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Technically, you could say I’m shoulder deep in this little outdoor project… but since I’m only 5’2″, I’m shoulder deep on most projects, so I guess that isn’t saying much.

These progress photos (taken with the camera+ app on my iPhone) say a heck of a lot more. I’ve been hacking and clipping away at the bushes along the side of the house. (See? I could have made the title of this post so much worse.). I would have been completely finished with this part if not for the rainy week we’ve had.

I’m still a long way from where this little area will be someday, but as it is with most outdoor projects, you just take on a little at a time until it all comes together. This space is to the right of the house and divides my yard from the neighbor’s (her fence, to the right, has seen better days thanks in large part to the bamboo that was taking over this area when I moved in). Since it is also the entrance to my back yard (Dad helped me put in a gate just after moving in), I want this alley-like area to look more deliberate and welcoming (in case this house ever comes together and I actually have a barbecue someday). Here’s a visual of what I’m thinking about, and a small roadmap I’ve created for myself on how to get there:

  • Cut each bush down to a manageable state and get rid of the ones that aren’t consistent (in species) with the majority. partially completed
  • Level out the pathway to the fence as much as possible, possibly with pea gravel or stone/grass pathway like this
  • Plant heat-tolerant lavender along the right side to dress up the neighbor’s fence. The color and fragrance will be the perfect pick-me-up.
  • Remove the ugly red brick border in favor of something more color neutral
  • Mulchify both sides for that nice wet look all year long

How about you? Are the sides of your house in need of a little TLC too?

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