Progress is Messy!

I think it’s official, I have just a few too many irons in the fire. lol If I write something completely nonsensical in the next few days, just know it’s because there’s a lot of stuff going on here and my brain may be on overload. It’s good stuff, but it’s going to get crazier before it gets better, I’m afraid.

Today I went to visit my bushes. If I go to Pike Nursery one more time, they will probably call the authorities to come take me away. I purchased 10 large ball and burlap, Green Beauty boxwood shrubs on Saturday, then drove back over on Sunday to measure the two they actually had in stock to make sure they would work okay in front of my foundation.

On  Monday I drove back over again to take a photo of the bushes because the landscaping company I just enlisted to help with the regular monthly maintenance of my yard, asked to see a photo of one of the shrubs in order to give me a quote for planting them.

Green Beauty Boxwood Plant

 

Yesterday, the other 8 bushes arrived from another one of the store’s locations, so I made another trip back to look them all over before they are delivered tomorrow. When you’re paying $151 a bush (and that was on sale 20% off from $189) you feel the need to see what you’re getting before it’s actually delivered.

If that price gives you sticker shock, I understand. It does the same thing to me! Apparently, boxwood shrubs are pricey and the bigger they are, the more expensive they are. I’ve been told it’s because they take so long to grow.

Green Beauty Boxwood

 

They are almost impossible to find this big, at least they have been for me. I’ve called a gazillion nurseries over the last few years asking for big boxwood shrubs and the largest they ever had were 5 and 7 gallon sizes. So, I jumped on these as soon as I found them. They told me they had more in earlier in the spring but a landscaper came in and bought up a bunch.

These Green Beauty boxwoods measure around 27-32 inches tall, depending on which plant you measure, That’s not counting the ball/burlap part, so they are good size. Now you know why I’m getting an estimate from my landscaping company for help planting them. I have a feeling I will be doing all the planting myself because I’ve pretty much blown my landscaping budget on the bushes themselves. Hello Advil, my old friend. I’ll be seeing you again real soon!

Ball & Burlap Green Beauty Boxwoods

 

Today I’ll be buying bags of soil amendment. Even though the area where I’ll be planting them has been amended in the past, it never hurts to add more to this Georgia red clay. Georgia’s clay soil with suffocate the life out of a plant’s roots if you don’t break it up with some good, rich, soil conditioner.

Update: Discovered in the middle of planting that all the shrubs they delivered are not Green Beauty, some are Wintergreen. 🙁 Not sure what I’ll do since the Wintergreen are really beautiful and big and help to fill in the side of my house that needs the bigger bushes.

Hardwood Flooring

On the hardwood flooring front, this is how my living room currently looks. The porch table and hutch (which is in two parts) is currently in the living room. Do you see the top of the hutch there in the center of the room? lol

Chaos during renovation

 

This is how the breakfast room looks right now. It’s been this way for two weeks because the porch flooring was scheduled for a new coat of varnish two weeks ago, but everything got delayed when the weather wouldn’t cooperate.

Screened porch furniture temporarily in Kitchen

 

The porch settee is out on the deck…

Furniture everywhere during hardwood flooring maintenance

 

…and two of the porch chairs are on the front porch where I placed them to get an idea how a white bench would look on the porch. You may remember I’ve ordered two benches in black for the front porch (see that post here: A Whimsical Garden Bench for the Front Porch) but I’m wondering if white would have been a better choice. The benches are being delivered today, so I guess I’ll have an answer to that question real soon.

Testing out how White Seating Looks on the Porch

 

So, things are topsy-turvy here right now, utter chaos everywhere you look. When I feel stressed, I visit Lang Elliott’s delightful blog and listen to his beautiful recordings. If you’re not currently signed up for his e-mails, I highly recommend subscribing. It’s like a daily dose of peaceful bliss and his e-mail seems to always arrive when I need it the most!

