Tuesday, February 8, 2011

My Go To Guy

Last fall Angie and I decided it was time to overhaul our patio-courtyard. It's not much of a patio, about the size of a child's bedroom, and the concrete floor made the space feel more like a prison than a retreat. Even better, it flooded every time it rained, and since we've already got the community pool for exercise, wading through a foot of water didn't seem to have many upsides.

So we got someone in to break up the concrete and haul it away, a noisy dusty ordeal that left behind a wreck framed in brick. Now the prison floor was dirt rather than paved! I guess sometimes things have to get worse before they get better.

I hired a contractor to fix the drainage issues. He cleared the existing drains and expanded them, then put down peat gravel to keep puddles from forming. So far we haven't had any more surprise swimming pools, so I guess it's working, but obviously at this stage it wasn't looking any less ugly or barren. That's when I called Lonny.

The guys from Valley Landscape laid a stone path down the center leading from the garage door to the kitchen, then set up some beds on the south side of the courtyard, and along the west wall. They put in some shade tolerant (and water-loving!) greenery to fill the space, and some taller flowering plants for visual appeal. It seemed like Lonny hauled in a jungle's worth of plants, but by the time he was done, there was enough room left on the south half for a good sized patio table and chairs. They don't even feel cramped.

He added a few small potted plants along the north wall, and suggested putting in an iron trellis, secured to the bricks, so in spring I'm thinking I'll plant some climbing roses. Mostly though, he left the north side open, and planted some soft green moss instead of grass. It doesn't need to be mowed, and it's spread around the walking path into the garden on the south end, and it gives a nice soft place for Angie and I to sit in the sun, assuming we get sun.

By the time Lonny was done with our courtyard, I realized it was actually quite a bit bigger than I'd thought. Now we've actually got a space where we want to spend time, as opposed to just pass through as fast as possible.

I recommend Lonny to all my clients looking for landscaping help. He's featured on my home page and can be contacted at 541-998-2011.

How about you? Who have you worked with for landscaping, and have you had good experiences?

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