My husband loves working outside. He had quite a vision this Spring for what he wanted to do with the outside of our humble abode. To begin with, we had a landscaping company remove the mulch, which was always a problem and something ground squirrels and other pesky critters tended to tunnel through. Once a family of skunks tunneled a hole through the mulch near the front porch and we had to call in a critter rescue company to remove the momma skunk and her five babies. Thankfully, they got them all and now those holes are more difficult to create. This is because we replaced the mulch with rocks.
I will admit, when I first saw the rocks I balked. It looked horrible. It was dusty and gray and the rock cover blended in with the color of the rocks on the house and I didn't like it one bit. My husband assured me that the landscaper said we would feel this way. He said nobody likes the looks of the rocks until the company gets a chance to blast the rocks with water, which brings out the variance of color in the rocks. He was right. They looked better once they had been wet down some.
But, the rocks were just the beginning. John went out and purchased loads of flowers to grow around the house and he has created a beautiful oasis in our front and back lawns. While we were gone at camp he added a few more touches. He put in an arbor gate on the front walkway (not sure how I feel about that one):
Then, he put in a beautiful fountain, which makes such a comforting noise whenever we sit on the front porch, waiting for the bus to come.
In the back yard, he has created a little sunflower garden. He is constantly complaining about things chomping on his flowers. They come to chomp because he puts great time, money, and effort into feeding the birds, squirrels, coons, skunk, deer - we have them all).
He had to go away for a few days to care for his mother when she had surgery on one of her eyes and he asked me to water his plants for him. I was filled with trepidation because I kill plants. I have the blackest thumb around and never know how much is enough or how much is too much. Somehow the flowers survived my few days of care and the house looks like such a peaceful kingdom, thanks to the efforts of my wonderful husband. I know my mother will enjoy seeing these photos since, due to her own health issues, they didn't manage to get up to Indiana for a visit this summer. It's not as good as a visit, Mom, but it gives you an image in your mind for what the place is looking like these days.