Tuesday the guys finished lightly screening and applying a coat of marine varnish to the screened porch floor. Yesterday, when I opened the door to check it out, I noticed this. I thought maybe their sanding disc had dug down into the floor and caused the scratches, or maybe something sharp got caught underneath the spinning disc. I don’t remember those being there before.

My flooring company thinks they were already there and the amber color of the marine varnish just highlighted them, making them more visible. In either case, it doesn’t make me happy, especially since it’s just outside the kitchen door to the porch.

Scratch on Hardwood Flooring

 

There are a couple of spots that need a touch up but here’s how the floor looks now. Initially I thought the screened porch was going to get three coats of varnish, but that’s only if they had sanded it down to bare wood.

I’m trying to decide now if I should pay to have it sanded down and refinished to get rid of the scratch near the door, but the cost difference is another $500. Instead of spending that on the porch to get rid of the scratches, I’m thinking of adding hardwood flooring to one more room of my home. Which room?

Hardwood Flooring Screened and Varnished

 

This one. My guest room and bonus room are the only two rooms left in my home that don’t have hardwood flooring. The carpet doesn’t look that bad in here but it is 25 years old and starting to show some wear just inside the doorway. So, this seems like a good time to do it. I sure don’t look forward to emptying out the secretary and the closet in this room! Ugh!

Blue and White Guest Room

 

So, there’s a lot going on here this week! Today I need to unload everything I can from the guest room and guest room closet in preparation for the hardwood flooring installation. The benches will arrive today, so I’ll need to get busy assembling those for the front porch, that is if I don’t change my mind and decide to go with the Chippendale white ones I found after I had ordered the black ones. I’m still wavering back and forth on that. Either way, I’ll take pics so you can see how things are looking.

Luciana Wood Bench for Porch

 

Tomorrow, my new landscaping company is coming out for their first visit and the 10 boxwood shrubs should be delivered.

The hardwood flooring guys will also come out tomorrow and move the larger pieces of furniture back to the porch. Then I’ll need to get busy putting all the small things back where they go, including the porch dishes back into the hutch on the porch.

I think they will start on the  flooring installation for the guest room tomorrow, too. If that happens, the flooring will also get its first coat of poly. I have a feeling I’ll be sleeping on the sofa tomorrow night because the fumes were unbelievable when I had hardwood flooring installed in the office a few years ago. (See all office posts here: Home Office)

To me, it’s always worth the hassle to go with raw, unfinished flooring. I love how it feels so smooth underfoot when it’s all finished. At least the weather is nice now so I should be able to have the windows open a good bit.

While the guest room floor is being installed tomorrow, I’ll probably be digging big holes for the new shrubs. I may only average planting one or two a day, but I’ll get those babies in the ground eventually.

So this week will be crazy but I should have some new landscaping, some new flooring and a front porch makeover to share real soon–if all goes as planned.

I found this photo online a while back and saved it to my computer. It’s from Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles magazine. Notice how they’ve used a mixture of large and small boxwood shrubs instead of planting them all the same size. I was thinking of doing something similar, adding in some smaller Globe Baby Gem boxwoods I saw while at the nursery. What do you think about that? Don’t you love this house below…a dream cottage for sure!

Boxwood Shrubs in the Landscape

 

Okay, I’m off to clean out a closet and secretary in the guest room, and pretend I have everything completely under control. (cough, cough) Did I just make you feel a lot better about your day? 😉




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Comments

  1. Kathy B. says:

    Oh dear, my own anxiety level went up just reading this. Ha! Can’t imagine how you do it all! I admire your pluck and determination to “git r done.”

    Here’s to Advil…..and a little Chardonnay never hurts either!

  2. That porch floor is beautiful, so I understand how the scratch bothers you. But with everything back on the porch, and tablescapes and parties in action, I hope it just becomes forgettable. It seems so small–at least from hundreds of miles away 🙂
    For the benches, white ones on your front porch would seem to blur the architectural details(columns), but black would seem such harsh contrast. So, no help here 🙂 But perhaps place one black, and one settee, and take photos. You’ve taught me that sometimes viewing through photos helps when indecisive.
    Remember: adult beverage hour at day’s end.

