The Colonial Farmhouse's Curb Appeal
gardening and landscape

The Colonial Farmhouse’s Curb Appeal

When we bought our Colonial Farmhouse I knew there was one thing that would instantly improve its curb appeal: actually being able to SEE the house.

Funny how curb appeal works. If you can’t see past the curb there is no appeal.

If you’ve been reading this blog for the past year (thank you), then you’ll know we’ve been working on that one facet of our Colonial Farmhouse’s curb appeal since the day we bought the place.

Are we that slow or was the job just that large?

Yes and yes.

Yes, we are slow because we tackle things around here in spurts and starts.

Yes, the job was just that large. Our house sits very close to the road. Yet, you still couldn’t see it from the road when we moved in due to the excessive number of bushes and trees blocking the sight line.

We were pretty sure there was a house there though!

(Catch up on all our landscaping progress here, here, and here.)

colonial farmhouse before bush removal curb appeal

When we cleared the first 75-feet of bushes in front of our Colonial Farmhouse a collective cheer was sounded from the neighbors. Not literally, but we did have people driving by who slowed to yell out their window how good things looked. I’m not joking about that. There were even some honks and thumbs up.

That’s less a reflection on how good things were looking and more a reflection on how BAD things looked when we bought the place.

Fast forward several months and we tackled the front yard landscaping by installing new flowerbeds and paths. I painted the lights on the garage. We also removed some dangerous birch trees that were leaning on the power line coming into our house.

Except there was one last tree, the trickiest one of all, that still needed to be removed.

(Before you send me angry letters about saving trees, please let me reassure you that I’m all for saving trees – just not the ones that are dangerous.)

We tossed ideas around for the best way and time to remove this last tree. It had the potential to hit the house or land in the road if we cut it down incorrectly. And by “we” I mean Handy Husband.

I’ve only used the chainsaw once and was practically drunk on the power trip it gave me, so Handy Husband revoked my privileges. Kidding. I just made him think that so he wouldn’t ask me to use the chainsaw anymore.

There was also the pesky problem that this tree was touching the power line. Accidental electrocution does not sound like a great way to leave this earth.

Ugh.

So we procrastinated waited.

The Colonial Farmhouse's Curb Appeal

Sometimes when we wait long enough to finish a project a lucky turn of events makes completing that project even easier than we anticipated.

I hesitate to say that a horrific storm that barreled through our area wreaking havoc, downing trees, and causing power outages for days was a lucky turn of events. That part was terrible, but there was one unintended side benefit for our little tree dilemma.

When Storm Isaias roared through our area in early August, the wind was so strong it blew our pesky problem tree into the larger tree next to it and it became stuck. That meant the tree was now bending away from the power line.

Then we lost power. Our whole town lost power for days.

That meant there was zero chance of accidental electrocution if we seized the opportunity to cut that tree down before the power came back on.

Tick-tock, tick-tock.

Most people were cursing the storm (we were too), but we had found a silver lining.

We tied a rope around the problem tree and then used the lawn tractor to pull it even further in the direction we needed it to go, which was away from the power line.

Then Handy Husband cut it down while I held my breath! Easy peasy.

Due to how the tree was tethered to the rope and caught in the larger tree, the bottom of the tree just dropped down into place. Basically, he cut the tree down and it was still standing.

There was no “TIMBER!” moment. Whomp, whomp.

In fact, Handy Husband eventually had to wrestle the problem tree to the ground because the larger tree was not going to easily release it.

The Colonial Farmhouse's Curb Appeal

As soon as I could let out the breath I was holding because I knew Handy Husband and the house were safe, my next thoughts in order were:

  1. “WOW! I can see the house now!” There was only one tree left blocking the corner view and it wasn’t a big tree, but having it gone cleared the most beautiful sight line to our house. The Colonial Farmhouse’s curb appeal instantly increased by leaps and bounds.
  2. “I KNEW it was smart to wait to plant new plants.” Yes, I am self-congratulatory like that. Our front yard was destroyed by that fallen tree. A few of the hostas were crushed. There were branches and leaves everywhere. Oh, and let’s not forget the light colored sawdust over my freshly laid mulch!

The Colonial Farmhouse's Curb Appeal

So are we done working on our Colonial Farmhouse’s curb appeal?

Hahahahahahahaha.

Is anyone ever really done with these things?

I’m happy we’ve made it this far in improving our front yard landscaping this summer. Other than planting some new plants (don’t rush me, people), I believe we’ve checked everything major off of our summer to-do list.

I can’t tell you how good that feels.


Bonus Tidbit: The first time I toured the Colonial Farmhouse I was by myself. I pulled into the driveway and sat waiting in my car for 6 or 7 minutes until the real estate agent showed up.

When she arrived, I got out of the car and, thankfully, before I could open my big mouth and say anything potentially embarrassing, she whispered, “I think the homeowner is sitting on the front porch waiting for us.” Sure enough, he was there. I was shocked! I was parked in the driveway that whole time and could not see the front porch or the person sitting there AT ALL.

I should have known then that this would not be a normal real estate transaction.


P.S. Handy Husband loves his battery-powered chainsaw and has used it on all of our tree projects around the Colonial Farmhouse. It uses the same 80V battery as our leaf blower and weed whacker.


Thanks for following along as we bumble our way through this landscaping business. It’s really not my favorite part of homeownership, but I keep working at it! Here are some other stories along that same vein.

How NOT to Make a Book Pumpkin (just thinking about this one makes me laugh)

A Vintage-Inspired Mercantile Storage Box (this storage box could have fit our whole family)

The $9.60 Table That Almost Broke My Spirit (this table is now my coffee table)

 

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