Friday, February 27, 2009

Taking a break

It's 50 degrees and partly sunny at 7:30am. Mother nature is entering her spring bi-polar stage. Rain is expected all weekend.


Enjoy the weekend. I'll be back Monday.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Planting out, again.

Today will be my second day of planting out wintersown seedlings. Some have been sitting in their containers since early January when we had unseasonably warm temperatures. The Mountain Bluet and Lunaria (Money Plant) have nearly pushed their lids off the containers. Yesterday I pulled about 10 containers aside that looked like good candidates to transplant. I'll provide a full list after I'm done.

There are two reasons for transplanting today. First, it's a cloudy, overcast day where highs are expected to reach the mid 60s. No direct sunlight means I can take my time planting and watering. Second, the moon today is in Pisces, a water sign. According to this site, Pisces is the second best sign for transplanting. You can figure the sign of any day using this handy calculator. Or, you can do like I do and just ask Farmers Almanac. These sites are also listed in the "Helpful Links" section on the right hand side of the blog.

My grandmother was a stickler for planting based on the moon. She would be the one telling my dad or uncles that they're wasting seed by planting on so-called 'barren days'. It's been too long for me to remember if she was always right, but I do remember days of hoeing and picking beans and tomatoes in rows so long you could barely see the other end. The way I see it, these old-timers know a lot more about gardening and farming than I ever will. If they say don't plant, you don't plant.

Cloudy and 39 degrees. Rain expected all weekend beginning Friday evening.

11:52am - Planting out is done.


In the perennial bed:
■ bee balm 'lemon mint'
■ red coreopsis
■ rudbeckia
■ mountain bluet
■ Virginia stock
■ linaria 'flaming passion' - toadflax
■ hollyhocks (yellow, double yellow, and Indian summer)
■ sea holly
■ salvia 'blue bedder'

In the moon garden:
■ Shasta Daisy mix
■ Lunaria (money plant)

In the potager:
■ Borage

While digging around in the perennial bed, I found some of the direct sown poppies have begun to sprout. Oh, and lots of acorns with 6" tap roots.


Everything got a bit of fertilizer and watered. It's 50 degrees and overcast but the sun is trying its best to make it through the haze.

3:53pm - 63 degrees. Mostly sunny. I've got the windows open.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Yes. It's sleeting. I don't remember this being in the forecast. Seems mother nature is getting one more jab in before the temperatures warm up this week. We should be looking at upper 60s by Friday with a weekend of rain.


Today is a work day. At some point, when I need a break, I will head outside and separate the wintersown containers into two groups. One group will get planted out on Thursday. The other group will stay in their containers until there's more growth or warmer temperatures.

It's 28 degrees and cloudy with a light sleet/freezing rain. The sun is trying to break through. I love these kinds of mornings.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

This is my house.

Yesterday, the larger bedroom was returned to me. I spent the evening painting the ceiling, including the 'painted molding'. It's a perfectly good way to get a straight line when painting against a ceiling that is unlevel or textured. That bedroom is already a bright spring yellow.



The smaller bedroom is my office. I have a desk and one chair in there. The rug on the floor is a wheat color. I like the crisp green during the day.



And then there is the dining room. Yes, I probably went a little overboard with the staging, but I wanted to present it in all it's tiny glory. The table is only temporary. The dishes are not.



We've come a long way. I still want new furniture for the living room and bedroom. And of course I need houseplants. But I can honestly say, I love my house. Time to get to work so I can pay for it.

Thomas Jefferson's figs

On Sunday I watched Ken Burns' documentary on PBS about Thomas Jefferson. I kept waiting to hear them talk of his fig collection at Monticello. During his stay in France, Jefferson took cuttings from many plants for his farm back in Virginia. One of those cuttings was a fig named "White Marseilles". He wrote about them and sent cuttings to friends of his once he returned from France to Monticello.

In 1809, Jefferson wrote to Dr. William Thornton, a close friend and architect of the Capitol in Washington: "I will take some occasion of sending you some cuttings of the Marseilles fig, which I brought from France with me, & is unquestionably superior to any fig I have ever seen."[2] This variety was planted in the "submural beds" at the base of the kitchen garden wall, which afforded a warm microclimate necessary to bear fruit. Jefferson had unusual success with figs and noted their appearance at the Monticello table in 1816 and 1820. He also shared Marseilles figs with John Hartwell Cocke, owner of Bremo Plantation along the James River. Cocke sent his slave Jesse to Monticello in 1817 to collect some plants.
from The Jefferson Encyclopedia

I received cuttings of the White Marseilles fig from a GardenWeb user in mid January. I tried the baggie method to root a few of the cuttings. None survived. However, those that I planted directly into soil have rooted. I've got two of these plants in the basement now. When it produces fruit, I'd like to think that what I will be eating, is the same fig that one of our founding fathers enjoyed. It's like tasting history.



It's 25 degrees and sunny. High today should be in the upper 40s. A warm front is moving in for the weekend. Very few nights of freezing weather in the 10 day forecast.

Monday, February 23, 2009

I'm cold.

I am so over this winter crap. When I went to bed last night, it was 29 degrees. This morning at 7am, it was 18. It's 19 almost an hour and a half later. This is not normal for us. We should be in the mid/upper 30s at night by the end of February. The Weather Channel says two more days of this before we return to normal. Come on Wednesday!

The forsythia across the street agrees.


It's still 19 degrees. Sunny and clear.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Perennial Bed

Sunday's picture taken Saturday afternoon.


The next few weeks should be interesting as the temperatures start to climb.

Anise Hyssop "Golden Jubilee" has returned.

The ornamental grasses are putting out new growth.

The knockout roses are leafing out again.

Shasta daisies divided and transplanted in December are multiplying again.

The transplanted echinacea looks healthy.

Wintersown Dianthus "Sweet William" is hanging on strong even as temperatures have dipped well below freezing.

It's 41 degrees and overcast. A light rain passed through early this morning.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

10 day forecast

It's that time of year. I wake up every morning to check the 10-day forecast over at Since Thursday, they have slowly been decreasing the daily highs for next week. This also means that the nightly lows drop as well. I'm anxiously awaiting the forecast that doesn't show any temperatures below freezing. Sure, I'm probably a little early for that. But it never hurts to dream.

Last night, we had a low of 21 with a very heavy frost this morning. I wonder how my wintersown seedlings in the garden are doing? It's sunny now with a temperature of 32. Today's high should be in the upper 50s. It's a nice day to be outside, after noon.

7:18pm - Notice how they keep moving the temperatures down?

Photobucket Photobucket

This morning I have more work to do on the new project. Maybe this afternoon I can get outside for a bit and check on the plants and sprouts.

Friday, February 20, 2009


I have finally identified a nasty looking plant growing in the woods out back of the house. It's Poncirus trifoliata, or Hardy Orange. My research tells me there should be blooms in the spring with fruit later in the year. The fruit is inedible. I've put it on my list of things to watch for as the season changes.



It's 27 degrees and sunny. A high of 42 is expected.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Green and the Psychology of Colors

Notice anything different this morning? I've changed the background of the blog to a soft green color. Why green?

Currently the most popular decorating color, green symbolizes nature. It is the easiest color on the eye and can improve vision. It is a calming, refreshing color. People waiting to appear on TV sit in "green rooms" to relax. Hospitals often use green because it relaxes patients. Brides in the Middle Ages wore green to symbolize fertility. Dark green is masculine, conservative, and implies wealth. However, seamstresses often refuse to use green thread on the eve of a fashion show for fear it will bring bad luck.

Color Psychology

Green is also the prominent color inside my house. One of the bedrooms is a light grass green.


The living room is a sage green that changes colors during the day based on the weather.


The dining room is a dark greenish brown.


The bathroom is a dark gray with green undertones.


Eventually, every room in the house will be painted with some version of green. I find the color and all its variations to be soothing. Now, if the trees would cooperate and give us some outside green, I'll be happier. Spring is coming.

43 degrees, light fog, with sunlight streaming through the trees out back. Thunderstorms and rain again last night.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Wordless Wednesday






For more Wordless Wednesday, visit here.


7:56pm - 52 degrees

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Taking Advantage of Delays

I was told yesterday that I would get the information I needed to start my new project this morning. It arrived just short of 3pm. Typical and not at all unexpected. So I took advantage of the delays to finish a few things in the yard. I told you I would still get outside a few hours even while working on projects.

First, I added 45 plugs of periwinkle to the front slope. Last February, I killed the grass on the driveway side as a test area. A few weeks later, I added more. Finally, I mowed it all down in July once I was sure it was well rooted. It's ugly right now, but I'll repeat the process several more times this year to force new growth. The first bloom appeared this weekend. I can't wait to see this hill covered in purple blossoms.



