Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Great Outdoors (a.k.a - Our Front Yard)

Summer is here and it's hotter than hell again - which means we've put all those miscellaneous interior tasks on the backburner and moved outside to work on the yard again!

Like many of the projects we have completed over the past two years, conceptualizing and implementing what we wanted to do in our front flower bed came together REALLY quickly once we made up our minds that we were going to do it.

First, a big shout out and thanks to our friend Tim Tolle, who not only helped with the design of both the front and back yard, but also put together a thorough list of recommended plants to use. (NOTE: The first line of Tim's plant list literally reads: "Let’s Talk Plants Dude…")

On Saturday, we did a little "ghetto gardening" - which involved digging up plants that we haphazardly planted around our backyard last summer and moving them to the front yard. There were a couple of tall ornamental grasses that we felt would look good flanking the stairs leading up to the porch, so we started there. Next we dug up a handful of coralbells that our friend Stacey (who found the house for us as well) gave to us last summer and moved them to the front.

On Sunday morning, we took a look at our budget, grabbed a couple coupons, and decided to head over to Oakland Nursery (just across I-71 from our house) to buy the bulk of our plants. For those Columbus residents who have never been there, do yourself a favor and go. I'm about the farthest thing from a true "gardener," but walking through Oakland's campus definitely made me consider taking up the hobby more seriously. Their 10-acre campus is an oasis set in the middle of an urban neighborhood, and their selection is unbelievable. Their staff is ridiculously knowledgeable and helpful, but not overbearing. And their prices were pretty reasonable.

Here are a few shots of the finished front bed:

Completed front bed and porch - Hostas and climbing roses (existing) with new gooseneck ground cover, coralbells, white astilbe (2), Jack Frost brunnera (2), Cunningham white rhododendron, and Irish moss (6).

New tree - Petite Blue Indigo Butterfly Bush.

New tree - Close-up of the butterfly bush's flowers.

The front yard came a long way over a short weekend, but it took a lot of hard-work and effort and patience to get things just the way we wanted. So we thought the best way to reward ourselves and enjoy the fruits of our labors would be to install a porch swing.

We actually bought the swing off of Craigslist for $40 two years ago when we first moved into the house, but it was a little hard to justify "relaxing on the front porch" when there were so many other projects to finish first. So we saved it for a special occasion.

Porch Swing - It's actually pretty beat up but photographed really well. We'll be tossing a coat of paint on it sometime later this summer.

Installation - Contrary to popular belief, the trim on a house is NOT solid. Use a stud finder and make sure you tap into something structural.

Success - Swing properly installed and leveled.

The View - Where we'll be spending many evenings this summer.