Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Story of the Azaleas

Not gonna lie, for the entire first year we lived in our house, we definitely neglected the outside gardens. We really did nothing to the yard at all except cut the grass. But when this spring rolled around and it started getting warm out, I started itching to get the front of our house to look nice.

I don't have any early pictures that I took of the front of the house, except for the 1 that I snagged off the MLS listing when we were under contract. So unfortunately, I can't truly document how awful our front garden was. Here is the one and only picture:As you can see, we live in a pretty basic, traditional 3 level townhouse. But we're talking about gardens right now, so pay close attention to the monstronsity below the front window - our "azalea garden". Here, I've highlighted it's beauty:It's actually 4 different plants, that have been so neglected that they have grown into 1 plant, as well as being completely covered in ivy and other vines. So they looked really nice, let me tell you. I'm sorry I don't have a close up picture in all their glory.

Anyways, the first weekend it was warm here, I got the brilliant idea that we needed to pull out the azaleas and replant something else there. J was actually working all weekend, so I told him that I would handle the whole project on my own. Here's how our conversation went:

Me: I'm going to rip out all of those azaleas this weekend while you are working so we can start planting something else and make a nice garden.
J: That's a really huge project, you won't be able to do that all on your own.
Me: Yes I will - I'm a beast with clippers.
J: No way - you have no idea how to dig out stumps, plus they probably weigh like 100 pounds each.
Me: I'm doing will be coming home to a completely different looking house!

Needless to say, as soon as I started cutting the branches, I realized this project was WAY over my head and I would never be able to do it all myself. I did manage to take clippers to all the branches and trimmed all the plants back to small stumps. I was very proud of my progress.

J got home later that afternoon and even he agreed he was impressed by how much I had done. However, the hard part was still ahead - pulling those 4 stumps out of the ground. We quickly realized that these probably 20+ year old plants were definitely going to put up a fight to be dug up. That led us to one simple resolution: The Jeep.

Yes, we used J's Jeep Cherokee and rope to pull out all 4 stumps. Unfortunately, I have no pictures of this undertaking, because I was laughing too hard to hold my camera. Let's just say it involved me laughing, J cursing and lots and lots of rope. Probably about 50 different attempts to get all of them.

BUT we now have an adorable and tidy start to a little garden! We have planted 3 small spruce trees so far and I LOVE them. We also mulched the area, which made a huge difference. We obviously still have alot of work to do, as far as more things being planted and also adding a small rock wall around the garden to finish it off. I can't get over how much it changed the front of the house and made it look so much better. A little elbow grease and hard work majorly paid off!

Here are a few afters:

I tried to take a picture at the same angle that the MLS picture was taken. Also - we have painted our front door red (which is a whole post in itself!). We still desperately need to re-paint our shutters - they are so faded!

Closer shot of the trees. They are tiny now, but they should grow to be about 4-6'. I sort of like how little they look now. We want to eventually rip out all of the "grass" and turn that entire section into a garden. An added bonus from ripping out the azaleas - we found a 2nd water spicket hidden behind them! Yay for having running water in the front of our house!

So that's our story of the azaleas. So happy they are gone!


Same Sweet Girl: Memoir of a Southern Belle said...

Awww I love your little trees!! We did the exact same thing with our yard!!! We moved in and paid all the attention to the inside and none to the outside. Just this year we decided to really give some love to our yard. It looks nice and it was a lot of fun too! :)

Your house is beautiful!!!!!

KatiePerk said...

Wow! That makes a huge difference! I like the blue planter on your porch! We are about to do a similar jeep/rope move on our holly hedges in the front of our house. They have got to go!

Christine said...

Great work! It looks so much better now!!

EmilyB said...

Looks great!!! (and so funny that you found a new spigot!)

Red and White Preppy said...

The trees are cute :) I was giggling over the story...sounds very similar!

Emily said...

Wow, you are very impressive! I love it. I'm also impressed that you are able to do your own landscaping and paint your front door in the townhome - do you have to go through crazy hoops to get it approved, or is it up to you?

Emily said...

Whooops, posted from the wrong account. I hate when that happens!

Belle said...

It looks so much better now! Great job!

Sara @ Russet Street Reno said...

Wow, it looks so much better! We have big shrubs that need to be ripped out, too. Love what you've done!

Tiffany said...

It looks great! What a difference!! And your tree in bloom looks gorgeous!

The Pink Tutu said...

This makes me laugh because one time I went over to bf's house and found him in his Hummer with a rope attached to it and a tree and was pulling the tree out. I thought it was hilarious! Glad to hear you're making good progress.

Ashley said...

Want to come rip out a tree in my backyard?

Looking good! I like it :)

Miss Madison's Mommy said...

Looks great!!

Lisa said...

I think it looks great! The little trees look so fresh and inviting! We moved into our house last fall and now are starting to do the same thing. Our bushes are SO ugly and shaped into squares so we really need to get trimming!

Hilary Lane said...

That's too bad, azaleas are usually so pretty!! We definitely had to do the rope & truck trick with a couple of our dead bushes this year. Your new garden looks great though!

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