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A Tale From The Landscaper’s Wife
This blog is being written by the wife of the landscape contractor who owns Andrew Landscape Construction. Naturally I have a little different perspective of things in this business. My job is to run the office. However, from time to time I have something to say about the actual landscape being put in on a job. In this case, that job would be the landscaper’s own backyard.
Most of you, I’m sure, have heard the story of the cobbler’s children. You remember them, the ones who had no shoes. And why, you may ask, did they have no shoes? That would be because their father was so busy making shoes for everyone else that he had no time to make shoes for his own children. It is a familiar tale, I hear it often from my friends who are married to a contractor of any kind. My friend, who’s married to an electrician couldn’t get a light hung over her dining room table for 6 months. Another friend, married to a general contractor has trouble getting any remodeling done at her own house. Believe me, it’s no different being married to a landscape contractor!
Our house was built more than 26 years ago. At the time we put everything into building the house and had very little left for the landscape. Over the next couple of years, my wonderful, creative, hard working, landscape contractor husband put in irrigation, grass, hardscape, and whatever plants he could find cheaply. Now, I want you know our yard looked ok, not great, but ok. It certainly wasn’t worthy of having any pictures put on our website. If you’re reading this blog you are already on our website and can see the beautiful work Andrew Landscape Construction does and can do for you whether you live in Riverside, Orange, San Bernardino, or Los Angeles County.
I simply wanted the owner of the company to do the same for his lovely wife, so our backyard would have more in common with those pictured on our site. Well, guess what? He finally realized he wanted his own dream garden and decided to make it a reality. Although the reality would take a lot longer than our jobs, due to the fact that work could only be done here on weekends. Weekend time also was put on hold due to our daughter’s Daddy Do List after she bought a home of her own, though that’s a tale for another time. But with the help of our children, some of the world’s best friends, and our great sub-contractors we were able to start on our own website worthy backyard.
Here’s where I had a little input, and I do mean very little. I don’t have the vision, the way Wayne does. He can see what he wants in his mind, put it down on paper, and make it happen. All I knew was I wanted a backyard that looked beautiful, met our needs, and that we could truly enjoy and use for relaxation, whether it was just the two of us or with family and friends. That meant we would need a complete remodel.
First things first. Our pool was 24 years old and looking every bit it’s age. Apparently the life expectancy of pool plaster is somewhat less than 24 years, which would explain why it was popping off in places. So that needed to be drained and redone. Here’s where vision comes in handy. Wayne wanted a water feature added so we could listen to the sound of running water while we sat in the yard. He told me how he was going to put a rock waterfall at one end, with a small stream bed and a bridge to get to the other side of the yard. I looked at him like he was crazy, there’s not enough room I thought. So much for my way of thinking. Not only do we have all this but it looks great! Like something that should be put on our website. We also had the plaster done in a dark gray so it would look more like a lagoon, new tile, poured in place coping, and a gorgeous paver deck to replace the old concrete one that was full of cracks. If you haven’t seen all the new types of pavers available today you are really missing out. I had no idea they came in so many colors, shapes, and sizes. And what a difference it makes over that cracked drab gray concrete.
Because we entertain a great deal and have rather large parties we needed a larger place for people to sit. Wayne wanted to take a part of our sloped yard and put in a large raised wooden deck with a space for a dining room as well as an outdoor kitchen. I’m fairly certain I looked at him like he had multiple heads because I just could not picture this happening. No problem for Wayne, he put it on paper and away he went. Even when he and our son, Tyson, who works for Andrew Landscape also, were putting it in I had trouble picturing the final product. Not to worry, once again, it came out great! If you don’t have an outdoor kitchen and are considering redoing your backyard, I highly recommend putting one in. We use ours quite often. It has a build-in barbecue, a small fridge, and a sink. Many of today’s outdoor kitchens have far more amenities, the choice is yours. A raised bar at one end leaves room for our friends to sit and enjoy a drink and appetizers while talking to my outdoor cook. When dinner is ready to serve, we move over a few feet where we can sit at the dining table covered by a pergola, enjoy a nice meal and a view of the pool and waterfall.
The best place of all, as far as I’m concerned, is the outdoor family room. What a wonderful place! Now we have a solid covered patio which lets us use the space year around, and keeps rain from coming in every time the backdoor is opened during a storm. At one end we have a fireplace with a television up above, so no one misses an important game. Patio furniture these days is greatly improved from the old plastic stacking chairs of yesteryear. It looks like something that could be inside. With a love seat and two chairs, a coffee table and a little side table we have a great area for family and friends to enjoy being outside. The sound of running water from the waterfall is an added plus.
My wonderful, creative, hard working landscape contractor husband had one more trick up his sleeve, landscape lighting. Today’s outdoor lights are incredible! They are low voltage, some are LED lights, and come in a plethora of styles. There is something for every yard and every need, whether you want to light a walkway or up highlight some trees. Our yard looks totally different when the sun goes down. Some people even think it looks more beautiful.
As for the cobbler’s children, I’m not sure they have any shoes yet or if they’ll ever get any but this landscape contractor’s wife has an amazing backyard! It is finally worthy of having some pictures put on our website, as you can see. And I’m told it will look even better when all the planting is done and the plants have a chance to grow and fill in. If you would like to create your own dream garden or entire backyard makeover please give Andrew Landscape Construction a call and see what Wayne, Tyson, and our crew can do for you.