Outdoor Stuff

festivities, AH and I set to some back-breaking manual labour in the form of a complete front door makeover. Since moving into our home five years ago, we’ve despised our front door. A builder-selected forest green, a shade not resembling anything that has been in style since the early 90′s, and only then in folk art and floral upholstery. It was ugly, is what I’m saying. Between the green paint, the sad, boring windows, the chipping brass handles, the thick crust of dust from living in a construction site for five years, and the peeling paint from around the frame, the doors were practically begging for a makeover. IN ENGLISH.

This is the only photo I could find at the last minute. Unfortunately it’s in black and white, so you won’t be able to fully appreciate the green. But you can see the grit and grim, the flaky paint, and the windows, which look like sad, weeping eyes.

I like houses with red doors, so we painted it red. However, we have such a hate-filled aversion towards red with even the slightest of a pink hue, that we maybe over-compensated and went a little too orange. I don’t hate it, not like the forest green, but I don’t love it. I’m hoping it will grow on me. And so is AH, who spent, quite literally, the entire day painting four coats. We switched out the plain windows for frosted (actually, it’s called Chinchilla glass, but calling it frosted is close enough), wrought iron door inserts that I love the most out of anything (sorry kids!), and new black handles. I also spent several hours scrubbing the schmutz from the caulking around the door frame. It’s basically a brand-spanking, shiny new set of doors, really.

The only problem is, with the Chinchilla glass, you can’t really see out of it, unless there’s a person RIGHTUPAGAINSTTHEGLASS. Otherwise, we’re blind to the outdoors. To most normal people, that would be a problem, but we don’t have any visitors, EVER, so the only people that come to our door are UNWELCOME and therefore these inserts make it easier to ignore them. In a pinch, there’s a window in the powder room next to the front door, that we can see out of, but otherwise, this is just another step towards Total Hermitdom, which I’m not fighting.

Thankfully, the photo shows the red dramatically brighter than its actual shade. It doesn’t assault the eyes with quite so much vigour. Almost, but not quite.

Have I ever told you that, of all the things I’m bad at, of which there are many, gardening is probably in the Top 3? Right between Having Regular Human Emotions and Doing Anything With My Left Hand. In between, there’s the thing where all the flora dies. I have to admit, I love picking out the flowers and shrubs and trees, I sort of like organizing where they will go, and I don’t even mind the labour of actually planting them, but when it comes to maintenance, that’s where my green thumb becomes the black hand of death. It’s not my intention to commit mass-murder on all my plants; it just happens.

For the first few weeks, I’ll remember that there are living things on the outside of my house. I’ll water them, periodically treat them to a little food, pluck off the soul-sucking dead bits, even take a little pride in my neat and tidy, well-groomed garden. But then, midway through the summer, I get lazy. I start thinking “Meh, it rained a couple days ago, I think, so they’re probably just fine,” or “Meh, it was extra dew-y this morning, I think, so they’re probably just fine,” or “Meh, they probably would have died of natural causes by now anyway, I think, so it’s not my fault.” I lose interest and everything dies.

This year, in an effort to acknowledge my lack of talent, I got all perennials, which (in my mind, at least) must be hardier than annuals (look at me! using real plant words!). AND I made EXTRA SPECIAL CARE to actually READ the tags and chose plants that specifically said that they welcomed drought, or at least like the soil to drain between waterings. I also chopped down three hidious juniper bushes, which left my arms sliced and mangled, but they’re gone and replaced with a couple of pretty (but tiny) yellow potentilla shrubs. I planted some red lilies, a few coneflowers, and surrounded the bunch with hens and chicks, which are adorable and my new favourite (sorry wrought iron door inserts!).

See the very sad looking lawn? That’s the result of grubs, which is the grass version of lice, so I’m very embarrassed to tell you about it. I think we had the most grubs in one location ever and our entire front lawn, between the grubs themselves and the skunks (we had a confirmed sighting) that feasted upon the grubs nightly, looked like a burnt, patchy, lumpy pile of dirt.

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