Watching Things Grow

Rainy, windy days stuck inside do prove useful for getting caught up on life. One thing we've done a lot of around here this spring and summer is just watch things grow. It's hard to imagine what to do with your yard before you've spent a year watching what's in it. As the summer gets ready to come to a close, this seems like a good time for a photo dump of the wide variety of plant like we have in this yard. Hopefully next spring and summer, we will manage to get a better handle on it!

The biggest landscaping story has to be the abundance of forsythia. It seems to go on forever, and grows about a foot a month. I'm not sure we'll ever be able to tame it!

April: In full bloom, along the red fence Badly in need of a prune!

April: The yellow wall along the side fence in the back yard. 

April: But wait, there's even more around the north side of the house.
We may soon do away with these shrubs in favor of a driveway expansion. We certainly have plenty elsewhere. 

May: trying to tame the yellow beast and give the little lilac a place to grow. 

May: I believe we filled up close to 40 yard waste bags this spring.
This does not include the piles of branches we have been burning in our fire pit all summer!

May: It seems we could have created another whole hedge from what we got rid of. 

May: We could actually see the ground underneath for about a month.
It's since grown back with a vengeance. 

April: Mystery plant sprouting up along the north fence in the back yard.

May: It's filling in quite nicely, and helping to disguise the less than
attractive cinder blocks on our neighbor's side. 

May/June: I'm pretty sure the stuff on the right is some kind of weed.
Goldenrod maybe? I will be hacking that down next year for sure. 

July: Just in time for the 4th, the day lilies reveal themselves. 

July: This mystery plant has cool purple bell shaped flowers,
right next to the day lilies. 

 May: This large lilac was in full bloom, just behind the red fence in the corner.
We can see it from our bedroom window. 

May: Azalea in full bloom. 

May: Another Azalea on the patio.  
May: I planted the new bleeding heart from my friend Leah. It got a little dried out looking recently.
I hope it comes back ok next year. 

June: These shrubs are giving the forsythia at the garage side of the house a run for their money. 

June: A giant hosta emerged in front of the red metal fence.
Above, is our second large lilac bush. 

June: 10 days later, the rose bush that is squashed in the
corner of the fence by the lilac was in full bloom.

June: There are offshoots of the bush in the corner,
but they got pretty overtaken by the day lilies a few weeks later. 

July: Hostas and Sedum on the front corner.
Next year, hopefully we will add some evergreen ground cover to this area. 

July: Hosta just starting to bloom.

June: Shriveled poison ivy along the sidewalk outside our fence, after two applications of poison. 

June: Sidewalk after Greg finished clearing away all the dead stuff.
He managed to do it all without getting a rash, and he is allergic! 


Free Toilet

The process of transferring the blog to it's new location has made me realize that I've missed some of our projects. After Greg finishes the tile repair in the bathroom back in March, he decided to replace our toilet as well. The original toilet did not flush well. We had to hold the handle down for the entire flush to make sure it was complete. It was getting a little tiring.

Conveniently, a few years before, I had received a free Kohler toilet from attending a presentation at work. Yes, that's right. The rep took names, and a few weeks later showed up in the front parking lot with a minivan full of toilets. Very strange. Although we were renting at the time, we knew that we'd eventually buy, and thought it was likely that we'd have to add a half bathroom someday.

Well, we were lucky enough to buy a house that already had that half bath, so we were finally able to take advantage of our fancy comfort height, low flow toilet. Of course, since it was a plumbing job, George was called in for the assist.

The old toilet was brought out to the curb, where it was amazingly picked up with the trash. 

In case you were curious, there's a pretty gross looking hole in the floor that usually lives under the toilet. The new toilet was a huge improvement over the original. I highly recommend comfort height. And as always, is so great that Greg is able to take on so many of these projects himself!

Getting Ready

We're feeling ready for Irene, here on Kingston Road. We spent last night grocery shopping, and stowing away all the items in the yard. Greg gathered all the flashlights (yes, even his LED headlamp). I located all the candles. Our emergency crank radio is at the ready. Hurricanes are not something we get a lot of around here, so we're not really sure what to expect. We're mostly just waiting around now, watching the weather channel, even though nothing is supposed to happen until tomorrow. You can feel it in the air though, which is incredibly soupy, and not really fun to be out in.

We leaned our table up against the fence, and braced the fire pit in between the heavy benches.

Here's our mishmosh of a garage with all the patio chairs, the grill, a potted plant, etc, Basically, anything that might blow away.

