Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Making the Grade

When we bought our house years ago, the house had sat silently on the market for quite a while. Usually leery of slow to move houses, I had to see what was making this house sit on the market for so long.

I visited this small 1960's ranch style home on an ideal Spring day at an open house. It couldn't have been shown at a better time of year. A gnarled old crab apple in peek bloom arched its heavily laden, pink, scented blossoms gently over the front floor-to-ceiling windows. Perfectly framing the entry. The inside was dark, small and boxy. I saw nothing tragic as I walked through (except a picket fence and sun flower mural in the laundry room). I started to become suspicious as I moved toward the back of the house.

I followed the looks of dismay and found myself standing in the back yard staring at a overgrown jungle. An un-pruned Linden arched to the ground. Meant to be the focal point, it was now lost in a sea of weeds. A large mound ran diagonally across the yard running from the house to the back lot line, sending up a divide between the house and the tree. No mower had seen this yard for some time.

What was the cause of this catastrophe? A newly dug sewer line. I'd like to emphasize new. That's right an improvement had been made to the house that should remove the need for me to have to deal with sewer issues for a long time. I'm liking this flaw. I was going to be digging up the yard anyway. This was perfect. A blank slate...I called my soon-to-be husband immediately.

A nice offer and a loan later, we owned a home that needed work inside and out. Of course the backyard took a lot of hard work, but it is a work in progress. I hired a crew to regrade the yard and we had a smooth canvas to work with. A lucky strike on some old street pavers and I had the makings for new landscape beds that would frame in the the new turf. It's been 6 years since we bought the house. Every time I come home with a new plant, my husband tells me we don't have room for it. I keep proving him wrong. With this home project, it turns out the hardest garden related job, was the four coats of primer and two coats of paint it took to cover up the picket fence and sunflower mural.

Quite the optical illusion, half of the yard sloped toward the house.

The finished product with border and plantings in place.
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