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Monday, August 5, 2013

the courtyard


Thank you so much for all your wonderful birthday and anniversary wishes from last week!  Dan and I were so touched and loved reading your comments and emails!
Thank you!



I was so surprised to realize that its been two years since we landscaped and I've shown you the courtyard!





To take you back to the very beginning and provide a little "before-and-after," this is what the courtyard (as we call it) looked like when we bought the house.




This is the courtyard after phase I (the farmhouse) and phase II (the barn) of the renovation.  The first thing we did in the yard (after having all our antique maples looked at and trimmed by an arborist) was to install french drains around the entire house- you can see the gravel along the edge in this photo.  One of those not fun expenditures, but one that after it's done and your basement doesn't leak anymore you are so glad you spent the money!




Next we added the ion "planter."  You can read the story here.




Then we landscaped... here.  
This is what it looked like when I last showed you the space.




And this is what the courtyard looks like today...




The large iron orb with variegated euonymus hides the top of our artisanal well.




The courtyard and adjacent "living room bed" is planted in all white (with the exception of the light purple from the hostas when they flower.)  I have color in other shrubs and perennials around the property, but I love all-white beds and how calming it looks next to the antique farmhouse.  The lilac, which is original, also blooms white.
 Initially, there were native orange day lilies along the side of the barn. After the first season and I realize how quickly they started to look bad after blooming I transplanted them on the property and planted Bombshell hydrangeas in their place. 
The iron planter gets planted with annuals each year.  This year Kimberly Queen ferns (which take full sun by the way) and white Bacopa share the planter.  Behind the planter Limelight hydrangeas were planted to hide the air conditioning units.  A vintage armillary sphere peaks out from behind the Limelights.




The annual bed between the courtyard and the living room bed is planted with green-leafed white begonias, white geraniums and white impatiens.  The large rock in the back holds two small heart-shaped rocks- one place there as a gift for me by Dan and the other I found for him:)




You can see how the moonflower vine is making its way across the cross-bar on the new trellis!  
The funny story of the trellis here.




Right around the corner from the trellis, behind the limelight hydrangeas, is an espaliered apple tree (need to work on training the top a bit;) that is already bearing fruit.  It is seen from the kitchen window and the upstairs windows that look down on the courtyard.




The courtyard...




and, the living room bed.





So, once again before...




and after!


hope you are having a great summer!


71 comments:

  1. Your home is gorgeous as well as the outside! I can't wait to finish our inside projects, so I can focus more on our outside.

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  2. It's beautiful. You've shown bits and pieces, but never the whole view. I enjoyed that!

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  3. everything is simply beautiful joan and i loved the story of the heart shaped rocks...a few years ago my 9 year old granddaughter gave me some itty bitty rocks which i carry with me in the zipper part of my wallet....she always checks to be sure they are in there! we call them my "special rocks" and I can't think of any gift she could give me that would mean more to me.

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  4. Just gorgeous! How rewarding to look back on the befores! Your garden is filled with all of my favorites, and I also love a white and green garden. We're in the very beginning stages of landscaping our backyard which is filled with lots of quirky beds - this is wonderful inspiration.

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  5. Wow, just WOW!
    Thank you for your comments Joan.
    I totally agree with you on the exterior lighting regarding down lights vs. up lights!
    Having your opinion means the world to me, so Thank you!!!
    XO

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  6. Very pretty. I love that you have the lilac that's always been there.

    Let me know how the espalier thing goes. I've wanted to get a few for the back porches to create some shade but wonder if I'm getting myself in deep with something that needs a lot of care and pruning.

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    Replies
    1. I've had it all summer Steve, and so far its been an easy keeper!

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  7. Oh my, the courtyard is beautiful! I LOVE the all white! It does look spectacular against the farmhouse. Love the idea of the 2 heart shapped rocks, now I will be looking for some:) Have a great week!

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  8. I live here in NH as well and I'm wondering how you keep your hostas from becoming lunch for the deer.
    Your landscaping is beautiful. I always enjoy your posts.

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    1. Thankfully (and it's a BIG thankfully;) the deer stay out in the trees past the meadow and don't come up to the house. There is a product that gets rave reviews called "Deer Out" that is natural. Perhaps Ella's presence (smell)helps keep them at bay?!

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  9. Your home is lovely and your gardens --wow what a difference!! I am just starting a landscape project at my own home! i hope mine tuns our half as wonderful as yours!! xo Leslie

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  10. I am in awe at how much you have accomplished in two years! I am inspired to drop my drawing pencil, run outside and finally rip out the old dog run that Sally and I have been talking about doing for the last two years...

    Cheers,
    John

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  11. No summer here, last month of winter and with Spring just around the corner your garden is very inspiring. Love what you have done.

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  12. Hi Joan,
    I just love the giant iron orb! Especially with the greenery trailing it. It is all gorgeous. Have a great rest of your summer.
    Fondly-Lisa

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  13. Joan your courtyard is so lovely. But then again the entire house is too, inside and out.
    Beautiful.
    Lisa
    Leeshideaway.blogspot.com

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  14. Your courtyard is looking so pretty! Do you have plans to enclose it with some sort of a fence? When I think of a courtyard I think of an enclosed space. I don't know if that's right or not. Anyway....either way....it looks lovely!! I love the hydrangeas and all the other pretty plants you've planted. What a peaceful place to look out on from inside. :)

    Gail

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    1. No, we won't be adding a fence. There are several definitions online for a courtyard... one being "A courtyard or courtyard-style patio has walls on at least three sides and provide seclusion and privacy, even if is positioned in the center of a house." It's really just what we named the area, we name everything to make it easier to have conversations!:)

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  15. Joan,
    It's so much fun to see how much the garden has grown. I'm always amazed at the transformation from a newly planted space to the beauty of nature's hard work and growth over a relatively short period of time. I really like the way the iron planter turned out and the hydrangea as a back drop to the courtyard is perfect.
    Great design and planning!
    Summer has been unseasonably cool here in Southern California (which is fine by me) but I'm sure it will heat up in August and early September.
    Karen

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  16. Absolutely beautiful! Please come to Georgia and do my sadly neglected yard! :)

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  17. It looks lovely...so serene! ;)

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  18. Absolutely beautiful! The whole setting is enchanting. I am sure fairies dance under those rocks and plants. Seriously, I cannot decide which I like best, the interior or exterior. It is all so calm and relaxing. xoxo Kisses to Ella.

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  19. Courtyard looks great. I checked planter story that would have been me...look garden art! I never noticed the upper windows on main house before, those multi pane windows must be original to the house. We appear to be over out heat wave...19 days over 90 degrees here in R.I. so summer be nice now.

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    1. Yes, those are original to the house and very unusual too. I've not seen others "exactly" like them. Thank goodness the heat wave broke- it was miserable, wasn't it;)

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  20. I don't know if anyone else would be interested in this, but could you talk more about your French drain system? Describing it, the cost, how well does it work, etc.

    Love your blog!
    Monica

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    1. Monica & Ann, The purpose of our French drain was to move water out and away from the foundation. A trench was dug around the foundation of the house (our installer did this by hand and using a back hoe.) Then a perforated plastic pipe (pipes ranged from 6" diameter to much larger depending on the roof run off in a particular location) that was wrapped in an (exterior) fabric (which keeps the solids- rocks/roots, etc. from clogging the holes in the pipe) was placed in the trench and the pipe was surrounded (bottom/sides/top) with crushed stone. The pipes run a distance out from the house so that the water drains in the yard and not at the foundation.
      If my memory serves me correctly, the cost was approximately $2,500.
      Yes, it is very efficient in draining the water and not letting it sit at the foundation, or worse- draining into the basement.

      You might be interested in this article on French drains... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_drain

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  21. much older sister SusanAugust 5, 2013 at 5:57 PM

    Joanie and Dan,

    Just beautiful! I LOVE Before and Afters!!! I recognize the orb from Dallas. My orb that y'all gave me looks great too!

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  22. Just lovely. I wold expect nothing less from you and Dan.
    XO, Victoria

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  23. Such an amazing transformation!! It shows how much good prep work pays off in the end. Everything has filled in and it's hard to believe it was so overgrown only 2 years ago! So happy to hear you had a wonderful anniversary :D

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  24. Oh to live where landscaping thrives. Or even survives. Yours is gorgeous. It's the one thing we miss sooo much.

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  25. Wow Joan...those hostas really took off and grew fast! Looks beautiful. Sara, Ohio

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  26. Happy belated Special Days. I love the tour, looks great. The orb is wonderful. Thanks for sharing, Kathy

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  27. Joan,

    As usual everything looks wonderful! Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful home and garden with us. I always look forward to your post!

    Pam

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  28. You simply do everything well and with taste. This is no exception. Well done!

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  29. simply gorgeous! i remember the story of your planter. :)

    smiles to you.

    michele

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  30. Gorgeous... told the Mister that I want to move to NH from Texas... 100+ degrees... you're not missing much!

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  31. I'd be interested in knowing more about the French drain, too. I've read about them online, but wondered how yours worked.

    Wonderful blog!

    ~Ann

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    1. Ann, I wanted to make sure that you saw that I responded about the French drains above ^ in the comment from Monica!

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  32. So beautiful, what a transformation. Lots of inspiration here, I love the iron planter bursting with greenery.

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  33. You have just made my to-do list grow! I am working on reclaiming my house and yard after a few years of neglect due to my fathers illness and death. I feel like I am finally coming out of a long fog, and seeing things with new eyes! You have really given me lots of inspiration. Thank You!

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  34. es un exterior muy lindo, un jardin precioso !

