Friday, May 17, 2013

Outdoor Adventures: Where We Started & Where We're Going

This year, so far, has been incredibly busy and while productive, but has not been as visibly productive as I would like.  Case in point: the exterior of our townhouse.

For reference and posterity, here is where we started back when we took possession in April/May of 2010:

Note the dumpster in the front - this was when we were jackhammering up over 600sqft of 1980s-tastic tile.

When we moved in, I had surgery on my ankle that necessitated a long recovery (if I never see crutches again, I will be very happy), so the time/energy/ability to deal with the exterior just wasn't there.  Flash forward to last fall.

By fall of 2011, I was sick of the exterior of our house looking like a rundown something-or-other.  The bushes were half-dead, overgrown, and asymmetrical in a not-pleasing way.  There was nothing flowering, aside from dandelions.  Missing from this picture is the plantings directly across from our picture window - also half-dead, horribly misshapen evergreen bushes.  Also incredibly sad.  I had had ENOUGH.  With the permission of the other condo association trustees (J is one of them), we had our landscapers pull out the sad, half-dead bushes and we purchased several things from a local plant nursery.  And we planted.  Oh, did we plant.

Here is a diagram of what we did:

Not shown: flowering bulbs (I planted giant hyacinths and reblooming bearded iris), plantings at the side of the house.

So, there have been improvements in the landscaping department.  Especially since I worked with the trustees and "beautification committee" to hire a new landscaping company, so hopefully the bushes we planted will be better maintained than the ones previously in front of our house.  Things this year are slowly growing in and blooming - my hydrangeas have tiny buds on them, and the peony I planted has one single, solitary bud! - I have great hopes that next year, things will look even better.

Aside from landscaping, let us take a moment to appreciate the lovely lighting in front of our house:

Those lights by our front door? Rusted shut, haven't worked since we purchased the property.  The light to the right of the door is actually now hanging off the siding at an angle.  The post light? Works, but is battered plastic and incredibly sad-looking.   So we talked to the condo trustees, since the exterior lights are responsibility of the association.  And they decided to replace ALL of the exterior lighting for all of the units (hooray!), but it had to get pushed back until this year.

After researching practically every black set of matching wall lights/post lights available for purchase, the trustees finally narrowed the options down to three and put it to a vote at our most recent association meeting.  It has been a long process.  So, without further ado, here is what has been ordered and will soon be installed:

Along with new plants and new lights, the doors are also going to be repainted... Stay tuned for photos of the improvements in a few weeks!