Monday, June 23, 2014

Prettying up the outside

Things are so up in the air right now.  We were on the path to get ready to move this summer, but things fell through on the job hunt for my husband and it looks like we'll be in our house for at least another year.   In the spring we were readying our yard for the big move, adding mulch, new plantings, my MIL even got us a new hedger for my birthday so we could make all of the bushes look professionally trimmed.   So, it's strange that we did so much work just to probably have to do it all again next Spring, but on the other hand we can enjoy it for another year and hopefully an even better job opportunity arises. Besides, our house is definitely kid friendly and there is something to be said for keeping things stress-free until you have to move.   

After I mowed the lawn yesterday, trimmed the bushes one more time, I decided to do a little photography around the outside to have for our house listing (when it comes time.)

Here's a view of our front porch, however it does need another good coat of paint on the floor and down those stairs. That will have to wait until next Spring so it's perfect for the new owners. Joe added new gutter guards over this past weekend.

See that nicely trimmed hedge? It's much lower now than it was.

Our Liriope is looking nice and green (that plant near the walkway.) I love that it comes back every spring and requires little effort.

There's a little gap where the Liriope stops, so I actually got the opportunity to buy one from my son's garden store at school. It's planted in that corner and hopefully it will fill in over time. We used to have a big Crape Myrtle in that corner, but Joe removed it last summer because it was interfering with the siding on our house.

Here's the view from the driveway looking out over our front yard. Our garden just has a few potted plants this summer and some marigolds directly in the ground.  At some point someone should dig out all that existing soil and add some nutrient rich compost.  And by someone I mean not me, LOL.

Here's a shot from the street looking down.  Pretty much everything on our house is new = roof, paint, siding, front door, back door, screens, gutters, lights, etc.

I am going to put in a old shot of our house (taken when we moved in in 2007) just to give you reference. Notice the change!

Here's a view from the street corner with all of those bushes!  They aren't that bad. :)

We planted these butterfly bushes about two years ago and they have gotten huge!  They are easy to trim back and look so pretty when they bloom.

This shot is looking into the front yard from the right corner of the house. I just mowed.  Our front and side hill got $250 worth of hardwood mulch spread across, which still looks pretty nice.

Joe made this rain barrel from a food storage container and it sits in the front of our house where a drain pipe fit over it nicely.  We'll probably remove it for any new owners if they want it removed. It's been great watering the plants from it, especially since the kids can each fill up a bucket and we don't worry about them wasting water.

Our cute front door. Sorry about the "spring wreath" -probably need to make a summer wreath before it's time to hang my Halloween wreath. Can you believe only 3 months until I can put up my black feather wreath again. Is time flying by or is it just me?

This potted flower has done extremely well. I planted it back in early spring and it has been blooming ever since. It helps that my kids water it regularly and it gets plenty of sunshine.

I love that in the summertime it looks like we have complete privacy with all those trees filling in. Our driveway is a great basketball court too.  Can you believe my oldest makes shots from the professional height?

We added $250 worth of cypress chips to the backyard and we didn't want to have it totally mulched so we made a nice square area of grass.  Just beyond the grass we added two gardenia bushes that are currently blooming and make our backyard smell so wonderful. I also took the ugly blue tarp off the wood pile which turns out looks a lot nicer!

So much mulch! I love that my kids don't come in muddy anymore.  They have so much to play with too! A sandbox, a water table/sand box, a play house, and a nice swing set with slide. If any future owners have kids we'll probably leave all of this for them, or just sell it all if they don't want it.

This is our compost bin which I got another shot of.  I think has been a wonderful feature of our yard. Our kids are learning about composting, gardening, and it gives them an easy chore to help with (bringing out the kitchen scraps and burying them.) What child doesn't like to dig?

This back deck view shows the two levels of space where it's been nice to have that extra hard space for lounge chairs and our picnic table above. Plenty of toy storage under the deck as well. That door leads to our storage shed which houses all of our tools and yard equipment.  We added some tiki torches this summer because in year's past we sprayed our entire yard for mosquitoes but this year we are going organic and chemical-free.  Just beyond the fence in that corner I planted some English Ivy that I hoping will grow up the fence and provide more privacy.

Here's a shot looking down at our yard from the deck. Lots of space for the kids and our future dog to run around! More that later! :)

And last but not least, our long slopped driveway. Lots of people think it's "too sloped" but we have learned that it kept our small children in the yard while riding on their tricycles or bikes and didn't slope downward into traffic, which we liked.  We've come to enjoy the slope in the winter when it snows because it made a great sledding area for the kids.  It fits two cars nicely as well with play space left over.

We'll be doing it all over come next spring and hopefully our plantings from this year will come in even more nicely and we'll make even more improvements to help sell our house.  

As of now, I've got a few painting projects up my sleeve and some other changes going on inside the house. Stay tuned!


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