I also took a ride to the landfill. I had enough time to get a single load of leaf mulch for the hedge I'm planting at the end of the driveway. I also planted a few container plants I rooted last spring and summer. Four forsythias, two boxwood euonymous, and two mahonias now reside in the newly created bed. The euonymous and forsythia are about 4" tall. But they'll grow a lot this year if I water them well and fertilize often. I would have preferred to wait a year to plant this area, but the mulch is well composted. You should have seen the steam coming off of it when they loaded it. It smells really earthy.



This is one of the mahonias in the edge of the woods behind the house. I even found a 6' tall camellia in bloom today. I wonder how hard it is to dig up a camellia?


Here's another plant I found in the woods. I have no clue. It's got a tuber. I think it has a red flower on it in summer. The leaves are very sharp.


This pyracantha "Mohave" will be moved soon. I want to wait until it rains tomorrow. It's in a really dry location. Originally, I had planned to espalier this one across the chimney. I think it would be happier with less pruning in the new bed near the gully. I'm sure the birds will appreciate the effort. I've got 6 cuttings in the aerochamber downstairs. I've already decided where they'll go once they root.


The redbud tree near the hammock is still showing flower buds. Once they open, spring has arrived. These can be found all through the NC woods. You'll see Eastern Redbuds along most interstates where the native forests haven't been cut down. They are beautiful mixed in with dogwoods.


And finally, here's something only I really ever see. This is the view of the yard looking back towards the house. I had turned around from the mahonia I photographed and decided it would make a nice shot. I can't wait to get rid of the hoophouse for the summer. The entire edge of this area will eventually be planted with flowering or fragrant shrubs. I'll mix in some dogwoods, azaleas, and redbuds too.


Now, I need another cup of coffee. I do have a few hours of work to do this evening. I love making my own schedule.

Winter 2009, part two

Last night the temperature dipped into the upper teens. When I turned on the computer this morning, Accuweather told me it was 19 degrees at 8am. I had hoped that a week of nice weather would help me get through this current phase of cold weather. It did the opposite. My fingers are numb from the cold. The coffee doesn't stay warm long enough to finish a whole cup.

Outside my window, two blue jays are having a go at each other. There's a bluebird nesting in a knot in the old oak tree in the front yard. The sun is starting to peek its head over the trees in the back of the property. A bright red cardinal is perched on the tip of the red flowering dogwood. The forsythia is at least half done opening its blooms.

When I open the door, everyone scatters. I think they're camera shy. It's too cold for me to sit still and wait for them to return.


It's currently 23 degrees and sunny. The high today should be in the upper 40s. Rain is in the forecast for tomorrow. I need another cup of coffee.

Monday, February 16, 2009


I'm going to be making a few visual changes to the blog over the next few days. Most notably, the images will be larger than before. This means the text will be wider too. I hope your monitors are large enough. A 1024x768 resolution should work fine.

Sunday's picture. Taken today.


More changes might be coming later. It's 11pm, 32 degrees and clear.

Back to Work

This time, it's not in the yard. I've got a meeting this morning at 10:30am with a new client for the project I bid on a few weeks ago. I'm ready to work. It's been a long break. At least I got lots done in the yard. I could have used another week, but not having worked since Thanksgiving, funds are running low. The money will be nice. I'll still find a way to get outside an hour or two each day between now and the end of March when this one will be due.

In case you're curious, I build architectural models. I have a degree from UNCCharlotte in Architecture. I graduated in 2000 after 6 long years of no sleep, too many cups of coffee, and a lot of learning. In May 1997, I went to work for a model maker part time. I really enjoyed the work so by the time I graduated, I had no plans to become an architect. Instead, I found that working with my mind and my hands was a better path. In October 2004, I left that company and started my own. Here are some examples of work I have done in the past.

Yesterday was a very good day for playing in the dirt. In the basement, I had started seeds for Yvonne's Salvia, Zinnias 'Purity', hot pink trailing petunias (collected from my own plants), and an assortment of tomatoes. Last fall, I started a few varieties of echinacea and rudbeckia. They have been in the hoophouse all winter and really haven't put out much growth. I still transplanted all of them to individual containers and put them back in their sheltered homes until spring. The indoor seedlings were also transplanted into single containers. They're under lights right now since a sudden hard freeze or frost would send them into the netherworld. I'll need to make a new inventory list of all my plants during the coming week.

