Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Front Yard - the Before and After

Since this has been "done" for the better part of a month now I thought I'd finally let you see the yard.  

Yes, that's right - in MAY.


All of these "after" pictures were taken at the end of July, and everything has grown so much! 

So, pretend it's the end of July and I'm giving you the after pictures, K?

Next week I'll show you how it looks now. 


The front bed where we tore out the ivy and vinca.....
Close up of the area under the window where the rhododendrons were.
These were dug up and transplanted to the back yard.


We planted grass where the vinca and ivy were before.  This was about 50% successful.
The bed where the rhododendrons were yanked out got new plants in the form of two red dogwood bushes and an arborvitae.

The red dogwood bushes drop their leaves and the branches are a bright red in the winter.  We thought it would be a nice pop of color when everything is brown and drab.

The Arborvitae will grow up between the two windows. 


The area in front of what is to be our bedroom and the bed in front of the porch got a little face lift.


I planted some very low maintenance knock out roses (which are nearly twice this size now).

Although my goal in this whole process is to have as many perennials as possible (I don't like playing in the dirt) I planted a few annuals here for some color and behind them, I transplanted a mum from elsewhere in the yard.

I love mums and they will be making a bigger appearance next year.

TOTALLY OFF TOPIC - Have I ever told you about the mums we had at our old house?  They were used a decorations at our wedding in 1998 and I made Brian plant all of them in our yard.  By the time we moved 9 years later they were big, bushy and beautiful.  I wanted to dig some up and bring them to this house because I loved them so much.

Brian though that  the new owners would appreciate them more.  And he was too lazy to dig them up.
Guess what the new owners did about a week after moving in?

Dug them all up and took them to the dump.

I was devastated. 

I'm still bitter, can you tell?

Moving on....


This is the walkway from the driveway up to the front door. 

The bed at the bottom of the walkway is a little bare, but even though this is the before picture - it doesn't get much better.  The bed is difficult to work with because it's shaded most of the day and the tree roots leave little room for planting.  And then the deer eat whatever actually roots and grows.

Looking back down the walkway toward the driveway.

Remember the giant bushes with the pink flowers that I pulled out All. By. Myself?

They looked like this when I was done tearing out a bunch and cutting down the rest.

They now look like this. 

They are coming back beautifully.

And actually need to be trimmed again because they are now about 3 times this size!


 Look ma!  No plants!! That green stuff is actually vinca that's slowly spreading.  I'm OK with it.

I can't believe how much everything has grown since these pictures!


Even the before is pretty.  Even though there was dead grass and out of control bushes and no flowers or mulch. 


So, there you have it.  Our summer project this year.  Hopefully we have created a good foundation for next year and will simply have to worry about maintenance. 

Because I don't like to garden, plant flowers or get dirty and I got my fill this summer. 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Happy Birthday to me!

My birthday always falls near the annual 4th of July party my parents throw.

 This year was no exception - ha!

Fortunately for me, my two lovely daughters decided to turn it into a surprise birthday party for me!

Unfortunately, Brian's Uncle passed away and the funeral turned out to be the day of the party, so not only did they have to tell me about it,  we had to cancel it.

My poor girls were just devastated  (lots of tears), but I was so touched that they would do that for me - it made ME cry (*sniff, sniff*)

BUT - we celebrated together on my actual birthday.

I came home from work to discover that the girls had decorated the kitchen and this is what I saw as I came up the stairs from the garage after work....

Two singing girls....
They used the big pots to hold the streamers because they ran out of tape
They set up my computer to play "Happy Birthday" 
My decorations and homemade card - my favorite kind :)
My little goofball

It's tradition at the Henry House that the birthday girl or boy gets to choose whatever they want to eat on their actual birthday.

I chose Lobster (because - amazingly -  it was much cheaper than the steak I was thinking about) and we brought home live lobsters and cooked them.

It was the girls first time seeing a lobster cooked and they were a bit freaked out - and I get it.

Putting a live lobster into a pot of steam and killing it so you can eat it?  

Kind of gross.

But they completely got over it when I gave them each their own dish of melted butter for their lobsters.

Liv with her lobster

We also had mussels with wine, garlic, butter and  green onions - my absolute favorite

She actually apologized to her lobster for what she was about to do..

I'm ready!  Let's crack him open!

What could be better than a fresh lobster and nice cold beer on your birthday?

He's kissing his lobster.  No, I don't know why. 

Nom Nom Nom!

So that was my birthday this year.

Streamers, homemade cards and fresh lobster, at home with my three favorite people. 

Best.  Birthday.  Ever. 

Monday, August 20, 2012


Um...yeah. Apparently I have a blog...


Here's a little run down of what's been happenin' since the last time we got together...

1.  My birthday
2.  Finished the front yard
4. Laziness

In that order.

On the bright side?

I have now downloaded ALL of the pictures for the last two months and will entertain you with pictures and commentary of the major events of the Henry Summer of 2012 in a series of posts.

You're welcome.

Stay tuned!!!