    • Thanks, Mia. The black ones came today and I got them together and on the porch. They do look great out there so I am glad I went with black. There’s even enough room beside them for a planter like they have on the inspiration porch. lol about the adult beverage. That sounds good for this weekend!

  3. Laura T. says:

    Good luck with all of your projects! We just spent 4 full days working on our yard! It’s a lot of work but very rewarding when it’s all finished & you can sit back & enjoy it. I was going to say that you could always paint your bench white if you don’t like the black but maybe you don’t need any more projects! :0)

    • lol I was thinking if I ever move and I take them with me, I’d love to paint them a bright color. I love this bench in yellow.

  4. Oh dear I think those are too big for one gal to plant- especially that many. Keep them soaked daily.
    I call that a character scratch- is it worth $500? Nah.. help pay the landscape helpers with that!
    I think black is best for the benches otherwise they’ll be lost against all the white that is there already with the trim.

    • I agree with all 3 statements Liz made.

    • Elizabeth says:

      Liz is right about that little scratch – absolutely not worth an instant of your time and energy thinking about it. If you don’t want guests to see it, you could always put a little mat there, but if someone has the bad manners to mention it, that’s *their* OCD problem.

      I would definitely spend the $500 on flooring for another room.

    • As hot as it’s gotten all of a sudden, I’m kind of dreading it. I’ll have to plant early in the mornings before the heat of the day comes on. Yeah, I agree…going to put that toward the hardwood flooring for the guest room. The benches came and the black looks great! So definitely sticking with that. Thanks Liz!

  5. Life does get crazy like this, everything always happens at once. Just keep you eye on the prize or eventual outcome. Soon you will have the home of your dreams…. I so hope that big scratch on you flooring will not bug you for ever. In my younger days, it would have. It is amazing how the older one gets the less things like that upset one…. As for the mixture of sizes in the box woods, go for it, what a great look!!!!!!! Have a fun busy holiday weekend….

  6. Michelle B says:

    What a bunch of projects! Will all be worth it in the end. Since that scratch is right outside a doorway, I would just throw down a pretty rug!

  7. Sharon on the Lake says:

    Without waiting for the photos, I’m going to vote for the black benches. They will complement the shutters and contrast nicely against the white columns and trim (whereas the white benches could get “lost”). I’m trying to catch my breath from YOUR busy schedule — don’t know how you do it! Keep these great photos coming!

  8. Vickie H. says:

    Lord have mercy!!! You are the quintessential “Eveready Bunny”!!! Good luck!

  9. Updating can indeed be like a big black bear, but I’ve always said that it’s a really nice problem to have. You’re going to be so thrilled when you reach the final results. I adore the variety of sizes of Boxwoods. It becomes a bit whimsical for guests entering the darling gate. Cherry Kay

  10. Wow Susan, you have good reasons for your brain to be on overload! Good luck with all of those projects. I would say that after this is done you can sit down and put your feet up but I know that that will never happen! Don’t you wonder how you ever had time to go to work!

  11. Susan Jones says:

    I agree with Michelle — just throw down a cute rug over the scratch and forgetaboutit!!!!! Floor looks beautiful!

  12. Edith Weldon says:

    WOW, I am so impressed!! I say yes to the varied size boxwoods and black benches!! Girl, ignore that little scratch!! It is just wear & tear of a much loved home❤️ I so agree with the hardwoods for your guest room!! Also, take a break occasionally & drink some sweet tea!! The good stuff will come later when it all is finished! I personally would pay your landscapers to do the work because they are younger, faster and you can still be the straw boss of all Save your back and work smarterTake it easy chickadee, pace yourself

  13. Charlotte says:

    Wow! I am tired just reading all you have going on! All very exciting things and all will make such a difference. I think the black benches will look great on your porch. I also would not worry about the scratches on the floor, think of it like a patina on the floor. Can’t wait to see all of the finished projects!

  14. love that last picture. The gate is perfect.

