DIY DIVA
DIY diva

A New View

November 9, 2015 | 15 Comments | Uncategorized
DIY diva

I’m walking a line here between really wanting to sit down and write about things going on around the farm. Things like prepping the garden for winter…

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Prepping the bees for winter…

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How the donkeys are prepping for winter by turning into BIG BALLS OF FLUFF.

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(Just look at those faces.)

But it turns out I’m too busy prepping for winter to write about prepping for winter. Because life.

So, anyway here’s a thing that happened in the last couple of weeks that needs very few words.

This is what my house has always looked like from the street.

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Hi trees.

Yeah, it’s a little akward for taking pictures of my house but awesome for walking around inside not wearing pants (which, let’s be honest… all the time) since they block all the major windows. I love my trees.

But, if you can’t tell from that evening pic, the one on the right is mostly dead. It started a year ago… apparently most of the big evergreen trees on my property are non-native and nearing the end of their lifespan.

So… this happened.

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Whoa. Hi house.

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That front garden isn’t going to be fully exposed now, so I’ll have to get my act together out there next year.)

It also seemed like a good time to take care of some other dead trees in the clusters of evergreens around the property, Over by the bees, for example…

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Taking them down made this area around the hives WAY more exposed than I would like, so I probably should have waited until spring for this, but what’s done is done. I’ll be planting more native pines in this area next year.

The guys I* hired also trimmed up my lopsided redbud tree, and the crabapple in the back, as well as some other clean-up work. And I’d like to say “Oh, this is such a big change when I drive up to the house every evening,” but who the hell am I kidding? It’s pitch dark hours before I get home these days, so I probably won’t even notice that tree is gone until Spring.

Ugh. Daylight savings.

Sunsets at 5 aren’t my favorite thing, but they’re still pretty…

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*You thought that was going to be a “surprise, this is sponsored” astrisk, but NOPE, actually just wanted to note that saying I hired them is a total lie because I’ve been stressed about finding a reputable company since early summer, so my mom was finally like LET ME BE A MOM AND TAKE CARE OF THIS. So she found and scheduled these guys for me, and stayed here to manage them while I was at work. All I did was write the check. So when I say “I hired” I mean, god bless my mother. Seriously.

DIY diva

    Comments

  • Tracy


    Amazing what chopping trees can do – its like a haircut! :)

    I’m now curious – how do bees survive in freezing temps? Do tell! :)

  • Sylwia


    okay, I’m so jealous of how beautiful Your house is… my life is quite similar to yours right now, i bought a farm a year ago- it’s a bit over an hour of commute to the big city where i work.

    the house was abondoned for 8 years when i bought it, and still is an ugly dump (I have no idea on how to renovate, and had specialists fix up two bedrooms, a bathroom, and instalations, more will be done when there will be more money:)).

    but the farm, so much joy, and so much work (6 acres)! this will be my first winter with bees (4 hives), and i’m so nervous for them! i did all i can think of to make them warm & comfy.
    there are rabbits instead of nugs, and one cat (purring away on my chest atm).
    and a small forest, i need to cut down half of the trees there, there is no space to grow for them.
    and getting everything ready for winter, phew!

    yur posts are really inpiring for me, cannot wait to see what will come in the next months:)

    greetings from Poland!

  • Ang


    Looks great. I did the exact same thing this year for the same earlier this year, but without hiring someone like a smart person.

  • Jack


    I do like the tall full evergreens, you just don’t replace them in a few years. On the same note, your house looks awesome with or w/o the one you had removed. The great architectural (design) of the house is now shows more from the street as well as more AM light. I cut up a couple of 3/4 dead big walnut trees that fell over the fence onto my property this summer and there are still many old dead limbs that have been in the narrow tree / brush line bordering my south lot line I want to clean out. There’s probably 3 or 4 more that need taking down as well as one smaller one next to the shop.

    constant growth
    😉

  • laura


    First, donkey eyebrows. How stinkin’ cute are those big bushy eyebrows?!
    Second – Yay to the tree being gone. I like the way it opens up the front of your house. Wonderful floral/herbal/whatever garden bed potential.

