In the meantime we have been doing things that were pretty much free or cheap to the outside of the house. The weather has been warmer though we have also been getting crazy amounts of rain so the yard was the logical thing to tackle.
It has been a miraculous time actually. We bought our house in the dead of winter - DEAD of winter - so we had no preconceived notion of what it would look like in spring. For all of you Californians out there, buying a house in winter in Indiana is not a good idea. We found this out the hard way. Nonetheless, we bought our grey house when it was void of life. The trees were dormant, the plants had been cut off at the soil's surface, and the grass was nonexistant. In a word, it was pretty boring.
We have been able to watch the perennials pop up through our very health soil and seen our trees come back to life, complete with blooms and great fragrances. Our maple trees have leafed out and are shading our home and yard, making it quite the pleasant place to be.
We have hastas in several varieties.
We have these prehistoric-looking plants that now appear that they are going to flower.
We have a magnolia that flowered ever so briefly this spring and a crab apple tree.
We have peonies that have begun blooming since this photo was taken. They are white, light pink, and merlot in colors.
We have the shortest little yellow irises (though purple bearded ones have recently put up a few of their tall stalks).
And, we have also had the pleasure of daffodils, tulips, and hyacinth - all of which I cut and brought into the house for a bit of Spring in doors.
J and I took out some of the dead trees that didnt make it through the drought last Fall and also removed some prickly bushes that were lining our side patio. They most certainly were not homeowner or guest-friendly! One of our neighbors even lent us his electric hedge trimmer when he saw that I was trimming the ornamental grasses the "hard way" with garden sheers. What a life and limb-saver that was!
In addition, we bought a patio set off craigslist, replacing the cheap plastic chairs we had previously that would "melt" every time it got above 80 degrees. The table came with an umbrella stand, but our large trees do a great job of shading the area so it turns out we didnt need one anyways.