  15. Hi,Susan! I’m new to your blog and am in the process of beginning to get mentally ready to renovate/remodel the one and only bathroom in my 1922 (2000 sq ft) Arts and Crafts Bungalow. Yikes! While searching around for bathroom ideas, I came across your blog from April 1 concerning bathroom vanities. Have you already done the bathroom? I can’t seem to find any other posts about it.

    As for your front porch benches, I’ll throw in my two cents worth 😉 – What about painting the benches the color of the door?

    • No, I got sidelined. The vanity I thought I wanted was on backorder so I couldn’t get it for a month or so. Then I went out of the country for 10 days and when I got back, I turned my focus to the porch and landscaping. Once I get these projects behind me, I’ll probably start working on that bath again…just not sure exactly when that will be. Sorry I don’t have any updates for you on that.
      Thanks for the idea for the benches. I thought about going with red…they have them in red, but I decided to just let the door be the focal point in red. Red benches are so pretty though! Thanks for suggesting that!

  16. Hi Susan, Just an FYI for you. There is a landscaping company in Loganville called “Growers Outlet” that is awesome.Well worth the trip there. A lot of people I know swear by this place and that even includes one landscaping company that I personally know. Good luck on all your hard work. Looks beautiful!!!

    • Vicki, I think a friend and I will be going there tomorrow. She wanted to visit a nursery we had never been to and I told her about Grower’s Outlet and so we are planning on going there, as well. BTW, I tried to call them after I read your comment but they only have an outgoing message and don’t accept any incoming calls. It appeared online that they didn’t have boxwood in stock. I’m looking forward to visiting them tomorrow! Thanks for telling me about them.

  17. Wow! Your guest bedroom is beautiful. I love all the blue and white checks and how you’ve paired them with the other fabrics.
    I think the black benches will compliment your sophisticated front porch and ground the space! With two dogs and two boys, my hardwood floors are a mess and it bothers me, so I try to tell myself the scratches add character! 😉

  18. I think Pikes has lifetime warranty on their shrubs, so look at it as an investment! Hire it planted if possible….those bushes are big! and have to be balanced in the hole, and straight and level, etc, etc, etc. I have an adorable little rug on my porch door to the breakfast room to catch any pollen, dust, etc from (hopefully) tracking in on our hardwoods, so save the money for your guest room floor or planting those lovely boxwoods and go rug shopping! Looking forward to more pictures, dont kill yourself off in the process! :0

    • lol Thanks, Jae! That’s a good point about the shrubs. I think Pike told me that if I plant them, the warranty is just a year. They wanted $100 a shrub to plant them, which is outrageous to me. I need the exercise anyway…help me burn off some calories. Famous last words. You can remind me of this when I’m whining about how hard they are to plant!

    • Jae, you were right! I just talked to the delivery guy at Pike Nursery and they are guaranteed for life. Not sure why I thought it was for a year. That’s make me feel better about this investment!

  19. Stick with the black benches.

  20. Linda Page says:

    Anyone have a Darvon??? I think I need a tranquilizer after reading about your To Do list!!!! Be sure and take your Geritol tomorrow morning!!! LOL The boxwood shrubs are gorgeous. I think you will love how they look and you won’t have to endure several years of shrubs that look too small for your house while they grow. Girl, you are wearing me out. I’m gonna take a nap!!

  21. CityMommy says:

    As someone who has literally spent years looking for the right boxwood topiaries for her front porch, I completely understand what you’re doing Susan. My friends won’t even shop for them with me anymore (something about it’s time to pull the blankety-blank trigger). Good luck and can’t wait to see the finished product!

    • lol I totally know how you feel! I get something in my head and then nothing else will do. Hope you find your topiaries…I love boxwood topiaries!

  22. Chrystal says:

    Love everything you do! You inspire me to be creative and stay busy. I too, am going through some redos in my home. Painting white kitchen cabinets white again. Stippling over border paper and then painting all walls in kitchen and breakfast room. New roof, new wood floors, replacing an unused door with a window. And more. Getting bids from several companies, getting over their high prices and then just doing some on our own. It is stressful for sure. But regardless, who does the work, I know we will enjoy the finished job. Light at the end of the tunnel makes me happy.

