Curves Like Lombard Street | Bower Power
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Curves Like Lombard Street

2014 January 30
by Katie

I was Curious Georging the heck out of Google (that’s a thing btw) and found photos of Lombard Street.

Dang Gina!

I now want to go to San Francisco just for that road.  And the bridge.  And because I hear that you can sit outside the Full House house and eat a picnic.  That’s always been on the list.  I might teach Will how to say ‘How Rude!’ just for kicks.

But today we are talking about a different type of curve…not a street…just a little update we did to the old backyard back in October.  I honestly forgot all about this project but then when I was organizing photos, I found the folder marked EXTERIOR UPDATES OCT 13 and saw all about how we added some more curves to the landscaping and finished some needed plantings.

As you may recall, our back of our house had little to none landscaping in the back when we bought it…

then I dug out some azalea bushes from the woods…

And then later we added some straw and some free bricks as an edge…

And right after we had the house painted, it looked like this…

Well, now it looks a whole lot better with some curvy lines (the post title makes more sense now huh?!   And you thought I would be talking about my lovehandles :) )

I am definitely still a newbie when it comes to learning about landscaping and make a lot of mistakes (I’m honestly surprised that nobody flat out laughed and pointed at some of my older landscaping adventures…wait, that probably happened.).  I have read some really good books about landscaping and stalk some online sites for photo inspiration so I do feel like I know some key things…one being, curves are good.  really really good.  Keep that fact in mind as I explain what we did.

Right after I installed the front paver edger thingies, I also bought a bunch to do around the back.  But I knew that there needed to be some tweaking with bushes…specifically these large gardenias…

Can you even believe that they started off as these little munchkins?  Actually this was after they were nursed to health (they were dying a slow miserable death in the clearance section at Walmart)…

So that center one was transplanted next to it’s brother under the window…it looks like a marathon runner here…just a little spent :(   But remember…these guys are fighters….and now it is looking much more refreshed.

I also started planning for an access path to the fire pit area…

And we planned on cleaning up this mess too…

So the first thing we did was plan out the new outline for the garden areas.  We made them wider and with a lot more curves.  We realized that when we were doing the plantings before that the border was very close and didn’t really allow for the plants to breathe from the grassy area.  It helps to give it more bed because it’s like eyeliner…it helps define but also brings attention to contrast (important thing for landscaping) and the plants themselves.  Plus, more bed can help with other things like water retention and allow for annual plantings, and accents like rocks and pots.

We made these lovely lady lumps unequal because we felt like they did a better job of creating balance to the firepit side.  Jeremy thought I was plumb crazy when I laid out where I wanted the lines but in the end, he agrees that it looks much better this way too.

After we did the plant-moving and the edger-establishing, Jeremy dug out the route.  He did the same method as me…except he likes to use the weedwacker first and then the hoe…(here are some pics of him in action doing that in another bed…not this back area)

And then came mulch throwing time (that was my job…and let me just tell ya, it is like I was Rocky Balboa hoisting these bags on my shoulder.  I may or may not have started singing Eye of the Tiger.  Ok…I did.)

Jeremy also used all the leftover bricks from the previous sad edger that did nothing to block weeds or grass to make a little platform for our hose storage.  That’s ‘hose’ storage…not ‘hoe’s’ storage…just wanted to make sure nobody thought we were storing girls in our backyard…yet.

And lastly…let’s talk about that path…

It is made out of old faux rocks.  These apparently were leftover from the build of this house (you can see them in the front façade as an accent) and they are made of concrete (I think) and were piled up/half buried in the front yard.  Jeremy complained that he couldn’t mow the grass in that area because it would damage the John Deere…so one day I convinced Will and the neighbor boys to help me load these up in the wheelbarrow and stack them in the woods.  I remembered them when we were doing this project and brought the biggest ones up to make a little path.

Since there was pine straw already laid down, I simply laid these on top of the straw.  This is not the proper way to do a path but these are all flat on the back side so they have been pretty stable to walk on.

I’m sure in the future we will want to make this a little more permanent (and less of a tripping hazard) but so far the only problem we have had is that they are light enough for Baby Weston to pick up and throw.

It was definitely quite a jigsaw puzzle to figure out how to make them curve (especially since we didn’t have a bazillion pieces to choose from) and to make it look even with large pieces throughout.  But in the end, it does provide a great little access way to the fire pit area and helps connect that zone to the sitting porch area.

