Hello Nesters! We are back in action, hitting up the blogosphere with an incredible tenacity the world has yet to experience! Just as we mentioned at the end of our previous post, this post will be all about the outside and nothing about the inside. We’ve also updated the ‘About Our House’ section, so be sure to hit the top link.
House Got Back
Using the Photosynth iPhone app, we managed to capture a few panoramas that will assist in “stitching” together a visual story for those that aren’t physically here to see for themselves. If you don’t have the latest Microsoft Siverlight plug-in installed for your browser, you might want to make a quick stop and do that first since the Photosynth website uses it. Surprisingly if you’re viewing on the iPad/iPhone, it works without plug-ins because it doesn’t need them! When you’re ready, feel free to click here and here to see two different vantage points in the backyard.
We are fortunate that the house already came with a sizable concrete slab to dress up later with perhaps a pergola down the line, and also a small covered patio area for a grilling area (which we’ve already outfitted with The Beast!). There’s also a outside fan above the patio, which is a nice touch to keep the air circulating on those spicy summer days.
The only major thing we have invested in in the backyard is our revered succulent collection, made possible by the fine folks at Lowe’s. We will probably be moving this guy up to the front of the house, as we found out from our recent trip to Laredo that there are inexpensive options for some really nice Terra cotta pots. We would need a trifecta of pots, one for each free side of the concrete slab (with the remaining side being connected to the porch). We’ve had less success in the past growing and maintaining plants (herb garden)—they kept on dying for no apparent reason, ha! These succulents do not need to be babysat in Texan climate, and they are continually bearing new appendages, which is good!
We thought this hummingbird feeder would be an probable lure, but we have not seen one feeding since we got it. It might be too hot, who knows. There was a sparrow that landed on it momentarily for a quick sip, but soon left, leaving us once more with too much sugar water. We still have some sugar mix left, but after that is gone, we will probably be letting this guy off the hook.
We don’t have any huge mature trees to provide massive amounts of shade, but we are fortunate enough to have two crape myrtle trees, one having white flowers and the other, pink. This type of trees is fairly common in neighborhood-type settings, and it does a good job of bringing some color into the backyard without being overbearing.
The previous resident left us a lot of leftover bricks, which she used to plug all the holes under the fence (she had four dogs). We will need to move this somewhere out of the way, probably in the garage. Also on the agenda is removing those bricks along the fence and filling them in with dirt. There are also some uneven pits in the lawn (deep enough that if you ran around and you’re not careful, you could twist an ankle) that need to be remedied too.
There are two flower beds in the backyard that could use some TLC, but we haven’t really decided what to do with them yet, but have talked about adding a major color splash in the form of flowers! One has a rosebush and the other has some random shrubbery, so it’s pretty open-ended. That hose needs to be tamed.
It’s a great backyard: clean rectangular shape, two medium size trees, two flower beds, and a concrete slab that is begging for lounge material. The fence needs to be replaced but that’s not a high priority for us, especially when it involves neighbors going half in and contributing to the cause.
And lastly, we love seeing Penny running around chasing and barking at the birds and blade bounding around the yard. Our previous residence, a townhouse we were leasing, had a small backyard, and is easily an eighth of what we have now!
Here’s the link to the Photosynth panorama for the front of the house. It’s not as good as the backyard panoramas.
Two weekends ago we did some weed-pulling to get the front back on track as far as yard maintenance goes. We like the fact that the house already had landscaping stones in place, since those can run quite a bit on their own(maybe around $3 each?). We still have some weed-pulling to do (and also weed killing on the walkway and driveway), but after that we’d like to do a complete overhaul on the stones, dismantling and washing them, and then straightening them back out. Then we can work on the inside of the bed and trim the shrubs, prune the tree, and get some color splash in there!
Matt wasn’t too crazy about these Knock Out Roses in the beginning, but once they bloomed he changed his mind. We need to trim this guy and prune all the dead buds that are there, and there are a lot of them.
At one point in his life, Matt used to play basketball. But those days are over and this thing has got to go. It doesn’t even have a bankboard!
Here’s the left side of the house, with a place for our trash can, an ancient 17-year-old AC unit that is still chugging along, and access to the backyard. We might end up putting a mini-fence around the AC unit, and painting the trash can a brick pattern so it blends in more with the wall (Izzie’s idea).
And here the right side, the utility side, with the gas meter and breaker box. There used to be a small oak tree that was growing in the flower bed near the gas meter, but it was strongly suggested that we take a saw to that guy and cut him down, just because those things can cause problems later being close to the house. Our brother (and brother-in-law) Austin actually mentioned an option for us to do down the line, which is to move the backyard fence up to the front of the house, giving us more backyard space on the side. We would have to finagle the flower bed and make that end a little earlier than it is now, but with our neighbor’s fence already up in the front, it wouldn’t look out of whack and would allow us to have something like a storage shed on the side in the backyard. It’s a great idea and quite possibly could happen in the future!
That’s the outdoor rundown! We look forward to making changes and really curbing that appeal!