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Home improvements

There's two projects on the table: the front yard and the floor.

Our postage stamp of a front yard has three things that need correcting: the hole, the walkway, and the flowerbed.

Our friend Dalit recently came by and liberated all the transplanted hosta from our front yard. This left a small but noticeable hole. I should be able to fill in the hole with some fresh dirt and grass seed; now that the weather has cooled, the grass has a chance to grow.

The walkway is bordered by 4x4's and bricks. I dug it out recently so that Jim, our friendly local handyman, could pour us a new concrete walkway. There were flowers there when I bought the house, but the condo lawn service weedwhacked them. Yaay. I need flowers to go there; any suggestions will be considered.

The flowerbed is trickier. The flowerbed runs along the front of the house, and is bare since I dug it out. It had hosta in it in a random fashion, which I moved further up the yard, now removed by Dalit. Karen would like periwinkle put there as ground cover. That means calling around to find a place that has periwinkle, and making sure I have enough fill dirt to do the job. I'm working days every day this week except Thursday, and I need to get my flat tire on my car fixed. (It has a full-size spare, and I haven't had a chance yet to get to Firestone since I got a flat on Wednesday...I *should* be okay, but I don't want to let it go forever.) It's looking like that's a job for Monday the 15th, which I have off due to working Sunday the 14th. I could get asked for an extra shift (and if so, I'll do it, because we could use the dough) which will put it off further. I'd hate to leave it too long, but hell, it's waited this long already.

And then, there's the floors. I had Thursday off, and while my car's 60K maintenance was being done, I took a loaner car and ran some errands. I went to Wood Floors Plus, recommended to us by Jim and Karynya Bannon. After consulting by telephone with Karen, I chose a flooring made of maple, but constructed like Pergo so that it locks together without a need for a subfloor. WFP mentioned that if we used Pergo, it wouldn't add value to the house, whereas hardwood (no matter how thin it was, and this stuff isn't very thick) can be sanded, stained, and refinished, which does add value to the house. We called Jim again, and he'll do it for us; it'll go in our living room, dining room, and kitchen.

The downside is that WFP doesn't take credit cards. I have an order on file with them, and the driver (the total supplies won't fit in my car, and they deliver cheaply) will take a check...so after I get paid next, I'll see if we can coordinate them delivering it, Jim coming to do it, and us boxing the books so that the furniture is easy to move.

Hopefully, this can all be done during the month of September. It'd be nice to start the new year (not that wacky December-January one, mind you, but the one on September 28) with some positive home changes.


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 7th, 2003 10:43 am (UTC)
Good luck with the changes!

How wide a space next to your walkway do you want to fill? Sunny or shady? And is it flat ground, or sloped? Do you want perennials or annuals?

We have bulbs (tulips and dafs) next to our front steps, and after they run their course we add in some impatiens and the like. That combination seems to work well. I guess technically you should dig up the bulbs every five years or so and split them, but otherwise they're maintenance-free. (We've lived here four years, in case you're wondering. :-) )

My parents put periwinkle in the bed in front of their house and it seems to be working well for them. My mother has something of a brown thumb (as do I) and it's still alive. :-)
Sep. 8th, 2003 02:47 pm (UTC)
I haven't changed the space alongside the walkway. It's about one flower wide.

It's technically sunny, but considering that our house faces north, it doesn't exactly get much sun.

It's slightly sloped.

I want flowers all the time. Even in snow. Without building a greenhouse, how close can I come to that ideal?

We won't be here forever. The combination need not be exciting. It will, however, be low maintenance, because I won't dig 'em up again. I don't have that level of motivation.

Good to hear that periwinkle is a wise idea. :)
(Deleted comment)
Sep. 9th, 2003 05:54 pm (UTC)
Thanks. I guess I should break out the camera and shows the before and after...once there's an after to show! :)
Sep. 9th, 2003 07:03 pm (UTC)
Oops, sorry about that. LJ (or perhaps my browser) was spazzing on me; I thought the post hadn't gone through so reposted, then saw that it was there twice and deleted one. Meanwhile, you replied. :-)
Sep. 9th, 2003 01:00 pm (UTC)
Ok, "one flower wide" and "flowers all the time" could be a challenging combination. :-)

I would suggest planting a variety of bulbs and then, when they've run their course (late May or early June), planting some small annuals on top of them. You can just mow the leaves/stalks from the bulbs once they're done, though you should give them some time after the flowers are done to finish bulking up for the winter before you cut them clean. Annuals pretty much stay in bloom all summer, in exchange for you having to do it all over again the next year. On the bulb side, you want to get someone who's better at this than I am to advise you on the right mix of crocus (will start to bloom in late winter), tulips (assorted spring), dafodils (later spring), and iris (late spring). Most of these are ok with partial sun in my (limited) experience.

I don't know of any single perennial that stays in bloom all spring/summer, and you're pretty much out of luck for the winter no matter what you do if you want actual flowers. (I don't know if there are evergreen plants that fit your space constraints.)
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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