what a difference a day makes.

on saturday, we go the opposite of green.

it's a scary day for me. i'm all about the using my own canvas bags at stores ... recycling everything ... using compact fluorescent bulbs ... buying organic and local as often as possible. doing something that goes against that makes me squirm.

but on saturday, it's happening.

we're cutting down trees.

here's the problem. we live in a really boring, beige ranch built in 1965. we're on a hill, on a corner. we have a large yard that is surrounded by trees. and i love it. when i sit in the sun room, i feel like i'm in a treehouse, because all i can see are beautiful leaves.

IMG_4277 see?

and there are windows on all three sides of this room, so this is the view out every one of them. green in the spring and summer, gold and orange and red in the fall, white in the winter.

(this was in '05 ... harper has move beyond stacking rings. i'm just making a point.)

there is a downside, though.

IMG_1727 in the front yard, all the trees are so, so dirty.

they all have these tiny little leaves, and when they drop in the fall they litter the yard and are next to impossible to rake.

and the one in the corner by the driveway is a locust ... it drops long brown seedpods all fall and through the winter.

so our yard looks something like this by march:


ugh. yuck.

so last night a tree service guy came to our door, hawking his expertise. and marc and i had been talking for the past two years about doing some serious exterior work. so marc listened to the guy, told him what we wanted to do, and one hour and $2100 later, we have a gameplan, starting tomorrow:

we cut. and rip out. and chip up.

i'm trying to not feel badly about that.

that plan is this:

IMG_1727-bthe locust = gone. and all other trees will be pruned.

IMG_1728 the really ugly "landscaping" from the previous owners = gone.

and good riddance.

we ARE keeping perennials that i have planted in the smaller section near the front door, but everything else will be dug up, re-tarped, and the chipped up trees will be laid as fresh wood chips, ready for new planting in the spring.


IMG_1729 in the side yard, all the trees will be pruned, and the little juniper will be removed. it was planted at the same time as a small maple, and the maple is suffering. it has no room to grow. and the juniper is just ugly.

IMG_1730 on the side and back of the house, the cedar on the corner has to be taken down. it's growing dangerously around all the lines to the house, and it's encroaching upon the corner of the house. when we had our squirrel problem last year, the squirrelinator thought that tree was one of the points of entry to our roof for the buggers squirrels. that's all i needed to know. get rid of the cedar.

and all those lovely evergreens ... ech. gone. as well as the overly-leggy, never-pruned-correctly hydrangea on the side of the house that the previous owners planted then ignored.

other work includes trimming all the pines along the other side of the house (another major source of squirrels), and removing a half-dead crab apple tree in the back yard near the fence.

it's going to be major, but i'm excited. and once it's done we can begin to replant. we'd like to put another maple in the front near where the locust is now. and we want to put a shed and raised-bed garden and swingset in the back yard, so it will be nice to have the space where the apple is now.

my biggest problem, though, is that i do NOT have a green thumb. i can somewhat visualize what i would like the front and side to look like, but that's as far as i go. i know we'll put in perennials, because they're pretty low-maintenance. i have two dear friends, sandra and heather, who are amazing gardeners. i need to pick their brains. but i know some really smart people read this blog (wink wink ... i'm talkin' 'bout YOU!), so if you have any ideas for me, i'd love to hear them!

we would also love to paint the house this summer, so maybe we'll hold off on planting until that's done. hmm ... where's that paint deck??

i'll just content myself with visions of an outdoor redecorating to assuage my guilt over cutting down trees. no matter how much i hate them.




I'm working on an update, check soon!

You should totally talk to Abe about the garden, he has an awesome one. He got Grandma's green thumb, I did not. It could involve a fun project for Marc too, Abe put in a homemade drip irrigation system. Engineers, gotta love 'em.


by-the-way, mr greenjeans, drop one of those companct fluorescent bulbs in your kids room and sweep it up with the sweeper. liberals will evenutally be the death of us all. liberalism always leads to the opposite of its stated intend. fails everywhere its been tried.

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