Our little dirt pit

Today I came home from work and our brand new gutters were up! Woot woo! I began investigating gutters right when we moved in here because the house has some drainage problems near the foundation and gutters are the quickest step towards fixing it.

Because we live not only in Massachusetts, but within the snow belt, I knew I wanted to go with seamless aluminum. Seamless aluminum gutters hold up great against snow and ice, they aren’t bent or warped as water freezes and expands within them. Additionally, because we’ve got so many trees on and near our property we also decided to get leaf guards on the gutters. Total for our property, this ran $950. This is a great deal for what we wanted, and I went with a company that has done work for some friends of mine so I’ve seen and can trust their work.

Look at our white little downspout- I'm lovin' it! The gutters run around our house and carport with 5 total downspouts. I plan to line up a trash barrel under one of the downspouts so I can collect rainwater to use on plants and grass this summer.

While I was out there, I decided to take pictures of all our land, so here we go again with another picture heavy post:

This picture doesn't capture our whole front lawn, but the majority of it. We've got the carport, then space to park another car to the side of it (so we don't block each other in), then land the length of the house out front. We have never, ever used the front door which is why there's no path there. I also plan on adding shutters at some point- I can't decide on white or black, though.

Here's a shot of our side lawn taken from right behind my car, at the edge of the carport. I like this space the best out of our 3 outside spaces, and I have big plans for it over the next few years (a bench, lots of flowers, and some hedges between our house and our neighbor's).

Here's a view of the same side lawn, taken from about halfway down our gigantic driveway- which needs to be repaved at some point.

That's not lush green grass in my yard...that's turf. So. Much. Turf. Unfortunately, it'll probably stick around for this summer while I work on other outdoor issues but I can not wait to get rid of it. Somehow weeds have managed to grow up through and around it, and it was laid so poorly you can see the seems for piece to piece. And what looks like a nice cement patio? Yeah, it's literally ruining the sill of our home. The cement was poured right up to the siding, so there is no drainage and things are rotting under there. The cement is also cracked, stained, and overall ugly but it's about $600 to get it jackhammered and hauled away so we're stuck with it for now.

Our backyard is two levels, the top level is largely the dirt you see here- which is what I'll be focusing on this summer instead of the turf. I've got my mom rooting some ivy for me to run along the ground of some of it, but that will take years to fill in. I'm also wondering if I should create a patio or just plant grass on the other part- most likely whatever is cheapest.

Towards the back of the yard, past the turf, is a cinderblock patio that eventually I'd like to either clean up or redo because there are weeds and moss growing up through it and it's not even. It also doesn't serve a direct purpose- it's literally just this one section of the yard, it doesn't wrap around the pool or act as a walkway to anywhere.

And curving around the pool, we enter "The Dirtpit." This is where leaves and grass go to die, my friends. Most likely it is also where the turf will be relocated to because I think the whole mess was caused by chlorine splashing on it all and I don't even want to attempt to grow something here.

Just one more view of The Dirtpit here. What a train wreck.

So there you go, a little outside tour of our house. This summer my plans are:

  • see what grows where- if there’s any flowers or grassy areas that work and what if I can build off of them
  • plant ivy on the section of the yard where it’s too shaded to grow anything else
  • plant grass or add brick patio on the second level of the yard where there is currently dirt and ditches
  • weed, weed, weed everything and anything

The work never ends, but more and more I understand the term “labor of love.” I’ve also never used the word “potential” so much in my life.