We hope all of our friends and family on the east coast are staying safe and dry!



Back in the middle of June, we decided it was time to tackle the weeds that were taking over the hostas, roses, and the pavers in our patio at the side of the house. We decided it made sense to get rid of even a little more grass, and use up the rest mulch still taking up the bed of Greg's truck.

Greg tackled the strip along the house, and I tried to dig up the weeds between the patio pavers. 

We decided to rearrange some of the stones while we were at it, to clean up the edges a little bit. Someday, we'd like to redo the patio completely with concrete pavers that are regular, without all the gaps for weeds to grow. But, there are a long list of other items that will come before that. So for now, we'll just keep digging and whacking at the weeds, and watching our step on the not so level surface.

We used some of the extra stones to create a path around the fence from the front yard. 

Even though the weeds have grown back since this shot, the whole patio still looks a lot neater and better organized.

And that night, after we were finished, we enjoyed a nice fire in our new fire pit with our friends Michael and Kat.


Welcome to the new location of The Kingston Road Project!

I think I mentioned that I've been very busy this summer with projects at work, and have fallen behind in documenting what we've been up to around here. I'm just going to dive right back in and pick up where I left off with catching up. 

Back in June, Greg decided it was time to eliminate some of the crab grass lawn that we have growing here. There is a fairly steep hill on the front corner of our yard, which is not easy to mow. We decided it would do much better covered in mulch, and hopefully someday, planted with an evergreen ground cover. We were lucky enough to inherit some left over mulch from our friends, Doug & Lis. And what better way to deliver it to it's new home than in the back of Greg's pick-up...driven right up on the lawn, of course!

He worked hard all afternoon, laying down landscaping fabric to try to prevent weeds (alas, two months later, this was not entirely successful, but I can only imagine how it would be if there were no fabric there!) He used up all the inherited mulch, and even ran out to the garden store down the street to buy another truck load! It's amazing how quickly you can go through mulch. 


One Year

One year ago today, Greg and I walked out of a lawyers office with the keys to my very first home (his second). What a whirlwind year it has been! We could use a little more time like in the above photo.

In the past year we (mostly Greg to be honest!) have:
  1. refinished the wood floors
  2. replaced the bathroom fan
  3. built a storage platform in the attic
  4. added insulation to the attic and the eaves storage off our bedroom
  5. revamped Greg’s closet to allow access to the attic by adding steps, and handles, and repositioning the clothes rods
  6. replaced the faucet in the tub
  7. re tiled around the tub faucet, and more of the wall, and the ceiling
  8. assembled a storage cabinet in the bathroom
  9. painted the living room
  10. painted the dining room and the kitchen
  11. added a window treatment to our enormous living room window
  12. ripped down ridiculous amounts of soffit in the basement that was inhabited by mice
  13. caught a lot of mice
  14. trapped a squirrel in the basement
  15. assembled a full wall of storage for all of our books in the basement
  16. added pull out drawers to most of the cabinets in the kitchen
  17. added a chimney cap
  18. converted from oil hear to gas heat which involved bringing in a gas line from the street, getting a new gas boiler and water heater, removing the old oil tank, coring through our concrete foundation, and more
  19. tried to tame the forsythia in our yard
  20. dug up grass in the front corner to mulch it over
  21. planted some violets from my mom, a bleeding heart from leah, and some other flowers
  22. dug up grass around our patio to mulch over instead
  23. dug up weeds around the patio pavers, and reset some
  24. cleared away years worth of dead leaves and brush
  25. filled about 4 dozen bags of yard waste
  26. purchased a new washer and drier that actually fit in our laundry room
  27. killed and removed a huge stretch of poison ivy
  28. finally added lights to our bar and glass cabinet that we’ve had for four years
  29. installed our new media component shelf on the living room wall
  30. mounted the flat screen TV above the fire place
  31. installed kitty doors in three doors to allow the cats full access to the house
  32. bought an outdoor dining table, chairs, fire pit and hammock stand
  33. and probably a heck of a lot more that I can’t even remember!

We still have a lot of items on our to do list, so we’ll be busy for quite awhile yet. I promise to try to post some more photos of this summer’s projects in the next few weeks. Unfortunately, my work project has taken priority for most of the summer. I’m also looking in to moving the location of his blog, due to some changes that apple is making to their services. I will keep you posted!

Comments transferred from the old blog:
Your list is impressive. I hope you are congratulating yourselves. You two are amazing!
Wednesday, August 10, 2011 - 11:13 PM