Here a Tree, There a Tree

What do you do when you enjoy the beauty of landscapes, flowers and trees yet do not enjoy the labor and planning that goes into it all?
You thank your lucky stars that you married a Landscape Architect.
My husband, Chad, is a Landscape Architect who is very talented at designing (and even installing if he gets the opportunity, which is rare) landscape plans. Right now he works at an architecture firm and mostly does plans for public schools. However, our collective dream is to one day have enough resources to make the outside of our home as beautiful as those that grace his imagination.
(When he reads this he is going to be mad at me for complimenting him on the internet! Oh well...I'll take the risk!)

When we bought the house we had some landscape features that we weren't too crazy about. There were some bushes along our front porch that weren't exactly our style and also hid the front porch more than we would've liked. Also there was a lilac bush with wisteria growing in it that was beautiful when it bloomed (I saw it the first time I looked at the house with the realtor) but when it wasn't in bloom it was just horrid looking. There was also a HUGE tree too close to our house that Chad insisted was dead. He is also a Certified Arborist, so I guess I had to believe him! What it boiled down to is that we wanted to remove it all.
So in the beginning of last summer, that is exactly what Chad did.
Removing all of the bushes and anything in our yard was the first major project that was tackled as well as burying all of the downspouts. It was a good project to start with as we got to know many of our neighbors. Most of them complaining to Chad that he was making them all look bad!
Chad tore out the bushes in the front yard and the lilac bush by himself. Luckily for us, the huge tree that was in our yard was actually on the city's property and they removed it for us.
Before removal.
After removal.

The city has also came and ground the stump which makes our yard look much better. Just to be perfectly clear here, we are certainly not in favor of chopping down trees - only dead ones that pose a possible threat to your property.
As you can imagine the removal of everything in the yard left many blank spaces. Chad loves trees and considers them the pillars of a good landscape plan. So buying and planting trees was a natural start for us.
Since last summer we have bought and Chad has planted -
three crabapple trees in the front yard, here they are in bloom this spring:

a dogwood in the back yard:

an ironwood in the side yard by our garage:

a blue spruce (sorry - this is not a great picture):

and we just bought three new trees (I can't remember the name of these) to plant near where the old, huge tree used to be:

For the moment that is going to be it for the trees (I think!) The only landscape feature we plan on doing soon, hopefully this summer, is adding a fence to the back yard.
Since I have probably bored everyone to death talking about trees, I'm going to end this post.


Where, Oh Where Have We Been?

I'd like to apologize for not writing in so long! It is deplorable and irresponsible and I feel just horrible.

Can you forgive me?

You can? You will?

Oh, thank you! I promise not to let you down again! Okay, I'm making a promise to myself and to you that I am going to write more often from now on!

So, now that we have that all behind us we can start anew and I'll try to catch you up on what has happened in our month and a half absence. House-wise and other wise.

Do you want the good news first or the bad news? I'm going to go ahead and get the bad news out of the way. You may remember a post in April about our dog Harley. Har was sick for over a month - one morning in late March we woke up and found he wasn't able to walk on his own or use his back legs. After several vet visits, medicines and even a surgery, Har just didn't get better. On May 25 we had to put him to sleep. It was, by far, the hardest decision that we have had to make but it was clear to us that Har just didn't have the will to live any longer. When he was feeling well Harley was known to eat anything that would come across his path or that he could sniff out. However, the morning before we put him down, I tried to feed him a donut (which I never would've done before) but he wouldn't eat it. He wouldn't eat anything. He wouldn't use the bathroom. He wouldn't bark or lift his head, wag his tale, play with his toys or act happy to see us anymore. That's when we knew it was time. It was very hard for us but, cliched as it may sound, we truly believe that he is happier now and running in some big field chasing squirrels and eating chocolate!

Okay. Whew. Enough bad news! On to good news!

So what have we been working on since our last post? The never ending wallpaper and glue removal from the plaster walls. The beginnings (the very, very beginning) of the re-wiring of the knob and tube electrical in our home. All this in preparation for our foam insulation to be sprayed into our exterior walls.
That's right! We're getting insulation. More specifically, we're having Icynene type insulation sprayed into our plaster walls. It will be our first major project and basically only one of the two things we're planning to have contracted out - the other being refinishing the floors when we can afford it (at least for now).

Because we are under a deadline as far as the insulation quote is concerned, we've been working as diligently as possible to have the glue cleaned off the walls and the holes for the electrical, phone and internet outlets cut. Also in prep for the insulation we are going to have to run all of the wires (electrical, phone and internet) as we won't be able to do so easily once the insulation is sprayed in the walls. Finally, we are going to drill one inch diameter holes in all of our exterior walls starting at roughly 36" from the floor and then every 16" apart until we reach the ceiling to facilitate the installation of the insulation.

SO....! That means once we have the insulation sprayed in, we'll be able to fill the holes, sand, prime and paint. Which then means we'll be able to hang the various pictures, mirrors, wall lights, shelves, vases, sconces and ceiling fans that have sitting in boxes in two spare bedrooms over the past year! I can't wait.
I wonder what it will be like to go to my closet without running into the various boxes we have had since the end of last summer! Stay tuned - details to follow.

(I promised.)