Speaking of fire pit…it is still doing awesome.  We do still use it (last time was on January 2nd!) and it has been great for entertaining.  I think this year I want a topper to build for placing over it and so that the kids can use it as a little eating/playing table.

And I really love that the firepit seems to tie in with the new edgers.  That was just a happy accident :)

Overall, I couldn’t be more pleased with how the entire backyard is taking shape.  I think the outside is one of the first areas that anyone should tackle as a home owner because you can save so much more money by planting small things first.  If you get free plants, clippings, bulbs, offshoots, and dying plants from Walmart for cheap, you can actually have a well established beds by the third year!  That’s a huge curb appeal savings.

Now let’s get to some side by side before and afters…because let’s all be honest…those are our favorites…

Not too shabby!  Has me ready to get to spring already!  This year I am really excited to plant more smaller flowering plants…perennials and annuals and bulbs.  I am feeling more capable with bushes and trees…but small gardening?  Not a whole lot of experience there.  But I’m ready to get my feet wet….err dirty :)



193 Responses leave one →
  1. Lindsay permalink
    February 1, 2014

    Katie,

    I am so sorry about what happened with your huge news post. I did not think it was offensive or angering at all. You have nothing to be apologetic for. There are some truly crazy people in this world and it’s scary to see how awful they can be. You are your family are in my prayers. I read your blog and Sherry’s every day – the only two I check! You have been so fun to read for the past few years and have been motivated and inspired by you. You are a fabulous person. Keep on doing your thing and don’t worry about the crazies!

  2. Shannon permalink
    February 1, 2014

    It is absolutely amazing to me how awful people can be when hiding behind a keyboard. Clearly their issues were just that – theirs. They have to have something in their heart that is broken to automatically assume you had any negative intention at all. The best thing you can do for a floundering community is buy property that hasn’t been loved & taken care of for many years and turn it into something beautiful. It is never the buyers responsibility (or business) to make sure the current residents have a place to move. Most of the time a buyer doesn’t even know who resides in the property. It is absolutely bizarre to me that anyone would think for a second that you have ownership in that.

    Unfortunately it is very easy to cast judgement under the veil on anonymity. You are brave to share your life with the world. Those of us with pure hearts read your blog through the lens in which it was intended. God Bless and keep being you!

  3. lisa permalink
    February 1, 2014

    Hang in there! I can’t wait to see what you do with the Monroe house. I am sure it will be lovely!

  4. Rachel permalink
    February 1, 2014

    Hi Katie, I’ve been reading your blog now for a couple of years and really enjoy the craft, homemaking, humour and photography. Your kind heart and love for humamity come across through your words and I am so sorry that people try to find the negative in what you say. I hope that you have not been put off writing your blog but will continue to teach, inspire and amuse people round the world. If it’s not too weird please accept some virtual hugs from a complete stranger for you and your gorgeous family x

  5. Fallon permalink
    February 1, 2014

    Katie -

    Long-time reader, first-time commenter. I never comment on blogs, but this deserves it. You are a charming, funny and sweet person. I adore your blog and your style and appreciate how openly you share your life. I’m sorry that what was a post about an exciting new adventure turned into such vitriol. No one is perfect and we all mistakes. I hope you continue to blog in the future.

  6. Kelly Davirro permalink
    February 1, 2014

    Love your blog Katie!

  7. Kim permalink
    February 1, 2014

    dang Katie! I’m really sorry people flipped out on you over your last post. I really enjoy your writing style, your heart for Jesus, glimpses into your family, your wit and good humor, and so much about you and your blog. I really hope you continue to be yourself and not let this get you down. I know lots of us feel this way. Obviously its reflected in all these other comments – duh. Just wanted to chime in my support as well. Thanks for bringing smiles to my day! Kim

  8. Victoria R permalink
    February 2, 2014

    I missed out on the huge news, whatever it was. I’ve had a slightly under the weather baby at home and haven’t been keeping up on my favorite blogs. I’m really sad to think that people were attacking you for any reason. You obviously have such a wonderful heart, and you are so open and true to yourself in this blog. I was crying when you announced you were pregnant with Weston, and was smiling like crazy when you announced little guy #3. I feel like I know you personally, and my heart aches to think someone hurt you, or tried to hurt you, emotionally or physically.

