Do you realize we’ve been in our house almost three years and we’ve only posted on the outside/landscaping like maybe a handful of times?!? Wait, let me see if I can throw them all out there for you because it’s really not much:
The Back yard:
- Our very first outdoor project – clearing out all of the prickly blackberry bushes!
- We built a fence so Maggie doesn’t run off and join the circus – seen here and here.
- Planted some grass seed in the backyard.
- Built a small veggie garden that repays us every year
- …and started a compost bin to help along that veggie garden – best decision we’ve ever made – period!
The Front and all around:
- We rebuilt our front entryway pillars, which weren’t exactly welcoming.
- Worked on a pretty massive caulking job around the entire house.
Three years…and that’s ALL we’ve done. All of that and a bottle of rum . It’s actually kind of embarrassing. But when you spend your summers moving in, renovating a laundry room and finishing up a massive bathroom remodel while hosting a bajillion out of town guests, some things just kind of have to get skipped. And let’s be honest, summer in Oregon really only lasts a solid two months so whenever we have a free minute and the weather is nice, we’d much rather be doing this:
…or maybe something like this:
Who wants to spend ALL of their spare time working in the yard? Certainly not me! Get me outside so I can have F.U.N! But there are only so many times that you can play the “fun” card before your parents come to visit and tell you to “Grow up!” As I hang my head in shame I kind of have to agree (*pouts*). And since we’re planning on putting this house up for rent, we need to figure out a low maintenance scheme so that when we leave it the house will hopefully be on “auto-pilot”. We’ve got some serious issues floating around our outdoor spaces and it’s high time we grow up and fix ‘em. First, perhaps a little bit of a list might help:
First off, we feel pretty lucky that we don’t have to do a ton of maintenance in the front since most of it is covered by the HOA. We don’t have grass in the front so no need to worry about mowing and the HOA covers mulching every couple of years (though they do “barkdust” instead of mulch, so it erodes fairly quickly. HOA, fail!). And our plant life has been looking pretty paltry lately. We’ve dug out roughly 6 bushes that have all bit it since our time living here and we have another one that’s on it’s last leg (*update* – it died. We had to dig it up too). We’ve done some planting here and there over the past 3 years but the landscaping could use some help. Here’s a WAY old pic from before we closed on the house…
All three of the bushes in front (the two red and one green) are dead and gone and then the spider-y plants behind those have all died as well. On the left side we dug up another bush and we have a Rhododendron that we planted just under the front window that I think is having drainage issues and is kind of on its last leg :-(.
Our front door…*groan*…
It’s a hot mess. It’s obviously seen a fair amount of water damage over the past few years and since it faces west, the sun has done the rest of the work that the water didn’t – cracks, scratches, and just overall baaaaaaad. We did purchase a nice storm door to hopefully quell any future water damage but the whole finish is a mess and needs to be refinished. You can read about it in this don’t-blink-or-you’ll-miss-it article of yore. We also still have the old sheriff’s locks that were installed when the house was foreclosed – one brass and one brushed nickel. In short, reeeeeeeeeal classy.
Oh, the backyard. First off, it’s just plain dinky. After we built a fence and dug out a garden, we’ve just tried to keep it as maintenance free as possible. Here’s a pic from before moving in…
Let me explain a few things. First off, Oregon summers really only last about 3 months (if we’re lucky). We’re beating down the beginning of July right now and we’re still dealing with rain showers pretty much every day and temps hovering around 65-75 depending on the day. Fabulous if you’re a vampire – horrible if you like to garden. Last year, we really didn’t get good summer-y temperatures until the last two weeks of August and we still only got up to around 85! That being said, we basically only use our backyard for two things – growing vegetables and Maggie’s personal loo when we’re too lazy to take her on W-A-L-Ks (yes, I have to spell it – she goes nuts if I say “walk”, “park”, “block” and about 100 other words and phrases that she understands – seriously, she’s the smartest dog ever!). We don’t really use our backyard as a “hangout” spot because, let’s face it – it’s always friggin’ raining!!!! So I have quietly eighty-sixed multiple plans by my husband to build decks, pergolas, buy more expensive furniture, etc, etc. Honestly, I just don’t see the point because we never use it. In fact, we spend more time “maintaining” our backyard than we do sitting out there and enjoying it and I blame it mostly on the weather – haha!
But there’s still so much to be done back here. We’ve done a fair amount already (when we’re diving between rain drops and/or chopping down our overgrown Sage and Rosemary plants:
…but I admit we could do more.
So here’s hoping we can figure out some time this summer between road trips to California to get’er all done! We’ll be updating a few things here and there. In fact, we’re sneaky – some of those things have already been tackled! Muwahaha! Stay tuned…