We are still wrapping up our big laundry/pantry project, but thought I would share some pictures of the rest of our new house in the meantime!
We(and by we, I mean mostly Caleb) have been working so hard on sprucing up the property and are so excited about the improvements! Everything we do, we do a little bit for our own tastes, but a lot for the sake of selling quickly in a few years.
This is what the house looked like the first day or so we got here. Structurally sound, but I thought the placement of the shrubs was odd, and it looked so flat without any way to distinguish the lawn from the bed and the bed from the porch. Caleb was horrified by the weeds–our neighbors have told us the previous residents “mowed” the lawn with a weed eater a couple of times during their occupancy–and the ivy around the tree trunks. Apparently ivy can kill trees eventually, and ours definitely have some dead limbs. Hopefully their recent liberation will improve their health.
The addition of a railing is the most dramatic change, but we also added a layer of retaining wall block around the bed to help create some levels(it’s a little tough to see from this angle and because the grass is on the long side here–oops!). We tore out the shrubs, transplanting all but one mostly dead one to better locations. We felt somewhat limited in trying to find plants that did not call for full sun, so landed with pencil trees for the outer edges, then shrubs between windows, ornamental grasses and flowers beneath windows, and hedge-shrubs around the porch. The good news was, all the plants are on sale in July. The bad news is, that’s because July is not really a good time to plant, so hopefully these ones survive. We also hauled in a ton of topsoil and mulch, and dear Caleb weeded the beds prior to all this work. Within the first three days of moving in, Caleb was up in the trees, cutting off that ivy; a dramatic improvement! Although, to be fair, the natural emergence of foliage is also a dramatic improvement that happened to occur around the same time. All our new neighbors kept popping over and saying, “Be careful!” “Don’t fall!” “Do you want the name of my tree guy?” We did end up using that tree guy to take out this gigantic mulberry tree that was pressing its trunk against the gutter along the side of the house. I don’t have a before picture, but it took three guys with chainsaws three days to get it down, and I was so worried Cody wouldn’t nap at all with all that racket right next to his room, and on the roof above his room, but that was one of the best nap weeks he’s had in months! “Chainsaw lullaby”, Caleb called it. If anyone has any ideas for something cool we could do with this slice of tree trunk, we’ll gladly hear them! Only problem is, it weighs at least 100 lbs. I couldn’t even roll it across the yard. Perhaps we should donate it to our local CrossFit gym, ha ha.
The back yard did and still does look worse than the front, although it was looking pretty good before we had a trench dug through it. I decided this little island was just crying out for a little wall, so we apportioned as much retaining wall block as we could afford to the back. Our sweet neighbor and her three kids helped us move all those blocks from the pallet in the front to the back, and those things are heavier than they look! We were going to use this wheelbarrow that had been left on the property, but realized the rubber was completely disconnected from the support of the tire, so Caleb had this great idea to make it a planter in our new little flower bed! I love it! Caleb also recently decided to move up from the compact to the full-size Weber grill and I said we should turn the old grill into a planter(built-in drainage!) but he sold it on Craigslist instead. The after picture also shows the firewood drying/storage rack Caleb made, in the corner there, and two pallets from the retaining wall block. For years, I’ve seen these “make a pallet coffee table” “make a pallet ottoman” “make a pallet bunk bed” type posts on Pinterest, and wondered where all these people come up with all these pallets!? Now we’ve got two and no clue what to do with them, but I guess we won’t just toss them! I think we(and by we I mean mostly Caleb–I just do the designing and the painting) may just deconstruct them to make some little side tables for the porch, but will also gladly hear pallet ideas. 🙂