Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Making a (Rental) House a Home

My family moved into a nice little rental house in January, after living in a downtown loft for 18 months. We were all happy to have a yard, and more space in which to live, but it also meant that we suddenly had a yard, and more space for which to care. We spent the first months getting the interior organized, and reorganized, to best fit our lifestyle. Chris and I work from home, and we school Pip there, too, so anywhere we live must serve a variety of purposes.

After several months, with the inside functional and comfortable, my attention turned outside. The lawn is large, and there were plenty of "good" plants, although most of them were in locations I considered unusual. With the goal of spending as few dollars as possible, and with a lot of help from my parents who live nearby, Pip and I moved nearly every plant in the yard to places that made more sense. Soon we had holly bushes, Roses of Sharon, lilac, and a knockout rose growing where we could enjoy them.

These had been scattered around the front and back yards with not a bud to be seen--after they were put together, they all started blooming!

Knowing my plan of adding things as they became available--and sticking with the goal of spending as little as possible--my parents arrived one day with three mature forsythia plants that my aunt and uncle were removing from their yard. We shared the work of a little more digging, decided that I'd rather mow around them than mulch around them, and another side of the house was landscaped!

The forsythia was cut way back to be relocated, but all three plants are showing plenty of new growth.

So far, we haven't paid for anything for the yard except a couple of seed packets that Pip picked out at the dollar store. We'll be adding plants as we find them. Our kind neighbors and my parents have offered to share some things this fall when they're pruning and thinning their own gardens.

I still have a variety of landscaping materials stacked up, just waiting to be used. Whether it will come in handy in this yard has yet to be seen, but I am not ready to share it along, yet. Waste not, want not, right?

This isn't close to everything!

I am enjoying making this house feel more and more like home, and I love the challenge of doing so--and of creating a rich life for myself and my family--on a budget.

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