When we first moved in, the house lacked a bit of curb appeal, you might say:
So our landlords (Chris's parents, Lois and Steve) started building a fantastic porch, which eventually replaced what you see in this picture on the side of the house as a strange, dilapidated, wooden bi-level structure (complete with worn-out astroturf remnant and trash bags). As for me, I could not wait to put in a little flower garden in the front of the house, though funding and weather prevented it for a bit.
So, 6 months later, here's the before/after comparison (submitted for your consideration):
YAY!! You can see a bit of the new porch steps on the left. We've got the proverbial white picket fence now (albeit in miniature), along with, from left to right, back row: some hydrangea, Martha Washington geraniums, regular geraniums, butterfly weed, and verbena; middle row: salvia; and front row: Spanish lavender and marigolds.
You may also be wondering what the round white things are in the above photo of the flower garden...well, I quickly found out that our resident plethora of earwigs go mad for marigolds! So I researched and found this organic method for getting rid of them: put some vegetable oil in old cat food or tuna cans and put out overnight. The earwigs will drown themselves in it and you can just discard them in the morning (and it also works on slugs, apparently):
And the crowning touch was the placement of the ladybug as guardian and protector, which is now our mascot I suppose, since it is now our blog's banner! :)