Saturday, May 18, 2013

Driveway fill delivered

*** (If you are visiting for the first time I suggest you start at the first/oldest post "Introduction" and work towards the newer posts)***

With the driveway/burned down garage area all cleared out (with the exception of the junk wood burn piles of course) it was time to get some fill brought in. Nicer dirt than I expected, easy to spread, $10/ton for screened fill which has rocks up to 1" or so, as compared to topsoil @ $22.+/ton. So you can guess what i'll be doing over the next few days/weeks. On a gardening note, I have 25 strawberry plants in the last raised bed off to the right, ordered online for $5.99, and they are all growing nicely. Also have one heritage red raspberry plant in a pot waiting for a permanent home, a couple pots with cantaloupe seeds growing good which also need a place to plant and grow, and two peach trees that i'm trying to get a spot prepared for at the end of the driveway. Oh and two grape plants i'm getting started in pots, one red and one green seedless picked up from lowes. Hope to have a nice productive fruit garden established for when we start living here.

We have tons and tons of a very nasty weed growing all over the place, something really tall with good size oval leaves, hollow stems and a very nasty invasive root system. The roots go pretty deep, a foot and a half or so, they are orange colored inside and break easy so pulling out big pieces is tough, basically i just have to dig up all the dirt and pull all the roots out of the dirt as i spread it back into place. Fun times! Endless work at this property! Just did a google image search for connecticut invasive weeds and came across the darn thing i'm dealing with, Japanese Knotweed, appears its edible and similar to rhubarb, and people have one hell of a time getting rid of it, just joining the club I guess!

The super annoying Japanese Knotweed, gotta say though, its flowers do smell nice and attracts tons of bees

Saturday, May 11, 2013

some yard before & after photos

Heres some before & after yard photos, all work so far has been done by hand, wish I could afford to rent some heavy machinery, things would get done alot faster! Good work out thats for sure.

Right side of house/driveway area where garage burned down

 Front right corner of property/driveway area

right side of house where garage burned down

Driveway area

Now some photos showing improvements

Dumpster in driveway clearing out burned garage remnants

Gravel delivery, using for driveway, paths and around foundation walls

Finally got down to ground level where the garage was just need to fill this area in now

Front right corner of property/driveway, placed hydrangeas along the road in front of the big forsythia bush and edged with stone

front right corner of property/driveway, stone edging around prepared garden bed, nice improvement over the weeds that once covered this entire area

path that leads from driveway to raised garden beds which are mostly full of potted plants right now, took alot of plants from our old house, refused to leave them all behind, everything made it through the winter in pots just fine, trying to prepare areas to get some more plants in the ground. have strawberries growing in one bed and another bed setup for growing grapes.

view from the back yard, cleaned up alot of brush and weeds that completely covered this area

rasied beds and burn pile in driveway/old garage area

view from the driveway

used soil from digging out for foundation to fill in this raised bed area in the front yard and working on building the stone wall/edging

another view of backyard

and another

Left side foundation

Here on the left side, the house sat on  6x6 lumber on the ground, of which 90% was rotted so the house was just about sitting on the ground, if it weren't for a few big rocks supporting a few sections .

 Before cleaning up all the garbage

Siding off and yard cleaned up

Digging and more digging, good excercise!


I love the windows in this house, I think the old 12 over 12 colonial style windows have so much chartacter and I think they make the house so much more unique. I love old houses and the old wavy glass windows. In our last house, a victorian farmhouse, the windows were 1 over 1, beautiful full panes of old wavy glass, I restored many of them, and boy is there a huge time and work difference in restoring 12 over 12's versus the 1 over 1's. As a painter i've fixed up alot of old windows, but never completely stripped and restored 12 over 12's, they are so much work, but beautiful once finished. And these windows are in very rough shape, but most are worthy of restoration, amazingly not much rot, some breakage from the house being vandalized but most are salvagable. I've finished almost half of the windows for the house, it was a good winter project to keep progress on the house moving while we were under the heavy snow periods, and the road the house is on is not a town managed road so it doesn't get plowed, so it was tough to access the house when we had alot of snow.

Heres some window pics, i'll post some completed windows installed when that time comes, once the house is a little farther along in the restoration...

some completed windows next to my work bench

Starting work on the right side foundation

The right side of the house was where the old garage that burned down once stood and the foundation on this side was a concrete block mess, they took the time to put a few stones under the block but they were pretty much on the ground at ground level, no footings or anything besides a few rocks.