Our Journey

My husband and I moved into a home almost a year ago.  The house was built a couple of years ago and the only other owner lived there for 8 months.  In the haste of turning around the house for a new owner, he dumped tons of river rocks into the yard, put up a haphazard and cheap fence, and did little to grade or properly landscape the brand new lot.  When we first saw this house last July, we knew that the first priority for us would be the yard.  A big reason the two of us wanted a house was for a yard.  So we negotiated the price of the house down as much as we could and we started saving right away.

Our plan was to have the yard done by now, a year after moving in.  Unfortunately, landscaping is much more expensive than we had imagined.  Due to the fact that many of the things that need to be done included moving tons of river rocks and grading the lot, we knew that we needed professional help.  We had set aside $10,000 thinking that we could get our yard done in that amount.  When we started meeting with landscapers in February of this year, we quickly realized that our project was going to cost much more.  To landscape our little .22 acre lot is going to cost $50 – 60,000.  After recovering from that blow, we have extended our landscaping project timeline.  Now we hope to have it graded and the larger architectural things done by the end of next year and then to finish planting in spring 2018.

We met with three landscapers.  The first one was a great guy that we really felt like we could trust.  Unfortunately, he wasn’t really into design.  We were at a loss of what we could do with the yard, so we really needed a designer.  That brought us to a design and landscaping firm in Ft. Collins.  We met with a designer there a few weeks later.  He was attentive and listened to our needs.  However, right from the start he was rubbing us the wrong way.  He wasn’t very responsive to emails and he was the only one out of the three that didn’t come to see our lot in person.  We had to go up there and meet with him in an office.  He also didn’t follow up with us after the meeting.

Having little luck, we took a few months off.  It was clear by this point that we weren’t going to be able to get this done by the summer, as we had initially hoped.  So we took a step back.  In early June, I felt like tackling the project again and we contacted a landscape company that we had been considering in the first round.  Within a day of the contact, we received an email back.  Quickly we had a meeting scheduled and before we knew it, the landscape designer was in our yard discussing our plans with us.  We were still in the front yard, when I brought up that we wanted plants that were edible and, if they weren’t edible, that they must be native.  His eyes lit up and I heard the word “permaculture” for the first time.  Now, two books and over a month later, I’m hooked.