Monday, April 19, 2010

Knox Hill Project: Weekly Update

From this angle you can see the slope of our yard as our house sits far back off the street compared to the other houses.
It was an exhausting weekend! Due to the good slightly cool weather we have shifted gears to the outside and the grounds. The house sits on a huge sloping lot. Erosion has shifted much of the topsoil over the years to the point that the sunken garden at the side yard was almost filled in when we bought the place. We have been correcting that ever since we bought the house with our ultimate goal to be no grass to mow and a series of gardens throughout the property connected with brick paths and courtyards.
Almost a foot deep of stone under concrete where the carriage house once stood, The "nagele quarry"
So this week we continued with the front yard and this weekend we built a retaining wall slightly up the hill in the front yard which will allow us to level the front yard somewhat creating a formal terraced Victorian garden in front. Out stone came from what we call "Nagele Quarry". Antone Nagele and his family who owned Nagele Stone Works and this house from about 1885-1952, liked to bring his "mistakes' home to use around the house. The floor of the former garage which was the site of the little stable and carriage house was covered with stone he brought home. At some point years later that was skimmed with concrete which covers maybe a good foot deep of stone he originally used to "pave' the carriage house floor. That was unearthed and provided the stone for the new retaining wall. We also tore up the old concrete sidewalk to the house and that is providing much of the fill to level the lot. Of course that meant every stone has to be hand carried about 120 foot from the back of the lot to the front yard!This our "big plan' for the front yard. The new sidewalk will be brick going up to the house. the rock garden area is at the front near the main retaining wall. The wall we built over the weekend will be the terrace area which will be a more formal Victorian entrance garden with a brick courtyard which will have a stone fountain urn and a sitting area. We plan on formal trimmed low boxwood flanking the walkway. At the front of the courtyard we planted Wegelia which will as it matures be trimmed to make a 3 foot hedge . the areas around the fountain will be planted with a variety of flowers for cuttings. This is the best "sunny" area of the lot. We will be building about a 4 foot wood screen wall/fence on the property line with the house next door which will be covered with climbing roses.
Contrasting, that is the sunken garden/raised beds garden area which we worked on this weekend too. The ferns, hostas and variegated grasses we planted last season have done well so we added another 2 dozen hostas to the shady area and in the areas that get enough sun we planted some flowering salvia which can (if trimmed back) bloom at least three times through the summer. We still have a couple of pines to plant to provide more privacy and of course the pond has to be lined and waterfall pump installed but it is coming right along!
Rock garden at front is shaping up and you can see the new retaining wall we built in the background.
Things are blooming well in the rock garden, especially the tulips and the creeping phlox has set in and in a few years will cascade nicely over the rock garden.
But boy I am tired and it was so nice to climb into our backyard hot tub when we got back to Indy Sunday night!

1 comment:

D R E W said...

thought you might find this interesting:

http://urban-out.com/2010/04/19/what-cincinnati-can-learn-from-new-orleans/