Outdoor Updates

Unfortunately, they deemed our little hub here in Wisconsin “Tree City, USA”. Which means every homeowner gets a fantastic tree rooted in the terrace in front of their house. I don’t have a problem with trees. I actually am a huge fan. But it’s just that the city doesn’t take care of them. The wait-list is a few years long if you want someone to come out and trim them back (and I don’t have a cherry picker to do it myself). The root system breaks up the sidewalks, and messes up underground pipes and such. The shade of mature trees doesn’t allow our roof to dry properly after it rains. And, oh yeah.

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The branches break off and hit our house. It’s not a ridiculous amount of damage, but enough that we wanted to contact the insurance company to see if there were any unseen casualties. The adjuster who came out declared that our roof needed replacing… on one side. And one side only. The front side. They are giving us half of a roof. I don’t want to seem ungrateful here… but I have never heard of this. The shingles are pretty old… it’s not like they are going to match them up to anything you can buy in the store. Half a roof is sort of an embarrassing idea to me. And I REALLY don’t want to shell out two deductibles if in 6 months the backside gets demolished by another branch. Am I out of line?

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Okay. Whine-fest over. We chopped up the branch and set it on the curb. Here’s a shot of the offending tree that got all aggressive and tossed a branch at our house:

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Do you like how I personify everything?

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Here’s the back of the house. We had to do some re-grading and while we were at it, we took the opportunity to throw in some boxwoods. I love that plant. After we raked the dirt smooth and sloped away from the foundation, it was time to add the eye candy.

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We actually picked these up about a month ago and have been keeping them watered and taken care of. I have been meticulously perusing the boxwood sections of landscaping stores all summer, and have been really disappointed with pricing. BUT THEN we happened to walk through the gardening section of Home Depot and they had a 50% off sign near the boxwoods. They were only one gallon bushes, but I was psyched. Psyched enough to grab 8, and then later come back for 2 more. We managed to snag them for $3.50 apiece. Which means a grand total of $35 for one long row of boxwoods in my backyard.

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We spaced them out according to the instructions on the card attached to them (these required 36″ of what you might call “breathing room”). When we had them how we wanted them, I took my shovel and dug some holes.

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And then de-potted them…

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And then packed soil around them.

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Afterwards, we got about 8 bags of a dark mulch to cover up the dirt and some decorative looking bricks. I still have to level them out, and am considering mortaring them together, but that might be next year. Sorry for the night shot, I just grabbed the camera and snapped a pic about 10 minutes ago. Teehee!

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I’m hoping they hedge together and we can try to shape them at some point. I realize we will have to be patient…. like a few years patient. But I’m really happy with the improvement. Another reason for the upgrade is that we plan on removing that exterior back door pictured above and replace it with a window (probably the size of the far right one). We will have to have a mason come out and match up the stone as close as possible, but I’m pretty confident that it will look kind of patchy. SO, I’m thinking that mature boxwood will cover up any weird seamless-ness that the change will cause. Hopefully. What updates are you guys doing? Any end-of-season deals that you’ve seen? Tell me about it!