Friday, September 28, 2012

Little Black Dress

Okay, confession time....  H and I are rookie gardeners.  We have just wrapped up summer #2 in our house (we bought in June last year), and we are still winging it.

Some things that have not been helping us are:
  1. We bought the house as an estate sale, the previous owners being on older couple who hired their garden work out to pros! yeah no pressure!
  2. The children of the previous owners scalped our garden removing we estimate 10-15 mature plants/shrubs (yeah, nice huh!)
  3. We are on a corner lot with mucho exposure to the street (aka nowhere to hide)
  4. The most we have had to work with in the past was a planter or two
  5. We've been stuck doing our basement reno
With the basement reno coming to close, we realized that the first impressions of our house count a lot when trying to find a renter.  We figure that our house's exterior is a symbol of us, and a sign of how we treat our house and our things.  And that if we want a tenant who will take care of our/their space, then we need to show them we care.  There are a lot of outdoor makeover items on our to do list (like painting the house, new walkways, adding a new patio area with a trellis/awning...), but they are mostly too expensive or would take too much time/energy for us burnt out DIY-ers.  But, there was one 'quick and cheap fix we did decide to tackle......

Our flower beds.

Yup, that's right we whipped those suckers into shape.  From a distance they were not looking too bad....

Probably, helped by our new roof  and getting rid of the big cedars woopwoop!  But up close was another story....  neglect at weeding and general garden maintenance was showing.  It just looked sloppy and kinda uncared for.  Not the best impression to potential tenants as they walked up to our house.

So, we hunkered down and did a big weeding blitz. Which helped a lot, but was still not very polished or welcoming.

Yeah.... I wasn't kidding!  So, I got my thinking cap on... and I pondered our quick fix options.... and then I had a light bulb moment - bark mulch, but not just any bark mulch, ideally black bark mulch!

So I researched our options - from our local transfer station, Home depot, Rona, etc.... and the black stuff was expensive... and we needed a lot so there went the "cheap"check box....

But, I still pined for my black bark mulch.... I scouted it out everywhere we went gazing fondly at the bags every time we were at the home improvement stores... yup, you could say I lusted for it.  But, my frugal finger just couldn't pull the trigger.

That is until I spotted bags at Walmart for $2 per bag (vs $6+ per bag at the other stores), and they even had black- booyah!  So, I loaded up our Matrix with as many as I could fit, and dragged those suckers home to a sceptical husband.

A few trips later and he's sceptical no more... 'cuz now our flower beds look like this!

Crisp and clean, just the way I like it!  So far we bought 18 bags if bark mulch (we cleaned the Greater Vancouver stores out of their remaining stock!), so at $2 each, we spent under $40 with tax, and we were able to do about 1/2 of the flower beds on our whole property.

Guess who's going to be stalking the Walmart garden center next spring for her next fix?!

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