Tag Archives: landscaping

First Anniversary of Homeownership

It’s been a great year. I celebrated the day of (March 30) by cleaning and organizing as much of the house as I could and spending some time in the yard.

Highlights of our first year:

  • Having an excuse to get a couple of new pieces of furniture
  • Finally unpacking our lives out of the boxes that we’d been living out of for many, many years
  • Seeing my kids make friends among the neighborhood kids, watching them all play and run and just be crazy kids
  • Planning long term with a piece of property, which I’ve never done before – planting fruit trees, changing landscape features, listing and prioritizing various things we want to do
  • Getting to know neighbors and becoming involved in the Homeowner’s Group and various neighborhood gatherings

Here’s to many more years in our home.

Our Home - March 2011

Our Home - March 2012

It’s funny, but all the little changes aren’t even visible in a picture – all the plants added in the front (well, you can see the trees.) The sandbox and swings under the porch, the dirt (supposed to be grass) path beside the porch instead of rocks, the rock border on the front gardens. Looks pretty much the same from afar!

Our 1st Anniversary Present - Log Cabin furniture for the front porch

March 2011

March 2012

March 2012

Landscaping with Rocks

I started putting some rocks around my front garden beds to stop the erosion that happens when the clouds open up, as they do here in the South, and unload a heaven-sized bucket of water. It washes everything down the sidewalks, and I thought lining them with some of the big rocks the builders abandoned in the field across from my house would hold back the dirt.

Then I got a little carried away.

And the overall effect…

Good times.

Apple Trees

We went to a local nursery and bought a couple of Gala apple trees, which I planted in front of the house.

I tried to take a picture of them, but they are so spindly and without leaves that they are quite unimpressive and hard to distinguish in a photograph.

I think I probably killed the decorative cherry when I moved it, but it was one of the things Habitat had already planted, and this poor thing had been butchered multiple times so that it is like a big fat trunk with a few thin branches poking off the top. I do hate to kill plants, but I couldn’t just leave this orphaned, deformed thing in the perfect spot for one of the apple trees.

Skimming through advice online for apples, I read that if one doesn’t employ some type of pesticide, one’s yield will be of very poor quality, so at some point I may have to investigate organic types of pest repellants.

If anyone reading this is experienced with apple trees and wants to share a few hints, I’d be most grateful.

Otherwise, think appley thoughts for us, that we might enjoy a decent harvest in a few years.

Land as Palette

Earlier this year my husband and I, with the help of the generous staff and volunteers of Habitat for Humanity, bought a house on .18 acres of land.

Yes, that’s a decimal point. That’s almost two-tenths of an acre. With a five bedroom house on it.

I’m not complaining. In my ideal world, I’d have more land, but in the real world, I never thought I’d own anything. I owe it all to the fact that my life partner is relentlessly driven and hopelessly dedicated to providing for his family.

Having lived here only seven months, the land is still relatively blank, like a canvas waiting for a work of art to bloom upon it.

Although our imaginations are constrained by space restrictions, in a sense, it allows us to be even more creative. We have to get wacky and funky (which we both love to do) with our designs, and we are forced to narrow down what actually matters to us and what we can live without.

For me, I very much want: vegetable garden, strawberry patch, fire pit/hang out area, herb garden

For my husband: fruit trees, workshop

This morning we drew a sketch of the property and played with possibilities. I am acutely aware of what a special time this is, to lay the foundation of the life we will live.

It will, Great Spirit willing, be a life of food, family gatherings and creativity.