Good Wednesday evening! As you read this post, we are fully immersed in Newfoundland lore and culture. We came over on the 13th and are staying until the 25th. You know we will have to show you that beautiful land in the future. If you follow my Facebook page and/or Instagram page, I’ve been trying to post something I’ve loved about Newfoundland everyday. In anticipation of being away, I thought I would share the last installment of our outdoor changes that we completed this summer. As a reminder, this is how the cottage looked right after construction in 2013:
In part 1 and 2 we built a shed and deck. This year we wanted to finish cleaning up around the cottage so it didn’t look so messy and still like a construction zone. We wanted something maintenance free or at least easy to maintain and budget friendly. If anyone has landscaped before, you know how quickly plants and things add up. Pinterest and DIY and using our brains came to the rescue for this project! We had a vision of small to medium river rock around the perimeter to the edge of the eaves with plants interspersed between.
Here is the front and side with grass and mayhem before we started. You can see where we dug out the sod about 2 feet away from the cottage all the way around. We then laid landscape fabric in place.
After we got the landscape fabric in, we put in some landscape edging to keep a separation between the grass and the rock that would make it easier to trim and keep weeds out. We found this edging at Home Depot but other hardware stores should have it as well.
Our big dilemma was how to get the rock to our site without a truck or trailer? We checked at Audubon in Moncton and for $550 with delivery we could have gotten some lovely rock delivered. We didn’t feel quite comfortable with that so as luck would have it, we found a local source for some river rock. So with back breaking work by my husband and 8 van loads later with tons of dust to clean up, we managed to get the rock we wanted at a fraction of the price. Sometimes it pays to think outside the box !
For the plants, I also wanted something that would be a little hardier with our micro-climate in Waterside. I envisioned something like lavender, roses and some type of coastal, beachy grass. I would love to grow lavender down here but so far I’ve only managed to keep 1 plant going after 5 years and it is still pretty stunted. For some advice and top quality, locally grown sources, we headed to Cornhill Nursey after checking out their website and calling to make sure they had what I was looking for. We found lots of varieties of grasses but we chose the variety called Little Blue Stem. We also picked up some hostas and astilbe for the back side of the cottage which gets more shade. I wanted to keep a little softer look around the back door with plants and mulch.
Here is the little guy tucked in. I just cut a hole in the fabric, dug a hole in the dirt with some extra garden soil and waited for more rock! This will get about 80 cm tall.
In between the grasses, I was able to find some purple salvia that resembles lavender but is hardier and blooms longer. I found just enough full size plants for the front bed at Home Depot and found the rest of another variety for the sides at Canadian Tire.
I hope to make a potting bench along this side wall to the right of the bigger window.
Besides the rocks and plants, we did decide to extend the step on the side door. I wanted to come up with a way to kind of disguise the mini split box outside that you see as you drive up the driveway. I had seen Habitat Restore in Moncton advertise some bench brackets. I thought that would be a perfect way to end the the step platform, a place to sit on that side of the cottage and a way to hide the mini split. I think it turned out fabulously for only $10 for each bracket, a fraction of the normal cost. You never know what you’ll find at Habitat- be sure to follow their Facebook page for lots of deals.
Because it was an addition to the plan ( my fault!), Mark had to remove some boards from last year’s build to add on to the step so the new boards are lighter of course. We have since got those stained so it looks a little more blended now!
I hope you enjoyed this tour and found some inspiration for projects around your own house or cottage! See you next week for some Newfoundland eye candy!