  23. Kathy P. says:

    I’m exhausted just reading your posting! Of course, all will be gorgeous when finished. I love the black bench; much more dramatic than a white one, plus it looks like your shutters are black, so a nice match. Looking forward to photos of the finished projects, then you need to get away for a relaxing trip to Ireland!

  24. You are a brave woman! I think the black benches will look nice and coordinate with the shutters. I also look at a few scratches on my hardwoods as “character”. If it really bothers you, I know you could find a cute mat. We recently has some larger azaleas planted by Pike. It cost a little more but in addition to the warranty on the plants, they also will replant them if they don’t live at no cost. At my age, 61, I now justify additional costs by factoring in the cost of preserving my back, shoulders, knees, etc!

  25. Melinda says:

    I like the inspiration photo,and by you adding small ones with larger ones;would make the area interesting. You need to hire an assistant! I got winded reading your blog post. lol..by the way your guest room will be gorgeous with the hardwoods added:)

  26. Susan, I remember when I had that much energy, but it went away.
    That scratch would annoy me for years. Tell them to at least give you a discount if they can’t repair it. As far as the benches, get in the car and drive past the house a couple of times for ‘road appeal’ Then take some photos to see how they loo in the photos. I think white would blend in with the columns. I have floral scissors from Joann’s that I used in school (not the pair with ridges in the blades; both have turquoise handles) and use them all the time in the yard for shaping and pruning.

  27. OMGoodness, you have A LOT more energy that I have…but then you are a lot younger too:) I love the idea of the different sized boxwoods in the picture. That is a very pretty cottage. I think the black benches are going to be perfect. I hope you are taking your vitamins and don’t forget to stay hydrated!!! I think I need to rest after reading this:):)

  28. We have been updating for the past seven years!!! A room at a time, it gets very expensive… but well worth it when it is over. I love the different size shrubs I think it gives it more character, very pleasing to the eye. Good luck with everything, it will all be worth it in the end!! Checked out Lang Elliotts web loved it, signed right up, thanks for that little bit of info.

  29. I’m exhausted reading your post today, Susan! I can’t remember when I had multiple projects simultaneously. Where do you get your energy? Slow down a bit, you are worrying me. Can’t wait to see all your projects done.

  30. Catalynn says:

    wow Susan you are a BUSY BEE!
    I absolutely love reading about all your projects and looking at the pics.
    The black benches are amazing..I really hope they’re your choice… the backs are so unique.
    They reminded me of some that I saw in England while vacationing there a few years back… the English have such beautiful gardens and outdoor areas with benches and tables set in greenery.. perfect for a spot of tea.
    It made me take a fresh look at our front door area where we have a typical wood and metal bench…. it looks okay but a bench like the ones you featured would be so much nicer
    I might have to consider a new bench this year and move the old one to the side of our home where we have a spot that could use some seating.
    Can’t wait to see your boxwood all planted, I think it will look wonderful 🙂

  31. I like your boxwoods, a lovely addition to your landscape. I noticed from the container they were from Monrovia Growers would that be the same Monrovia Growers in S. CA.? Wow, long way to travel. We always buy their plants, consistent healthy good plants but we are in CA.

    You are like the energizer bunny Susan!

  32. Susan, you make me tired just reading about it. Move past the scratch, it’s no biggie and consider it patina. I agree with getting a rug but not just any rug. Find one that you are crazy about and make it an added bonus from the scratch.

    Bench would be great white or black. If you don’t want the expense of the landscapers, have you considered hiring young men out for summer break? I know many that have to do their yards that way. Of course you will have to be the boss and make sure it’s done right.

  33. Poor friend, the only thing worse is moving. We are moving this weekend to a new home a few miles away. I am the only person in a tizzy……stay tuned.
    Either my family or me will have a headache to top all of them.

