I started to prep what will soon be the flowerbeds at the foundation of our house. This is a project I hope to have complete by the end of next weekend. I was contemplating having a professional landscape outfit do the work but this past weekend changed my thinking. First, I met a guy who owns a landscaping company on the east side of Cleveland who offered to let me use one of those long flat pull-behind trailers in the event I want to load up a bunch of shrubs, trees, etc. from one of the many nurseries in northern Ohio. That same day, I visited a friend who happened to be in the middle of a project similar to the one I'm now planning.
Loaded with all this information, I feel a lot more confident that I can do the job myself (with a little help of course). My first step was to mark the beds using some 6" nails and household twine. Teresa and I decided on a curved pattern similar to the shape of the sidewalk leading to our front door. The engineer/nerd in me drew up the design in AutoCAD in order to get exact coordinates to use when placing the nails in the ground. The nails were probably enough for me to visualize the curvature of the bed but the twine wrapped around and between each nail takes the guesswork out of it. I then mowed down the grass/weeds that fell within the newly marked off area and sprayed it with RoundUp. The grass should be dead/browned in 7-10 days, at which time I can rake it all up. In the meantime, Teresa and I are going to steal some ideas from our many neighbors whose beds are already planted. I'm also planning to have approximately 12 cubic yards of topsoil and 6 cubic yards of mulch delivered next Friday. Still have to work out the details around getting the shrubs, trees, etc.