Turning an Eyesore into a Sight for Sore Eyes!


One of the main reasons Tom and I bought the house Upstate was to commune with the land, more specifically to landscape, garden and make things grow! But for the past three years there was this banking on the curve of our driveway that was a total eyesore. I couldn’t mow it, it wouldn’t grow grass, I tried planting bulbs but only half of them would come up and it was covered with weeds and rocks and bad soil. Well this Spring I decided to do something. So with the help of my expert stone guy, StoneStedge (click HERE), I designed a curved stone wall made exclusively of boulders. Most of the property has rather formal tiered stacked bluestone walls, but I wanted a more natural and informal look for this wall, hence the boulders. So we found some of the boulders on our property and Doug Stedge found the rest at the quarry. We then decided to match the curve of the driveway and have the boulders be somewhat graduated in size, Doug thought up the 2nd tier which creates a nice bed for planting. After we secured the stone we pulled down about 8 inches of the bad soil and weeds, put the stones in place and then refilled the banking with 9 cubic yards of new topsoil, giving me about 8-10 inches to plant in.

Then Tom and I went into full swing at the local nurseries, we particularly like the Native Catskills Nursery (click HERE), and shopped for many of our favourites.  Hydrangea, wild sage, hosta, dwarf blue spruce and even blueberries! And everything we planted is a perennial so we know it will all come back year after year and stronger and fuller than the year before.

The surprise ending to this not so little gardening project is two fold. The first “a ha” moment is that I am now in the running to host a new TV show called “Dream Back Yards”!! produced by Fly on the Wall Productions, I’m just thrilled to be in the running and that I have this stunning before and after landscaping project to show. And secondly, we now realize that every window on the front of our house looks out onto this banking and now we have this lovely garden to look at. Job well done!!