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Last summer we got our house painted and updated the portico.  The update feels fresh and clean compared to the powder blue this house once was.  You know how refreshing one thing makes the other needed updates stand out even more?  That’s how we’ve felt about our front landscaping ever since the house went white.  The fresh color made the tired plants look even more sad.  Our personal goal in the next few months is to tackle the front landscaping.  Creating beds that grow to be the traditional, formal style I love will definitely make our house shine.

Along with the plantings being overgrown and thin, the design of the grass running through the right bed isn’t in line with the traditional feel I want.  There is also a lot of dead space, possibly for annuals to be planted, but I’d prefer to keep annuals in pots and leave the perennials to do the ground work.

While we’re at it, the south side needs some attention.  The rose bushes I planted a few years ago have all come down with a virus not to mention are eaten up every year by Japanese beetles…are you luck enough to have those too?  I’ve been told that once an area is infected by the virus you can’t grow roses there for the foreseeable future.

I also have plans to turn this patch of grass on the north side of the yard into a bed.  The tree on the other side of the fence provides enough shade that grass has trouble growing.  Plus, this is the side people enter to come swimming, and I’d love to add some additional interest to greet guests.

Do you see how the ivy bushes on the right side are bigger and fuller than the ones on the left?  Or how the bushes under the sunroom windows get bigger as they get away from the large tree in our front yard?  If you look at the image below, you’ll see a sampling of the many branches we have in our yard at all times.  The river birch is a beautiful tree, but it sure is messy.  Limbs break with the slightest gust of wind.  Among the many things it drops all year long, we start seeing leaves on the ground in July – making our yard look autumnal most of the summer.  The river birch is ideally growing next to a body of water hence its name to be happy, and I don’t think this one is.  Besides the mess, its roots are almost at our house: a threat to our foundation with very expensive consequences.

Tonight Micah is cutting this tree down.  I have to say, I was totally against it at first.  It’s been here since I moved into the neighborhood as a kid over 25 years ago.  I remember the family that lived here then had a Saint Bernard that was often chained up to it.  One time that dog broke from his chain while my brother and I were were rollerblading, and it chased us the whole way home!

My childhood memories of it may not be the most fond, yet while living here the tree has provided nice shade to our home on warm summer mornings, and I love the interest it brings.  But I think it’s important for our home and the future landscaping that it comes down.  We hope to plant another tree towards the corner of the lot sometime soon.  One that is a bit less messy and will  Once the tree is down we’ll start digging up the plants, and we are scheduled to get an irrigation system next month.  Hallelujah!  My summer mornings spent moving sprinklers are almost over.  I’m excited to share the plans for the new landscaping with you soon!

Are you tackling any outdoor projects right now, or have any you’d like to check off our list this summer?  I’d love to hear about them!




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