19 May 2012

Curb Appeal: Part 1

I declared a few weeks ago that the front of our house needed some serious help (read all about it here).  Our original intent wasn't to start tackling the landscaping until mid summer.  We have a budget that we set aside for projects and this particular project didn't have any budget until at least July.  Once all the snow was gone though and I was forced to look at the ugliness every day and I just couldn't handle it any longer.  I agreed to sacrifice a few things in the new office so that we could start working on the outside of the house ASAP.

Last weekend the weather was beautiful so while Fin was napping we decided to go outside to just pull out a few weeds. One thing led to another and we ended up with this....

house front

Yup, a few weeds led to the ugly bush and the peony plants being yanked out along with all of the edging.

Before I get into the guts of it though, I need to take a moment to share my latest and greatest discovery.  I have no idea if it has an actual name, but I call it the weed eater.

Weed Picker

We have pretty much ignored our lawn for 2 years. I have tossed fertilizer on it here and there, but have been really bad at the follow through.  As a result, our lawn is totally inundated with dandelions.  Last year I sprayed them all with some horrible chemical stuff, but it didn't work and after hibernating for the winter they re-emerged with avengance a few weeks ago.

Since the chemicals didn't work the first time, I wasn't about to spend more money on them (and also I am scared Fin will eat the grass....).  My in-laws are moving and let us pilfer through their garage and take what we could use. We took the weed eater. I hadn't used one before so I had no idea what it was capable of.  Well, let me tell you.....it's A-MA-ZING.  Just plunge it down on top of the weed, step on the little platform and pull it out on an angle. Magically it lifts the whole weed out. Then you get to do a sort of cha-ching movement (Mr. Swell says it's like cocking a gun...but I have no idea what that's really like) and the teeth open and the weed drops to the ground.

Here's one of my victims.

pulled weed

Then I was on a ROLL....

a bunch of weeds

The satisfaction of pulling those weeds out was something else. I was a happy girl.

Ok, back to the planter in the front of the house....

Here's a reminder of how it looked before. Bad, really bad.

Front of House Under Windows

While I was pulling out weeds Mr. Swell removed the spirea bush and the two dead peony plants.  Then, since he was also on a roll he decided to just go ahead and rip out the edging that he loathed.   He also straightened out the curvy planter bed so that it was a nice rectangle.  Our house is as much of a box as a house can get, so it only made sense that the planter bed also had nice square lines.

house front up close

We didn't stop there though. Fin was still sleeping, so we had to take advantage of the time. We dug a 'ditch' along one side of the sidewalk.

flower bed along sidewalk  

The plan is to fill it with soil so that it's level with the sidewalk and then plant some flowers in there. I am hoping that it will priovde some much needed colour to the front of house, and will make our lawn look just a little different than everyone else's on the street.

Just as the last little bit of 'ditch' was being dug the nap ending cry came across the monitor. We packed it in the for the day and headed back inside.

Here's the list of what still needs to get done in the front:
- Edging for the planter under the windows
- Edging for the new planter row along the sidewalk
- New bushes for under the windows
- Flowers, flowers, and more flowers
- New front porch light fixture
- New mailbox
- Paint the front door
- Paint the front porch with a slip proof paint.

Phew, makes me tired just typing it, and I haven't even touched yet on the back yard. Just wait until you see that.....I have to get over my embarassment first and decide if I really want to share it with the world.

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