Home Sweat Home: The Outside

You’ve seen a lot of the inside of our home, but I haven’t given you a grand tour of the outside. It’s almost just as nutty. To keep from overwhelming you, let’s focus on the front for today. There is a lot going on, no? If you can spot our house through the foliage, it’s tan and cream. I want it gray, gray, gray. Someday.

We have seven trees in the front yard alone, not counting random other bushes. The “jungle”, as I like to call it, is quite pretty with lots of color and dimension but I don’t think the folks before us gave much thought to the fact that all of these trees will grow bigger (and deeper) and they would eventually overtake the house and possible the sewer, depending on the root situation. We have our work cut out for us.

Let’s start with the mammoth pine tree on the side of the house. Do you see how BIG? It’s heavy branches are literally resting on the roof. Roofs don’t like that, you see.

Even though it was the backdrop for my baby bump updates, this big guy has to go. I’m hoping to get that taken care of this summer. I want it ALL gone, stump included. I’ve peeked back behind and there is a small little side yard that I’d like to plant day lillys or something sweet. Right now, it boasts only shade (and a crumpled tarp?) but with the big guy gone I think could be a sunny place for perennials. I’d also like to figure out a prettier way to store our trash, recycle and compost bins. It’d be nice to hide them behind some *small* bushes instead of them hanging out in the driveway for all to see (and smell?). As for the driveway? I’d like it to be a gorgeous cobblestone instead of the two-toned uneven thing we’re working with right now.

If you walk up the drive way, you see this to your left:

It’s very “full”. I actually enjoy the path but it’s all a little mad. We’ve got a white sidewalk, tan scalloped edgers (not my favorite), red square pavers, big random rocks (me likey) and on the other side, a jumble of smaller red brick pavers leading out to the front yard. As for the living items, we’ve got plenty of those too. It may not look like it, but I’ve done a ton of weeding out here the last two summers.

My eventual if-I-had-a-million-dollars kind of plan is to build a side porch in front of the big window. I would like to overhaul the sidewalk, get rid of the different pavers (especially the scalloped ones) and have a more cohesive design. That’s obviously a long time (and a million dollars) from now.

And these pretties have overtaken everything. I love them, but one day I’ll have to tame them back. My MIL says these are creeping phlox – any pro plant people know?

On to our front door. The door itself needs replacing since it sticks and the weather stripping is falling out of the sides. In addition to that, there are other issues:

The bushes to the left are overgrown and scraping the heck out the screens on the windows. We have paint flaking off from Halloween, when I put a sign up encouraging kids to take our candy but please, please don’t ring the doorbell! Doorbells are NOT new-mommies-with-finicky-sleeping-babies’ friends. We’ve got ours taped over which is so classy. Our sprinkler hoses live in a scary spider inviting pile. It’s very messy. Let’s move on.

Here is the view from our front door:

See the small red pavers? Go ahead and try not to twist your ankle on them. You can’t tell very well but our yard is weirdly shaped with the scalloped edgers. There are strange strips of grass and a whole lot of mulch and trees. Although tiny, it’s quite difficult to get this mowed. Here is a better view:

I just want to clean things up around here.

I want to remove the massive pine tree, those crappy bushes by the fire hydrant and most of the mulch and edging. I want stick with cleaner lines and fill in the area under the hopefully-gone-pine tree with grass/perennials or something to pretty up the wasteland that is there right now.

I know, I know. It’s a of work. It’s a lot of time. It’s a LOT more money. I don’t have much of any of those at this moment. But, I figured I should show you The Beginning. I think our approach will be one or two big items per summer. Last summer, I didn’t even have one pot of flowers but Amelie and I are still alive. That was my big thing, survive the summer. This year, I’m hoping to remove some trees and fix up our deck in back. Speaking of which, want to see a post like this on the backyard?

Where did everybody go?


10 thoughts on “Home Sweat Home: The Outside

  1. Of course I want to see the backyard and what you want to do back there. I love all of your plans for the front yard. A little bit a year amounts to a tremendous amount in just 10 years. It goes by like a flash! lv mamap

    • A little bit at a time. The flowers we picked out during your last visit are doing so well and make me happy. They add life and color to my day!

  2. Great round up! The front yard is overwhelming to me, and the backyard is even worse. I’m glad you’ve got some good plans, because thinking about this just makes me want to get some ice cream instead.

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