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  • Writer's pictureRamee

ORC Front Porch and Garden Project - Week 2!

The thing with registering at the last moment for the One Room Challenge Spring 2020 and posting late, is that the next weeks post is due already. We may not have lots of pretty stuff to show yet, but things are happening!

We've been busy! And MAN....we have had our share of challenges already, I tell ya! I'm sharing what we experienced not to complain, but to let you in on the real stories behind what will eventually be the pretty end. As a designer, I remind you that reality is not just what you see on edited TV, that despite the best planning it doesn't always go quite as planned, but to not give up and stay focused on the vision!

Our first obstacle was Weather. It has been all over the place, and I mean truly all over. If you are from around here then you know we have been working around rain (which is typical for Spring), but also days of hail, and a weekend of polar vortex and snow. This video is from last weekend!

When the weather was decent enough we got to work, and despite wearing gloves and a long sleeve shirt I had an extreme allergic or toxic reaction after cutting out a couple of shrubs. I'm talking angry scratches and itchy sore hives all the way down both arms and spreading to my legs and neck. (Don't worry, I'm not sharing those pics.) I googled and tried everything, and it took a week and reluctantly using cortesteroid cream in the end to finally get it under control. I know I am allergic to tree pollens and grass, but I've never had this before, and I still have no idea what the cause was.

Once we finished our tree and shrub removal we borrowed my Fil's pick-up truck to take our gigantic pile of garden waste to the dump. On our way back from our first trip the brake lines of the truck blew out! Thank goodness we had just turned onto our street and off the main town roads (with stoplights and behind a Mercedes a moment earlier). And thank goodness and proud that my hubby handled it like a trooper, kept his calm, and got the truck to stop safely! It was a fluke event that could have been so much worse!

So despite everything, we persevered and finished the demo and messiest step of our Front Yard project! We removed four large overgrown shrubs (the two giant yews in front of the porch) and the cedars from each corner of the house. We also did the regular spring garden clean-up and pruning, and to make it look less ugly while we are in process we added mulch to the cleaned up driveway side garden bed.

So here's our 'Before' pic again...

And here's what the right corner looks like at the moment. I'm enjoying the openness once we removed the overgrown yet dying tree from the corner. It blocked the view looking out the side door, but it also blocked our garbage and recycling. We haven't decided how to deal with it yet, and I have a couple of ideas...

My initial thought was installing a narrow modern horizontal fence panel matching the new porch privacy fence. The general concept like this, as it would be within the garden bed and concrete edge curb:

My other idea that is definitely more time and cost intensive (and not to mention a higher level of difficultly) is constructing a modern lean-to in that corner for garbage and recycling. It would be constructed with horizontal wood boards and finished in black similar to the porch fence. Here is a concept pic, although it would be a simplified version without the exposed rafters:

The issues with that corner are we have the hydro pole meter that we can't cover, it needs to be easy to access year-round for us and teen boys, hide or disguise the not attractive garbage and recycling bins from view, AND suit our moderate level of handy-dandy skills. So with those factors I'm leaning away from the lean to...and to installing another fence panel.

Which would you do?

For the rest of our garden demo we removed another shrub from in front of the picture window, and saved and trimmed the sad and mis-shapen juniper. The euonymus has now been exposed to the sun and we'll see how it fills in. I like actually seeing the garden bed now, and I look forward to shopping for some great plants for here.

While I would LOVE to replace the original walkway, but that will have to be another project phase. I'm already hoping to add another DIY to this challenge if we can swing it time and budget-wise! (I'll share that hopefully in the next post!)

And look at that Dodger in the window! 💗 Boy, in process pics just look like a big mess...but we are making great progress! It always looks worse before it gets better, right?

Below are a couple of pics from the day the whole fam got involved! The hubby was taking down the rest of the the stump bits and the overgrown cedar on the left side of the house. The boys were a great help lugging all of the branches to a big pile on the driveway and filling lawn bags. And a special thank you to my sis for lending us her reciprocating saw!

A pic of me with 'Stumpy' and ONE of our piles in the driveway...

And here it is now - It's looking a lot better already! Can you see the vision starting to take shape?

And a little video showing the Post-Demo of the can see our second pile for the dump on our driveway!

As far as progress for next steps, we have some good news and some not good news. The porch area rug has shipped...Yay! We have had a back-order/delay of our new shutters, so hoping they will arrive soon and before the end of this challenge. We also had quite an adventure with ordering and picking up the pre-made fence panels for the porch, and unfortunately now that we have them they are not ideal and are going to have to be returned. I used the pre-made panels in my design to help us with time and difficulty, and now in the end we will need to figure out all of the details and build it from scratch. (That is what we are doing right now, since I was hoping to get a start on the fence posts already).

But we are looking at it that we can build exactly what we want in the end, and will have the quality and look we are after. Perhaps it will work out even better because of our snag? Maybe we will surprise ourselves with our newly discovered awesome skills in fence building? You never know... Fingers crossed!!! And I'll be sure to keep it real and let you know how it goes!

Until next week...

Your Designer, and Modern Boho Mom



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