What in the heck were we thinking buying this house?!

Now that my Spring check list is finished (with several days to spare), I’ll be unloading the master bathroom and moving everything to the guest bath (no shower in there) and/or boys’ bath. I’m also going to try and get some dang curb appeal going on at this place. And I’m reminding myself everyday to finish the semester strong and not let my brain check out too soon! The boys are much better students than I am teacher.

The hubs and I know nothing about plants or landscaping. Outside is just not our thing. I mean, we love to be outside. But we’re definitely better at inside projects.

It’s kind of a bummer. I wish at least one of us had a clue. Usually we’re a great pair. We can each do a whole lot of things, but one of us usually excels in a given area. Neither of us excel at yard work.

Don’t get me wrong, we’re definitely not “those people.” We have never been “that house” or “those neighbors.” We keep our yard mowed. We edge and even require it from all of our tenants. We weed and feed. We re-mulch the flower beds every year. We try our best, that’s for sure. But our best isn’t so great.

I think it comes down to a lack of passion. We’re both very passionate people. In many areas. But we just don’t love plants. We like to look at other people’s gorgeous yards and we for sure appreciate all their hard work. But we have never won yard of the month in any of our neighborhoods and I suspect that we never ever will. Now, best neighborhood parade float is another story. I will take you down!

So what in the heck were we thinking buying this house?! There are so many trees and bushes and vines and I don’t even know what. And they’ve all been neglected for years. We love to rehab homes, but we’re in over our heads when it comes to getting this lot cleaned up and looking presentable. Thankfully, all of the neighbors are just thrilled that someone is mowing and that the sticker bushes aren’t taking over the entire sidewalk like last year. I think they all have enough grace for us to take a little while to get things looking good here.

You’ve seen much of the overgrown brush that we’ve hauled away. But now what? That’s an actual question. Now what do we do? I barely know the difference between a marigold and a morning glory. And I don’t know how to care for either.

When we first moved in, it was fall and everything was getting ready to die. Multiple neighbors informed us that we had onion grass. It wasn’t anything I gave much thought to until it was time to treat for weeds and start mowing. There was onion grass everywhere. It looked like chives. Everywhere. Little patches of chives all over the yard. So much so that when you mowed, you could smell onions down the street.

I don’t know if it was real chives or if it was something really called onion grass, but the hubs treated it all with weed killer and it actually worked. So that’s good. Because I really like to smell fresh cut grass, not onions, when the hubs mows. That was several weeks ago, and there are still no traces today. I didn’t even get a picture. Argh. (Too bad the weed killer didn’t get rid of all the stickers.)

We have what must be a peach tree.

peaches peach tree

I’m not the least bit happy about that. Cleaning rotten fruit up out of the yard is so not my idea of a good time. I guess we’ll have to go out there frequently and keep them picked? Is it even possible to not end up with rotten fruit all over the yard? I have never had a fruit tree before, but I have seen many yards that do and it seems to be quite the chore. I’m seriously asking. Do I just go pick them everyday? Does anyone need any peaches?

So guess what the hubs did. He brought home pepper plants.

peppers2 peppers

I have no idea why. He had this idea to have a tiny garden. Um, what?! Gardening has never been something we’ve considered. We just don’t stay anywhere long enough to plant a garden. And you know, that whole thing about not knowing anything about plants. Or caring.

I am anxious to see how this little project of his turns out.


Maybe it sounds a bit exaggerated? I mean, I can keep an indoor ivy alive for 15 years and I usually remember to water my succulents. I’m not anti-plant. But I (we) have so much to learn! So, so much!

And we really do feel overwhelmed about this yard. There is a lot of work to be done here and it isn’t work that we’re experienced at, ya know? So you guys have to promise not to laugh at us as we start trying to landscape and such. You have to swear not to roll your eyes when I mix the wrong plants. Or plant hostas in full sun. Oops.

I do know how to use google. So I googled me up some mosquito repelling plants because that’s the first thing I want to do around here. Lemon grass is kind of ugly. I went with citronella, which is also ugly. But I put it in cute turquoise pots to try and make up for it.


turquoise pots

See how they will make an invisible barrier? They’re like a mosquito gate that you can’t see. Let’s hope they work!

I also bought some lemon thyme and some marigolds. The lady at the nursery said they would both repel mosquitoes. The mosquitoes aren’t out just yet, but I’m anxious to see how well these work. We love to be outside on summer evenings, but often find it next to impossible. I hope these plants work so we won’t have to use that nasty body spray.

They’re still just sitting on my porch waiting to be planted. I think I need lots more. I’ll show you the flower beds when we get them done, which might be forever from now.

plants (2)

Some of the grass seed that the hubs “planted” (more like sprinkled) is starting to grow, so that’s very exciting!

Here’s what it looked like on day 1. Those little blue rice-looking things are grass seeds. (Sorry about the shadows; we have a kazillion trees and I don’t know anything about taking pictures. Obviously.)

grass seed

Here’s what it looks like on day 20.

grass sprouts

Aren’t those little sprouts adorable? Okay, so it’s a slow start to a plush lawn. We’ll probably have to reseed several times. I’m not expecting miracles in one season. (Or maybe I can talk the hubs into sodding the entire yard?)

Also in the curb appeal department, we needed light. We have a light at the garage and then a porch light at the front door, but it’s very dark in between. We have a semi-long sidewalk and you have to go up steps. That’s not a good idea in the dark.

steps sidewalk

I may not know how to arrange a flower bed, but by golly I can line lights up symmetrically.

solar lights

So that’s where we are with curb appeal. Don’t laugh! We’re working on it!




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