Upcoming Project: Landscaping

Warning: Photo overload.

It’s no secret.  We bought this house for the yard.

030Our last house was a cookie cutter, dropped to literally bake in the middle of a concrete jungle.  When we finally sold it, we knew that our next house would be more about the “setting” than the house itself.  We wanted a connection to the outdoors, and a reason to be in it.

We definitely accomplished that with this one. Not only is it beautiful, but it’s also a lot of work.  Back breaking, sweaty work.   But it’s so worth it.

084You can ask me how I feel about that after the next few weeks, though.  We are starting on a landscaping update that will save our wallets, but break our backs.

Let’s start with a tour, as it stands in it’s current condition…

We live on a corner lot, and we back to a small creek, leaving us with what is definitely our biggest “pro”: the view and the size (relatively good-sized for our area).  This is our view out the back of the house.  It’s not all in full bloom right now, but just wait a few weeks.

021That cactus.  When you open the front door, your eye goes straight to it.


The wisteria started blooming this week, and it’s all I can stare at.  Last year we had to pull out so much overgrowth that it never bloomed.  Not an issue this year.  It covers an arbor that before we pruned, we couldn’t even see.  Now it’s hard to know if the wisteria is holding up the arbor, or if the arbor is holding up the wisteria.

And then you turn to the left, and you’ll see our biggest challenge:  Privacy.

074Along with a golf course community comes iron fences.  Yay for the view on the outside.  Nay for the view from the inside.  And since we can’t add a privacy fence, we are coming up with alternative options.  A challenge, yes, but I’m just so grateful to have a yard like this to play in that I will gladly accept it.  Here’s what we are going to attempt to build this weekend…

arbor bench…or something like it.  I scored some fence panels from the Habitat for Humanity Resale Store a few weeks ago, and our plan is to basically build something like this, and wrap the back and sides in horizontal fencing to mimic a lattice.  I think it’ll not only tackle one of our biggest problem spots, but it will become a focal point at the bottom of the path, and create a perch for taking in the view.

040Now let’s take a walk…

031This little meandering pathway sold me the first time I walked it.076078041Sure, sure.  There’s other areas we need to improve, and while privacy is somewhat of an issue, the iron fence does connect us with our neighbors.  Almost every time I’m out there working, neighbors stop by and say hello.  I don’t mind them taking a peek.  It’s too pretty not to share.  Or at least it will be.

036Here’s the arbor with that glorius wisteria…

051053058It grows high and low.062Here’s another problem spot: this corner is completely open for all to see.  I plan to add some more artsy privacy screening, like old shutters and hanging pots.  I got this awesome fern at Walmart the other day, and if they had more I’d have gotten them.  I think a few strategically placed hanging plants could do the trick, and it couldn’t be easier or cheaper.

097I’ve been adding hanging plants in random spots all week

090093But now that I’ve done so, I’m completely infatuated.  I want to hang them from every limb.

Well, that’s it for the backyard.  We also plan to tackle some spots in the front yard in the coming weeks, but I’ll save that for another post.  For now, I’ll be resting up and making a materials list.

Wish us luck!



Weekly Menu, and Foyer Progress

I didn’t post my weekly menu yesterday because it’s pretty lame.  We’ve got a few busy nights, and so I just put the menu together using some leftover meals we didn’t cook from the last couple of weeks.


Over the weekend, I continued painting the foyer.  Unfortunately, with these tall ceilings, I couldn’t finish.  I’ll have to call in the pros for that.  Before, it was dirty builder’s beige.  Now it’s bright, clean Agreeable Gray (Sherwin Williams).  (Sorry for the poor quality pic here).

foyer progress 2As you can see, I still don’t have it fully styled.  Believe it or not, this is one of the last rooms we’ve touched since we moved in a year and a half ago.  It’s got a ways to go, but the new paint is a good start.  Although the console isn’t exactly the right scale for that tall wall, it stays.  It was one of the first pieces of good furniture we bought together when we bought our first house.  But, I’ve got some ideas for making it work.  Hopefully I’ll be able to share that in the coming weeks.

foyer progress 6What I’m going for is an atrium feel.  With the skylight and tall ceilings, it’s got so much natural light that it’s perfect for my plants to thrive…if I could keep the naughty kitty out of them.  Poor Oscar was twice this size.  (Does anyone else name their plants???)

As you can see, we are still dealing with the lovely green marble and white tile floors.  I’m afraid there’s not much I can do about that either.  Until we get to replace them, we just have to live with them.  I think this is the room that will definitely benefit the most from some beautiful new wood floors.  Until then…ignore them!  That’s what I do.

I bought the cool new black and white planter from Homegoods yesterday.  I was going for something graphic and a little modern, since the piano and table of my grandmother’s were starting to make this spot feel like…well…my grandmother’s.  I’ve got plans for the glass terrarium.  The stones were painted by my kids and their grandmother last summer.  I plan to add some smaller rocks and some succulents.  I also want to change out the picture frames, but I’m trying to use what I’ve got.  I can’t replace it all at once.  I’m thinking my next project for this spot, though, will probably to recover that piano bench.  The red is too much for me on top of the rug.  It stays.

foyer progress 4I’ve also seen some peeps painting baskets.  I think this one could use some work.  I scored it on the cheap a while back, and it’s size is perfect for storing our hats, mittens, and scarves.

I also painted the front door, which someday we will replace, but in the meantime the same Urbane Bronze that we used on the kitchen cabinets warms it up in the same way wood would.  That’s fun to say. Wood would.

Anyways, it’s an improvement.  Or, a step forward, at the least.

foyer progress 5

Thanks for stopping by.