I did not transplant the tomatoes. I want to wait until they have at least 2 true leaves on the seedlings. I need to add a little more soil to the container they're in. This will allow them to put out more roots along the buried stems. Not sure where all of those plants will go. I haven't even begun to germinate the cherry varieties yet. I might wintersow those and hope for the best.

In the yard, I found several new crocus bulbs blooming. These are in the perennial bed. Last spring, I was already cutting grass at this point so I probably mowed them down before they had a chance to bloom. There's foliage all throughout the bed. I can't wait to see what else pops up over there this year. On the side slope, a single periwinkle bloom caught my eye. I'll have to get a picture later this afternoon when it's open again. For now, here's the crocus.


Last night, the forecast was for early morning snow. It did rain a little during the night, but now the sky is clear and the sun is peeking through the trees. It's 34 degrees.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

A new project

It seems that just when I think I am done creating new beds, another idea comes into my head. This time, the plan is to create a "living fence" at the end of the driveway. Currently, the old, tired concrete of the driveway turns into weeds and bermuda grass of the back yard. I started on Friday by transplanting six Euonymus Grandiflora from various places in the yard. I pruned the larger ones back to the size of two I grew from cuttings last spring.



There's very little privacy or intimacy. So the plan now, is to create a hedge composed of evergreen shrubs, flowering and fragrant shrubs, a few small trees, and some perennials and annuals. Thanks to the GardenWeb crew in the Cottage Garden forum, here's what I've come up with.

evergreen shrubs
-gardenia (4'x6') blooms in June
-euonymous (6'x8')
-pyracantha (8'x12')
-varigated privet (6'x6')
-boxwood euonymous (2'x3')

Those will give me year round privacy. I'm looking at a 3 row staggered planting of the evergreens.

deciduous shrubs

-variegated and wine & roses wigelia blooms in June/July
-forsythia (6'x6') blooming now in February
-butterfly bush (6'x8') blooms all summer til frost
-flowering quince (6'x6') first to bloom usually starting in late January.

For some height variation, I plan to mix in lavender and white crepe myrtles. I'll plant them in the middle row and use the shrubs to protect the roots from the sun.

In between all that, I can plant rosemary, a few knockout roses (pink and yellow), perennials like lavender, blue and purple salvias, shastas, coneflowers, and rudbeckia until the shrubs get established. Annuals will provide a little color this year. And of course there will be spring bulbs like daffodils and hyacinths.

I thought I was done creating beds in this yard. I'm tired of shoveling leaf mulch and tilling. But nonetheless, I'll be heading to the landfill at least 3 times this week to get the two kinds of mulch I will need to create a bed here. Yes, it will take years to complete. I have nothing but time.

It's 39 degrees and sunny. High today expected in the mid-50s. I'll be working in the basement transplanting seedlings into larger containers.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Let's Talk Tomatoes

I've already started some of my seeds this year in the basement.


I plan to be better prepared both in the varieties I grow and the bed they're planted in this year. I've done a lot of research over the winter to increase my production. Now, it's time to put those plans into results.

First, I'll need an area about 10' x 20'. I'd like a larger area, but I want to grow a few other veggies in the potager too. I'll till this bed to at least 12" deep. I'll need to incorporate a lot of composted leaves rather than using it as a mulch like I did last year. I will mix in a fair amount of lime in the form of wood ashes from the heater downstairs. I'll install soaker hoses before I plant anything. And I'll use the Florida Weave for supporting the plants. Straw will be used to mulch after planting. I want to produce enough to can for the winter months when grocery store tomatoes just won't do.

As for varieties, I've got some standards that do well in the South and a few that I have never grown nor tasted.

Beefsteak: Red. 12-16 oz fruit. Indeterminate. 60-90 DTM. Great for slicing and sandwhiches.

Rutgers: Red. 6 oz fruit. Determinate. 75 DTM. For canning. Abundant supply.

San Marzano: Red. 4 oz fruit. Indeterminate. 85 DTM. Best choice for sauces and canning. A Roma style tomato.

Bursztyn: Orange. 8-12 oz fruit. Indeterminate. 69-85 DTM. Slicing, salads, and canning.

Green Zebra: Green with yellow stripes. 6 oz fruit. Indeterminate. 78 DTM. Tart and acidic. Should be good for salads and canning.

