Friday, June 13, 2014

...All the Boys to the Yard

...maybe just one boy: Mr. Boone. And he was brought there by characteristic Golden loyalty to his mom, not milkshakes.

Yard work. What I'm trying to say is I did some yard work.

Our house is lucky enough to sit on a decent sized lot in Brightwalk (~5,600 sq. ft.), most of that being our side yard. It's especially nice that in an area where many people are only ten feet from their neighbors, our house looks onto a little lawn with a view of a park.

The downside is, everyone can see the side of our house very easily. And the side lacks the charm of the front. From that angle, it looks much more "builder basic." Like whoa.

I never really thought about photographing it, because there wasn't much to see. The problem was, you could clearly see what wasn't there.

But you can see what's there now. (Dear world, my iPhone does not do well in sunsets. Sorry.)

Now do you see what I meant by builder basic? I know it doesn't look like much, but those holes did not dig themselves. One day, I think this will be the only visible prettiest side yard in all of Brightwalk.

That first little guy (no, it's not a large weed) by the front corner is a gardenia we planted back around Easter. Pat's mom's favorite flower is gardenia and she was coming for a visit. (Just so you guys don't think there's any favoritism, my mom's favorite flower is a daisy; I planted seeds in both a little pot and the ground, but neither sprouted...sorry Mare Bear.)

The two dead looking things under the small windows are green hydrangeas, my favorite flower. I know they won't be big full bushes for quite a while, but at this point I'm crossing my fingers and saying my prayers that they don't die. Like tomorrow. Eventually, our fence will come between these two. Unless they die first. Like tomorrow.

The little guys under the three windows are wintergreen boxwoods. This should grow to be a nice foundational hedge over the next couple of years. So far, these bad boys are looking the most spritely.

Last, and very hard to see in front of the grill cover, is a something-or-another arborvitae (emerald?). We have one on both corners of our covered patio.

There's still a long list of future plans. I know I've touched on this before, but I figure I'd let you know where we stand today. The list:
  • Dig up all the sod along the side of the house and make it a real bed
  •  Add boxwoods under foyer window (between the gardenia and the first hydrangea)
  • Plant mosquito repellent plants around both arborvitae (lavender, rosemary, and lemongrass anyone?)
  • Plant roses (English, If I ever find some) along the garage
  • Install fence, patio, and retaining wall
  • Keep everything pet-friendly (more on that later)
The other exciting outdoor update is our little front porch has gained at least a tiny bit o' personality.
Our newly black rocking chair has a little table and some flowers to keep it company. Yes, one day we will make the pilgrimage to Cracker Barrel for the second rocker.

I picked those flowers because I thought they were really pretty. They seemed completely exotic to me.

They're petunias. This girl had no idea what a petunia looked like. I can't imagine this foreshadows anything good for the rest of the yard.

Now a question: Aside from water and fertilizer, how does one keep grass alive?


  1. Have you talked with the HOA? Fences aren't allowed to come past the back door/rear of the house. A neighbor on the other end of Woodward recently had to move hers back in the face of hearings and the threat of $50 a day fines.

    1. My HOA approval clearly states that my fence will come to the small windows on the side of my house. I specifically asked to enclose my side yard (outside the breakfast nook's windows) during the application process and I depicted it's location with drawings at that time. I don't know if asking outright and justifying it had anything to do with it getting approved, but they approved my plans as is. I wonder where that neighbor said their fence would go?

  2. Wow. You might be the only house in the neighborhood to have that approval. The other homeowner on Woodward Avenue initially had her fence come between the small window and breakfast nook windows. You can still see indentations in the grass of where it used to be (and she wasn't the only homeowner to have to move a fence back). When we were considering a fence, we were told explicitly by the property managers at CAMS that our fence couldn't come past the porch and that the fence would not be approved if we tried to extend beyond the porch in our application. If the rules have recently changed, or if exceptions are being made, there are liable to be quite a few irate neighbors.

    1. I don't know what to tell you...I'll build my fence to the HOA approval and if they tell me to move it back, I have my documentation to back it up. I did apply back in October 2013, so this is not recent; my approval has been extended past the 30 day limit due to some erosion that is StanPac's responsibility.