What’s going on with our driveways? That’s probably what our neighbors are wondering.
Same, neighbors. Same.
The short answer is we’re fumbling our way through a driveway reimagination.
But the short answer does not make for a blog post.
So, let me dish the dirt right now, and let me tell you, there’s a lot of actual dirt in this story.
We live in a semi-rural area along a county road. I’m not sure if it’s illegal, but people don’t park, at least not long-term, on the side of the road as you would in a town. The roads were not built to accommodate parking and you do not want to get stuck in a ditch. In addition, homes in our area are built on at least an acre of land, so people park on their actual property whether that’s in a garage or a driveway.
We do have a garage, but it wasn’t designed to fit modern cars.
So where do we park? Our house, as is the case with many colonial-era homes, is located very close to the road. We have two driveways or parking areas separated by what I can only assume used to be a flowerbed. Four cars can park there if you don’t mind a tight fit and a few blind spots when pulling directly out onto the county road where the speed limit is 45 mph.
Nothing like the adrenaline rush of leaving home, am I right?
The parking situation at this house is one of the things that has come up in conversation as a pain point with realtors and people who toured our house when it was for sale.
As a side note, the uncomfortable thing to me about small towns is the alarming number of people who have told me, “Oh yeah. I toured your house when it was for sale. Here are all the things I hated.”
Um, thank you?
No, seriously. Thank you for hating my house so that I could buy it, love it, and restore it. You did me a favor.
All of that aside, those neighbors weren’t entirely wrong. The parking situation at our house could be better. The two driveways should be plenty of space, but it is a bit awkward in person.
Long-term, we’d like to connect the two driveways to make a larger parking area. This will be a job we’ll need to hire out because heavy machinery will be involved. The whole area will need to be graded and new asphalt poured.
It’s also a project we can classify as long-term because our kids aren’t driving age yet. You have to be 16 to even get a driving permit in New Jersey, so we have a bit of time.
In the short term, we decided to clean up that neglected flowerbed in between the parking areas.
It started last year when we removed all the overgrown forsythia in the area. I hope you can tell from all the pictures I’ve shown you thus far in this blog post what a jungle that area had become. Forsythia grows wild here and it’s awesome and gorgeous if you keep it trimmed.
If you don’t, it will take over anything and everything in its path and you’ll look back one day and swear there used to be a house where the forsythia is growing. Or so I imagine.
This spring we removed the pavers where the previous owners kept the garbage cans.
The bears had discovered the garbage cans and we decided it was no longer safe to keep the cans outside.
Yes, bears plural. I wasn’t exaggerating about the rural part of where we live. I’ve got plenty of problems. I don’t need to add “survived bear encounter” to the list.
The next step of the driveway reimagination process was to dig up and transplant as many of the plants in this area as we could.
Hopes and prayers were issued for their survival.
We also dug up all the weeds and crabgrass and chucked those into the brush pile saying, “Goodbye and good riddance.”
What to do with the blank canvas surrounding our two driveways?
We partitioned off an area using some old posts we found on the property to make a spot for grass and a spot for mulch.
The spot for new grass was tilled up twice and then seeded. The grass is starting to fill in the area nicely.
We’ve become mildly obsessed with our daily lawn checks to see how the grass is growing. Handy Husband has been out there pulling up any weeds that sprout. We are very invested in this!
The mulched area is where we hope to expand the driveway someday. In the meantime, part of the mulched area is home to the irises we transplanted. We still aren’t sure if the hopes and prayers are working to save the irises, but maybe watering them will.
For the rest of the mulched area, we are just driving over it like the classy people we are. Hahahahaha.
We could have put gravel down, but that was going to introduce a whole host of other problems that we aren’t ready to deal with. That’s a story for another blog post.
So that’s what’s going on with our driveways. We’re tidying up the front of the house. We shoveled yards and yards of dirt and mulch. We’re getting a taste of how the area could evolve to fit our family’s future needs. We’re giving the neighbors something to talk about.
So, the usual. Ha!
All of this work needed to happen to eventually reach our long-term goal. We’re happy with the progress so far and that’s the most important thing.
Do you have plenty of parking at your house? Or is it awkward like ours? Have your neighbors told you what they hate about your house? I’d love to hear your stories!
I know your time is valuable and I appreciate you sharing some of it with me today. If you’re not quite ready to go back to the real world, I’ve got another blog post you might enjoy.