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I am several months behind on posting this one *ahem* but in May my husband and I finally tackled the massive project of landscaping the front yard.  When we moved into the house eight years ago, the yard looked pretty awful.  The bushes out front were long overdue for pruning and were scraggly and uninteresting.  The awning was hideous.  And the rose bushes along the west side of the house were overgrown.  That first year, we took down the awning, pruned the rose bushes and did enough work on the flowerbed that we could plant tomatoes between the rose bushes.  We also ripped out the overgrown bushes in the front because the house looked better without anything at all, even if it was very bland.

Ever since that first year we’ve been eager to improve the front of the house.  In a neighborhood filled with beautiful old homes and incredible landscaping, we felt like ours was out of place.  We’ve been dreaming and planning what we’d do, but it was never a top priority.

After the horrible ice storm last winter the city had more tree branches than they knew what to do with.  They chipped it up into mulch and offered it for free to any city resident.  It got us thinking about the spring yard work we planned to do.  When we went to the home improvement store to get supplies, we checked out their landscaping blocks and found them on sale.  While they weren’t the fancy-shmancy ones we’d been drooling over for years, they were very nice and within our budget.  Like many of our house projects, landscaping the front of the house was a rather impulsive decision.  We’d been planning what we wanted to do for years, but hadn’t planned to do it right then.  However, we knew we’d never find the supplies at a better price, so we jumped at the chance.  On a Friday night we bought the blocks and set them up and the following day my husband and a co-worker picked up mulch.  On Sunday we got a load of topsoil and Monday (Memorial Day) my parents came up to help.  Originally, they’d just planned to help us do some weeding, plant tomatoes, and fill a few hanging baskets with annuals but they were happy to help us get some major work done.

It was exhausting, but by the end of the day we had two half-moon raised flowerbeds in front of the house filled  with well-fertilized soil, landscaping felt, mulch, and some flowers.  We planted hostas, astilbe, a rosebush, and a dwarf hydrangea.  We added the landscaping items we’d collected over the years.  We filled hanging baskets with annuals and a couple of containers with pansies, herbs, kale, and lettuce.  We planted tomatoes in the west bed between the roses, peonies, and bleeding heart.  And then we collapsed.

There is plenty more we need to do.  That obelisk trellis will have clematis climbing up it someday.  The bronze ceramic sculpture (actually a garden stool) will be turned into a fountain.  And there will be a lot more flowers.

The next major project for the house is going to be having a new roof put on.  *groans* It’s the one project we aren’t going to do ourselves.  We just got an estimate for what it will cost and while we do plan to get a few others to be on the safe side, it’s right in line with what we expected.  Painfully expensive.  But a roof isn’t something we can mess around with and it will make a huge difference in the curb appeal of the house.  We’re going to get rid of the hunter green and go with a dark charcoal shingles.  After it’s done, we’ll paint the shutters and front door black.  I think it’ll look nice against the siding, and make the landscaping take center stage.  Oh, and we HAVE to replace that ugly, rusted railing off the front steps.  I’ve been eager to do that since we moved in.  The new one will have cleaner lines and be a nice glossy black.

What projects have you been waiting to do since you moved into the place you live?

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