  34. Suzanne says:

    I noticed that your beautiful boxwoods came from Monrovia Nursery. Our housing development is built on the property that was Monrovia Nursery in Azusa, CA. I vote for the black bench, by the way. I think it is striking!

    • Yeah, I think they are Monrovia. They had that one stuck in a pot because the burlap was starting to tear…but when I google Green Beauty Boxwood, Monrovia is the first thing that pops up, so I guess they are from there. Thanks, Suzanne. The benches came and the black look great out there, so you were right! 🙂

  35. Just did the boxwood dance here – $100 per and $50 per to plant. End result is pure happiness to me! Thankfully we only needed 5.
    Lol by the time toy read this I’m sure your decision will be made but my vote is for black. I feel the white just fades into the columns/door surround while the black pops.

    • They are so pretty! What kind did you get, Denise? $50 sounds much more reasonable than what Pike Nurseries wants to charge. They quoted me $100 per shrub!

      • Just checked – Winter Gem 2-2.5 ft. Only reaches 2-3 feet tall and as wide. Good for sun or shade. I’m in MA so they have to be VERY winter tolerant but I’ve been advised to wrap with burlap for protection.

  36. You’re having the kind of days when a pain med bottle says, “warning: alcohol will intensify effect,” and you smile while you reach for the Merlot. For what it’s worth I like the black benches – every color goes with and more patterns will go with it in the fall – you’ll have a killer Halloween display with ose benches!
    We have been putting in a semi-circle paver walkway that connects two sets of stairs, a paver patio and then, as if we hadn’t torn enough cartilage, we decided to put in another walkway cause we clearly must have gone insane. We installed low voltage path lights, spot lights on the palm trees and, my favorite part of all, the path lights have little Bluetooth speakers that play music from my iPhone. It’s the cheesiest thing but it’s my favorite part – Calypso music and all!
    I think all your hard work is going to pay off big time and I can’t wait to see it!
    PS: I love the varying height the little boxwoods give with the larger ones!

  37. Susan you really do have a lot going on. We just had our new backyard landscaped and I used the Green gem globes in 15gal. at the end of what will be a hedge, so the hedge begins and ends with the globes. I love them so much. You will be glad you got the larger plants. We did that with all of our plants and our trees came in 36 in boxes and 24 in boxes. But honestly it made for an instant yard and boxwood do grow slowly. You will be happy with what you chose! You can see what we have done, or at least the progress, here if you like…..http://goodlifeofdesign.blogspot.com/2016_05_16_archive.html

  38. Large boxwoods can command thousands of dollars! You were very fortunate to find yours. They are classical style shrubs, worth paying a professional to plant them. Boxwoods are an investment, but will reward you for decades and beyond. Your benches will be the perfect counterpoint.

    • Thanks for that info, Nan…makes me feel better about how much they cost! I will check around and see what the going cost is to have someone plant them. I’ve planted a lot of bushes and trees in my time and have never had any die…they’ve all thrived and done great. So I’m usually pretty good at it. But these are the most expensive shrubs I’ve ever purchased, so definitely want them to do well.

      • Having built and landscaped a home in Madison, Georgia clay is tricky for boxwoods! I love them and hope they will happily thrive in your yard. Due to their slow growth pattern, their foundation is key.

        What would we do-it-yourselfers do without Advil?!!

  39. Susan, haven’t seen the black in place, but I’m guessing they will look stunning and pick up the detail of the black shutters. They are so elegant. I wish our porch had the room for a bench. ‘-)

  40. You sure have a lot going on! I have never seen bushes so expensive. There are lots of them sold here in Oregon and way cheaper! Floors with a “history” to them are lovely-the little scars and such add character. I had the box woods here torn out and replaced with lovely varieties of plants. You can see on my blog. http://poetrose24.blogspot.com/2016/04/april-showers-nourished-my-gardens.html
    My neighbors have box woods which are way too overgrown. I prefer flowers and Japanese maples for my yards. Enjoy your gardens and hope they turn out how you like them! Don’t stretch yourself too thin!

