I just got off the phone with our roofer. On Monday they start replacing our roof.
[Cue horror movie music ...]
I took this photo in January of 2006. It features the front of our house, which faces West. You can see the front garden area and most of the front gable. The South side of the house has one of the side gabled dormers and a wide, sunny border between the house and the driveway.
In our case, because of the multiple layers of shingles accumulated over the years, "replacing the roof" means tearing off the entire roof, including the original cedar shingles, circa 1900, down to the rafters and furring strips. It also means a big mess on all sides of the house, especially the north and south sides sloping down from the gables.
Here's an aerial view from the rear/East side of the house, courtesy of Microsoft Live Maps. This gives you a much better idea of the layout and size of the roof. The Flickr photo page has notes explaining the features visible in this photo.
We expect this project to last about a month, give or take. The roofer has promised to build sheds over the gardens to protect them. I hope so, yet I'm not counting on it to save everything and I can live with some damage. We knew when we had the house inspected 2-1/2 years ago before going into contract that we would have to do this. I've been holding off for two years on any big gardening plans which would be affected by this job.
The backyard won't be affected much. I'll setup a plant refugee camp there for anything which needs to move, including all the containers at the front of the house. I've already transplanted some plants from the ground into containers or to beds which are at lower risk of damage. They should be fine for a month.
We'll see what happens! Watch for periodic updates.