After a long hiatus once we finished the kitchen, Jim and I are ready to get our hands dirty again. Although the majority of the 1st and 2nd floors are complete, there are still a lot of projects we have planned for the house. We discussed our possibilities, but in the end concluded we should follow the season and decided to move our work outside.
As you may have seen, our backyard is a mess right now. We are still in high hopes of HGTV knocking on our door, so instead of focusing on the backyard, we are adding curb appeal to our house.
At first glance, our current curb appeal isn’t too bad. We are fortunate that there are manageable weeds and nothing too glaringly ugly. With that said, there is plenty of room for improvement. Here is a picture from Saturday morning:
Cute right? Well, as I introduce each of our projects, you’ll get to see the not-so-cute aspects to our front yard.
If you don’t count fertilizing and watering the grass the other day, our first step tackling the front yard was on Saturday. Jim thought we should start small, which was good since I had visions of us ripping up all the things we didn’t like that day – not knowing if we would have enough time to replace them the same day. We started our curb appeal right at the curb; our mailbox to be exact.
Next to our mailbox stood a bush. This bush may not have been ugly if it were in another location, but it began to overtake the mailbox. In addition to blocking half the mailbox, the bush would get in the way when you tried to close the mailbox. Our mailbox also wouldn’t stay close (regardless of where the bush was). It was old and over years of use, just didn’t want to close consistently. This was a problem on windy and rainy days. The mailbox and bush had to go. Here are some visuals for you:
We thought a new mailbox surrounded by a flower bed would be much nicer. On Friday, we braved the tornado warning and went to Home Depot to get our supplies. We checked out their flower selection but we weren’t sold on anything and decided to wait to get our plants. The tornado weather cleared away to a perfect day on Saturday. It was sunny and in the 70’s with a cool breeze. It was weather meant for working outside.
We started the day by visiting a nursery nearby our house (we wish we could have gone to Kate’s nursery in Richmond!). We were sort of overwhelmed by the variety of plants to choose from. We hoped to get perennials so we would not have to plant every year, but as we looked at the flowers – the annuals were the ones with the bright colors I loved. The nice man at the nursery took us around and explained a variety of different flowers (a little more overwhelming) but we were eventually able to decide on a mix of lavender (perennial) and dahlias (annual). I was worried about over purchasing, so we starting with two lavenders and three dahlias.
We used shovels to dig up the grass around the mailbox where the flower bed would go. The shovels also helped us get dig out our large bush.
Once the bush and grass were gone. I used an action hoe to mix up the current dirt and rip through any roots still there while Jim removed the current mailbox. Once the dirt had been thoroughly mixed and loosened, we added new dirt and mixed it. The ground was ready for our flowers!
We placed the flower down in their pots to plan were they would go. The space we had left was bigger than we were planning, so we decided to double the amount of flowers we bought. We took another trip to the nursery. Unfortunately, they only had one more of the same color dahlias (they were orange with some red stripes on them). We decided we would buy the one dahlia, two lavenders and then stop by another place to look for matching dahlias. After getting stuck in traffic and having no luck at another nursery and Home Depot, we went back to the original nursery. Our third trip there in one day led the man who helped us to say, “Do you just want applications?” Instead of having all the same color dahlias, we bought three red dahlias. The dahlias all still look similar and very nice together.
After arriving home, we planted all our flowers:
Next, we watered our flowers, added mulch, and watered one last time. Our first flower bed was complete and a success!
On Saturday, we also power washed the mailbox pole (thanks Mom and Dad for letting us borrow the power washer). After two power washings, the pole was ready to be stained. We waited until Sunday to stain the wood so that it would be completely dry. Jim finished the mailbox on Sunday while I did some cleaning in the house. The stain came out great. The new mailbox works perfectly and we added a nice touch of putting our house numbers on the mailbox. Now it will be easy for anyone to find out house from the street. The finished project: