Monday, March 11, 2013

Home Improvement: Extreme Yard Work!

Spring has sprung here in the South, and with it comes lots of yard work!  When we bought the house, there were some things we wanted to change, and now we have almost finished all these things.

First, we had 8 diseased and dying dogwoods (love the alliteration, right) in the front and side yards. The limbs were starting to snap off in a brisk breeze, so it was time for them to come down.  My dad and Jon worked for several hours to get the ones in the front down, and Jon and I did the ones on the side yard a couple of weekends later.
We bought and planted a gorgeous hydrangea bush. We used blue hydrangeas in our wedding, so I wanted to have one in our front yard.  It replaced the scary sago palm that we removed before we moved in.  The flowers were blue when we bought them, but something I never knew until Jon started researching them is that they will change color depending on the soil content.  So the flowers went from light blue to a really deep purple within about a week of being in the ground.  Jon researched and found that you can change the color back to blue by introducing aluminum into the soil, so he bought some special fertilizer and drove some thin aluminum spikes into the ground around the bush.  The flowers are slowing making their way back to blue now.  The purple is pretty, but we wanted blue since that was our wedding flower color.

In the spot where the other sago palm once rested, we constructed a fountain.  Jon did some research and then figured out how he wanted it to work.  We purchased a ceramic pot (50% off, luckily!) and he put together the pump and the hose.  He also sealed a small flower pot into the neck of the fountain body so that we didn't have to actually fill the entire thing up with water/rocks.  We dug a hole and put down a large tub, which we then covered with the grill part of a small grill.  Perfect for the pump hose to go up and into the fountain!  And with the rocks on top of it, you would never know it's a grill top.  :)  We bought some pavers to go around the entire thing and finished it off with the fairy statues we had on one of the tables at our wedding.  I love the result.  It's simple and not too flashy - and the sound the water makes as it trickles down is just wonderful.  There was talk about using some submerged LED lights to make it look cool at night, but that's an improvement/enhancement for later.

So this is the front of the house with the trees gone and the fountain in.  We also planted some calladiums and snapdragons in the front flower bed, and some wildflowers around the fountain and the hydrangea bush.  We still have some stumps to remove and we are going to put down some grass seed to try to get the grass going a little better, but all in all, I think it's looking pretty great!

And to replace the trees we took out...

A peach tree, planted between the front door and the window on the right side if you are looking at the house from the street.

And a plum tree on the other side of the house, near the window on the left side.

We also did a lemon tree in the side yard and are doing a lime tree in the back yard.

And last, but certainly not least, Jon planted this garden in the back yard with herbs and some small veggies.  If everything goes well, in a few years we will have tons of herbs, tomatoes, green beans, onions, cucumbers, spinach, raspberries, blueberries, grapes, blackberries, peaches, plums, lemons and limes.  And probably some other stuff that I'm forgetting!  Of course, the garden will produce this year - the trees will need a couple of years.  Either way, I'm excited.


  1. Nice job! I especially love the ceramic blue fountain you put in. I am inspired to embark on my own home improvements odyssey! My backyard needs to be spruced up as well. Good luck with your garden!

  2. wow! that amazing! I can't wait to see gorgeous hydrangea bush fully grown, especially the beautiful flowers. real estate Abu Dhabi.