Saturday, June 23, 2012

1 1/2 Years

 As of today, June 23, 2012, we have been in our new home for 18 months.  Wow, that seems so hard to believe!  What seems even harder to believe is how much we've done to this house since we bought it a year & a half ago & how different it looks now.  Not only on the inside since we've painted almost every room, put in new countertops, new appliances, etc., but look at the outside differences. The above picture was taken the day we put our offer in on the house....would you have purchased this house with the grass looking like that???  Granted, it was in November, but still....we thought for sure we were going to have to completely re-sod the entire yard....seriously, it was that bad!  But look at it now, a mere 18 months later (yeah, I should have closed the garage door before taking this picture, huh?):
We have grass! And it's green :)  And it's growing like crazy!  Our secret....fertilizer :)  But not just any fertilizer....Triple 19 fertilizer.  This stuff is AWESOME!  Our grass is so thick & soft now & to think, we thought it was hopeless.  We also just got our sprinkler system working this year....the previous owners actually took the controller box when they moved out....seriously!?!  So after installing a new box & a new back flow (the old one was rusted out), we have 11 wonderful zones of sprinklers....yep....11!  The sprinkler guy said they kinda went overboard with all the sprinkler heads we have, but then he also said it's better to have too many than not to have enough.  Now I'm just scared to see my water bill!  YIKES!  But it'll be worth it cause my grass loves it & so do all of my new gardens :)

We're in the process of getting quotes for our next project(s)....a stamped concrete walkway going from the driveway along the side of the garage to the step area.  And eventually, a deck, although that project may be waiting another year.....or two.....or three.  But all in all, we absolutely love our home & our feels so good to be 'home' :)


Thursday, June 14, 2012

One Month Later...

...and my gardens are blooming like crazy! If you go back & compare the pictures I posted a month ago to what they look like now, you can really see the difference, especially with these huge Hostas along the side of our house....they have literally doubled, maybe even tripled, in size since last month. But they probably won't be here much longer....either in the fall or next spring, I plan on removing them, separating them & either giving most, if not all, of them away or moving them to the other side of the house & completely redo these beds....that is, if I have any energy left when that time comes around! Gardening is tiring!
 Along the side of the garage, I took out the bird bath & added a beautiful lavender rose bush where the bird bath was plus I added 2 pink Double Knock Out rose bushes.  The Rose of Sharons are finally turning green.
I placed the bird bath in the front flower bed that's along the side of the driveway & sidewalk.  I also moved the Lilac Bush from here because I was afraid it would get too big & added another Knock Out rose bush in it's place.  The Detroit Tigers flag was a Christmas gift to Jim, but with the way they've been playing lately, I'm almost ashamed to display it! 
On the other side of the garage near the sidewalk, I added 2 more red Double Knock Out rose bushes & moved my Bell flowers here, but it looks like one of them isn't going to make it :(  My Daylillies are blooming now, too :)
In this flower bed in front of the porch, I just recently removed the 3 Hostas & gave them to my next-door neighbor & in place of them, I added 2 Hydragneas & a fuschia colored rose bush in the center.  I also moved 2 pink Garden Phlox to this area.
My 2 Hydragneas along the side of the porch are getting ready to bloom....that is, if the dang 'cute' deer stops eating them!  If you enlarge the picture, you can see where he/she chopped off some of the flowers.  Luckily, my husband has since sprayed them with deer repellant & it seems to be far.
And here is one of my newest flower beds....last year, it started out about 1/3rd of this size & just last week, I decided I wanted to not only enlarge it, but plant only pink things in it to honor my sister & her battle with Breast Cancer.  We bought a Kwanzan Cherry Tree that already bloomed this year, but I'm hoping it will be beautiful next Spring.  I also added the Lilac bush that I removed from the other flower bed along with 2 Pink Hydragneas, 2 Pink Bellflowers, some Garden Phlox, Dianthus, 2 more Pink Double Knock Out Roses, 2 Balloon Flowers & more Lamium. 
The other day, my next-door neighbor told me that as she was taking her kids to the bus stop, she saw a deer in this flowerbed eating my Kwanzan Cherry Tree!  She went to grab her phone to take a picture of it, but just as she did, she said it took off.  No longer will I call those deer CUTE!  LOL  So Jim sprayed the tree & the Hydragneas with the deer repellant & I added one of my bigger angels in front of the tree because I had heard that they are supposed to be afraid of statues....I hope it's true!  This flower bed wasn't cheap, between the tree, all the plants,the rocks & the mulch, but I absolutely love the way it turned out :)
A close-up of the Double Knock Out rose, the Bellflower, Hydragneas & one of the VERY heavy rocks!  

Next up, my newest, newest flower bed that I'm still working on in the's not as big as I would have liked, but that's because I had to work around the sprinkler heads (which, btw, we finally got our sprinklers working....yay!  We had to replace the box (the previous owners took it with them) & the back flo, but our grass is finally green :) ).  Stay tuned.