I write a lot about my husband in these posts, and not just because he’s fast becoming a gardener-extraordinaire in his own right. But this garden has been our story from the beginning. We bought this home because we saw it not just as an investment but as a foundation where we could build our lives together. We got engaged in our driveway, where he stopped his truck on a December night after an evening spent recreating our first date, looking at neighborhood Christmas lights, only to show me the lights on our rooftop spelled “Marry Me.” It seemed a natural to take the next step at home, and so we soon found ourselves planning a wedding in our own backyard. Why invest all that money into a reception hall when we could reinvest in our home?
Now, I’m not going to get into the year of headache that came with that naive thought. I’m going to stick to the headache that was landscaping our home over the next year in preparation of having roughly 100 people, half in high heels, dancing and eating outside in unpredictable temperatures and unknown amounts of precipitation.
Truly, our engagement was the precipice of a full year of hard-core landscaping. With the arrival of spring, we had a full checklist of items to tend to:
- Get rid of moles – no one wants their grandmother to break an ankle on their wedding day due to stepping into that pesky mole hole. The short version is that every chemical, every sonar repellent, every cure we tried failed miserably. And then we got an Akita pup. Problem solved.
- Seed grass – while the clover was lush and green, it wasn’t exactly the lawn of Chris’ dreams. A few John Deere attachments later and I had an excuse to ride my beloved mower for hours more and the grass was quickly greened.
- Repair lattice around deck – gaping holes and rotted wood don’t exactly say “welcome.”
- Paint everything – we called in the pros for this one. Painting the deck was pain enough for me, but, boy, what a difference fresh paint makes. The shed went from being an eyesore I ached to raze to an adorable little barn I can’t wait to wreathe with flowers.
- Landscape – the yard wanted for the softness that shrubs and flowering plants can bring. While I knew that would be a long-term project, we needed some quick fixes prior to the wedding.
- Fix the giant hole in the yard – oh, have I not mentioned the giant hole in the yard? Oh-ho-ho, that’s because that’s a story unto itself.
There were plenty more things we wanted to add to the list. And lots more hours spent wandering in circles on the grass wondering if the giant tent would really fit and what to do to keep the fence from showing in photos. Somehow, it all came together. I’ll share that story in a future post.