Saturday, May 06, 2006


I know this may be hard to believe, given that I talk here about little other than Liam; but: I have a life outside of my kid. Liam takes centre stage most of the time (and the point of this blog is more him than me), but every once in a while, other facets of this mysterious, rarely-beholded life of mine creep onto this page. On Friday, the biggest news of the day at the Cooks' was not something cute that Liam said or did, but the fact that the landscaping in front of our house was completely changed. Living in a charming old house, it is sometimes difficult to tell when charming downgrades into way past its prime. Chad made the call here this past winter, and it took me a while to come around, but I eventually agreed. The yew hedge that flanked the front porch had grown monstrous no matter how much we cut it back, and one of the junipers on the outside corners of the house, in addition to being half dead, never recovered from an ice storm last winter; it was listing at a 45 degree angle. Definitely time to make some changes. We kept the red maples that require a lot of pruning back each year, but which are a nice screen from the street for some privacy (while also allowing in as much light as possible in the winter). We kept the rocks, many of which had been swallowed whole by the hedge; it was hard to believe how many rocks we really had. We put in new junipers to replace the old, since they were the right shape and size and colour for their space (just too far gone to do anything with), some hollies, potentillas and cypress. More rocks. New mulch. And here you have it.
I would love to have a before shot for you, and had planned to take one, but while Liam and I were out riding bikes on Thursday night with Jeannine and Autum, Chad decided to get started early and chopped down the whole hedge, unbeknownst to me. So much for my 'before'. This is the only surviving before shot of our house: the real estate agent's photo, circa 2001. Try to envision this landscaping, but add another 5 years' worth of insanely-paced growth to the hedge, and a Tower of Pisa-esque look to the browned and crumbling juniper. Ah yes, and the Japanese maple died two summers ago. Overall: not much worth salvaging.

Did we do the work ourselves? Chad bagged up the old mulch and got trigger happy with the yews, but we hired landscapers to do the rest. For dinner on Friday night, we went out. Isn't that what you're always supposed to do after a long, hard day of yard work? No matter who does it? :)

The next challenge: fixing that bottom step. Chad has logged hours of phone calls to masons and cement specialists... most of whom either refuse to return his calls, or who book appointments with us and then refuse to show up. We're working on it...


Dana said...

Very nice.