Friday, June 25, 2010
Friday Favorite- My Front Yard
Today's Friday Favorite is a place so close that I can walk out my front door and be there. My front yard wasn't always as kid-friendly as it is now, housing three trees, and a whole lot of weeds when we first moved in. I loved that we had a gate so the whole front yard was enclosed for the kids, but I had been wanting grass to play on. I knew that finances didn't allow for us to do much other than spread some seed, so I waited until we had some extra money to complete the front yard. A good bid from a landscaper, plus our tax return, as well as some of the money left over from the first-time home buyers credit, and we were ready to make the front have curb appeal instead of curb run away screaming.
When we set out to do the landscaping, we decided to add a river rock border to cut down on the grass we would need. Southern California doesn't get much rain, and there is a constant drought, causing home owners to be as frugal as possible when it comes to landscaping. The rock also looks nice, so that's a bonus as well. But when Thomas did the math for the river rock, he must have done something wrong, because just doing two sides of the yard, we spent twice our budget for all four sides. So that's how we decided to have mulch and plants on the other two sides. It's amazing how creative you get when the budget doesn't fit the idea.
I had a few guys come out and give us a bid on installing sprinklers, and goodness, they were asking a lot. But our neighbor, Kate was having landscapers come out as well (great minds think alike!) and one gave her a good price; and so she sent him over to me. His bid was about the same as the other guys I had come out, with the exception that he included the sod in his bid. In the end, we had him do the sprinklers, sod, some plants, and cement on the other side of the driveway. We ended up spending twice what we had allocated, but the end result is so nice that every time I'm outside with the kids, I think to myself, I'm so glad we did this. Now Genny and I have somewhere to play outside and we don't have to drive to get there like we did when we first moved in.
Next year we're doing the back yard, and after that it will be so nice to have the back yard to play in during the morning and the front yard in the afternoon. I say that because the back yard gets shade in the morning and the front yard gets shade in the afternoon. Until then, we have this great sun shade we bought last year at the end of the season. Today I broke it out, putting it together myself (thank you very much!). We had a great picnic lunch outside with Glenn on a blanket with his gym, and Genny sitting on a towel (wet swim diaper) and the tent zipped up so Gus-Gus didn't come in and sneak a taste. I have a feeling this will be a regular thing for us, I just have to make sure to put all the sides of the shade up at night so the sprinklers can cover the intended area in the morning.