Hawaiian Pineapple: Yellow-Orange. 12-16 oz fruits. Indeterminate. 93 DTM. Very sweet.

I've got other varieties as well, but these are my main focus. In addition, there are lots of cherry tomatoes, black cherry, sweet 100s, yellow pear, purple cherry, Italian cherry, and many others. The traders at have been extremely generous. One or two plants of each should suffice.

In another week, I should be able to repot the seedlings that have germinated. They'll first go into 20 ounce drink cups. This will allow me to fill in with more soil as the plants grow creating deep, strong roots. I'll use 'supercropping' to bruise the main stems keeping them stronger and shorter until they are planted outside. It's a method developed by a certain herbaceous growing society that hides everything in foil lined closets under very bright lights. Since the two plants are related genetically, whatever works for them should work with tomatoes. I'll go into more detail with that as the last weeks of winter turn to spring.

Enough talk. My mouth is watering just thinking about the sweet, juicy tomatoes I'll be harvesting this summer.

It's 43 degrees, overcast and drizzly. More rain is expected this afternoon with lows tonight just above freezing.

Friday, February 13, 2009

What's in a name?

As I've worked to reclaim parts of the yard that were lost over time to overgrown shrubs and self planted trees, I've given names to almost every section of the yard. I haven't been very original with the names. Instead, they are utilitarian in regards to either location or purpose.

So far, I have:

The Perennial Garden - runs North to South along the driveway. Mostly perennial plants, some shrubs, and ornamental grasses. The birdbath is located here as well as an arbor for climbing roses. This area receives some morning sun in summer with direct, hot afternoon sun. In winter, it receives dappled sunlight all day.


The Front Bed - runs from the front steps to the basement door. A very dry garden with poor soil and horrible moisture retention. This bed was filled with azaleas and boxwoods when I moved in. It was the first bed I cleared. A few foundation plantings have been installed. A Japanese Maple was planted here in 2008. Long blooming perennials such as coreopsis and salvia will be installed this spring. When the front stoop roof is rebuilt, a climbing rose will be incorporated into the design to grace the front entry and hide the broken, cracked bricks of the steps. Ideally, I would like to rebuild the steps, but the cost involved makes me think hiding the problem is more realistic. Structurally, only the roof needs to be replaced. Mostly full sun regardless of season, the area under the living room window receives the most sun.


The Daylily Bed - runs along both retaining walls parallel to the driveway. Ditch lilies and spider lilies were transplanted last year. Wintersown daylilies will be placed here once they germinate. The area receives early morning and late afternoon sun all year.


The Rear Bed - runs along the back of the house. This bed contains strawberries, gardenias, ginger lilies, African lilies, and a few dwarf ornamental grasses. From the a/c unit to the Northeast corner, this portion of the bed will be planted with white flowering plants to coordinate with the moon garden. A patio will eventually be installed to span what currently almost resembles a lawn between the rear bed and the moon garden. It will be a nice place to sit in the evenings after the mosquitoes have gone to bed. Receives full sun until midday.


The Moon Garden - A triangular piece of ground to the rear of the house. This bed was filled with dying azaleas and overgrown boxwoods. Cleared of everything, I have installed mock orange, buddelia 'White Profusion', two common gardenias, and scabiosa. Shasta daisies and other white blooming plants will be placed here as the wintersown sprouts are ready. I have nicotiana, brugmansia, datura inoxia, petunias, and others planned for this area. In summer, this bed receives some morning and afternoon sun.


The Potager - runs from the lower corner of the moon garden along the edge of the "woods" to the hammock. This area will be for food production this summer. I've cleared out more overgrown shrubs, some small trees, lots of ivy and periwinkle. I tilled the soil to a depth of 8" and added 4-6" of leaf mulch this winter. The paths between the planting beds are covered with wood mulch. Very acidic, the soil needs another application of lime this spring. I chose this area for the veggies because it receives the most sun of any part of the yard. For about 2 hours each day, the large oak across the driveway blocks only a small portion of sunlight.


The North Bed - runs along the north side of the house. This is one of my two most neglected beds. I currently have hosta bulbs planted. Along the wall that borders this space, I placed Leyland Cypress trees on 8' centers. Although the bed is long and narrow already, I hope these will grow upright and provide a natural visual and physical barrier. Anything to block that chain link fence will be an improvement. This area receives only morning sunlight. Plants will have to be tolerant of extremely heavy shade conditions. Finding shrubs for this bed has been a challenge.


