When we first came to see the dream home with our agent we saw potential. It was easy to focus on all the things that weren’t yet finished, or hadn’t yet been started. But we chose to look at it differently, to focus on what we could do with the space.
As you’ve seen in previous posts, the house lacked curb appeal. There was really nothing special about it from the outside. It seemed pretty plain, and to be honest, for the list price the house looked quite small. We quickly realized that looks could be deceiving when we did our walk through and saw the amount of space that was hidden from view at the back of the house.
Once we moved in we found the list of things we wanted to do to the house grow to some scary extremes. Now having been here a year we have seen a lot of those tasks get crossed off that list. This summer though, we made a promise to each other that we would kick our butts into high gear and really put a focus on the front of the house to get it looking beautiful. You’ve seen us stain our deck, add wreaths and decorative flower pots/hanging baskets to add some color. You’ve also recently seen us put in some gardens, rock walls, and hostas along the house. But now I want to show you the struggle of achieving (even just a patch) of green grass.
We knew from day one this would be a struggle. The previous owners didn’t mow. Which meant that all our lawn was hay. Weeds and rocks and clover were the only things we seemed to actually have. Grass, not so much. I mentioned to you in a previous post about our neighbor landscaping his front and back yard (same size lot as ours) and it cost over $20 000! We didn’t want to spend that, not even close. So we took it upon ourselves to do the work and hopefully (eventually) achieve something close to a lush, green, grass filled lawn.
Dave spent all summer last year mowing. Just mowing down the field and clover and establishing our property lines and making sure that we could see the ground so we knew what we had to work with. And eventually we started to see small amounts of grass growing alongside the weeds and clover. When we decided to put in the garden bed, we also took on the task of getting some grass around it. Specifically in the spot seen above. Located directly in the front of the house, next to our deck and driveway. It seemed like not even weeds could get established there.
We had large mounts of dirt that we used for our garden beds and we set aside the leftovers to fill this area in and seed for grass. It was only a small area, but we felt that by making sure it had grass it could really change the entire look of the house.
Dave took to the tractor and used it to spread the dirt over the area. Now, once again folks, we are not landscapers! I’ve never had to put grass in, or cover rocks, or do anything close in comparison to this. We learned a lot, and tried a few different techniques. But this is what worked for us for this year.
Once we got a decently flat area we decided we could now work on the grass. This was not perfectly level, nor was it completely free of rocks, but it was ten times better than what was there before.
We had a small amount of sod left over from doing the lawn at the City House. And with some watering and seed for the rest of the dirt we slowly saw grass fill in.
Now I’ll show you the finished product.
Please ignore that piece of wood in the driveway, as well as our wiener dog. Its coming in nice and green and although its far from perfect if you’d kindly scroll back up to the before photos you’ll see it’s still a huge improvement. This is only stage one of grass, this will probably continue to be a struggle for us for several years as we slowly (patch by patch) fill in, level, and seed other areas of our lawn. Even next year, this area will have settled and most likely need a few fills of dirt and seed as well. But that’s the never ending list of maintenance we homeowners take on.