Busy Spring

It’s been quite awhile since I’ve written about what we’re up to here at Kingston Road. That’s probably because we’ve been really busy, mostly with the yard. I’ll probably split these into a few difference posts, so as not to overwhelm anyone, including myself. 
One of the projects we’ve tackled is sprucing up the plantings in the front yard. Here’s a few shots of how it was looking back in the middle of April.  

You can see that a few of these shrubs were very damaged by the heavy winter snow falls, and probably for long before that. We discovered that a few of the limbs were being held up with twine!
We decided that they would be better off if we gave them a trim. They look a little bonsai at the moment, but we’re working with it. We may replace them all together eventually, but in the meantime, we’ve decided to plant some pretty things in front of them. We’re also hoping to give the beautiful flowering azalea a little more room to flourish.

Last weekend, we headed to the garden center and loaded up on some colorful things (yes, mostly purple, I can’t help it!) Here’s how things are looking today...

Comments transferred from old Blog:

Love the idea of the retaining wall becoming seating. this is turning into a lovely outdoor space. the rock garden will be a highlight.
Sunday, June 5, 2011 - 07:00 PM

Prepping for Gas

One of the projects that has been on our list since before we even closed on the house is the conversion from oil to gas. There are many reasons we’re taking this on. We feel better about gas as a form of fuel than oil. We’ll be able to reclaim a corner of our basement big enough for our elliptical machine once we remove the old oil tank. The oil boiler is as old as the house, and having not been used much for five years, followed by running through a long, cold winter, makes me question how much life it actually has left. And, our chimney has some damage to the flue that is used by the boiler. This prevents us from using our fireplace. The gas boiler will vent directly out the side of the basement, so we will finally be able to use our fireplace once it is in place!
Above, you can see the team from National Grid who arrived to install the gas line to the house. coincidentally right after I had finished meeting with the plumber to get a quote. 

In preparation for the gas meter to be installed at the side of the house, Greg removed an old tree stump. In the process, he discovered some old pipe we believe were connected to the down spouts of the gutters. We were amazed to see how this root had bent itself right around the pipe. 

The installation is scheduled for June 13-14. Greg has already started to remove the paneling from around the oil tank. We will be sure to keep you posted on the progress!
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Interesting root shape. Good riddance to the oil tank!
Sunday, June 5, 2011 - 06:57 PM

The Patio

Someday, we hope to build a deck. We may even start on part of it later this fall. In the meantime, we’re trying to embrace the patio that was here in when arrived. It needs a fair bit of weeding, that’s for sure. But we did get a great table and some chairs a few weeks ago, so we’re just about ready for some cook outs. 
We did get a total of 6 chairs. The other 4 haven’t made it back out from the garage after the crazy tornado watch weather we had on Wednesday. As part of our long term plan, we are thinking about painting the benches dark brown to coordinate better with the table. For now, they will sit in the corner under the lilac tree, surrounding the new fire pit we also added. 

We have another beautiful azalea on the corner of the patio. And we’re working on creating a little hillside wooded rock garden on the slope up to the road. 

This is the way it looked early this spring, when we first tackled clearing out the hill. I think there were about 5 years worth of leaves and twigs crammed up between the fence and the trees. We filled about a dozen bags of yard waste that day. 
About a month or so later, it’s filling quite nicely. There is an interesting ground cover that cam up, along with some lily of the valley. I also added a bleeding heart, that was a gift from my friend Leah. We’ve starting collecting all the rocks from around the yard, and plan to arrange them here eventually. And of course, because Greg can never stop, he has added rebuilding the retaining wall to his list. We would like it function as a bench for additional seating in the patio. 
We still have some more decisions to make about a few sprouty shrubs that have come up in less than ideal places, but we thought we should give them some time to develop. The road outside the chain link fence is a pretty busy road (the joy of a corner lot), so we are balancing between privacy and overgrowth. 
Comments transferred from old Blog:
Love the idea of the retaining wall becoming seating. this is turning into a lovely outdoor space. the rock garden will be a highlight.
Sunday, June 5, 2011 - 07:00 PM