  41. Cyndi Raines says:

    You go girl! Forget about the scratch on the floor. You’ll find a cute rug/ mat and it will be just fine. I like the different sizes of boxwood. We have them in different sizes, but square across our front and I love them. I know you will be right in there with them, helping to plant, but do be careful with your back. Remember your recent fall / slip out of the chair onto your backside. I will be doing some yardwork too, but planning on some fun with neighbors, bon fire, good food and doing some relaxing for sure! Can’t wait to see the black benches! Happy Memorial Day and thanks to all who served and blessed us with our Freedom!

  42. Patricia says:

    Good Gracious. I need three advil just from imagining digging all those holes in clay. The blisters on my palms from planting my annuals are finally healing- you are intrepid!

  43. You’re making me look like a lightweight Susan! Geez…when you’re not trotting the globe you’re digging holes and clearing out rooms!

    Monrovia has a HUGE property not too far from me. I think it may be their main one. Endless acres of plantings! I wonder if that’s where your box woods came from?

    (Speaking of trotting the globe, did you end up using the GoPro? We just returned today and I left my dslr at home and just used the GoPro. Don’t know yet how things will turn out.)

  44. Susan, you are such an inspiration! For starters, seeing your house I don’t feel so badly now as with four bathroom and a kitchen renovation (and eventually all new HW engineered flooring) my house has been in a continuous state of upside down for literally months now. That said; I am taking a break from tradespeople for awhile so I will be able to enjoy our summer and relax a bit. Regarding your benches, love the black and as for your planting of your boxwood; wishing you success. -Brenda-
    P.S.: Hopefully you have some written guaranty for the latter as some times everything does not take as we discovered when two of our evergreen trees died off during the first winter season. Luckily they were replaced free of charge by the landscaper.

  45. Oh Susan, even your chaos is controlled and organized. I am having the opposite experience with boxwoods. My Mom planted at least 10 boxwoods pretty close to the foundation and all in a straight row across the front of her house. Most of these 20 yr old boxwoods have succombed to Southern Blight and like you, I am digging them up myself. It is very slow going and the landscape is gong to look worse before it looks better, unfortunately. May the force be with both of us.

  46. $500 to get rid of a couple scratches! Throw a cute decorative rug over them and use the money elsewhere. Besides….no one will ever notice….they’ll just be admiring the beautiful porch room! Sometimes we are our own worst enemies! Every room will be lovely.

  47. Old, with a few scratches or blemishes is better! It shows character and a floor that has seen many memorable times! Like a fine antique or better yet, old friends! Don’t sweat the small stuff….save it for a serious issue!
    Black benches for sure. Love your porch and especially the lamps! I’m a huge lamp person…..your home is so charming!!

  48. Marlene Stephenson says:

    Busy busy but how rewarding when you sit to rest and look at all you have accomplished. It will be beautiful. Have a great day.

  49. Susan,
    We are here near Atlanta visiting family for the first time (from dry SoCal). We are loving how everything is so green and how so many of the houses and buildings have so much charm. Always enjoy your blog. I’ll be waiting to see how your garden makeover goes. I’ve got a mini-redo planned for my front planter, and boxwoods are in the plan. Don’t hurt yourself planting them.

  50. Yikes Susan, you sure do have many projects happening all at once! Hurry before it gets too hot and humid for you to work comfortably!! I’ve suffered a stoke since last commenting so I have to admit I am a little jealous of you being able to do all that you have mentioned. Take some time to enjoy it all!

