I’m working my way through three years of landscaping photos to get a good collection to show you what we’ve done to the house. The front yard landscape before/after is coming soon, but first, I had to write about this: Right below our front windows, we uncovered a fountain and basin that stretched from the driveway to the sidewalk. And it was completely buried. What the?
Let me backtrack. When we moved in, we knew the front yard needed help. I didn’t mind the makeshift rock garden out front, but when giant weeds started growing, we moved ahead with the Big Plan.
BEFORE: Nice rock and weed garden, eh? AFTER: Window wells straightened, buried fountain unearthed and gone… now on to the landscape!
So we let the “grass” die that first summer. Why water what was 80 percent weeds anyway? Other front-yard bonuses included overgrown scratchy bushes, crooked window wells, a narrow cracked sidewalk and stumps that had to be removed by machinery.
The sidewalk was the first to go. On Easter 2011, my husband rented a concrete cutter and ripped it out. We bought lovely, rectangular pavers on sale at Santa Fe Sand & Gravel, which became our local go-to rock store. But before we could tackle anything else in the front, the crooked windows wells bugged my design-perfectionist husband too much to proceed to the fun stuff. So he started digging up the window wells to replace them. We bought new ones but didn’t use them. The concrete originals were all still in good shape and really, look better with the style of the house.
The first sign that something lurked beneath were in the rocks themselves. Some of them were cemented together! We quickly found out that there was something buried underneath all that dirt. And unfortunately, it wasn’t buried treasure.
We unearthed concrete that stretched from the driveway to the old sidewalk. That’s probably at least 20 feet long. And at the lowest level, there was a square basin for, we assume, the pump. The basin grew more shallow heading north toward the sidewalk. At one point after realizing what it was, we even thought about trying to repair it. Nah!
We dug it all up. Straightened the window wells with pea gravel and moved right along, as you can see from the above “after” photo.
We asked a few long-time neighbors if they remembered a fountain. No one did. Not even neighbors who were kids at the time and should have been tempted to dip their toes in the cool water. If anyone out there remembers this or, better yet, has a photo, please let me know!
Take a look at some photos during our fountain-unburying process:
Straightening window wells.
The first signs of buried treasure.
Definitely no buried treasure here.
The ditch left by the buried concrete fountain and basin.
See the pipes? Wonder what the fountain looked like in its heyday?
A man in a big ditch.
Thanks previous neighbor for burying your trash!