Here's what our house looked like when we bought it three years ago.
Yikes! It was pretty spectacularly horrible. And this is just the outside.
So after a while, we painted the shutters, the porch, and the awning. Then we trimmed those massive holly bushes waaaay back, ripped out some flower beds on the right side of the house, and planted some barn red mums on the left side. I blogged about all of that a while ago.
We loved the huge improvement it made.
But then things took a downward spin back in the fall when we converted from oil heat to natural gas and the gas company insisted on running the gas line right through my flower beds!
We had been wanting to re-do that flower bed anyway, because when we bought our house, the home inspector told us raised beds against the foundation were a bad idea because it increases the chance of termite damage. It was on the list of things to do, but kept getting pushed further down. So once we realized those beds would be torn up anyway, we decided to pull out the beds, and re-do them with some more permanent solutions.
And here's how things look right now!
We decided to put a flower bed back on the right side of the house. Having nothing there made that side look really empty, not to mention we were forever dealing with tall weeds growing up alongside the foundation in that spot.
The only plants in the flower beds right now are some small type of holly bush that we got for $15 each at Costco. I like that they'll be green all winter long. Our house's siding kind of looks like high-water pants to me, so I want to keep those flower beds filled up to hide the house's "ankles" a little bit. Another reason for adding back in the flower bed on the right side of the porch.
I really liked my red mums that I had before, but after they lost their flowers, they just looked like dead plants the rest of the year. Anyone know what can be done about that? Dead flowers are something I'm all too prone to having anyway, so the easier to grow, and long-lasting a plant is, the better.
Some other little things we did, were paint some parts of the gas line hook-up thingy that runs into our house. When the installers but it in back in the fall, they hooked up an enormous gray box with spidery arms coming out of it, right smack in front of my light yellow siding. It stuck out like crazy and looked horrible. Cold weather set in right after that, so I had all winter to contemplate possible ways to disguise it. Big bushes seemed like a good idea, but after three years of pruning our old holly bushes, my hubby was definitely hoping for some smaller, more low-maintenance plants. I finally decided (and yes, I did check with the guys who installed the gas line) to get some good exterior paint that matched our siding and paint the parts of the big gray gas thingy that stuck out past the bushes. It worked out really well and unless you're looking for it, I don't think it's really even noticeable anymore. Thank goodness!
See it sticking out there behind that bush? I painted the top part as well as the pipes that branched off of it. I didn't paint the parts that were just up against our foundation because they didn't stick out as much as the parts that were in front of the siding. Also, I am hoping by the end of the summer that the bushes fill in a little bit and disguise the gray box even more.
My old wine barrel pot is the only thing filled with some colorful flowers. I always stick to red flowers outside because it seems to bring out our red door and shutters.
The side of our house still needs some work. We've never even painted the shutters on that side. They're still brown almost three years after we painted the ones on the front red. What can I say, we don't really see this side of the house much, so they're kind of out of sight out of mind. We did plant some grass over here where it had gotten sparce, hence all the straw covering the seeds.
So, here's an updated before and after.
Who agrees that my hubby needs to build me some nice chunky window boxes? I think that would help downplay the long narrow ranch look, and make things more cottage-y. What do you think?
Are you doing any outside projects now that spring has finally sprung?
Linking up to Inspire Me Please Weekend Blog Hop at House of Rose, the Weekend Wrap-up Party at Tatertots and Jello, Before and After Party with Thrifty Decor Chick.