  51. Nancy akeroyd says:

    Projects are good. Life doesn’t stand still so why should we? I am 66 almost 67….i am retired but i don’t have “people to do my gardening, or our remodels or help with the house work…..i have my aches and pains and need to lose weight but i push to stay active. Our project this month is our side yard. I just planted 6 large shrubs, 2 hollies and 4 boxwoods and we made a bed up to our property line and i made a mulch walkway and we just started a paver walkway…30 feet x 4 ft next to the bed on one side and next to our brick wall on the other. I dug all the holes….caried 25 bags of soil and shrub mix. My husband put in the metal edging for me. Today i spread 22 bags of red mulch. We will do the paver walkway later this week…..i am just glad i am still around to do this stuff and hopefully will be around enough years to enjoy it. Keep having projects, stay vital…..we also added 3 rhododendrums and 16 hollies to a bed out front and i planted all of them too. My husband did the metal edging for me. He says i dont get it straight enough. I only regret that i had very little time before retirement to enjoy creating beauty in my gardens. I sometimes worked 100 hours per week as a trial paralegal, kept the house, cooked for 4 children, 2 of my husbands and two of mine, shopped and did the bills. I also did a lot of gardening and on weekends we cleared 4 acres of property in the hill country of Texas….evenings i sometimes mowed our lawn in town because my husband worked long hours and we wanted to go to the hill country on weekends….i must admit i have no clue how i managed but i am determined. The only thing i never had time for was vacations or getting manicures….but i am also an artist and hands that paint have no reason for nailpolish. I spent an enormous amount of time scubbing with a nail brush…lol. So you keep up a busy life…..it is fulfilling and time is short and one should live every moment…between naps on the porch…..i do that alot now.

  52. Dian Felkins says:

    Our boxwoods grow pretty fast. Reshaping them or making them diff heights will be nice and easy to trim as such.

  53. Dee Susan
    I adore your blue bedroom. If you change it I will come and haunt you forever!!!LOL
    Meantime, I’m so sorry you had to go through all that boxwood agony! Around here there are fields of boxswood, b/c they are grown here and dug and balled and sent out by the truckloads! Mine is now growing by a concrete path, which gives the bw more lime than i could dig in. It is going to be very tall b/c i started it from a cutting of a normal old fashinoned boxwood at a decaying homeplace up on the ridge behind my house. You needed smaller and we have them and it’s too bad we don’t live closer to each other!!!!You could get a truckload!
    Your place will be fantastic. It’s all I can do to get the lawn guy to come to my mountain house!
    As for that scratch on the floor……I agree it’s just patina and adds character to the floor. Now…how do I get such gorgeous flooring without selling a grandchild into slavery??? LOL. (None of them would work that hard!!!)And if you don’t get more scratches, you are definitely a better woman than I ever thought of being!

    The hummers are here, taking turns, as they tend their newborn young. I change the sugar water regularly and am glad they don’t eat seeds, which would attract mice to my yard. I have not gotten to WM yet!!!! I’m that busy with weeding the front borders, transplanting lettuce etc ., and dancing and socializing as we older people love to do.
    Keep on keeping on and keep on sharing . It’s lovely seeing what you accomplish. XXX MJ in NC.

  54. Phyllis gigandet says:

    I LOVE your new benches!! My house is similar to yours with black shutters and, yes, I would probably go with black. The same with box woods – all one size more formal – different sizes more cottage looking. Funny thing, I am always literally sucked in to anything in cottage style, but my house is more traditional – with a lot of stuff! Go figure! You have great taste – whatever you decide will be wonderful.

  55. Bunny Rogers says:

    I’m confused. It’s September 9 yet this morning I got this May 16th entry. Why????

    In any event, I did not like the white wicker on the front porch so glad you chose the benches. For almost 25 years we lived in a very similar house as yours in Fayetteville, GA. I’m sure you know where it is. I had a simple bench (not for sitting so much as for package landing) and beautiful planters with seasonal flowers planted around taller evergreens. It’s fun seeing your house in progress!

    • That is so strange, Bunny…not sure why you got that today. I haven’t gone in and made in changes to that post or anything. I hope it didn’t go out to everyone again.
      Yeah, I was trying to decide if I should go for a white bench but I think the black is much more suited to this house. Your porch sounds beautiful! After having a porch, it’s hard to imagine not having one. I wish builders would all return to the days when every house had a porch. 🙂

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