Sunday, June 7, 2009

Home Tour Challenge

The front yard
I know this isn't really a room, and nowhere near being done, but I was swayed by Mimi and her gnomes to post something outdoors. I also just bought mulch, so even though the flowers are not blooming yet, it's about as good as it gets for the year.

Here it is when we bought it:

And here it is today:

Note how tall the shrubs were. We cut them back and they are taking FOREVER to grow back in. I probably need to water them more lol
Also, the paint colors were supposed to stay the same when we repainted last year, but I made the mistake of sending my honey to get the paint and he left the paint swatches at home thinking he could wing it and came back with "flesh toned peanut butter" and "90s country baby blue". No way in hell was I living with the blue, so we used cheap white. I still want to go back to the original "grey beige" and "navy" but I have to wait a few years. I have to admit the current colors are growing on me the longer we have them though.
The grass could be better, but we had projects going on in the backyard and had to cut the sprinklers off for awhile. It will be green shortly.

What I love: I love the potential of my flowerbeds. I wish I had more talent when it came to landscaping, but the whole "yard" thing is still fairly new to me. When I look at my home, and know that when I'm older and wiser, when my tiny seeds have grown, when my careful planning and plotting, trial and errors, sweat and tears all come together, my yard will bring a smile to my face. I enjoy learning, and from a religious stand point, gardens and the journey of a seed to mature plant, is so significant and referenced a lot in the bible. I need to get out there in the dirt. I know one day I will be the kooky old lady, in a wild gardening hat, pulling weeds and smiling at my neighbors. Corny yes, but bring it on. I get a lot of satisfaction looking at the little that has been done and knowing I did that with my own hands.

What I hate: It takes soooo long to come together. Patience has never been a good virtue of mine. Plus I have limited funds so things go even slower. What I hate most is the lack of color. I want my home to be a pale backdrop for colorful accessories, plants and flowers, but so's just so colorless and that is really a poor reflection of the people inside. I also hate the lack of symmetry. It's harder for me to work with. I'm a symmetrical type person. I already have a hard time decided what to do since I know nothing of plants, but now I have to work in an asymmetrical setting? It's rough I tell ya!

What I want: A list of things I don't want would probably be shorter, but here are a few on the top of my list.
More plants! Part of the reason I haven't bought many is that I was not blessed with a green thumb so I have to read up a lot before I buy. There are so many things to consider, I get overwhelmed. Shade or not, is it indigenous to the area, what would look good with the house, size and symmetry in the bed..on and on. I don't want ugly leaves 6 months out of the year for one pretty bloom that lasts a week. Ironically my brother does this for a living yet he alludes the phone like the plague and never visits. *sigh*
I want something for the triangle area by the shrubs. Bench? Fountain? Varying sizes of potted plants? I can't decided. I feel like I will just know it when I see it and so far I haven't seen it. There are actually more of the flowers planted in the narrow bed that are on the opposite side (forget the name) but they are slowly sprouting and 3 daylilies also. Still need more pine cones. It's a work in progress.

I also want to do a mini flowerbed around the tree, but I want pretty brick edgers and they cost more than I want to pay.

What I need: New roof and gutters. A big hail storm really did a number on it. Most of our neighbors have theirs finished already. Us, well we like to wait until the last minute. Well, not really like to. Procrastinators, we shall unite tomorrow! ugh... I also need to repaint the street numbers on the curb, and get new street numbers for the house.

Something old: This stupid pine tree. Aside from its never ending supply of pine cones (which I use for more than I ever imagined) I hate it. For one thing, looking up at it makes me want to vomit. I'm not scared of looking down from high places, but looking up at tall things makes me queasy. I think this is a side effect of living in flat west Texas. I also hate it's stupid sap, stupid pine needles, and stupid placement where I just know it's going to blow over onto my house someday or drop a limb in the middle of my kitchen. But.. it's probably old. I really have no idea.

Something new: newly painted gnome. He was looking really shabby and his skin was almost a yellow white. Miss Thang had a bad dream about him once, so this time I added some rosy cheeks in hopes that he appeared a little sweeter. I think he's darling! I went on a hunt specifically for a gnome when I found out we got the house. To me, every home needs a gnome. It's just one of those things. Kind of like how a kitchen needs a chicken or a bathroom needs a shell lol Here he is..

Something unexpected: I put pine cones in the section of the flowerbed with the bushes. I figure we will eventually have enough to fill it and I'm cheap so it works well as mulch for a good price. I like the look really. I like to say I'm a naturalist, but then I went and colored my hair.

Good bargain: Mulch! To me you get a big bang for a good price. The red really made what little plants I do have pop, and for $5 a can't beat it.

Most expensive: My van! and at a close second, the soon to be new roof and gutters, but I don't know if that really counts since insurance is covering it.

Most meaningful: I am going to say the the day lilies lining the big flowerbed near the kitchen window on the right. I got them as a birthday gift this year from my in-laws. They were just bulbs when I planted them. I know they don't really look like much now, but you can separate these out when they get bigger and I can already see their potential. Quick story on the day I got them: I had hinted that these were the flowers I wanted after reading that they were easy to care for. My FIL calls me and says, "If I were standing in Sam's and looking at day lilies, which color would you want?" I thought that was the cutest thing. He and my honey are kindred souls so I have a special place in my heart for him. :)

Where is the bird: Hello!? It's outdoors. There are birds everywhere. :P I do want a little bird garden accessory someday, but I figure it would look odd in a sea of red mulch and sparse greenery. I do like these though. Look at those cute little birds!

Worth mentioning: I still drive up to my house and think "Wow, this is mine!?" It may seem quaint to a few, boring to others, or cookie cutter to some, but to me it is perfect. Actually, it's more than I ever expected and I still don't take it for granted. Yes, I always want more for it, but that is part of what I love most. It's an ongoing project. It grows with us as a family, and in these walls my life is happening. I know in the future I will look at this house and remember how The Scientist dropped pennies in the tiny hole by the front door, or how Miss Thang will park her first car in that driveway. Cutecumber will take her first steps on these very floors and my Honey wrote "love" with a stick in the concrete.

I love my home. I really do.


  1. I love your gnome! My mom mentioned that I need to paint my gnomes, they are looking a little shabby. I agree every home needs a gnome. We got one for my bro and his fiance. I may be taking the gnome thing a little far, but I can't help myself. We had shrubs in our yard that we yanked out and put grass in its place. I need to post pics of the back and side yards, they have more flowers. You do such nice things to your home. I wish I had that much talent.

  2. I love your house... inside and out. You do such wonderful and creative things.

  3. I wish I were there and could help you love the flowers......I love planting flowers and I love giving gifts so I would show up with a new flower everyday we hung out so you would have a beautiful front garden. Plus the bird bath idea is a good one and I am on the search for one for your birthday.....oops it already passed...I will come up with another gift reason!!! love you

  4. Mimi- Isn't he fat and cute? I think he was a set of three but 2 were broken so he was discounted and all alone in the clearance at Ross. I knew he was mine the minute I saw him lol

    Lin- thanks!

    Cindy- WHY DID YOU MOVE!?? WHY..yyy...yyy?! And on that note, you have always been the outdoorsy one. You have even mowed a lawn before and LIKED it!? Mom girls have taken it too far. lol

  5. I kill all that grows so I would not even try landscaping lol

  6. I saw a Big Lots commercial and this lady said she bought her family there, they were all gnomes and I felt a strange kinship with her. I think I'm the crazy gnome lady. I'm kinda young for it, maybe I'm just an overachiever.


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