Here we are, homeowners! Notice the blank slate the outdoors presents us with.
Our very first addition to our curb appeal came from Dan's mom, who dug up a few plants from her garden to bring us. We had no garden beds dug at that point in time, so we stuck them in a pot and watered them from time to time.
Next up, my mom volunteered to come out over Labor Day weekend with plants in tow. She has beautiful gardens that needed some thinning out, so she graciously offered her assistance. We hatched this plan very soon after we moved in, and every one knew that I'd be very pregnant by this point in time, so perhaps not a whole lot of help. Fortunately, Dan is the bomb-diggity when it comes to outdoor work. (Pun, get it? Bomb-DIGitty.) He also arranged for his friend to drop off 2+ cubic yards of mulch so our beds would look finished and for the overall health of our plants.
Here Dan is, starting to work on the very rocky soil by our deck. (All of the soil, in fact, was incredibly compacted and rocky.)
Now, to throw a wrench in our plans, my little sister had to go and get a job the Tuesday before Labor Day in a spot a few hours from my parents' house. The world was thrown into an uproar, and various family members helped her find an apartment, move her things, and set up her classroom in a few short days. Accordingly, our plans were rearranged. (No worries, Jo!) Instead of my parents visiting over Labor Day weekend, they came the next. It gave Dan a few extra days to get the garden beds dug to his (and my!) liking. I did helpful things like sort through the rocks he turned up. This was a multiple evening chore. He must have spent 10 hours working just to get the beds ready.
Mom and Dad arrived late Friday night, and Saturday morning we got to work! It was cool and rainy, which is very unusual for the summer we've been having, but perfect for planting. We laid out things, rearranged a bit, and stuck them in the ground, even taking the plants my mother-in-law brought from the pots and replanting them in the ground. We have a dogwood planted out front, which you can see below (far right), and I can't wait to see it bloom next spring!
The end results?
It is amazing how a few plants can change the house from being plopped on a lot to being loved. I've been instructed to water daily until the plants are well established, and I can proudly say that I've done it... for 2 days. I'll stick with it until the baby comes. Then it's Dan's job for a few weeks!
I'm positive that there will be some more changes to come in our landscaping over the next few years. We'd like to grow something on the trellises attached to the top of the fence (we needed some more privacy on our deck) -- maybe clematis or roses or trumpet vines. I hope to plant a couple of trees out back, too, to provide some shade. Oh, and a veggie garden next year. But for now, I am satisfied with the major changes these plants made to our curb appeal! Thanks Dad, Mom, and Dan for all of your hard work!