  9. Rachel permalink
    February 2, 2014

    Hi Katie,
    I have commented once before mentioning that while going through cancer with my son, your blog posts were always a source of laughter and relief for me. I still particularly remember the one were y’all and YHL went to a zoo. The narrative with the kids was awesome! Anyway, the world is full of buttholes..I know… While my son went through cancer we tried to take him apple picking on a weekend before some very harsh treatment and some twit from our employer made a big deal of us doing that when we weren’t able to be at work- even though it was a weekend.. The nerve of that scum to pick on us when we were going through such a horrible time and trying to provide our child fun still infuriates me. So anyway, I am so sorry you have hit this snag in your blogging days, but please don’t stop. You are entitled to freedom of speech like anyone else and if folks don’t understand your humor, then that is their loss. But from a girl who found much needed laughs on your blog when I needed them the most, Please don’t stop! Honestly some of your critics are probably just jealous!

  10. Rosi permalink
    February 2, 2014

    FYI … the post you deleted is on this website getoffmyinternets.net, I don’t know if you know how to get it off the cache web thing, but its still around and people on there are being SUPER hateful towards you and your family, I figured I’d let you know as I don’t know how to e-mail you or let you know privately but you don’t have to repost this comment.

    I read the post, and I found no FAULT for you, you were stating facts and were trying to be funny, I know how that goes when no one understands what you were trying to say.

    I am still a loyal reader and wish you the best of luck. I don’t pray but I hope you make it though this and people stop being hateful.

  11. Krystal permalink
    February 2, 2014

    I’ve followed your blog for some time but never commented before. Your posts are always a high point in my day you and I love reading about you and your family. I completely agree that you need to take all necessary measures to protect the ones you love. I appreciate your sense of humor and outlook on life. My thoughts are with you and your family as you work through this!

  12. Deb permalink
    February 2, 2014

    Another person coming out of lurking mode to offer encouragement. There is a huge difference between having an opinion, offering constructive criticism, and what that group does. They are cyber bullies. Plain and simple. They must all live in (perfect) glass houses because they spend all of their time throwing stones. I will pray tonight, for their children, because I can’t imagine being raised by someone who has nothing better to do than pick apart other people all day long.

  13. Suzanne permalink
    February 2, 2014

    I love your blog, your sense of humor and your openness. You heart comes through and always touches me. I’m so sorry for the haters out there. Please shake them off and continue to bring laughter and joy to the rest of us!

  14. KGG permalink
    February 2, 2014

    Hey! Another reader who NEVER leaves comments ANYWHERE! I totally missed the removed blog post, but I love your blog and look forward to reading it whenever I get a chance. I wish you the best of luck with everything and look forward to reading all about your escapades far into the future. :)

  15. Becca G. permalink
    February 3, 2014

    Another lurker that never comments showing support for KB! Please keep up the blogging, I look forward to reading your blog daily. Shame on those people for saying those awful things….especially to a pregnant lady! As many people have said, for every jerk that made a nasty comment on that post, there are 100 supportive readers. Try to remember all the good in the midst of all the nastiness (easier said than done, I know). Hugs and support from VA to the all of the Bower Family!

  16. Maryanne permalink
    February 3, 2014

    You have to watch the old movie “What’s up Doc?” There’s a hilarious car chase scene on Lombard St. And this is what I thought of when I was up in my two year old in the middle of the night– because that’s how strange I am.

  17. February 4, 2014

    hey katie – i didnt see the “crack house” post, but i regretfully looked at some of the hateful threads on gomi and I just wanted to reach out and say that I think you should ignore people like that and join me in personally feeling sorry for women who have such little to do in life then to “hate read” and then go make nasty comments. Really….its pathetic of them. We all make mistakes in life, and im not sure if you consider this one of yours or not but there is never ANY reason to cyber bully anyone like they have you. honestly its all just class- less and shocking. At the end of the day – THEY choose to read your blog or not…if they dont like it then they shouldnt read. Its that simple. Women (and some men) like that are unhappy, because nobody who has a full and happy life takes such cheap shots. Dont let anyone else’s opinion define you.

  18. Kim permalink
    February 6, 2014

    Hi Katie! I have just recently found your amazing blog, and although I have never commented before, I just had to let you know how much I am totally in love with your style, both your decorating and home DIY, as well as your witty, heartwarming approach to all things life and family! My hubby and I have been inspired in so many ways to confidently tackle projects we never would have otherwise! Thank you for sharing your many gifts with all of us!

  19. Diana permalink
    March 2, 2014

    Your Hardwork sure makes your yard look Great!! I love the firepit. Where did you find the inside firering?

    • March 2, 2014

      It was from my father in law! He got it from a friend who is in Iron Works.
      xo – kb

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