TOH: Curb Appeal (Driveway and Trees)

Chelsea and I spent Saturday like we hope everyone else in Ithaca did, getting a sunburn on our winterized skin while spending some time outside.  In fact, we were so excited to enjoy the good weather and break a sweat outside that we woke up much earlier than we normally do on weekends to jump start the day.  Today’s task was to try and make the driveway look like a driveway.  Take a look what I mean:

If you look close enough you can see some sembelence of a gravel driveway there, but its really difficult to see where the driveway ends and the yard begins.  Part of that is because of the canopy from the trees we have a hard time growing grass, and part of that is because people used to park wherever in the driveway/yard.  We were hoping to clear that up.

Thanks to our friend Ed being so generous and letting us borrow his pickup truck for probably the 15th time, we were now proud owners of 40 eight foot long landscaping timbers.  We also bought 80 large (8 inch long) galvanized nails to secure those to the ground.  I think our results speak for themselves.

We now have a clear divide between the driveway and yard, though we haven’t entirely made up our minds on if we want it to be filled with a truckload of gravel.  On the top of this picture you can see the small little parking spot we allocated (small because we were mindful of the property line).  And here is the view looking the other way.

We even managed to allocate two more parking spots on the other side.  There is now parking for 4 in addition to a fully functional turnaround driveway.  If anyone knows a good (cheap) way to fill this in, please let us know.

Naturally dropping 8 foot timbers along the edge of the driveway isn’t that hard, so most of our energy today was spent working on what we definitely consider a cost-effective project, and another project that hopefully I’ll be able to post on tomorrow.  The first is cheap landscaping for the magnificent trees in the yard.  There are at least 4 really big trees right in the front yard, (you have read about them before here) and we wanted to try and complete the landscaping a little bit.

We finished off the day by gathering two jeepfulls(?) of FREE mulch courtesy of the City of Ithaca, and surrounding all the trees in the yard with piles of it.  Then to keep the piles honest, we dug rocks out of the stream in the backyard, carted them up to the front yard and then lined the mulch piles with them.  They look fantastic.  And the best part is, this particular weekend project didn’t cost us a dime.  More tomorrow (if my sunburn and ageing back permit it.)

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3 thoughts on “TOH: Curb Appeal (Driveway and Trees)”

  1. Nick – what are you guys trying to fill in? Are the two new spots sloping downwards? I didn’t understand what you wrote – advise and I’ll put on my thinking cap.

  2. David – What I mean is we are simply looking for something to fill in the “driveway” part to make it look less like grass with the occasional rocks. We have been thinking of ordering a truckload of gravel, but I don’t really have a good idea of how much that costs, and what type of rock I want (and is available) in this area.

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