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  35. Thank you for showing that. I was just looking at all your landscape projects yesterday. I love all-white gardens and yours is particularly lovely.

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  36. Joan, Dan,and Ella: Beautiful! Cindy

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  37. Joan, I just love seeing the fruits of your labor! Everything has filled in nicely and seeing your limelight hydrangeas reminds me to plant some. They are gorgeous and fit so beautifully with your color scheme.

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  38. Beautiful transformation. Your blog always inspires me!! :)

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  39. Inspiring as always Joan. Having seen this yard in person, I can attest to how lovely and truly perfect this garden is for the overall ambiance of your amazing home. I particularly love the orb Dan made, and the euonymus that you have growing below and around it to cover the well. And the iron planter with the ferns ... which remind me of the dinner you made, and the lovely table you set!!
    xoxo,
    A

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    1. Artie, Actually that's the orb we bought at Canton (that huge flea market in Texas) and drove it home on the top of our SUV! We had to go really slow and drive the hour and a half home on the side road of the freeway- the orb is really large (about 4';) and we looked like we were trying to communicate with aliens!!) Got a lot of funny looks that day:) That dinner was so fun, and the original plant that I cut the ferns from has grown back and when I see it, it reminds me of you!

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  40. I love limelights---the color is just beautiful and looking at the courtyard pictures in itself were just......restful! Beautiful job.

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  41. Joan it's gorgeous !!!! Hope you have a wonderful rest of the week

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  42. Hi Joan
    Sorry I'm a little late with the congratulations on your 25th wedding anniversary. I hope you had a wonderful celebration. The courtyard looks beautiful and it really has grown so much in 2 years. Love the fabulous decorative touches it all looks so perfect. What a great place to enjoy a stroll or a glass of wine at the end of the day.
    Kind Regards
    Karen

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  43. Your courtyard and the bedding by the living room is stunning! Beautiful job!!

    Maggy

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  44. You guys have done such a great job with the landscaping...I have a few Kimberly Queen ferns and they're 20 years old! They'll take morning sun only here, but they are so easy and beautiful! They've even come back after freezing back :)

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  45. It's beautiful and I love that iron planter!

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  46. Absolutely gorgeous, Joan! I love seeing the "evolution" of your stunning home!

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  47. Fabulous Joan... WHat a difference some planting (and good drainage) makes... Beautiful... xv

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  48. Very pretty!!!
    Denise

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  49. Joan it all looks divine! Love the all white look. The plants look healthy and the overall landscape is perfect. You are a sentimentalist at heart...love the heart shaped stones you've placed on the rock.

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  50. Absolutely gorgeous! Your courtyard has given me a new look for my side yard. Thank you again for sharing. I smile each time there's a new blog from you.

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  51. this landscape designer says bravo!
    how ingenious with your well "cover", i will borrow that idea
    xx
    debra

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  52. So green...and lush....and growing! Lovelywith the all white! And a late happy Anniversary! Our 25th is this year too!

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  53. Fantastic! We just started redoing our landscaping too- I actually just posted about phase 1 on my blog today! I got a lot of flower ideas from this post for phase 2 so thank you!!

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  54. It's such fun to see before and after shots, Joan. Thank you for sharing yours. What a pretty landscape you have. I bought a Kimberly Queen fern for our shady front porch this year and it's doing beautifully!
    Claudia

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  55. Would you consider doing a "walk-around" the outside of your home, taking pictures all the way, so we could see the sides of the house and the gardens as if you are taking us on an outdoor tour? It would help put the outside of the house in perspective. Thanks for all the pretty and inspiring pictures you share - I appreciate how you are willing to wait for just the right thing and then you enjoy it so much!
    Debi from Amery, WI

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  56. The courtyard is absolutely breath-taking! Keep doing what you're doing!

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  57. Wow, what an amazing labor of love your home is. You have fabulous taste and it shows in everything the two of your have accomplished with your lovely home. I must be taking the wrong kind of vitamins cause I sure don't have that kind of energy! lol

    Inquiring minds want to know, are you still happy with the jute rug you bought for the barn room. We've got to purchase something soon for our great room (not nearly as GREAT in size as yours) and we have fairly dark hardwood floors. We already fight fur from the tan fur babies and I don't want to create a new headache for myself. Thank!

    Laurie

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    1. yes, very happy- love the rug. I wrote about it in the comment section of the barn room details post.

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  58. well, I'm probably way late. time flies. You probably won't see this question but what is the bump out in your court yard? It is not original to the house as it is not there in early photos but I can't find where you talk about it? It is the white structure against the gray?

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    1. This is a half bath. (click "the barn half bath" photo on my sidebar to take you to the post for this space.) You are correct, we did add this space as there was no bathroom on the main floor. It is accessed from the barn room.

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    2. Perfect! inside and out! I love houses! and especially old houses.

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