The Shade Garden - directly beneath the dining room window beside the front steps. This bed was also filled with overgrown shrubs. Everything was removed and the soil was tilled to about 8". Shredded leaves were incorporated into the soil. A single small camellia still exists in this bed. Nothing else has managed to grow well here. I would like to plant gardenias here, but the soil is far too acidic. I'm planning to plant this area with impatiens this summer. I may need to amend the soil further. We'll consider it a test run. This bed receives minimal sunlight in summer and dappled afternoon sun in winter.


The Back Border - runs from the hammock to the edge of the gully. This area is the hardest to visualize. I've planted a few forsythia and buddelia so far. Existing plants include mock orange, a lavender crepe myrtle, lots of periwinkle, and nandinas. A few boxwoods continue to regrow from the roots regardless of how many times I try to get rid of them. Daffodils sprout each spring at the base of some trees. Just beyond the edge of the border, an Eastern Redbud provides a little spring color. This area receives some morning sun, but more afternoon sun especially in summer.


The Gully - runs along the property line to the from the back border to the street. By far, this is the area in most need to serious work. Over the years, it became a dumping ground for stumps and tree limbs and broken bricks/concrete. I've planted a couple redtwig dogwoods, small privet transplants, and have lots of pussywillow that I plan to install in a few weeks once the cuttings are better rooted. During rain storms, this area is saturated. I would like to create a rain garden in this area, but the cleanup necessary would be too much for me to handle without serious landscaping machinery. Instead, I've chosen to hide the gully and allow it to revert to a more natural state. It's full of wildlife including a variety of birds, squirrels, and snakes. Lots of snakes. The ground is covered with English Ivy. Privet grows uncontrolled here. The area receives sun until noon in every season. A large magnolia is the only positive aspect of this area. I have yet to see it bloom.


The Azalea Bed - between the concrete slab of the driveway and the perennial bed. In 2008, I planted 50 azaleas along the edge of the gully. Due to taking out several large trees and opening up more of the backyard, the azaleas were taking a beating from the late afternoon sun. I moved them in the fall to this area. In the center of the bed is the large oak tree. In the fall, thousands upon thousands of acorns litter the ground. There are 4 camellias regrowing from their roots. Only two were visible when I purchased the property. Two are red bloomers with the other two unknown. Obviously a very acidic area, the azaleas should appreciate the woodland settings. Spider lilies and trumpet vine have naturalized along the ground. English Ivy is slowly creeping back in. The azaleas will have mature sizes of 4-10' tall and wide. The area receives dappled sunlight in all seasons. The end closest to the street receives some late afternoon sun in summer. Rose of Sharon is planted as an edge separating the bed from the perennial garden.


The Slope - runs from the front walkway steps along the top of the retaining wall, turns north and runs parallel to the street to the stone wall. This area was "grass" when I moved in. Full of weeds and a pain to mow, I killed the vegetation here and planted periwinkle last February. This year, I'm trying to finish the project along the street edge. In the corner is another large oak tree. Daffodils and tulips ring the base of the tree in spring. In summer, violet queen regrows from the roots. A self-sown petunia sprouted here last spring. I scattered seeds all summer hoping more will grow this year. The periwinkle seems to be adept at handling the hot, dry soil better than the "lawn" did. This area receives full sun on the walkway end and dappled sun on the street edge.


My greatest challenge has been trying to create a cohesive plan that ties all these different areas together. One thing is certain, with all the wintersown perennials, annuals, shrubs, and trees, I should make a large dent in the plans I've made for all these areas. I just hope it looks like there was a plan when I'm finished. I also expect it to take 3-5 years to mature.

I've also got to start thinking about repairs to the house itself. Around the roof, there is wooden trim that has lots of peeling paint and some rotting wood. The gutters were replaced when the new shingles were installed before closing. The previous owner paid for this work as a condition of the sale contract. The front porch cover also needs to be removed and rebuilt. I would like to incorporate an arched design here as well. Handrails need to be built. A few bricks need to be replaced. All the walls need some sort of stone or brick cap. The kitchen door needs to be replaced to match the other two. The side porch needs to be painted. I want to install some sort of roof over that door as well. I want to add a full glass storm door to the front of the house. The list goes on and on.

There are lots of plans are in my head, many of them expensive to carry out. I have to remember that everything takes time. Patience is not something I have a lot of.