  • Monica


    Your posts are always so fun to read! You have a great way describing the things that go on in your life. From ups to downs to the every day stuff. Keep it up!

    P.S. So love your bees! We had bees growing up and if I ever get a chance to buy some land/property that will allow it, I’m in!

  • Guerrina


    Love the view of the house without the dead evergreen! Truly shows the home’s beauty. Glad you’ll be replanting some native to your area. Trees … my nemesis and I’m only on an acre … a poorly cleared acre (roots threatening foundation, large limbs headed to roof, etc.)! Great pics – love the donkies!

  • Samirah


    I swear, your mom is WonderWoman in disguise.

  • Julia at Home on 129 Acres


    Add this one to my to-do list. We have a great pine forest along the front of the house, but some of the trees aren’t doing so hot. I’m relieved to hear they might just be nearing the end of their lifespan. I really need to hire an arborist to come in and look at them. I think you made the right choice in taking down your front tree. It’s nice to see the house!

  • Nine Dark Moons


    looks wonderful! will give you a lot more sun. more sun spots for bubba (bubba?) your cat to sleep in this winter.

  • Southern Gal


    what a great house!!!

    i can feel it BREATHING!!!!

    and i hate 5 pm sunsets too especially if you have a WINDOWLESS office i basically see the sun before work and on the way to work. sigh.

  • J


    Ramblings on the subject of trees…

    It is likely that the spruce & pine you have just removed from your property were planted because they were once as cute as puppies and very common in suburban horticulture during the 50’s-60’s.

    Spruce trees can be still purchased almost everywhere for as little as $1 for babies. Spruce trees do need to be planted far enough from the house to be admired from afar. They need light, air flow, space. Think Colorado Rockies…

    If you are located in the USDA zone of 5-6, you are in a gardener’s Eden.
    What a wonderful opportunity you have. Kudos to your Mom! : )

    The front garden is to your house what hair is to a face or a frame is to a picture… basically it will either enhance or obscure the main object.

    Picture a southern property where the long drive up to the house is “through” a tree lined allée. Or the planned walkway – the more formal front entry – is lined with a smaller tree lined (30′ or less mature height) allée.

    Planning a landscaped yard is like planning a room – start with the big pieces first and then fill in with shrubs, perennials, bulbs… think hardscape (permanent elements- concrete, stone, structure, sculpture, art).
    The bones of the garden.

    Consider the elements of scent, changing colors, leaf fall, berries, flowers, fruit/nuts, shade, shadows, light play, sounds (different leaves make different sounds – from the musical rustle of aspen to the crackles of old paper – oak).

    Consider the biodiversity/ecology of place and symbiotic relationships you may want to create with new plantings. Do you want to feed wildlife naturally? There are hundreds of trees and shrubs to support that. Build in a water feature – a natural pond or recirculating stream – and you will attract even more wildlife. Consider a brush pile somewhere on the property to provide both habitat (fox, rabbit, beaver…) and a place to discard trimmings and windfall branches.

    Another tip: Plan BIG. Trees are like children in that you know what they will be like when they are adults and can plan to provide them with everything they need to reach their full potential, and they will outlive you by decades. Plant for the future as well as the now.

    Dig up and get rid of the grasses in your garden area, then install barrier edging or a slightly raised garden bed. Be conventional or creative. Once the garden is in outline, it becomes easier to plant as you have time. Much like life, it is an ever changing process whereby the best of plans will change much over time but in the end will be more than you ever thought possible. : )

    Again, written in the spirit of sharing bits of knowledge and experience that may be useful to someone someday. : )

  • Cindi


    I love the look. The house is beautiful without being hidden by the tree.

    I also would love to know how the Bees winter. Do they need heaters, do they hibernate inside the hives???? All these questions :-)

    Your mother is most certainly a godess and Oh yes my fav furry cheeks! So cute.

  • Andy


    Removing the trees from the front of your home made a huge difference. It looks fantastic!

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