these little daffodils. I have the same flowers in my yard and I'd like to plant more next year.

    Even though it is spendy, it is a wise investment to install the barrier because when I was researching trees, I was told that aspen roots can make their way into water and sewer pipes and cause all kinds of damage. It is just best not to have that kind of problem, right? I wouldn't want to spend my money that way either but that is part of owning a home.

    We just did a landscaping job and it wasn't cheap but it was very effective. I am hoping to do some before and after posts when my coral bark maples leaf out. I did a little preview of my yard last week: sweetheartsandsweettarts.blogspot.com


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