The Cleanup Begins!

The mess left by cleaning up/cutting down trees, brush and plants is all over the property. I mentioned previously how difficult it is right now envisioning what it could look like. Last Sunday with a bottle of champagne and 2 glasses in hand,  we sat at our future lanai on a couple of purchased chairs from Home Depot, using a tree stump as a makeshift table and contemplated our future plans.

As mosquitoes feasted on us, we sipped champagne and watched our first sunset from our new home and thought This is going to be great!
And now the cleanup begins! A landscape crew from Bill Doughty Landscaping started work this week clearing everything out. A dumpster was brought in to aid in the process:

Bill told us he will have the grounds so cleaned up, we will be able to eat off it – we’re going to hold him to that! Because the back is so sloped everything had to be gathered and carried to the front by hand. Not an easy undertaking with the amount of debris.

And this is our front courtyard, now a dumping ground for cut branches.

The great news about this is that we anticipate needing 50+ cubic yards of mulch around the property for landscaping and we will be able to reuse most of the branches that were trimmed from the trees – after chipped –  and not have to purchase any. Woohoo – money saved!

The landscaping in front is starting to be uncovered. Ivy had choked just about everything and had covered up the beautiful stone pillars lining the driveway. This shows half of the ivy pulled up.

Apparently getting rid of ivy is a long process and requires some vigilance to stop it from reappearing. Amazing that I had originally thought it was quite pretty – but then learned that it is very invasive, and also a home to hornets nests and rodents. Buh-bye!

Great news on the landscaping design front as well. We have finally found a landscape architect. (Just a side note – my biggest pet peeve is not getting a call back. Even if you are incredibly busy, and hey, in this econcomy, my hat goes off to you. But it’s always good business practice to return a phone call. So Huettl Landscape Architects, you can suck it for not calling us back.)

We met with the husband and wife team of Roche + Roche, showed them the current mess of a property and what we envisioned for it. They liked our ideas and ‘got’ what we were looking for: keeping it as natural as much as possible and adding some sitting areas and modern touches. I love the idea of a meandering path to the different sitting areas and additions of colorful, frangrant plants that will add a splash of color to the natural grasses. Dave Roche pointed out that we can have the right angles and linear approach of some modern additions to the landscape that will be nicely offset by the natural curviness of the rock formations that are all over the property. I had never even thought of that. We are excited to have them design our outside oasis.
I’m also excited that we are going to put in a vegetable garden at the side of the house! Finally – me – a gardener! My mother will be so proud. I definitely love the idea of cooking and eating things fresh from our garden. Of course, this will require an enclosed deer proof area and some education on tending a vegetable garden.
Although they don’t exactly fit in with the modern design, we both LOVE the rose bushes on the property. There are about 5 or 6 bushes, some were choked by oleanders which have been cut down. Someone put a lot of love and care into them at one point but they have been sadly neglected and forgotten for some time. Despite the neglect, they are fighters – still blooming like crazy and the fragrant scent of the blooms is intoxicating.

Judging by how old these bushes appear to be and their fighting spirit, we both think it would be a tragedy to remove them.



Welcome to The Napa Project, where I write about our five year remodel of a mid century home in Napa, California.

One thought on “The Cleanup Begins!

  1. I love that you’re blogging about your mid-century remodel in Coombsville. Wow you can see all the way past Mt. Tam? My husband remodeled a Napa home that looks similar to yours (years ago). If you need a deal on windows, let me know! 🙂 I’ll help you meet your winery neighbors when you get a chance. Cheers~

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